Site of 'Belle Ombre' 1833-1890s Heritage Panel
South Parade, corner Wairoa Avenue, Campsie This Panel was erected by Canterbury City Council, 2003. Unveiled by Councillor Kayee Griffin, Mayor of Canterbury, 5th April 2003.
About 1833, Cornelius Prout, a clerk in the Office of the Colonial Secretary and later Under Sheriff of the Colony, built a brick house called "Belle Ombre' on his land in present-day Campsie and Canterbury. For his convenience and to provide an income, he operated a public punt over Cooks River near his residence. The track on either side of the punt became the present-day Canterbury Road. In 1840, Prout was assigned convicts to build a bridge to replace the punt. He continued to make a charge for crossing - to the great annoyance of residents. It was only after Prout's death at "Belle Ombre" in 1855, that the Government resumed the bridge and tollhouse and abolished the toll. Ironically, when the road was extended to Salt Pan Creek the next year, a toll was then placed on use of the road through Canterbury. Prout's daughter Catherine and her husband ran a dairy on "Belle Ombre". In 1866, "Belle Ombre" was sold to a glassware merchant, Joseph Gould, whose son-in-law, Robert Ward, took over the dairy farm and improved and expanded it. "Belle Ombre" was demolished during the construction of the railway line to Belmore which opened in 1895.