Pendle Hill, stands on land originally granted to D’Arcy Wentworth in 1819. The land stayed in the hands of the Wentworth
family until late 1882 when Fitzwilliam Wentworth, the then owner, subdivided and sold the land in January of 1883. William
McMillan (later Sir William McMillan) was to purchase some of this subdivision
and build a country home for his growing family.
was originally from Ireland
and came to Melbourne in 1869 where he met and married Ada
Charlotte Graham in 1878. They moved to Sydney the same year
and McMillan, in addition to his business interests, joined the Sydney School of Arts Debating Club where he met budding politicians
(Sir) George Reid and (Sir) Edmund Barton.
property from Wentworth he set about building a substantial new home in 1885, which he named Dunmore House.
the 1880’s due to his business interests McMillan became recognized as an authority on commercial matters and agreed
to stand for East Sydney at the general election of 1887, which he won easily. He served
as Treasurer in the fifth Parkes administration and under the tutelage of Henry Parkes, became a keen Federationist and was
elected to chair the finance committee at the 1897 Australasian Federal Convention. In 1901 he was appointed KCMG (Knight
Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George), primarily in recognition of this work.
McMillan died in 1926 at the age of 76 years.
In 1912 MacMillan
sold Dunmore House to Percival Edgar Thompson of Gosford, who had inherited quite a large estate from his father who had been
a board member of David Jones Limited. Percival Thompson also became a member of the board of David Jones and in 1917 leased
Dunmore House to George Alan Bond, who was to become the founder of the Bonds Clothing Company.
Bond was born
in 1876 in Louisville, Kentucky, United
States of America, and arrived in Sydney
in 1906, followed by his wife Jeanette. He was naturalised in 1922.
business in Sydney as an importer of hosiery and underwear,
but with the outbreak of World War I and the consequent import shortage, he began manufacturing hosiery himself in Redfern.
The business flourished and in 1920 he purchased Dunmore House from Percival Thompson. He then established a spinning mill
in the expansive grounds of Dunmore House. The business was very successful until
the depression hit and the company was forced into liquidation. The business continued to trade until 1930 when it was sold
to a new group, Bond’s Industries Ltd which ultimately flourished. Bond lost his fortune and reputation in the crash
of his company and was declared bankrupt in 1931. He then worked for his wife Jeanette in a small hosiery firm she had founded
in 1928 at Summer Hill.
Bond died in 1950 at Ashfield.
In 1935 The
Churches of Christ Co-Operative Society Ltd purchased the house with a view to using Dunmore House for dormitory style accommodation
for up to 25 boys aged 7 – 15 years. The use of the house continued in this way until the 1970’s when its use
changed to accommodate both male and female teenagers.
In 1986 an
Interim Heritage Order was placed on the building while extensive research was undertaken to ascertain the building’s
time the Christian Community
School leased the building as its National Office, using most of the
rooms as administrative offices.
of Christ resumed occupation of the house in the 1990’s with the intention of using it as the administration office
for their Community Care – Aged Care and Welfare Offices.
village now surrounds Dunmore House, with the house sitting high on a hill overlooking what was once its expansive grounds,
a prime example of late 19th century architecture for wealthy Sydney businessmen, looking to build a country residence
in rural western Sydney.