HISTORY

The Beginning

Gladesville was created by the 1856 subdivision of land that had belonged to John Glade. Glade had arrived in New South Wales as a convict in 1791. He bought land from Richard Paterson, land that was originally granted to John Doody, then extended his holdings by another acquiring 50 acres, 60 acres in all. By 1802 Glade had developed a well-established farm fronting Glades Bay. Following John Glade's death his rural land holding was subdivided into urban lots by a developer who honoured him by naming the area Gladesville.

Gladesville in the 1870's was a village of gardens and flowers. The steamers from Parramatta to Sydney were the only public conveyance, but those with buggies and carts could drive to the punt at Bedlam Point, cross to Abbotsford along the North Road to Parramatta Road and thence to the city.

Gladesville still lacked both a church and a school. The nearest church was St Anne's at Ryde. The residents determined to obtain both a church and a school at Gladesville and were successful as both were built in 1878.

In 1877 the land for the church, Christ Church, Church of England was purchased from Mr. Coulter for $100. In 1877 a contract was let to Mr. Hill for the stonework of the church for $728 and to Mr. Albury a contract for the remainder of the work, roof, floors etc. for $1013. The first building forms the chancel of the existing building. The three stages can be clearly seen from inside the building by looking at the differing wood and decorations on the ceiling.

Towards the end of 1878 the church was ready for use and Gladesville was formed into a separate parish. On November 17, 1878, the first service was held. The first minister was Archdeacon R. L. King and the preacher was the Very Reverend William Macquarie Cowper, Dean of Sydney. Thirty-one people are recorded as sharing in communion. Among them was William Rees, who as a boy of fifteen, had been confirmed a week earlier and now made his first communion. Bill Reeves later had a dairy in Batemans Road and his daughter, Miss Ruth Reeves remained a member of the church until her death in the 1980's.

The church was extended in 1885 and again in 1966. In 1883 the old Gladesville Bridge was completed and opened for traffic. Horse omnibuses plied from Ryde to Sydney every two hours during the day, and these three, four or five-horse buses, with bugles blowing gave an impetus to development.

The rectory was completed during in 1911 at a cost of $2070.