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Level of Significance

  • File
  • Local
  • Regional
  • State
  • National

Age (approx)

160yrs

Trees

700

Diameter

0.6m

Height - 15m

Details

Common name
Glebe Park
Botanical name
Glebe park
Other name
Glebe Park
Type
Plantation
Condition
Good
Municipality
Act (ACT)
Location
Coranderrk St Reid ACT 2612
Access
Restricted
Significances
  • Park/Garden/Town (Historic)
  • Person/Group/Institution (Historic)
Date of measurement
17 Jun 2014
Date of classification
29 Jun 2014

Statement of Significance

Glebe Park is a remnant of a hundred acres (40 hectares) of land allocated by Robert Campbell to the Anglican Church in the early 1840s for use as a glebe, an area of land whose revenues contribute towards parish expenses. Campbell gave two acres (8,000 m²) of land to St John the Baptist Church in nearby Reid at the same time.

History

Glebe House was built in 1871-3 as a rectory for St John's church. It was a two storied house with a single storied veranda made of bricks from nearby swampland clay. The land was used as a farm to support the rector. Elms, willows, and poplars were planted around the house by the Reverend Pierce Galliard Smith, who was Rector at St Johns for fifty-one years from 1855-1906. The elms in the park today are descended from his plantings with some survivors from one hundred years ago. Nearly seven hundred trees remain in the park, of which just over five hundred are English elms (Ulmus procera). About a hundred are English oaks (Quercus robur).
In 1912 the land and building were resumed by the Commonwealth Government but continued to be used as a rectory until 1926, by the Kilburn Sisters to 1928 as St Gabriel's school which later became the Canberra Girls' Grammar School, and as a guest house until 1954 until sold to the Acton Football Club which used the bricks to build its clubhouse in Forrest. A community campaign to save the trees resulted in a park being proclaimed in 1983 and heritage listing by the National Trust of Australia (ACT) and the Australian Heritage Commission. Formal landscaping with fences, gates, paths, a rotunda, and a playground was completed in 1989. The park has ten gates, which are named after historic people or places. The present area is about 4.7 hectares, just under one eighth of the original area of the glebe.