Local history fast facts - R

This information has been provided by the Local History Centre and the Woollahra History and Heritage Society.


RANELAGH - 3 Darling Point Road, Darling Point. Situated at the Southern end of Darling Point Road, the house Ranelagh was built by Andrew Lenehan in the early 1850s. House demolished in 1967 for high-rise unit development. More information on Ranelagh(PDF, 242KB).

RAOUL WALLENBERG GARDEN - corner Queen Street and Edgecliff Road, Woollahra. A monument was erected in 1985, honouring the Swedish diplomat and humanist, Raoul Wallenberg, who during 1944-45, saved thousands of lives in Hungary.

RAY AVENUE, Vaucluse - named changed from Beaulieu Street in 1935.

REDLEAF - 536 New South Head Road, Double Bay. House designed by architect George Allen Mansfield and built in 1863 for William Walker; occupants include J.B. Watt, H.C. Dangar, the Hon. William Busby, Frederick Lassetter, W.H. MacKay. It was purchased by the Woollahra Council in 1940 but occupied by the RAAF from 1942 to 1946, becoming Woollahra Council Chambers in 1947.

REDLEAF POOL, Double Bay - Woollahra Council built a shark proof bathing enclosure and dressing sheds in front of Redleaf between 1940 and 1941. Redleaf Pool was officially opened by the premier the Hon. William McKell in 1941. In July 2012 Woollahra Council renamed Redleaf Pool the Murray Rose Pool in honour of champion Australian swimmer and local resident Murray Rose. See Murrray Rose Pool.

REGAL THEATRE - Oxford Street, Bondi Junction. The Art Deco style cinema, opened in 1936 and stood on the southwest end of the present Carousel Shopping Centre, getting films immediately after the city. Its name was changed to the Metro but it closed in 1973. It was demolished and the site absorbed into the shopping centre.

RETFORD HALL - Thornton Street, Darling Point. Built in 1866 for Anthony Hordern, city draper, in Italianate style (designed by BLACKET with involvement by J. Horbury Hunt). It was named after the old town in Nottinghamshire where Hordern's mother's people stemmed from. It was demolished in 1967 for high-rise unit development. More information on Retford Hall(PDF, 285KB).

ROBERTS' GRANT - In 1809, William Roberts, ex-convict become contractor, received a grant of 200 acres (81 ha.) covering most of Bondi and coming nearly up the South Head Road. He was given his grant for work he carried out on the South Head Road. In 1813, Roberts built the road to Liverpool on which there were two substantial bridges. It is expected that the South Head Road had bridges, one in particular at present day Beach Road where the two reed swamps joined.

ROBERTS' HOUSE - No 11a Gilliver Avenue, Vaucluse. Developer, G.J. Wells, favouring the Moderne architecture flourishing overseas in the 1930s, built the house in 1938 - CRICK & FURZE were the architects. It is in the style known now as 'Functionalist' and a classic example of that style. The same architects designed the Kings Theatre in Rose Bay North, one of the partners of the Kings 'chain' bought the house and it carries his name.

ROBERTSON PARK - The park is located in Watsons Bay between Clovelly Street and Military Road. It was named after Sir John Robertson (1816-1891), five times Premier of NSW. He lived at his residence, Clovelly, situated in what is now Robertson Park from 1864 till his death in 1891. More information on Robertson Park(PDF, 97KB).

ROCK PLATFORMS - On the foreshore around the bays of the harbour and on the ocean side exist rock platforms jutting out into the water and at about present high water mark. These are remnants of erosion that took place during the last inter-glacial warm, 160,000 to 120,000 years ago, when the sea level was 20 ft (6 m.) higher than it is at present. Rock debris washed to and fro by swells naturally grinds the rock surface flat at about 15 ft (4.4 m.) below the water surface. In some cases, i.e. at the Gap at Watsons Bay, the platforms exhibit a 'tessellated' appearance believed to be the result of erosion of the overlaying strata (off-loading) forming rectangular stress cracks which get eroded out by marine action.

RODDAM FARM - Name given to the 20 acre grant to Edward Laing at Watsons Bay in 1793

RONA - Ginahgulla Road, Bellevue Hill. Victorian Rustic Gothic house built for Edward William Knox, 1883 in the style of Greycliffe where Mrs Knox (nee Willis) had lived (G.E. MORRELL). It was severely damaged by fire in February, 1905, restituted with modifications to the building (W. WARDELL) and divided in 1951 with the large centre south gable removed (J. MANSFIELD). The 16 acre 'Knox' Estate was sub-leased from Frederick Tooth by Edward Knox, the founder of CSR, around 1880, taken over by partners Edward William Knox (son) and William Oswald Gilchrist. The former and his brother, Tom, built Rona and Leura while Gilchrist who took the acre block at the bend in Victoria Road, sold to Colin Stephen around 1900 who built Llanillo - since demolished and sub-divided.

RONA STABLES - No. 2 Ginahgulla Rd, Bellevue Hill. Built 1883 concurrent with the house Rona, converted into a residence in 1959 by John Amory.

ROSE, George: Rose Bay and Rose Hill - The Right Honourable George Rose (1744-1818), the Joint Secretary to the Treasury in England in Governor Phillip's time played an important part in the establishment of the colony and is remembered by the two Sydney place names.

ROSE BAY - was named after The Right Honourable George Rose (he was not knighted) who was joint Secretary to the British Treasury with Thomas Steele, after whom Steel(e) Point at Nielsen Park was named. The name Rose Bay was used as early as 1778 by Captain John Hunter (Peter Poland in The Right Honourable George Rose discusses the origin of the name).

ROSE BAY AVENUE, Rose Bay - was originally known as Gallipoli Avenue but the name was changed in 1926.

ROSE BAY AVENUE, NO. 1 - Two storey house built in 1923 for Mr V. Laidley Dowling (WILKINSON/JOHN D. MOORE), altered in 1950 (WILKINSON) and extensively restored and upgraded (POREBSKI), on 2415 sq. m.(over half acre) site.

ROSE BAY LODGE - Salisbury Road, Rose Bay. The house was built in 1834 by architect John Verge for James Holt who, at the time, managed the 'Cooper Estate'. When built, it was the only house on the 'Estate' with the possible exception of Henrietta Villa, Capt. Piper's previous home on Point Piper. The house was built as a single storey verandahed residence of about 20 squares (186 sq. m.) over a similar sized stone cellar. It was surrounded by extensive gardens embellished by five working fountains fed from a water source above on the slopes of Bellerue Hill which later fed 'Woollahra House', built in 1883 on Point Piper. One of the fountains still remains. Prominent occupiers of the house included Sir Daniel Cooper (his son Daniel was born there in 1848), Walter Lamb (1825-1906) and Sir John Hay (1816-1892) - they were all noted businessmen and parliamentarians. In 1911, the property, then of 4 acres (1.6 ha), was sub divided and built on. AIthough historically 'disowned', the old house remained but with considerable unsympathetic extensions, including a second storey. It has subsequently been sympathetically refurbished and brought back to what it was ca 1910.

ROSE BAY MEMORIES- An exhibition of photographs taken by the family of Dr Leslie Parker at Rose Bay, 1918 to 1920. Rose Bay Memories(PDF, 370KB).

ROSE BAY POLICE STATION - Rose Bay Park. Victorian Italianate style octagonal structure, possibly built in the late 1850's, originally the Lodge (gatehouse) to Woollahra House (HILLY & MANSFIELD). Acquired and remodelled in 1930 for police use, it had two 'wings' added and a Spanish Mission roof - it was further modified in 1995, much of the fabric of the structure having been destroyed in the process.

ROSE BAY PUBLIC SCHOOL - Albemarle Avenue, Rose Bay. The school was established on July 27, 1891 in a cottage on Old South Road, Rose Bay North, transferred to a building on the Ostrich Farm in 1896 but moving to its present site in 1907 - motto 'Ever Forward', colours, Black and Gold.

ROSE BAY SEAWALL - The wall was constructed 1924-26, concurrent with the widening of New South Head Road and in centralising the tram tracks.

ROSE BAY UNITING CHURCH - Located on the SW corner of Dover and Old South Head Roads on land donated by the Hon Ebenezer Vickery and built as a Methodist Church over 1904-5. The Church was enlarged and the attached Wesley Hall built in 1924.

ROSE BAY WAR MEMORIAL - Lyne Park, Rose Bay. Designed by local architect Reginald Prevost in Art Deco style, the Memorial was unveiled on 21 April 1935 by Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven (later Lord Gowrie), the then Governor of New South Wales. Dedication: 'To our fallen be mindful of the men they were'. The gates came from 'Colebrook', a demolished house that stood at the corner of New South Head and Bellevue Roads, Double Bay.

ROSLYNDALE - 38 Roslyndale Avenue, Woollahra. Victorian Rustic Gothic style house built by broker William James Lennon around 1865 (F. CLARKE, Architect).

ROSEMONT - Rosemont Ave, Woollahra. The house built around 1857 (one of the first in the area) by Alexander Campbell, subsequent owners included the Hon. J.T. Walker, Sir Chades Mackellar (ex Dunera), Sir Samuel Cohen and the Lloyd Jones family. The house survives but is surrounded by houses built after the 1912 sub- division.

ROSEVILLE - 101 Darling Point Road, Darling Point. Built in 1906 for Jules F. Archibold (ERNEST SCOTT) Archibold was celebrated as editor of The Bulletin, for the Archibold Prize for portraiture and the fountain in Hyde Park bearing his name - died at Roseville in 1919. The architect John Hennessy lived there from 1924 to the late 1930s. The house was demolished in 1996 and replaced by a unit block.

ROYAL HOSPITAL FOR WOMEN, Paddington - when the Pitt Street site of the Benevolent Society's Asylum was resumed by the Government in 1901 the Society purchased two new sites, one of them being 'Flinton', a 6.5 acre (2.6 ha.) area in Paddington. Originally granted to Roger Therry in 1832, he built the house 'Flinton' there in the 1830s, it later became the property of William Dean. On this site the Society built and operated the Royal Hospital for Women - the first purpose built hospital building, the Gynaecology and X-ray Wing, was built to the design of architect George Sydney Jones in 1904. The wing was officially opend on 3 May 1905. In 1997 the hospital moved to new premises at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, and the Paddington site was sold and developed for housing becoming known as Paddington Green.

ROYAL HOTEL- Five Ways, Paddington. Built in 1888, it is the only hotel in Paddington with overhanging 'iron lace' balconies'.

ROYAL MOTOR YACHT CLUB - Point Piper, established July 6, 1905 as the Motor Boat Club of N.S.W., claiming to be the first official body representing 'motoring' in Australia. Club premises on the present site were opened December 10, 1910.

ROYAL SYDNEY GOLF CLUB - Rose Bay. Formed in 1893 at Concord, a nine hole course was established on the Bondi side of Old South Head Road in 1894, spreading to the Rose Bay side in 1896. The present Club House, designed by architect Maurice Halligan, was built in 1922 replacing the one burnt down in 1920.

RUSHCUTTERS BAY - Originally called Blackburn Cove honouring the Master of HM Armed Tender Supply. Since the area saw much activity by convicts cutting reeds as a source of roof thatching in the early days of the colony, the name became established as the 'Rushcutting Bay' from which the present name derives. The creek has two arms; that rising in present day Darlinghurst and the other, Glenmore Brook, rising in Woollahra and which passed through lower Paddington - the valley also carried the romantic name Lacrozia - See also Rushcutters Bay: A Brief History for more information.