‘Rose Bank’ 48 Robertson Street Coniston

‘Rose Bank’ 48 Robertson Street Coniston

Street Address      48 Robertson Street, Coniston 2500

Deposited Plan      Lot 3 DP 208651

Double brick bungalow with corrugated iron roof consisting of a main wing running north-south which contains a dining room, lounge, bathroom and kitchen. An attached wing comprising 3 bedrooms is orientated east-west.  There is a detached laundry and storeroom connected to the house by a covered walkway.

The house is built on a slight rise facing east and has a verandah across the front of the main wing and along part of its northern side.  The verandah is supported by short pedestals surmounted by obelisk-style columns.  The verandah roof is contiguous with the main roof in the style of an Indian bungalow. The bedroom wing has a hipped roof with a gable at each end.  The front protruding gable has a diamond-shaped masonry insert with the words Rose Bank.

The original windows throughout the house are timber double-hung plain glass with masonry lintels, mullions and sills. Internally, doors are paneled timber some of which have glazed panel across the top.  There is a mixture of timber architrave design. The three existing fireplaces each have a differing mantle and fire grate design reflecting Art Deco and Arts and Craft styles.  The bathroom and kitchen have been renovated at various times but the main rooms retain all or some of their timber and plaster ceilings.  There is an enclosed undercroft accessible from the outside.

The house was sold:

April 2005  - $400,000. 

November 2010 - $473,000.

In 2010, the house was located on 2,523 square metres accessed from Robertson St by a long driveway which crosses a creek bed.


Rose Bank was built by James Herbert Bennett in 1929. [South Coast Times. 14 Jun 1929 p9] as a home for himself, his sister, Julia, and his daughter, Elsie. 

James and Elsie Bennett emigrated from England on the steamship Otranto which arrived in Sydney on 2 March 1911. (NSW Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists. Julia Bennett emigrated on the Benalla which left London on 17 April 1913.   [UK Outward Passenger Lists April 1913]

Nine months after their arrival, James Bennett paid 75 pounds for orchard block number 168 of the Mt Drummond Estate. [ Illawarra Mercury. 12 Dec 1911 p2]  The first release of Mt Drummond Estate land occurred in 1907 with further lots of various sizes offered in 1911. [Illawarra Mercury 22 Aug 1911 p2] James Bennett bought building block number 124 for 33 pounds in 1913. [IM  21 Feb 1913 p2]  Later that year, he sought permission from Central Illawarra Council to build a cottage [IM 14 Nov 1913 p5].  The cottage was near the eastern end of Robertson St.

James Bennett continued to work as a bricklayer and builder.  He also ran a small dairy and milk run which he sold in 1927.  The family moved to Rose Bank late in 1929 or early 1930.  He applied in 1931 for permission to erect a brick garage [IM 6 Mar 1931 p8]

James Bennett died 7 June 1946 and according to his obituary, he was 82 years old.


One of Coniston's oldest residents in the person of Mr. James Herbert Bennett, of Rosebank, Robertson street, died on Tuesday. Aged 82 years he came from England with his daughter Elsie and sister. Miss Julia Bennett, nearly forty years ago and settled in Coniston. A bricklayer by trade, he was held in high regard by all sections of the community and he was a staunch churchman, being a regular attender at St. Michael's C. of E. until the last few years. On Wednesday the remains were interred at Bulli cemetery.  [South Coast Times. 10 May 1946 p13]

In fact, he was born 7 June 1870 at Darley in Derbyshire.  He married Flora Willets on 16 April 1898 at Walsall, Staffordshire. Their daughter, Florence, was born soon after.  She died on 20 June 1901 and her mother died in April 1907.  When the census was taken in March 1901, the Bennetts were living in Leicester.

Julia and Elsie Bennett continued to live at Rose Bank after the death of their brother and father.  Julia died on 3 March 1953 aged 78.  Elsie never married and the house was sold soon after.  Elsie lived in Bridge St, Coniston until her death on 9 January 1988. 

Rose Bank floor plan
Rose Bank property plan