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Guide to the Heritage importance of Glenlee



  • Glenlee is situated on one of the earliest land grants in Lugarno, made in 1856 by Governor William Denison. In its 166-year history it has only been settled by two families. It has been in the Matthei family for 110 years



  • It is one of the few remaining examples of early European riverside settlement in Sydney that is largely intact, retaining the character of life in the early 1900s



  • It gives a snapshot into the importance of river transport to the early settlers. It was their connection to the city and their lifeline for supplies, as everything had to come across the river from Como. The river also became the Matthei’s livelihood as fishermen and oyster farmers


  • The Matthei family were significant in the development of the oyster farming industry on the Georges River


  • The century-old homestead remains, as do the hand-hewn steps, paths and walls leading down to the river where the boatsheds and jetty were an essential part of riverside life



  • Glenlee gives an insight into the self-sufficiency of the early settlers. The 110-year old organic vegetable garden and mixed orchard sustained the family. They remain today, still productive


  • It is critical not to reduce the curtilage on Glenlee, the remnant forest in the West of the property performs a key role in the property’s rarity on a State level. 

1. Glenlee is a rare heritage property in New South Wales because it is intact in its entirety and the remnant forest creates the original setting of the settlement in 1788 with its original flora, fauna and landscape. 

2. The remnant forest also creates a visual divide between the European heritage and the surrounding modern development, encapsulating the property in its original state. 

3. The remnant forest is one of the 2 archaeological significant zones on Glenlee, Holding valuable information in regard to our aboriginal heritage.



  • The National Trust has listed Glenlee for its Early  Settler history and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. The evidence of Indigenous life on the site is well-preserved and according to the GML Heritage report is evident in both the North and Western Zones


  • Glenlee is part of a Heritage precinct with the Heinrich Estate and the Hermitage, both heritage listed at a local level. The GML Heritage report states that Glenlee is even more significant because it was in the same family for 110-years and remains largely undeveloped and intact.

Write to Penny Sharpe, State Minister for the Environment, and Chris Minns, Premier and member for Kogarah, asking them to action their commitments made in opposition.  See (this) What Has Been Done page.

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