John William Wood’s father was a convict turned prosperous tailor and draper. In 1831 the 20-yearold inherited five acres. Six years later he built his ten-roomed “gentleman’s residence”, its designer almost certainly John Verge.
In its grounds were a two-acre flower garden, a shrubbery, vineyard, coach house, stables and a gardener’s bungalow. A trustee and financial supporter of St John’s Glebe, Wood leased the house to Andrew Garran after his mother’s death in 1872 and sailed to England where he died in 1875, an only child and a bachelor.
In 1877 Glenwood was sold to plasterer William Cary and remained in the family until 1912 when his widow died. The estate was then subdivided into two blocks. Carrier Thomas Coady built stables on one lot. The house was bought by the British Immigration League which converted it into a labour exchange with accommodation for newly arrived British breadwinners and their families looking for work. After initial enthusiasm their numbers fell and on the outbreak of war the depot closed.
The property, by now known as Glynwood, fell into disrepair. Proposals to use the house as a hostel for women and for Sydney Teachers’ College students came to nothing. It was renovated by the Red Cross and functioned briefly as a Military Hospital but the agreement was terminated in 1916 and the caretaker dismissed.
The League finally disposed of Glenwood. The shortlived Warriors’ Friend Association repaired some white ant damage. The building then housed flats and a dental surgery before it was demolished in the 1940s.