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Netherby

Netherby was named after a property with the same name in Yorkshire, England. Parts of Netherby were originally known as Galway and "Woodside".

Netherby today straddles Fullarton Road and nestles comfortably between Urrbrae and Springfield on the eastern side of the City of Mitcham. Historically the suburb falls easily into four parts. The original "Netherby" property was on the east side of Fullarton Road. On the western side of Fullarton Road, south of Kitchener Avenue, Netherby suburb was divided in half by the SA Company at the beginning of settlement, the northern part eventually became Galway Estate and the southern part was known as "Helenholme". Then there is the fourth area which is the whole of an original 134 acre section originally called "Woodside", being on the edge of Black Forest. Later, "Woodside" was included in Peter Waite's estate of "Urrbrae" and bequeathed by him to the people of SA for education purposes. Hence today included in Netherby we have Urrbrae Agricultural High School, Unley High School and an Education Centre included in the newly formed Urrbrae Wetlands. Incidentally, the present day wetlands are only a little south west of an area known by the old timers as the Netherby Swamp.

The name of Netherby did not appear until a decade after the Land Grants had been issued. Meanwhile the area had belonged to Edward and Anna Pollard between 1838 and 1844 when it was transferred to William Bartley. On the neigbouring property "Springfield" CB Newenham, SA's first Sheriff lived with his family including a daughter Anna. In 1844 James Henderson made an agreement with Mr Newenham, nine months before he married Anna, to buy Bartley's 80 acre Section 263. The year before James a surveyor had accompanied Captain Frome on his exploration north-east of Burra . Then several years after the marriage the land was put into a trust for Anna Henderson. By the time of the birth of their third child in 1848, James had become a merchant, had built a house on the land, naming it "Netherby" .

At the end of 1853 while James Henderson was in England, the property was sold to solicitor Richard Hicks for L2,000 indicating a substantial house having been built. The property was next sold to William Morgan MP in 1867. William Morgan, a grocer arrived in 1849 and went to the Victorian Goldfields, where he was possibly reasonably successful. This enabled him to develop his mercantile business and pastoral interests. He married in 1854 and became a founder of the Bank of Adelaide in 1865. In 1867 he bought "Netherby" and was elected to the Legislative Council. He served as Premier between 1878-1881 and gained a knighthood before dying in 1883. At "Netherby" he extended the house to 18 rooms, opened a spring to water 11 acres of oranges and vineyards which he planted and set up a wine press. The property extended into the foothills over Waite Road.

After Sir William Morgan's death "Netherby" now valued at over L7,000 was held by the executors until 1890 when it was sold to John Pile who with his brothers was a pastoralist at "Cuthero" on the River Darling in NSW. He was involved in the horse industry and bred a number of successful Australian racehorses, hosted Hunt Club breakfasts from "Netherby" and eventually was awarded life membership of the Adelaide Racing Club. However his pastoral interests suffered from drought and the impact of rabbits and "Netherby" was lost to bank mortgages by 1902.

A number of people occupied the property virtually as caretakers for the bank, W Robertson formerly of "Turretfield" near Gawler, John McCann, director of a meat Company in the Argentine and from 1909 the property was occupied by Mr AH Fearon, manager of the Bank of NSW in Adelaide.

In 1913 part of Netherby estate was subdivided into 134 allotments along Netherby and Montrose Avenues between Claremont and Delamere Avenues. Then another offer was made by public auction in 1919 to wind-up the estate. The homestead block was bought by Dr Robert Pulleine who developed a far-famed collection of succulents. After he died the old homestead was demolished in 1941 and his widow lived in a new house on Rentoul Ave. Evidence of the "Netherby" property disappeared with the auction of 35 "spacious residential sites" in 1950 creating Heather and Pulleine Streets. What was claimed to be the largest mulberry tree in the colony was cut down at this time.

The western part of present day Netherby is divided north and south by Finlayson Street. The SA Company formed in England in 1835 to organise the new colony. It was issued with Land Grants in 1839 including some for this part of Netherby along with the adjoining Section where Mitcham Village was laid out in 1840 and other sections further downstream of Brownhill Creek including present day Lower Mitcham and half of Hawthorn, subdivided into small farms from 1852. Brownhill Creek was a significant asset to the settlers. It's gully upstream was set aside by the Company as No 1 Sheep Station, as they were responsible for feeding the pioneers. William Finlayson was employed initially to shepherd the sheep and was able to secure a lease close-by. In 1855 he purchased the land and built a home for his family which he named after his wife, Helen, hence "Helenholme". William Finlayson became a pastor and joined the Rev. Thomas Playford in Mitcham Village. They both became trustees of the Mitcham General Cemetery in 1853 and of the Baptist Church when it was formed in Mitcham in 1858. In the early 1860s he leased part of "Helenholme" to David Fowler of D&J Fowler the wholesale grocers. David and his wife Janet were starting again after losing three small sons in 1855, subsequently three more children were born around Mitcham . In 1873 he departed for England where he died three years later. In 1866 two housing blocks were taken out of the "Helenholme" property and sold to James Parish and Thomas Slee, however both their houses have been replaced by blocks of units on Princes Road. 1870 saw the construction of Mitcham Village Institute, then a decade later next door came the Police Station and Methodist church, all still used. The 1890s saw further opening of Princes Road eastwards and a shop opening opposite the Institute and a row of simple symmetrical houses sold due to land tax reform aimed to break up large estates.

During 1917 the Vaughan Government gave notice of its intention to take over all privately owned Wharf facilities at Port Adelaide. After extensive litigation the SA Company lost one of its most valuable assets. It was war time, there was a mouse plague and housing was short. Perhaps to offset the potential loses the SA Company subdivided the northern part of the section between Kitchener and Finlayson Avenues naming the subdivision Galway. However it was 1922 before land sales began. The streets were named after army senior offices like Kitchener, Haig, Birdwood, and French. The Great Depression and World War II slowed development and it wasn't until the 1950s that the SA Housing Trust bought up the unsold allotments and put asbestos housing upon them some of which still stand in Broughton and Hill Streets. "Helenholme" became the home of solicitor, WA Norman who wrote "The History of Mitcham" in 1953 and also become Mayor of the City of Mitcham. Most of Netherby was subdivided before the implementation of the 1920s Town Planning Act, hence it was only by the goodwill of the developer "Netherby Limited" that a very small area was set aside for a park which has since been developed as Tennis Courts. However, the residents have access to the park-like Urrbrae Arboretum and views of the adjoining varied open-spaces of school land, wetlands.

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Last date modified: 2014-04-21T14:01:28
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