Down Bondi way in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Waverley was the second Sydney suburb to be upgraded to council status when, in 1859, Governor general Sir William Denison proclaimed the establishment of ‘the Municipality of Waverley’. He only agreed to do this after receiving a petition signed by 70 people who lived in what were then three areas named Waverley, Bondi and Little Coogee.
The first land grant in Waverley was made in 1809 by Governor William Bligh, who gave 81ha to a William Roberts. That piece of land covers what is now most of the business and residential area of one of the world’s most famous beaches - Bondi.
The municipality boasts some fine old homes, but none finer than Bronte House in Bronte Road. The basic design was created by Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis, but he ran into financial difficulties and was forced to sell to wealthy MLA Robert Lowe in the 1843.
Lowe completed the home set on 22ha in 1845 and in the seven years before returning to his native England, entertained the gentry and their ladies in the 'Swiss style mansion with light and airy verandahs'. Bronte House has seen many changes in the intervening 150 years and recently underwent a major restoration by its owner since 1948, the Waverley Council.