Fountains is a Georgian-Revival style house with Mediterranean details set in a rock and water garden with Japanese influences. The house was designed by architect Alfred John Brown (1893-1976) as a family home and built in 1938 on a former quarry site overlooking a steep valley at the edge of the Hornsby Plateau. The garden was designed by Alfred’s wife Jocelyn Brown (1898-1971), a landscape gardener widely known through her articles on plants and gardening published in The Home magazine from 1939 to 1942.
The Browns sold Fountains in the early 1940s but subsequent owners saw themselves as stewards of the original garden design, one owner directly seeking planting advice from Jocelyn Brown in 1964 following a subdivision of the property which resulted in the loss of the lower garden. The hard elements of the upper garden remain largely intact, including the upper pond, paved pergola and wall fountain on the patio. The original Japanese bowl fountain in the courtyard has been replaced. Fountains is listed as an item of local environmental heritage by Ku-Ring-Gai Council and is listed in the Australian Institute of Architects’ Register of Significant Architecture in NSW.
A.J. Brown ‘The story of the building of an Australian home’ in The Home, 1 March 1939, pp.22-31,70,72
Helen Proudfoot Gardens in bloom: Jocelyn Brown and her Sydney gardens of the ‘30s and ‘40s, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1989