History

 

 

The House was constructed in 1939 and completed on 14 July of that year.

 

It was designed by Miss Ellice Nosworthy who was said to be Professor Wilkinson’s first female student in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Sydney. Professor Wilkinson designed a number of significant homes in the Southern Highlands, including Greyleaves in Burradoo.

 

The design bears a number of classic Wilkinson features, eg the vaulted ceilings and the Juliet balcony off the main bedroom.

 

The timber was largely imported, e.g the external cladding is Canadian Redwood.

 

The joinery timber in the evening sitting room is Blackbutt.

 

The Builder was Alf Stevens, who at the time was the Mayor of the Municipality of Bowral. Mayor Stevens built a number of well-regarded homes in Bowral.

The House was built for Mrs Dorothy Edna Waterhouse, who had acquired the land on 30 April 1937. It was part of a grant of 4200 acres made to John Oxley and his son Henry on 15 August 1855. Mrs Waterhouse was the wife of Professor Leslie Wickery Waterhouse, Chief Mining Engineer for NSW.

 

Professor Waterhouse was the brother of Professor E G Waterhouse, Professor of German at the University of Sydney, but better remembered as a propagator of Camellias. His home, Eryldene at Gordon has been held by the national Trust as a museum since the early 1980’s. It is understood that Professor Waterhouse assisted in the establishment of the Robin Hill garden, and the two camellias either side of the front stairs were propagated from stock at Eryldene

 

Another well known former resident of “Robin Hill” is Dr Catherine Hamlin, the Obstetrician and Gynecologist who founded the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital over 50 years ago and who still operates there. For a time in the 1940’s and 1950’s Dr Hamilin’s parents owned Robin Hill and she often stayed with them.

 

In the late 1990’s Robin Hill was acquired by John Maguire QC and his talented wife Jan. John Maguire later became Judge Maguire of the District Court of NSW. His time as a judge was much admired. Jan Maguire was a local painter who exhibited locally. Jan was also the creator of Kathleen’s Cottage, the artist studio/retreat in the gardens. Robin Hill was a location for many special family occasions, including two family weddings.

 

That tradition of country hospitality, of sharing the home with family and friends, celebrating special occasions as well as festive occasions, continues with the current custodian of Robin Hill.