Friday, 22 February 2008

Victorian Domestic Architecture: Cairnsfoot, built 1880s. Special School

Edward Manicom Farleigh was born County Mayo, Ireland in 1838. In 1865 he migrated to Victoria with his wife and two sons, and in 1873 came to Sydney. He established a leather firm at Mascot, a suburb not too distant from Arncliffe (or at least these days!).

In 1884 he bought 5 acres of land in Loftus St, Arncliffe and built this two storey Italianate mansion. By 1885 he and his wife had 10 children!

Farleigh died in 1909 and the land at Cairnsfoot was broken up. The family remained in the residence, and Mrs Farleigh lived here until she died in 1939, aged 98.

In 1955 the final member of the family, Miss Elizabeth Farleigh died. Cairnsfoot was bought by the NSW Department of Education who opened the 'Loftus Street Special School' in 1959.

Since then the Department has restored the building and restored its name. Today it operates as the Cairnsfoot School For Specific Purposes (SSP), for approximately 80 children aged from 4 to 18, with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Information from : A Village Called Arncliffe by R.W.Rathbone, 1997.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful building. Two of my great grandmother's siblings married two of Edward and Elizabeth Farleigh's children - (The Honourable) John Gibson Farleigh MLC and Annie Farleigh. I had no idea of this building's existence until I saw the name Cairnsfoot in Annie's death notice in 1949. Where did the name originate and/or what does it mean? Thank you - Gillian.