Rockend Known as Banjo Paterson Cottage

Banjo Paterson’s Grandfather (Robert Barton) passed away in Sydney at the Australia Club in Macquarie Street from complications resulting from of a sulky accident incurred some years earlier. The family were residing on their grazing property Boree Nerang on Peabody Road at Borenore 20 kilometres from Orange where Mary had lived since her marriage and had raised 9 children.

Emily Mary sold the family holding and moved with her remaining children (the two Paterson brothers John and Andrew had married the two eldest Barton girls Emily and Rose) to a home she purchased on the Great North Road at Gladesville in Sydney.

It was just up the hill from Bedlam Punt which crossed Looking Glass Bay. The 5 bedroom stone cottage was renamed Rockend by Emily Mary and for the next 46 years was her home and a meeting place for all the family and their siblings.

Emily Mary took her grandchildren John and Andrew under her wing, moved them from their Illalong home and settled them in with her. She sent both boys to the prestigious Sydney Grammar School in College Street Sydney and then used her influence to ensure young Andrew (Barty) obtained an Article Clerk position as he had missed the Sydney University Entrance Exams due to a bout of Scarlet Fever.

Upon her death, the house was sold and became the Head Office of the Meggitt’s Linseed Oil and Meal business. Sold in 1985 to the Government, its historical value has been restored by a complete restoration and is now under the guardianship of the Ryde Council. It is now leased out to private enterprise and is known as the Banjo Paterson Restaurant. Rockend now holds pride of place with beautifully kept gardens and parkland overlooking Looking Glass Bay and is the ideal dinning place for that very special function.

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