Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Bay Walk

View inside Vault

Today Mary and I did the Bay Walk around Iron Cove.

On passing Rodd Park, we noticed a large sandstone cross. This revealed a most interesting story. It is the site of the Historic Rodd Mausoleum which was the family vault of Brent Clements Rodd, a pioneer of the Five Dock area.

Brent Clements Rodd, who emigrated to Australia in 1822, was admitted to practice law in the Supreme Court of New South Wales on 28 September 1833. In 1838 he bought fifty acres of the Five Dock Estate and in 1845 his home, Barnstaple Manor was completed. He lived there with his wife, Sarah Janet Rodd, and their eight sons and four daughters. Several of the nearby street are named after the family.

The Family Mausoleum (Vault) was carved from a large outcrop of sandstone rock at Rodd Point by convict labour.

Sarah Rodd who died in 1896 and Brent in 1898, were interrred there. In 1903, the remains of ten family members were re-interred to Rookwood Cemetery to allow consevation works to the vault.

The site was thought to be no longer existent but was rediscovered in 1975. The Rotary Club of Fivedock restored it to its original condition, including the return of the stone cross to the to the Family Vault.

A monument on the site was unveiled by the Honourable Paul Landa MLC at a dedication ceremony on 20 March 1977.

History Services NSW has the records of a number of convicts that were assigned to Brent Clements Rodd, including one Thomas Preston, stableman, who arrived at Port Jackson on the convict ship Lloyds on 18 December 1833.

If you would like more information on Thomas Preston or would like to research other NSW convicts ancestors, visit the History Services NSW website at: