• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE3974

Griffiths, Glynde Nesta

(1889 – 1968)
  • Born 4 July, 1889, Double Bay, Sydney New South Wales Australia
  • Died 4 June, 1968, Bellevue Hill Sydney New South Wales Australia
  • Occupation Author, Historian, Philanthropist


Nesta Griffiths wrote Point Piper: Past and Present in 1947, followed by Some Houses and People of New South Wales in 1949 and Some Southern Homes of New South Wales in 1952. The stories of various well established families recounted in each publication were partly informed by society gossip, and partly by research conducted by Griffiths in Sydney’s Mitchell Library.


Glynde Nesta Griffiths – always known as Nesta – was the daughter of London-born merchant Frederick Close Griffiths and his wife Annette Agnes. Nesta and her sister Gwendolen were raised at Point Piper, near Sydney. Neither married, and they lived together at Bellevue Hill from 1929 until their deaths, just five months apart, in 1968.

The Griffiths sisters (known ‘affectionately and disrespectfully as the Griffs’ according to Helen Rutledge) were members of the Royal Sydney Golf Club. Passionate about family history and heritage, they supported the National Trust and Nesta was a member of the Royal Australian Historical Society. Her books on southern and northern homes in New South Wales were sometimes self-published and not well edited, but their value lies in the author’s personal acquaintance with her subjects.

The sisters, who had received little inheritance, came to live quite comfortably thanks to a number of Gwendolen’s shrewd investments on the stock market. Both made significant contributions to Sir Lorimer Dods’ Children’s Medical Research Foundation during their lifetimes. In her will, Gwendolen provided for Dods’ grandchildren, while Nesta bequeathed her residual estate – valued at $300,000 – to the Foundation itself.


Published resources

  • Resource
  • Resource Section
  • Book
    • My Grandfather's House, Rutledge, Helen, 1986
    • Some Houses and People of New South Wales, Griffiths, Glynde Nesta, 1949
    • Point Piper: Past and Present, Griffiths, Glynde Nesta, 1947
    • Some Southern Homes of New South Wales, Griffiths, Glynde Nesta, 1952
  • Thesis
    • In Her Gift: Activism and Altruism in Australian Women's Philanthropy, 1880-2005, Lemon, Barbara, 2008
  • Site Exhibition

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Griffiths, Nesta (1)

Related entries

  • Related Concepts
    • History and Historians