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Ennever & Enever family history & ancestry. Click here to return to the home page WJ Ennever (1869-1947). From the portrait by J Seymour R.A., exhibited in the Royal Academy.


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Fort Street


In the early years of the Colony, Millers Point was isolated from the settlement that had grown up around the Tank Stream. Dotted along the shores of Millers Point and Dawes Point were marine villas that faced out towards the harbour, and a track ran along the ridge line from Dawes Point to Millers Point. From this track, paths ran down to these villas and a few smaller cottages.

By the 1840s the track from Dawes Point towards Fort Phillip had become Fort Street, the street that runs down the middle of Joseph Fowles’ 1840s watercolour. The Fort Street that Fowles shows us is wide and well maintained. Fowles includes details such as a contingent of redcoats marching down the street, and the 20-foot wide sandstone footpath fronting the allotments of Edwards & Hunter and George Morris. In barely a decade a track had been transformed into a fine street lined with substantial homes.

The first houses built close to the street alignment were a pair of cottages on a corner of the block on which Captain Nicholson had built Durham Cottage to face the harbour. Across a laneway and within a year, on almost the same alignment four terrace houses had been erected for publican George Morris, and China traders Edwards & Hunter were building Dawesleigh and Custom House. A couple of years later, John Verge would design a pair of townhouses on the remaining street frontage of their allotment.

On this page are histories of these and other houses in Lower Fort Street, with links to longer stories about some of the houses which have been written by local residents and others interested in this area. More links are planned to be added over time.

Above is an 1834 plan of part of Fort Street. In the centre and close to the alignment of Fort Street are Nicholson’s pair of cottages, flanked by the path that led down to Durham Cottage on one side, and the roadway down to Pitman’s Wharf on the other. Beside the roadway is Morris’s terrace, and next are the two houses built by Edwards & Hunter.


After Walker’s Villa, the next oldest surviving residences are the pair of cottages at numbers 21–23 Lower Fort Street, built in 1832 in a corner of the site of Durham Cottage, the home of Captain John Nicholson. (Durham Cottage stood in the yards of 17–19 Lower Fort Street and faced out to the harbour.) Captain Nicholson had been a whaling captain, Governor Macquarie’s Harbour Master and father to eleven children. Only the foundations of Nicholson’s home remain, along with the stone entrance path between the surviving pair of cottages and Milton Terrace. The cottages survived when in 1840 they were subdivided from the remainder of Nicholson’s allotment. The cottages sold to John Foster Church. Durham Cottage sold to William Walker, soon to be demolished to build Milton Terrace.

In early 1833, the next houses built on Fort Street appeared across the lane from Nicholson’s cottages. Publican George Morris purchased this allotment and built a terrace of four houses (now 25–33 Lower Fort Street), and with his family moved into the largest house at the northern end. Within a decade this house was divided in two and the smaller half became the counting house for the merchants Thacker, Mason and Co. Later, the terrace group became known as Linsley Terrace, named after John Richard Linsley who resided there from 1869. Linsley added the Victorian verandahs at the front and the back of this terrace, and was still recorded as the owner when these properties were resumed in 1900.

Linked toGeorge ENNEVER (28484233); George ENNEVER (Living)

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