‘Burwells’ was built in the early twentieth century for the Roles family. Herbert William Roles, founder and manager of the Engineering Supply Company of Australia, purchased eight acres of land at Manly in 1905. Manly West at the time was a predominantly agricultural area, and Roles’ large timber residence was one of the first houses in the district. Roles’ wife Pamela and their daughter lived in the house until Roles’ death in 1953. Pamela then donated the house to the Queensland Society for Crippled Children, also known as ‘Montrose’. Some renovations were undertaken and the home, rechristened the ‘Pamela Roles Convalescent Home for Crippled Children’, opened in 1954. Montrose retained title until the 1980s, when multiple dwellings were added to the site around ‘Burwells’.