Rhodes House

Rhodes takes its name from the house built in 1823 for Thomas Walker (1791-1861) and his wife, Anna Elizabeth Blaxland. Rhodes House overlooked the Parramatta River near the northern end of Blaxland Road. It was named after his mother’s ancestral estate in Yorkshire. In 1832, Walker retired and went to live in Tasmania and the house was leased. Anna Walker returned to New South Wales with her family to live at Rhodes House in 1870. After Anna’s death in 1889, three of her daughters continued to live at Rhodes. One daughter, Anna Frances Walker, established a reputation as a painter of native flora.

Walker’s Estate at Rhodes was first subdivided in September 1895 with a further subdivision being made in 1910. Three streets in Rhodes commemorate the family’s association with the area: Walker Street, Blaxland Road, and Marquet Street, named after Anna’s brother, John de Marquet Blaxland. Rhodes House is believed to have been demolished in about 1918 to make way for John Darling & Son flour mill. It later became the site of Allied Feed Mills Pty Ltd which has now been redeveloped as a residential area.

Posted on October 25, 2012, in Rhodes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I believe “Marquet Street” would have been named after the family of the mother of Anna and John de Marquet: Harriott de Marquett, wife to John Blaxland of Newington. Harriott’s father was a bodyguard of Louis XVI, Jean Louis de Marquett, who later became a merchant in Calcutta. NB the changes in spelling.

  2. It is interesting to note that it was through the Marquett line that the Blaxland descendants found their calling in painting flora and art. In one of the many accounts held in the State Library of New South Wales from the Blaxland and Walker family archives, Harriott de Marquett is said to have been taught art and to appreciate the natural environment by her father Jean Louis, and she passed this on to her children including Anna Elizabeth and Harriott Mary (the eldest daughter, later Mrs. Ritchie and later Lady Dowling, second wife to Sir James Dowling). One of Anna Elizabeth’s nieces, Elizabeth Ritchie (daughter of Harriott Mary) married Charles Boydell of Gresford in the Hunter Valley. Elizabeth Boydell’s drawings of the landscape of the Hunter are available through the State Library online and Anna Elizabeth’s account of Elizabeth Boydell’s two-day wedding is also viewable. The Blaxland-Walker families were certainly prominent (and well-connected) in the formative years of the NSW colony!

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