The land which today is 96 Queens Road was purchased by local builder John Sproule in 1891. Sproule built a house which was to become known as Gladwyn on the property in approximately 1893.
The house was made of ashlar (finely cut masonry blocks) rendered brickwork, and had a slate roof with iron ridge cappings and ventilators. A corrugated iron bull-nosed verandah extended around three sides of the house, supported by iron posts and cast iron latticework that is today missing from the house. The house was first referred to as Gladwyn in the Sands Directory in 1905.
John and Ann Sproule lived at Gladwyn from 1904 to 1905, following a period of residence at Yarra-Mundi from 1897. Ownership of the premises was transferred several times over the following years.
Reverend Robert Kay, a Presbyterian Minister, began residing at Gladwyn in 1905. Another Presbyterian Minister, Reverend R. Davies, lived there for about five years from 1918. In 1953, Dr Kaines purchased Gladwyn, which was the start of a long association between the building and the medical profession. Dr Kaines used the property as his home and surgery until his retirement in 1969.
Gladwyn was used as a doctor’s surgery until 1986, when it was purchased by Hurstville Municipal Council, and was listed as a National Trust Property in the same year. The Council refurbished the house to an original finish, including removal of carpets to expose floorboards, repainting the interior in heritage colours, and replanting the garden to mimic a 19th century Victorian cottage garden.
The Hurstville Local Studies and Archival collections were housed in Gladwyn from 1995 until 2004. Gladwyn is currently owned by Hurstville Council and leased to a mental health support organisation.
Hurstville Historical Society Heritage Register 1988.
Local History Vertical File, Hurstville Houses Gladwyn, Local Studies Collection, Hurstville City Library.
Rostrov is a Victorian Italianate-style residence built by John Sproule in 1886. The building is located on the corner of Forest Road and Penshurst Street, Penshurst on part of the land purchased by Sproule from Thomas Salter in 1885. The six acre (2.4 ha) Rostrov site formed part of Lot 1 of the Penshurst Park Estate.
Rostrov is a large two storey rendered brick home with a slate roof and cast iron railing verandahs around two faces of the building. It featured windows arranged in groups of three and cedar fittings through the house. There were ten fireplaces, six of which had marble mantelpieces.
In 1897, Sproule sold Rostrov to Alfred Harrison, relocating to Yarra-Mundi, a new home he had built at 75 Queens Road Hurstville. Rostrov had several owners over the next two decades and parts of the land were subdivided.
In 1935, Dr Quinn sold Rostrov to the Catholic Church. Additions and improvements were made to the house, though many of the original features remained. It was converted to St Joseph’s Convent in 1935 and is still operating as a convent as of 2013.
Hurstville Historical Society Register, Hurstville Historical Society, 1986.
Local History Vertical File Penshurst Houses, Rostrov, Local Studies Collection, Hurstville City Library.
The land occupying the corner of Queens Road and The Avenue, Hurstville was purchased by Ann Sproule in 1895. Her husband, John, built a house named Yarra -Mundi on the site in 1897. John was a local builder and Alderman of Hurstville Council.
The house was constructed of rendered brick, with a slate roof and a bull-nosed verandah supported by iron posts. There are decorative quoins and panels below the eaves which are an excellent example of a late Victorian mansion. There were five bedrooms, two bathrooms, and black marble fireplaces finished with imported tiles.
The Sproules lived in Yarra- Mundi from 1897 until 1904, when they moved to Gladwyn Yarra- Mundi was home to the Cater family until 1925, and to Reverend Dixon’s rectory from 1927 to 1938.
George Martin purchased the property in 1938, and the Martin family continued to live there until 1981.
In 1981, Yarra -Mundi was purchased from a developer by Danebank Church of England Girls School. It was used as a boarding house for Danebank students and could accommodate up to 50 people. As the number of boarders decreased in 1990s, it was converted to a senior study campus.
Yarra -Mundi was sold again in 2003, as Danebank School consolidated its operations to one campus. The heritage listed house was maintained and restored, and residential buildings were built on the land formerly occupied by tennis courts and gardens.
In 2013, the house is occupied by the Hurstville clinic of the Cardiac Health Institute.
Hurstville Historical Society Heritage Register, 1988
Local History Vertical File, Hurstville Houses Yarra Mundi, Local Studies Collection, Hurstville City Library.
1. According to the Macquarie Dictionary, a quoin is ‘an external solid angle of a wall’. They are stone blocks placed at the corner of a wall for decorative purposes or to strengthen the wall.