One of the few remaining villas on the Glebe escarpment, Rothwell Lodge was built and occupied by the Reverend William Binnington Boyce and his family in 1847 on land purchased from the Boissier Estate.
The Regency three-storey villa is similar to the standard plans in builders’ books available at the time. The verandahs added a colonial touch with wooden treillage. Now rarely seen, the Regency latticework survives in part.
Boyce, a Wesleyan minister, had close connections to the Allen family and other notable Wesleyans in Glebe. His eldest daughter Marian married George Wigram Allen and their first house Lynwood was located next door. Like any community, the network of family and friends saw Rothwell Lodge remain in family hands until the 1880s. Similar to other villas in Glebe, Rothwell Lodge gradually changed in use.
The progression of industrial activity encroaching on the area from the 1880s altered the landscape. In 1892 a factory was added to the side of Rothwell Lodge and the house itself was turned into rooming lets. In 1951 most of the front garden became a public park, the Ernest Pedersen Reserve, named for an alderman who sat on both Glebe and City of Sydney Councils. In 1988 Rothwell Lodge was saved from demolition through the efforts of the Glebe Society and conservation architect Otto Cserhalmi. It was State Heritage listed.
Now restored and returned to residential living, Rothwell Lodge is an important survivor of the once gracious line of villas on the eastern side of Glebe Point.