• Park Hemsley Estate Reserves
  • Location Barcoo Street and Barambah Road, Roseville
  • Facilities

    Off-leash dog areaPark benchPicnic table

Seven reserves form part of this Commonwealth War Service Homes Commission Estate.

On the last Sunday of each month a bushcare group meets to care for these reserves.

Morrell Reserve

Corner of Barambah Rd and Ashley St, Roseville
Area: 1500m²

James Charles Morrell (1868-1943) ran the NSW branch of the Commonwealth War Service Homes Commission as Deputy Commissioner at the time of the development of the Hemsley Estate, and is likely to have been responsible for its design. Morrell was an architect and follower of the new “Garden Suburb” planning principles popular at the time. The “Hemsley Estate” was subdivided by the Commission in 1924 and features the curves, irregular allotments, public pathways, street trees and local reserves which are characteristic of this town planning movement. An aim of the suburb plan is to provide greater opportunities for local community social interaction, and is unusual in the area. The estate has historic & social significance as an example of a War Service Homes Estate constructed for personnel returned from World War 1.

A rock ledge forms the backdrop to this reserve, in which there are some native plants and two park benches.

Barambah Reserve

Between nos 18 and 34 Barambah St, Roseville
Area: 2,000m²

HMAT Barambah (formerly the SS Hobart) was a steamship built in 1912 for the Deutsche-Australische line, which operated services between Germany and Australia. The ship was seized by Australia in Melbourne at the commencement of WW1, renamed Barambah and used as a troop transport belonging to the Australian Commonwealth Government Line of Steamers. The ship’s final voyage from Australia to England was in 1925 having been sold and renamed SS Justin. Barambah was the name given to an Aboriginal mission town in Queensland (now Cherbourg), and means “source of the western wind”.

There are two park benches, a picnic table. a level grassed area and an attractive 3m high rock face in this reserve.

There are four parks and a garden in Barcoo Street:

Hemsley Reserve

Corner Barcoo St and Barambah Rd, Roseville

The Commonwealth War Service Homes Commission purchased the Hemsley Estate in 1921 from Arthur Wigram Allen, a partner in the law firm Allen, Allen & Hemsley. Alfred Macartney Hemsley (1860-1937) joined the firm in 1894 and was its motivating force during the 1920s & 30s. He was appointed to the NSW Legislative Council in the late 1920s. Allen had purchased the land from the North Shore and Middle Harbour Land Co Ltd. In 1881 it had been auctioned as part of the “Royal Park Estate”, and in 1854 subdivided by William Lithgow. In 1850 the land had been granted to John Stirling and in 1825 to Richard Archbold.

Willoughby City Council acknowledges the Cammeraygal people as the traditional inhabitants of the area.

There is an open grassed area, some trees and a park bench in this park. Sparkes Lane is a grassed pedestrian link between this park and Broadbent Reserve.

Broadbent Reserve

Between 21 and 31 Barcoo St, Roseville

Major General John Raymond Broadbent CBE, DSO, ED (1914-2006) served the nation as a decorated officer in World War II, and as an innovative leader in the Citizen Military Forces. As President of the Law Society of NSW, he instigated changes which improved the honest handling of solicitors' trust accounts. He played a key role in founding the College of Law - a development which increased equity of access and transparency in the training of solicitors. In 1983 he bought 40 Barcoo Street and made the community here his home.

This is an open, flat grassed area with a park bench set amongst some tall trees. Lane W30 is a grassed pedestrian link between this park and the park on the corner of Barcoo Street and Barambah Road.

Garden on the corner of Barcoo St and Penshurst St, Roseville


This is a tiny garden reserve.

Barcoo Reserve

Between 52 and 54 Barcoo St, Roseville

The SS Barcoo was a coastal passenger steamer built in Scotland in 1885. The ship was hulked in 1911 and used as a naval coal ship in Sydney Harbour. The Barcoo was finally scuttled by gunfire by the Royal Australian Navy off the NSW coast in 1924. The Barcoo River is in Queensland. Barcoo is possibly derived from a Queensland Aboriginal word meaning river. The local word for water is thought to be badu.

This park slopes moderately steeply down from Boundary Road to Barcoo Street. There are a few steps leading up to Boundary Road, a path with night lighting, some mature locally native trees and open grassy areas in the park.

Wright Reserve

Between 46 and 48 Barcoo St, Roseville

The Wright family have been long time residents of Boundary Street adjoining the park. Henry Wright (1897-1960) moved into his Hemsley Estate house in 1926, following service as a private with the AIF in England and France during WW1. Henry’s son Laurence Wright (1928-2008) lived in the house all his life and served in the Citizen Military Forces from 1948 for several years. He was a signaller with the unit based in Warrane Road, North Willoughby, then joined the Australian Intelligence Corps.  Laurie had a passion for military vehicle and equipment research and his many years of documentation have contributed much to this aspect of military history.

Access to this reserve is uphill via a steep driveway. The park opens into a large, flat, triangular grassed area. There is a picnic table in the park. This park is an unleashed dog exercise area.