Ku-ring-gai Historical Society Inc
incorporating the
Ku-ring-gai Family History Centre

Roseville

The southern-most suburb of Ku-ring-gai Municipality is Roseville, which lies between Boundary Street and Findlay Avenue to the south and Abingdon and Bayswater Roads, Chelmsford Avenue and Carnarvon Road to the north.  A narrow section to the south, between Boundary Street and William Street, is in Willoughby municipality.  To the east it is bounded by the waterways of Moores Creek and Middle Harbour and to the west by the Lane Cove National Park.  Roseville Chase is surrounded by Babbage Road, Moores Creek and Middle Harbour, and is cut in two by Warringah Road.  The names East Roseville and Roseville East are no longer officially used.

 
Hill Street (as in early 1900s : as in Sept 2007)

Early Settlers

Roseville was first settled from the water, in two directions: from the Lane Cove River and from Middle Harbour.  Around 1814 William Henry, recognised as one of Ku-ring-gai’s first settlers, began farming on land adjoining the Lane Cove River, near the present Fuller’s Bridge.  Governor Bligh promised him 1000 acres in the area, but the Rum Rebellion in 1808 meant this grant was not officially recognised until 1860, just two years before Henry’s death.  In 1821, the first official grants of land were made west from the ridge to Michael Fitzgerald (an area north from Boundary Street to the Rifleway) and a new grant to William Henry (from the Rifleway almost to the present Bayswater Road), which linked westward to the land he had worked for some seven years.  These grants extended only part of the way to the river.  Henry sold his grant before 1828, and eventually (by the 1890s) it became market gardens, leased to Chinese gardeners, Why Tiy and Kwong Shing.

The first unquestioned grantee to the east was Daniel Dering Mathew, timber-getter, merchant, architect and magistrate.  In 1819 he acquired a 400 acre grant he named the Clanville Estate.  Here he felled timber and farmed.  The name of the estate remains as that of one of the best known streets in Roseville.  His grant covered the area from the present highway east to Archbold Road, and from Boundary Street north to Tryon Road.  About 1830, Mathew sold this grant to Richard Archbold, and moved further north to an estate he named Rosedale (consisting of much of the present East Pymble and part of St Ives).

Richard Archbold worked the timber on the Clanville estate till it ran out, then he planted fruit trees.  Mrs Hammond, whose husband’s family were to own abattoirs and butcheries in Willoughby and Ku-ring-gai, spoke of Aborigines travelling up from Middle Harbour to pick Archbold’s fruit.  After he died in 1836, Archbold’s wife Mary continued to farm the land alone, using assigned convict labourers, until her death in 1850.  The estate of over 400 acres was eventually divided between Richard her eldest son, and Gerald her second son.  Richard took the northerly section from what is now Clanville Road to Tryon Road; Gerald took the section from Clanville Road to Boundary Street.  The Archbold family purchased additional holdings nearby, in what has now become East Lindfield, including the area between the present Tryon, Sydney, Carnarvon and Melbourne Roads, and a section stretching to the north and east from the corner of Boundary Street and Archbold Road.  They also bought Fitzgerald’s grant, which was developed as an orchard, and this area was later leased to a Chinese market gardener, Ah Coon.  In 1896 it was divided into smaller blocks.

The timber and the fruit from the Archbold estate had to be transported to Sydney for sale, and was taken to the Lane Cove River down a track known for a time as Dick’s Road, after Richard Archbold.  It is now known as Grosvenor Road.  In the 1890s, the holdings of both Richard and Gerald Archbold were subdivided into residential blocks.

The eastern side of Roseville was first inhabited by the family of Samuel Bate and more particularly his sons Richard and John who first squatted then rented in 1831 and later bought land at Echo Point.  It was only John, however, who lived there with any degree of permanency.

© Ku-ring-gai Historical Society Inc.