Artwork of the month

Frederick Garling | Granthamville House Potts Point | Day Fine Art

Granthamville Potts Point Sydney


30 cm x 44.6 cm

Watercolour and pencil on paper

Granthamville Potts Point  (Later known as Grantham) c1845/1850

Attributed to Frederick Garling

Watercolour and pencil on paper

30 x 44.6 cm

Watermarked J… W…..On the upper right. (J Whatmans)

This charming painting depicting Granthamville c1845/1850 on Potts Point in Sydney is an important snapshot of the original layout of what was considered to be the second Gothic House built in Sydney. We have only located two comprehensive images of the House during this period.

The land was initially developed by Caleb Wilson a wealthy iron merchant in 1836.  The House was named ‘Caleb’s Castle’ but tragically Wilson Died in 1838. Wilson apparently lived to see the battlements of his vision taunted as ‘The Frying Pan’ or ‘The Pepper Pot’.

The House was purchased and completed by Frederick Parbury and the name was changed to ‘Granthamville’.

The two-story old fashion gothic design was created by an unknown architect and seemingly made to resemble new Government House.

Broadbent in ‘The Australian Colonial House’ page 343 states

“Grantham may be enjoyed or dismissed as an amusing piece of bombast and one can only guess at Wilson’s Motives in building it. Its contemporary sobriquets suggest that it was regarded as pretentious and its emergence before the quarrying began for New Government House suggests an ingenious rush to be in the forefront of fashion, but whether it was a well-intentioned, naïve architectural compliment to Government House, or seriously intended to rival it, is unclear, nor is it known whether it was Wilson’s idea or that of his unknown architect”

After several high-profile owners, the house was then rebuilt in 1870 by Henry Dangar junior, the son of Henry Dangar, a wealthy surveyor and Pastoralist.

The bulk of the surviving images of the House are post 1870 once two wings were added to either side of the House.

In 1937 the 22 bedroom house was sold and quickly demolished. Two three story apartment blocks were built on the site, one given the name ‘Grantham’.

 The watercolour depicts the grand house c 1845-1850.

We speculate that it was commissioned by Frederick Parbury from Frederick Garling.

The work reveals the grand nature of the housing in Potts Point. An upcoming neighbourhood. Granthanville is surrounded by stately homes on the left and right.

There are two works that we have located that depict the original house. Our painting (painting 1) focuses on the homestead and the passing carriage.

The second painting in a private collection (painting 2) is illustrated on page 31 and page 342 of Broadbent’s ‘The Australian Colonial House’ depicts the House from a distance, providing the viewer with a generous foreground.


(Painting 2)

Granthamville Potts Point


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Frederick Garling | Granthamville House Potts Point | Day Fine Art