Early subdivisions | State Library of New South Wales

Early subdivisions

Once the land around Darling Point was cleared and subdivided, settlers were quick to take up their grants and start building. Most of the plots in the area were between 9-15 acres.

This hand-drawn plan of Darling Point shows the original land allotments in 1833. The area includes settlement along Upper Road (later Darling Point Road), Ocean Street, and the ‘Intended New Road from Sydney to South Head’ (later New South Head Road).

Plan for Mrs Darlings Point shewing the Allotments for Sale 1833. Ink on tracing paper. D3/45


By 1835, the land was taken up by a handful of businessmen, professionals and landowners, including James Holt, William McDonald, Thomas Smith, James Dunlop, Thomas Barker and Joseph Wyatt.

The north-eastern portion of Yarranabee Point was originally granted to James Holt in 1833. He sold it on to the Colonial Secretary, C. D. Riddle, in 1834, who built Lindesay, one of the oldest houses in Darling Point. William McDonald's 1833 land grant was on the highest part of Darling Point. He named his property Mount Adelaide, after the then British queen. The land was later purchased by Henry Mort (brother of Thomas Sutcliffe Mort) in 1858. 

Part of Elizabeth Pike and Thomas Smith’s original land grants were eventually purchased by Thomas Sutcliffe Mort in 1846, who later built Greenoaks. Joseph Wyatt’s original grant was later purchsed by city draper William Farmer who built Caines (Claines?) in 1865.

An original grant of 15 acres belonging to James Dunlop, Government Astronomer, was later purchased by Thomas Ware Smart who built Mona. Dunlop’s neighbour, Thomas Barker, who was a wealthy businessman and landowner, owned 16 acres at Darling Point where he built Roslyn Hall overlooking Rushcutter’s Bay.

By the early 20th century, all of these original grants had been broken up and sold as smaller allotments, making way for new houses, blocks of flats and later property developments.