Drummoyne House

The property that gave the suburb its name, Drummoyne House, was built for successful merchant and trader William Wright (1807-1889). Wright made a fortune trading in New Zealand kauri gum, a natural resin used commercially to make furniture varnish. In 1856 he retired and about this time built Drummoyne House, named after a family estate in the west of Scotland. The name is derived from Scots Gaelic, ‘drum’ meaning ‘a ridge’ and ‘moyne’ meaning ‘a plain or marshy flat’.

The first subdivisions of the Drummoyne Estate occurred in 1882 with further subdivisions being made after Wright’s death in 1889. In successive years the house passed through a number of hands including the Hordern family, owners of one of Sydney’s best known department stores. In the 1920s it was owned by John and Anita McDonagh. Their daughters Isabel, Phyllis and Paulette formed a film company and used Drummoyne House as a set for some of their feature movies.

By 1971 the grand days of Drummoyne House had passed and it had been subdivided into flats. The Five Dock Recorder, 1 April 1971, reported its demolition with the headline ‘Making way for progress! Drummoyne House now only memory.’

Posted on October 18, 2012, in Drummoyne and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Am trying to find any more info , old news reports of the day , photos , as I lived in that house before it was demolished and wish to do more in depth research Into the homes history

  2. The City of Canada Bay Local Studies collection at Five Dock Library holds a file of clippings on Drummoyne House as well as several books that refer to the history of the house. It certainly had a long and fascinating history!

  3. A beautiful carved window cornice from Drummoyne House has survived and is preserved by Sydney Living Museums (formerly known as Historic Houses Trust of NSW). It provides a glimpse of the opulent interior decoration of the house, read more at


  4. Patricia Hale

    Just past Wrights Point, in front of a unit block, is a large sandstone balustrade and stairs down to the water. Is this an original structure retained from Drummoyne House demolished 1971?

  5. Hi Patricia, yes this is a remnant of the Drummoyne House landscaping. Known as Wright’s Steps or Drummoyne Steps, they were probably built at the same time as the house. Historic photographs of the steps may be found at: http://imagelibrary.canadabay.nsw.gov.au/Library

    Regards John Johnson

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