|Historical notes: ||The subject site was originally part of 280 acre land grant to John Joseph Therry, which was made on the 11th February 1837. Before this time the land formed part of the Crown Reserve Lands within the Pittwater Region. The subject site was referred to as part of Portion 49 of the ‘Pittwater Estate’. Over the following century the Therry’s land grant was slowly subdivided.
On the 11th April 1924, James Young and Robert Jardine Browning sold a six acre parcel of land with one road, to Ernest Ebenezer Way, a gentleman of Burradoo. This parcel of land forms part of the subject site. This land was referred to as being part of Blocks 1 and 2 of the Northern Subdivision of the Pittwater Estate. These lots were then consolidated by Way into one parcel of land. However in 1928 this land was again subdivided. On the 20th February 1928, Way sold Lot 179 and Lot 180 to Harold Fredrick Kent, a Sydney solicitor.
By 1932, the land on Careel Head was progressively subdivided and sold as large residential lots. The land which forms the subject site today originally formed part of 6 lots created in 1932. These were referred to as Lot 175 to 180. All lots had access to Whale Beach Road and were orientated north-south and east-west. Soon after the lots were created, Lionel James Hurley purchased Lots 176 and 177. In the same year Alfred Dangar Burne, a Dentist from Sydney, purchased Lots 179 and 180 and commissioned A.S. Jolly to design a log cabin on this land.
Kent transferred Lot 175 with Way’s consent to Charles Berry Grieve on the 30th September, 1932. Grieve consolidated this parcel of land with that of ‘Careel House’. On the 24th November, 1932 Kent transferred Lots 176 and 177 to Lionel James Hurley a Commonwealth Official and Film Censor of Sydney. On the 19th November 1934, Kent with Way’s consent transferred Lot 178 to Margaret Doris Morgan.
Historical research on the subject site indicates that the first legal owner of ‘Loggan Rock’ was Dr. Dangar Burne from August 1929 until July 1937, when it was transferred to Lionel Hurley. Though work had commenced on ‘Loggan Rock’ and the tower prior to 1937.
In 1935, Lot 178 was transferred by a Margaret Morgan a Spinster from Harris Park and by June of the same year the land was transferred to Hurley. Two years later Lots 179 and 180 were also transferred into Hurley’s ownership and his land holding on Careel Head now included 176, 177, 178, 179 and 180 were consolidated. The consolidated land parcel stayed in the ownership of Hurley for the next fifteen years.
The main landscaping of the terraces including the Western Terrace was designed by Edna Walling and was completed in the early 1930s with the solid stone tower completed by Hurley in 1934. The historical research conducted could not ascertain conclusively whether A.S. Jolly designed the tower. However, it is presumed due to the similarities in form, materials and design to neighbouring property ‘Careel House’ that it was likely designed by A.S. Jolly. This is further supported by the State Heritage Inventory notes on ‘Loggan Rock’ where they state that the construction of ‘Loggan Rock’ consisted of two stages; the cabin and the tower.
The landscape design preferred by Jolly and Hurley was in keeping with the emergence in popularity and understanding of the native vegetation or ‘Australiana’. It is believed that the landscape of ‘Loggan Rock’ was a project that Edna Walling undertook in the 1930s.
It is believed that prior to World War II, the tower was used as a retreat from the city by Barbara Allen, an interior designer with an office in Kings Cross and during World War II by Elizabeth Eldershaw a notable artist.
In January 1950, Hurley’s land was purchased by a John Bonar Dunlop and his wife Hilary Dunlop. John Bonar Dunlop was commonly known as Bonar Dunlop and was a renowned sculptor. A portrait of Bonar Dunlop painted by a good friend Arthur Murch won the 1949 Archibald Prize.
Historical research into the works prepared by Dunlop during the 1950s did not find any sculptures related to Loggan Rock. The addition to the tower was constructed by Dunlop in 1954. It is considered that these additions are successful in that they are easily distinguishable from the tower as the architect has attempted to integrate it into the site by utilising the side of the tower as a feature inside the living area of the addition and the inclusion of sandstone and timber finishes. In December 1959, the land (Lot 4 - DP 420717) exchanged hands to a Herbert Sheridan, a doctor of Dentistry from Avalon Beach.
In the intervening years there has been some minor works to the heritage item and its curtilage.
Alexander Stewart Jolly (1887-1957) (Biography by Australian Institute of Architects)
Jolly was born on a property near Lismore to a family of Scots timber craftsmen. Upon leaving school Jolly went into the family business, where he learned the skilled joinery techniques that are evident in his work. In 1908 he went to Sydney to work in the office of Wardell and Denning. After two years he returned to Lismore and began to practise as an architect. He produced a number of conventional works before he again moved to Sydney, in 1918, and went into practice on his own.
The first real sign of his unconventional architectural path was a house named 'Livoni' (1918) at Balmoral. His American client wanted a backwoods hunting lodge. Jolly gave him a very unusual house: a picturesque and asymmetrical arrangement of boulder walls, rough-cast panels and shingles, with structural carpentry expressed to whimsical effect.
In the early 1920s his health deteriorated and he had to give up architecture. He joined the estate agent A.E. Dalwood in land speculation on the Palm Beach peninsula, often living on a subdivision, in a tent or cabin, until the land was sold. His imagination was free to follow its own direction, to study the twisted shapes of native timbers and rocky outcrops and, eventually, to bring forth the strange configurations that represent the last phase of his work, between 1930 and 1936.
For the cabins or holiday houses, Jolly used unworked stones to make craggy, irregular walls, fireplaces and chimneys; logs and branches with their bark for structural members and infill; sawn blocks of wood for flooring. These buildings were not improvised but carefully and meticulously designed and drawn.
In 1929, the construction of ‘Loggan Rock’ (111 Whale Beach Road, Whale Beach) commenced. The site is located adjacent to Careel House (105a Whale Beach Road, Whale Beach) which was built and designed for Major and Mrs C. R. Grieve O.B.E. In 1931.
In 1932, the year after Jolly designed ‘Careel House’ for the Grieves, Dr Dangar Burne bought the adjoining lots (179 and 180) from Therry’s 1837 land grant. However, on that site Jolly had been building a log and rock cabin with and for his friend the film censor Lieutenant Colonel Lionel Hurley. As one NSW Heritage SHI form mentions, "‘Loggan Rock’ as with his other Avalon dwellings, Jolly combined the roles of salesman, facilitator, architect, builder and friend." Dr Burne may not have used ‘Loggan Rock’, but legally he owned it from August 1932 until July 1937, when it was transferred to Lionel Hurley. Loggan Rock’14 became legendary not only for its organic design and construction but also for its owners, their friends and their parties.
In 1932, Jolly self published Adrift at Sea A Boy’s Book of Adventure and an allegorical, semiautobiographical children’s book, The Spirit of the Bush, sharing with readers his love of landscape and how Avalon restored his life.
‘Stonehaven’ (The Elephant House) was built for Mr and Mrs Roy Underwood in 1933 at 182 Hudson Parade, Avalon. It was demolished in 1980. After ‘Loggan Rock’ and during his ‘Stonehaven’ job, Jolly found a second dentist client, Arthur Wilson. He sold Wilson a glorious large block of land overlooking Pittwater and the ocean, at the top of what is now Chisholm Avenue.
‘Hy-Brasil The Gem’ (62 Chisholm Avenue, Avalon Beach) was built in 1934. The glorious qualities of the site were acknowledged in 1981 when a Permanent Conservation Order was placed on the site, in recognition of its landscape qualities and particularly the integrity of the setting and preservation of vegetation on a prominent ridge.
During the Depression, land sales and building went into decline, but when the Depression eased he returned to land speculation, this time on the south coast. He did no more architectural work, and died at his Wollstonecraft home in 1957.