November 13 - 19, 2016: Issue 289

Tumbledown Dick Hill: Ingleside

Mona Vale: looking E from top of Tumble Down Dick Hill. Date: 8/1939. Government Printing Office 1 - 27008, courtesy the State Library of NSW. 

Tumbledown Dick Hill: Ingleside - 1951

Roadside stop in 1951 in colour from what were then practically the rural outskirts of Sydney. Source: heavylambs panoramia

Some state the hill's name came from the name of either a horse or some other four legged wonder who kept falling down the hill!

In research we've done horses did have problems getting down this hill during the 1800's and early 1900's and were even cautioned once the track became a dirt road  that was then tarred.

A Few Other Insights

About midway between Gordon and Rocklily the road winds up the side of a high mountain, locally known as 'Tumbledown Dick,' the views from every bend, being superb. Here would be the place for a fine, up-to-date residential hotel, which would be convenient to the city, would be surrounded by charming scenery, and whose inmates would derive the benefit to be obtained from the pure mountain air, without undergoing the preliminary toil and fatigue of a long railway journey. A few hundred pounds spent on the road would, enable a swift motor-car service to be initiated between this locality and Manly, Narrabeen, or Rocklily, and irrespective of the future, when, without doubt, accommodation houses will be built along this route, the whole extent of the road from Gordon to its terminus at Rocklily or Narrabeen would make an ideal tourist route, and amply justify the money spent in making the road fit for traffic. 
As to the name of this mountain, 'Tumble-down Dick,' it is high time that such nomenclature of beauty spots should be done away with, and as a suggestion the writer would offer the name of 'Mount Cook,' or 'Cook's Plateau,' as a tribute to the great navigator, whose eyes no doubt rested upon this elevated spot in his memorable passage up the coast in the year 1770. The whole of this region to the west is practically unexplored, a greater part of it being bounded by the area known as the Kuring-gai Chase, and it only awaits development, in the shape of good roads, to make of it a desirable place, where the city merchant could establish his country home, and though almost in touch with the metropolis find himself surrounded by all that is health-giving and enchanting in Nature. A LITTLE KNOWN BEAUTY SPOT. (1909, May 19). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 22. Retrieved from 

This nickname was borne by Richard Cromwell, second Protector of England, who died in 1712. Son of Oliver Cromwell, he reigned for only nine months after his father's death.
He had led a gay youth, loved field sports, and even drunk King Charles' health with Cavaliers, but when the Army made him leave Whitehall he said to adherents, 'I will not have a drop of blood spilt in the preservation of my greatness, which is a burden to me," and went unresistingly into oblivion, taking with him an old hair trunk of documents. He was £29,000 to debt, due partly to his father's funeral, and he had been in great danger of arrest, but, prudently “Shut himself up in his cabinet" and went to France, where he lived in retirement as John Clarke, reading and painting landscapes.
"TUMBLEDOWN DICK" (1942, October 28). The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser (NSW : 1856 - 1861; 1863 - 1889; 1891 - 1954), , p. 2. Retrieved from

Old witch flying on a kitchen chair,
Cat on her shoulder, tail In the air
Man in the moon goes shivery all over.
Calls to his little dog, "At them, Rover!"
Cat starts mialling,
Dog bow-wowing,
Moon gets terrified and tips right over;
Man comes tumbling down into a motor.
"Hey!" says the taxi-man, "where shall I go ter?"
"Take me to Norwich,
They've hot pease-porridge,
That's what I want, for I'm shivery all over;
I can't find my way there without little Rover!"
TUMBLEDOWN DICK. (1926, May 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 11. Retrieved from


This beautiful stretch of country is the gift of Mr. V. Roinel and Mr. and Mrs. Danvers Power, to the Boy Scout movement of New South Wales, for a training camp for officers and rovers, similar to the well known establishment at Gillwell Park in England. The cleared space In the picture indicates the site of the actual camp itself. The estate, which is now the splendid domain of the Boy Scout movement, is known as Korman Hurst, and is at the foot of Tumbledown Dick Hill, between Pymble and Narrabeen. Mr. Kelso King has provided the funds for fitting out the camp, which will be opened on March 7 by the Governor-General (Lord Forster). The estate, eminently fitted, li. is considered, for tho work of the movement, includes three structures, one of which a three-roomed cottage will be used as a clubroom and library. The two other buildings will be used for Red Cross purposes and for stores and offices. An Honourable Charge has been Issued by the Chief Scout (Major-Gcneral Sir Robert Baden-Powell) to Mr. Hartley MacAlllster, Deputy Commissioner, authorising him to act as a Deputy Camp Chief at the now camp. Accompanying this document were the little badge beads of office.TRAINING CAMP FOR BOY SCOUT OFFICERS. (1925, January 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from

The NRMA recently approached the Lands Department with a suggestion that two areas on Tumbledown Dick Hill on the road between St Ives and Mona Vale, French's Forest be acquired as public reserves The Department has advised the association that the site on the southern side of the road is on freehold land, and it considers that the entailed resumption would not be warranted Regarding the area on the northern side however a comprehensive design for future disposal of a large area of Crown land in this locallty is, being prepared and an appropriate area will be set aside for public recreation when the scheme is finalised.  TUMBLEDOWN DICK RESERVE. (1939, April 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 3. Retrieved from