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Fig Tree Bridge, Lane Covebefore 1954

by Herbert Reginald Gallop

Herbert Gallop, born in 1890, worked as a commercial artist and studied under Julian Ashton at Sydney Art School. He settled in Meadowbank when it was a quiet rural area on Sydney’s outskirts, living there for 40 years. A prolific artist, Gallop produced thousands of paintings, watercolours and etchings before his death in 1958.

This is an easterly view of the Lane Cove River from Hunters Hill, encompassing Linley Point and the grounds of St Ignatius College, Riverview. The old iron-truss Fig Tree Bridge in the foreground, built in 1884–85, provided vehicular access to the city for North Shore residents (in conjunction with the Gladesville and Iron Cove Bridges).

The bridge was named for Fig Tree Farm at its southern end (not in view), owned by emancipist businesswoman Mary Reibey from 1835. Remnant portions of the old bridge remain alongside the new, which opened in 1963.