Glover Lane, Redfern named after Sydney's first female builder

Glover Lane, Redfern named after Sydney's first female builder
Glover Lane, Redfern named after Sydney's first female builder

A Redfern laneway that was nameless on maps for more than 130 years has been named after a 19th century local mum and pioneer businesswoman who is thought to be Australia’s first female builder in Sydney.

The City of Sydney has named the narrow laneway running parallel to Pitt Street between Turner and Redfern streets as Glover Lane in honour of Anne Glover and her family.

Members of the Glover family were builders who lived and worked in the area in the late 19th century.

Following the death of John, her husband, Anne led the family business to help shape the historic suburb.

The Glovers built the row of terraces they called Victoria Terrace in Pitt Street, Redfern, with the help of sub-contractors in 1879.

Newspaper records from November that year show a pair of brand new, six-roomed houses on Pitt Street advertised for lease by a company called “Mrs Glover and Sons”.

"Anne Glover was building beautiful homes that still stand as a monument to a woman ahead of her time,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“It is only fitting that we name the laneway after her and her hardworking family.”

Anne Glover, the family matriarch, was widowed in 1863, but from 1873 through to 1884 she ran a building firm based in Waterloo and Redfern with two sons, David and Thomas.

"The proposed naming commemorates a local firm and female empowerment in a male dominated trade," council papers said. 

Master Builder Association’s NSW’s Executive Director, Brian Seidler, told 2GB's Ross Greenwood Small Business Show that Anne Glover was a trailblazer for women in an industry which needed women over the next 18 months building boom as "the great untapped resource."

“While we can’t definitively confirm Anne Glover as the first female builder in Australia, she was certainly one of the very first,” Mr Seidler said.

Anne Glover (nee Stinson or Stevenson) arrived in Australia as an unmarried 22-year-old housekeeper aboard the Garrow from Ireland in 1839. 

The Glovers lived and worked on Botany Road, Waterloo, near Raglan Street, from 1873 to 1884, then moved to 95 Victoria Terrace on Pitt Street.

Anne Glover died aged 73 in 1888.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Redfern Laneway

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