The Towers

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"The Towers" [built 1888] at
31 Forsyth Street, Belmore, ca 1890s.

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History

The Towers is located at 31 Forsyth Street, Belmore. It was built in 1888 by David Jones who was a builder by trade. He was also an amateur astronomer and, according to his descendants, built The Towers to view the stars.

Not long after building The Towers David Jones experienced financial difficulties and in 1898 sold the home to Robert James Forsyth, a rope manufacturer. It remained in the Forsyth family until 1920 when it was purchased by the War Services Homes Commission. Houses designed for returned soldiers and their families were consequently built on the subdivision.

The Towers was rented to tenants until it was bought in 1941 by Alfred Claude Fletcher, a dairyman and milk vender who was a descendant of David Jones. A. C. Fletcher lived in the home until his death in 1987. Canterbury City Council purchased The Towers in 1987 and sold it to All Saints Greek Orthodox Grammar School in 1994 for use as a senior campus.

Description

The Towers is a two storeyed brick Victorian rustic Gothic mansion. It features a steeply pitched slate roof and front porch. The gables are adorned with intact elaborately carved decorative wooden bargeboards and finials, and the main windows have a Gothic arch top to their moldings. The Towers is characterised by fortress-like battlements similar to early castles of England. It retains most original features although the imposing chimneys have been removed.

The entrance to The Towers is through an impressive timber door off a tiled verandah. The ground floor contains some beautiful timber paneling, patterned ceilings of the early 20th century and a fine spiral staircase. Beautiful marble fireplaces adorn the main living rooms. The first floor contains three very large bedrooms, all with their own fireplaces. Smaller bedrooms and a bathroom are also to be found on the first floor.

Source

The Towers: the history and significance of the building "The Towers" 31 Forsyth Street, Belmore' by Mark Birkinshaw. Canterbury, N.S.W.: The Council from 1989

Notes

1. The Towers is listed as a heritage item by Canterbury City Council under a local government environmental plan.

2. Councillor Kayee Griffin, The Mayor (Canterbury City Council), unveiled the heritage panel The Towers ca 1888" on 3rd May 1996. The text on this panel reads:

"The Towers" is a fine example of Victorian Rustic Gothic architecture. It was built about 1888 by David Jones, who had built a number of large houses and the railway station in Bathurst, as well as the Bathurst and Goulburn Courthouses. He was an amateur astronomer, hence the tower. The property of 5.2 hectares (13 acres) which he had purchased in 1854 extended to the present Kingsgrove Road. In the 1890s depression, David Jones suffered financial difficulties and was forced to move to Marrickville, where he died in 1899. "The Towers" was purchased in 1898 by Robert James Forsyth, a member of a prominant family engaged in ropemaking in Sydney for over 100 years (Archibald Forsyth & Co.). The surrounding streets are probably named after his son, Robert Archibald (known as Roy) Forsyth, who died of wounds in France in 1918 during the First World War, after an action for which he was awarded the Military Medal. Robert James Forsyth died in 1920, and his land at Belmore was acquired by the War Service Homes Commission. Houses built on the subdivision were designed for returned soldiers and their families, and they have considerable heritage significance. "The Towers" was rented to tenants until it was bought in 1941 by A.C. Fletcher, a dairyman and milk vender, who occupied it until his death in1987. It was purchased by the then Canterbury municipal Council but was sold in 1994 to the All Saints Greek Orthodox Grammer School for use as a senior campus.


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