Historical information

Ordsall was originally built for John Halfey, second Chairman of Kew, and sold after his death to the Carnegie family who renamed it ‘South Esk'. The Carnegie family mounted a defence of their property when the City of Kew sought to compulsorily acquire it as the site for a new town hall in the 1930s. The house and land were later acquired by Council in 1947 and demolished in 1970. The present Kew Library and the former Council Offices (now owned by Trinity Grammar) are located on the site.


One of the earliest photographs of 'Southesk' and its gardens. The house was of statewide significance because of its historical association with John Halfey. It was artistically significant due to its elaborate interiors, decorated by Cullis Hill & Co in the 1880s.

Physical description

Sepia photograph mounted on brown card of "Southesk' (formerly known as 'Ordsall'). The single-storey Italianate facade of the house can be seen surrounded by an extensive garden. The point-of-view of the camera is from Cotham Road.