Crows Nest House, North Sydney, c1869 / Victor A. Prout
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Crows Nest House, North Sydney, around 1869 / Victor A. Prout
Prout, Victor A. (Victor Albert), 1835-1877.
1 carte-de-visite : sepia-toned ; 6.4 x 10.1 cm.
Photographer's trade details printed on verso: Victor A. Prout / To their Royal Highnesses / Prince & Princess of Wales / 137 Castlereagh Street, Sydney.
Crows Nest House was built for Scottish-born merchant Alexander Berry (1781-1873) in 1850. Berry settled in NSW in 1819 when he formed a business partnership with Edward Wollstonecraft (1783-1832). It was Wollstonecraft who secured an initial grant of 500 acres of land on the North Shore where, according to Berry's reminiscences, Wollstonecraft built a small cottage called 'Crow's Nest', on account of its elevated and commanding position. After Wollstonecraft's death Berry renovated Crows Nest Cottage before building the larger, and 'more conveniently located' Crows Nest House.
Alexander Berry died at Crows Nest House in 1873 and the house was leased to District Court Judge Alfred McFarland who lived there with his family until 1891. Crow's Nest House was inherited by a Berry relative, Sir John Hay, who made extensive additions to the main part of the house, the stone front oriel windows and back wings, and the original stone stable. Sir John Hay died at Crow's Nest House in 1909 and the house was then occupied by Lady Hay until her death. The house was demolished in 1932 to make way for the North Sydney Demonstration School, only the entrance gates left standing as the entrance to the school.
; Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection
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