Thursday 6 October 2016

Annandale…. where history lives on

Architecturally, Annandale is an incredibly interesting suburb from an historical perspective. It is home to some of the first houses in Sydney and is a canvas for the unexpected. Nestled quite startlingly amid some of Sydney’s earliest architectural history lies the Ann & Dale, a striking example of the quintessential linear, large-windowed retro 70s building.

Original sandstone facade
The Ann & Dale Apartments

The suburb of Annandale itself has one of the longest histories of any Sydney suburb. When Major George Johnston (1764–1823) arrived on the First Fleet ship Lady Penrhyn, he was granted 100 acres of land that he named Annandale after his birthplace Annan in Scotland. His name is remembered in Johnston Street itself. He sold his property in 1877 to John Young, who was a businessman, architect and mayor. Young began to turn the Johnston estate into an attractive suburb by building a number of picturesque houses. One of those houses was Kenilworth, with its "witch's cap" style of roof common to that period of architecture. Other houses in the group were the striking ‘Abbey’, ‘Oybin’, ‘Greba’, ‘Hockingdon’, ‘Highroyd and ‘Rozelle’ which was demolished and is in fact the site of The Ann and Dale. Some of these houses are still popularly known as "witches houses" because their towers. Of the various houses in this group, The Ann & Dale’s closest neighbour, The Abbey, has been described as a stone Gothic Revival mansion, modelled on Scottish manors.
Johnston Street, Annandale, circa 1880s showing The Abbey

The Witches Hat Home today
The Witches Hat Home circa 1880

Annandale has many more heritage listed buildings but the Witches Houses are the most famous. Come and see them for yourself from The Ann & Dale Real Thing Apartments...

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