Architect Howard Joseland

Sydney Architect Howard Joseland (1860-1930)

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Howard Joseland, architect, was also the founder and the first Secretary of the Rod Fishers’ Society.
Malvern, Joseland’s home at 41 Burns Road, Wahroonga

Howard Joseland (1860-1930) was an English architect who migrated to Australia and pursued a successful and influential career there.

Early life

Richard George Howard Joseland was born on 14 January 1860 at Claines, Worcestershire, England.

  • In the early days of his career, he was articled to the Haddon Brothers at Hereford, but moved to London in 1881.
  • There, he obtained a position as assistant to George Robinson in the architectural company George Trollope and Sons.
  • In time, his health suffered as a result of overwork, and he was advised to migrate to a more temperate clime. He went to New Zealand, where he worked on the railways for six months.
  • He then moved to Sydney, Australia, in 1888, where he married Alice Taylor.


Career in Australia

Walter Vernon
Walter Vernon

In Sydney, Joseland met Walter Liberty Vernon, another English architect who had migrated to Australia for health reasons. The two architects joined forces and entered a competition to design a model suburb [Centennial Park?]. It was the first of several projects they would work on together. In 1890, Vernon became New South Wales Government Architect, as a result of which he handed his private practice over to Joseland.

Career in Australia

  • Joseland had relatively little work during the Depression of the early 1890s; The practice took on a variety of commissions, including commercial buildings, but Joseland’s clientele was predominantly well-off people who required comfortable homes.
  • Many of them were moving into the new residential areas in Sydney’s north, where suburbs like Wahroonga and Warrawee developed. Joseland is credited with designing something like nineteen homes in these areas.
  • His output included his own home, Malvern, which he built in 1900 in Burns Road, Wahroonga.
  • He designed it in the Federation Bungalow style, featuring a prominent veranda to create shade.
  • From 1914 to 1919, Joseland conducted a solo practice before joining forces with Glynn Gilling, another young English architect who had migrated to Australia.
    1900 Coolabah, 39 Burns Road Wahroonga
  • Joseland retired in 1929, selling the business to Gilling, who retained the business name Joseland and Gilling. Joseland was active in various community activities and musical societies, as well as being a keen fisherman and author of the book Angling in Australia and Elsewhere, which was published in 1921.
  • He also found time to visit England twice with his wife Blanche. He died of cancer in the eastern Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst on 20 July 1930, and was buried at South Head Cemetery in another eastern Sydney suburb, Vaucluse.


Joseland was one of the earliest architects in Australia to reject the Victorian architectural styles that had developed in England and which had little relevance to the Australian climate.

  • He wrote a magazine article, Domestic Architecture in Australia (published in 1890), in which he advocated architectural styles that were suitable for the local climate.
  • Like Walter Liberty Vernon, he favoured the styles of the Federation era (1890-1915) and actually contributed to the development of the Australian version of the Queen Anne style, which ultimately became the most popular residential style in Australia in the first decade of the 20th century.
  • This latter style had arrived in Australia in 1885 with the construction of Caerleon, Bellevue Hill; its influence can be seen strongly in the homes Joseland designed for his clientele, along with the Arts and Crafts style that was also popular.

Joseland Houses

1891 Mount Alverna, Burns Road, Wahroonga: 49-51 Burns Road and 10A Water Street

“The original residence ‘Greystanes’, (was) designed by renowned local architect Richard George Howard Joseland, (and) was built in 1890 from Scottish sandstone and its large stone arches are a dominant feature.”

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  • “The design is a particularly fine example of the architectural idiom which expresses the transition from High Victorian style to Australian Federation style, with the two-storey verandah, its soaring chimneys, gables and bays arranged asymmetrically being typical of this style.
  • The house, trees, gates, and the Burns Road fence are noted on the National Heritage List. (Mt Alverna (Friary & Retreat House)
  • Mount Alverna was built for ophthalmic surgeon Dr Francis Antill Pockley.
  • The property become a retreat and monastery for the Franciscan Order from the 1950’s to the 1980’s.
  • Sold for $4.6 million, Mt Alverna, Burns Rd, Wahroonga… Seller: Daley, Buyer: Simon 1999 (THE TOP 200 PRESTIGE HOMES)
  • The original 13 acres of land was subdivided in 1987 and Mount Alverna now comprises 6,800 square metres of park-like grounds.”

“Mount Alverna has grand vistas across sweeping lawns of specimen trees, palms, and some areas of mass plantings.”

  • “Mount Alverna has some of the oldest and tallest trees in Wahroonga. Some of the heritage-listed trees include two very large Bunya Bunya Pines (Araucaria bidwillii), Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus), Chestnut (Castanea sativa), several Plane trees (Platanus x hybrida), and others lining the Burns Road frontage, Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara) by the porte cochere, species of Palms (singly and in groups) especially down the driveway, and Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera) on the adjoining property that shares the Water Street entrance.” See the very informative Wahroonga Heritage Organisation page at

1894 Westholme, 1 Water Street, Wahroonga.

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Dining Room with Fretwork Arch
Living room with timber trim, ceiling


1894 Mananga, Princes Highway Berry NSW.

Mananga1-resized.jpg Mananga Princes Hwy.jpg
    • Believed to have been designed by Joseland (very probable, see his biography:…”He had little or no work in 1897, although on 6 April he married Blanche Augusta Hay at Coolangatta near Berry; her family was connected with the (David) Berry estates, on which Joseland had first done work in 1892.”)
      • Built 1894 for the Stuart Family by John Hay who was the manager of Alexander Berrys Coolangatta estate.
      • “…built in 1894 as a dairy farm, Mananga with its Victorian Design and complex gables and verandahs.”
      • (Despite claims, this property is not a heritage listed item.)
      • This property operates as a guest house: “…set on 5 acres of magical gardens, views and paddocks, this magical home is for holiday lets, a quick walk into the Historic town of Berry, 7 minute drive to beaches and 15 minutes to Kangaroo Valley, wide full verandahs and state of the art facilities…”
view of homestead
view of homestead
guest lounge room
guest lounge room
camellia room
camellia room
cast iron restored bath in en suite
cast iron restored bath in en suite


1895 LynburnPrinces Highway Bomaderry.

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Lynburn Timber Federation Residence

Built 1895 by George Muller for the widow of Henry Morton, manager of the David Berry Estate near Nowra, and Mayor of Numbaa 1868 to 1895. Still lived in by the Morton Family (?)

  • Lynburn (is) an outstanding timber Federation house by noted Sydney architect Howard Joseland which incorporates several interesting and unusual design features. The house is of high integrity. Special local historical interest as an employer-provided house on the former Berry Estate.” “An ornate Federation residence with unusual arrangements of gables and skillion-roofed verandahs.”
  • “There are two front gabled projections; one interrupts the verandah; the other projects over it.
  • Construction is of weatherboard with unusual timber decoration to gable ends. There is a complex slate roof, including skillion verandah, terracotta ridge capping and apex ornaments and tall brick chimneys, one of which is constructed on the diagonal.
  • There is a faceted bay window, with stained glass panes, under one of the front gables; and a verandah with a striking fretwork fringe under the other. Brackets to verandahs are large.
  • The interior joinery is cedar and although a fire in 1981 seriously damaged the roof the integrity of the interior woodwork was mainly preserved including part of the original lathe and plaster ceilings.
  • Features of the interior are 6 Italian marble fireplaces, 3 in bedrooms of ornate design, 1 each in the Dining Room, Drawing Room and Library. The grounds contain many magnificent mature trees. The Cedar of Lebanon at the gate and a Virginian Swamp Cyprus on the south side of the drive date back to the 1890s. Condition: The exterior was authentically restored after the 1981 fire.” – NSW Heritage Council


1896 Midhope, 60 Burns Road, Wahroonga.

Built 1896 for Sir James Murdoch, then became St Edmund’s School for Children with Special Needs.

  • St Edmund’s School, including the house “Midhope”, at 60 Burns Road, corner Wahroonga Avenue, was established by the Christian Brothers in 1950s, originally as a school for blind boys, now catering to children with a range of special needs;
  • Listed by the National Trust
St Edmund’s School, including the house “Midhope”, at 60 Burns Road
St Edmund’s School, including the house “Midhope”, at 60 Burns Road

Images held by the State Library of NSW
Group 2: Distinctive homes and gardens. Wahroonga, N.S.W. Australia [Album view]
Group 3: At Wahroonga, N.S.W. Australia. Homes and gardens of the affluent [Album view]

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“Midhope” Home of Sir James Murdoch, Burns Rd The Fernery, “Midhope” Burns Rd “Midhope” Home of Sir James Murdoch,

1898 Rippon Grange: 35 Water Street Wahroonga

A Two storey Federation Queen Anne house, erected in 1898

Rippon Grange 2.jpg
Rippon Grange, 35 Water Street Wahroonga
Waterbrook proposed new hospital use for Rippon Grange.jpg

1899 Redleaf, Redleaf Avenue, Wahroonga.

  • Built in 1899 for W.G. Parish in Queen Anne style, considered an important example of Joseland’s work. Has Local Government Heritage listing.
    Redleaf, Redleaf Avenue, Wahroonga NSW
    Redleaf, Redleaf Avenue, Wahroonga NSW
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Redleaf is a substantial brick two-storey residence built for W.G.Parish of the Sydney legal firm Parish Patience and McIntyre. “The house was one of the first generation of houses built in Wahroonga with the coming railway.

  • It was designed in 1899 in the Federation Queen Anne style with arts and crafts details. The design was avant-garde in its time, and the house is now rare for the high integrity of its interiors, particularly the living area and the kitchen wing.
  • Characteristics of the style present in Redleaf are the prominent flying gables with half-timbered effects, over projecting bay windows with leadlight casements. There is a notable arched porch with stone trims.” NSW Heritage Branch

37-41 Burns Road Wahroonga…

  • 1900 Craignairn, 37 Burns Road, Wahroonga. Built for Walter Strang.
  • 1900 Malvern 41 Burns Road, Wahroonga, his own home, where he lived for over 20 years.
  • 1900 Coolabah, 39 Burns Road Wahroonga “Beautiful heritage listed turn of the century single level residence of grand proportions. Set in magnificent 3,275m of private park like grounds with grass tennis court, heated swimming pool and plenty of room for children to play.” For Sale for $4.9 Million
  • See Wahroonga NSW Heritage for more details

Three Heritage Houses by Howard Joseland at 37-41 Burns Road Wahroonga

Craignairn, 37 Burns Road, Wahroonga
Craignairn, 37 Burns Road, Wahroonga
Coolabah at No 39 Burns Road Wahroonga
Malvern, Joseland's home at 41 Burns Road, Wahroonga
Malvern, Joseland’s home at 41 Burns Road, Wahroonga

Architect Howard Joseland who designed Craignairn for Walter Symington Strang in 1909 was (his) neighbour and friend.

  • On 8 February 1899 Joseland and Strang had purchased adjoining lots in Burns Road. A few days later Joseland began preparing plans for both Coolabah at No 39 for Strang and his own house Malvern at No 41 Burns Road, Wahroonga .
  • When Strang decided to build a new residence he chose the adjoining lots of land on the corner of two main roads, Burns Road and Cleveland Street.
  • The architectural firm Joseland and Vernon designed the house and were also commissioned to design the garden, trellis-work and pergola.
  • This group of three adjoining residences Craignairn, Coolabah and Malvern designed by Joseland is unique.
    – Jennifer Harvey for Ku-ring-gai Historical Society Inc.

1900 Eldinhope, 47 Burns Road, Wahroonga.

  • “Eldinhope was designed by Howard Joseland for Miss Florence Hooke.
  • Eldinhope, operated from 1901 until 1932 at 47 Burns Road, then in the St Andrew’s Church of England Hall until 1939.
  • Designed for Florence Hooke circa 1900, became Eldinhope School for Girls in 1901.
    Eldinhope 47_bur3.jpg
    Eldinhope 47 Burns Road Wahroonga
  • The home was completed c.1900 and the Eldinhope School for Girls began in 1901. Miss Hooke was assisted by her two sisters, Edith (who had previously started Wenona College), and Bessy, who taught music. Florence herself taught art. Until 1910 it was for day-girls only, but in October 1910, boarders were enrolled and lived at “Malto Ende”, on the corner of Lochville Street and Grosvenor Road.
    In 1932 Miss Hooke sold the school to the Misses Robinson of Lindfield, who then conducted the school in the hall of St. Andrews Church. The school closed at the end of 1939.
  • “The house still exists today and has been restored to excellent condition.” –

1906 Illowra 472 Princes Highway Bomaderry NSW,

  • Built in 1906 for Mark F Morton. member for Willondilly in the NSW legislative assembly 1901 till 1938
  • “Designed by the renowned architect Howard Joseland, this substantial Edwardian residence was built in 1906 for Mr M.F. Morton, a member of the Legislative Assembly who represented Shoalhaven for some 38 years. The property remained in the hands of various Morton family members until it was purchased by the current owner 10 years ago. During the past decade Illowra has been faithfully restored and extended and the extensive grounds have been carefully tended.”
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  • “Long regarded as one of the Shoalhaven’s finest historic residences “Illowra” was designed by Howard Joseland and built in 1906 for the late MF Morton, MLA. Beginning in 1995 a restoration and extension program began and with meticulous attention to detail was completed over a decade further enhancing the grace and elegance of the Edwardian masterpiece. –
  • “The house is renowned not only for its timeless appeal but also for the decades-old gardens.
    In fact, Mark Morton is best remembered for his contribution to conservation resulting in Morton National Park being dedicated to his memory.” – South Coast Register Bomaderry’s $1m home 21 Nov, 2001
  • For sale 2001 for $950,000: House 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, office, parking, views, guest suite, pool, floodlit tennis court
    Built 1906, renovated 1990s, Land 5,122 square metres. Inspect by appointment,
    Agent Raine & Horne Berry, 44642399


  • ^ Six of the Best Architects of Ku-Ring-Gai, Zeny Edwards (pub. Zeny Edwards) 1998, p.33
    Joseland's grave at South Head Cemetery
    Joseland’s grave at South Head Cemetery
  • ^ A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture, Richard Apperly (Angus and Robertson) 1994, p.147
  • ^ The Federation House, Hugh Fraser (New Holland) 2002, p.24
  • ^ The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p. 2/111



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