Soap manufacturer Richard Wilkinson Robinson built his seven-room stone cottage on land bought from George Miller in 1842. Robinson sailed to England in 1848 but had returned to Guildford Lodge by 1852 when a robber climbed through a window and stole three silver watches but missed the gold which he had sent his wife from the diggings.

In winter 1853 English visitor John Hardwick stayed with the Robinsons. Reached via a lane stretching from Parramatta Road to a beach at Blackwattle Cove, the cottage was set amongst abundant trees and dense foliage, but the flagstaff was visible from the verandah. Hardwick was entertained in the dining room – hung with prints of coloured heads against black backgrounds “in the French style” – by his host, quiet and polite with “a bald pate”, and his “stout, merry, chatty” wife Margaret.

In 1855 Guildford Lodge was bought by chemist and local landowner Charles Marcian Penny. In 1880 Penny’s grandson subdivided and auctioned the property. William Mitchell, a chemist, purchased the villa plus another four lots affording uninterrupted frontage to Glebe Point Road. Mitchell died in 1924. His son Ernest, employed by Frederick Stearns & Co., was an executor of the will. After Stearns and other businesses on Broadway defeated Glebe Council’s bid to declare that area of the municipality residential, Guildford Lodge was demolished in 1927 and replaced by Stearns’ pharmaceuticals factory.

Subsequent occupiers of the site include Sterling Pharmaceuticals, Max Factor Cosmetics and the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.