Heritage homes of Sydney

Heritage homes of Sydney

The heritage homes of the city of Sydney, New South Wales, have developed over its two hundred-year history.

Most are located in the eastern suburbs. Styles range from Colonial buildings like Cadman's Cottage to Georgian homes like Juniper Hall and a Medieval fantasy like Fernleigh Castle. The Gothic Revival style has also been popular. Many of these homes are built with sandstone upon which Sydney is located. Most of the homes are large and expensive and most are still used as homes, although some have been adapted for public or commercial use.

NOTE: "RNE" indicates that the house is listed on the Register of the National Estate. [The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981]

Cadman's Cottage

The Rocks, situated on the west side of Sydney Cove, is the oldest part of Sydney which, dates back to the start of the city. Cadman's Cottage is the oldest surviving building in Sydney and was built in 1815/16. John Cadman (1772-12 November 1848) [ [http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A010177b.htm adb.online.anu.edu.au] ] was a pardoned convict and made official government coxswain by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. The small, single-storey cottage was built adjacent the harbour foreshore, primarily of lime-washed sandstone. It was used for a variety of purposes over the years, and more recently has been restored and classified as an historic site, under the administration of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales. It now functions as an information centre for the Sydney Harbour National Park, although it is not contained within the park. [Heritage of Australia, p.2/67; Guide to New South Wales National Parks (National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales) 2002, p.30]

Elizabeth Bay House

Elizabeth Bay House was designed by architect, John Verge (1788–1861), for the Colonial Secretary, Alexander Macleay (1767-1848) and built between 1835 and 1839. It is in the Regency style and was originally the centre of a 54-acre estate. Elegantly furnished to the period of 1839–1845, ["The Book of Sydney Suburbs", Compiled by Frances Pollen, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8] it is now managed by the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales and is open to the public.


Ginahgulla Road, Bellevue Hill (RNE)

The design of Rona was based on Greycliffe House in Nielsen Park, another heritage home. Like Greycliffe House, it is a two-storey stone house in a Gothic Revival style. It was designed by G.A. Morell and built in 1883 for Edward Knox. In 1951, John Mansfield converted it to two apartments. It is situated high on Bellevue Hill, on the north side of Ginahgulla Road, which has a total of four homes listed on the Register of the National Estate. [Heritage of Australia, p.2/131]

Fairfax House

Ginahgulla Road, Bellevue Hill (RNE)

Fairfax House is a two-storey Gothic home on the south side of Ginahgulla Road. It was built in 1858 by John Fairfax, of the Fairfax family of newspaper proprietors. It may have been designed by Edmund Blacket, who was otherwise distinguished as an ecclesiastical architect, responsible for many churches in the Sydney area. The Fairfax family used the house until 1945, when it was bought by the nearby private school, Scots College. The College still owned the house as of now (2008). [Heritage of Australia, p.2/131]


Ginahgulla Road, Bellevue Hill (RNE)Next door to Fairfax House is Caerleon, a two-storey Queen Anne home built in 1885. Original plans for the house were drawn up by Sydney architect Harry Chambers Kent, but it they were reworked extensively by Maurice Adams in London. Controversy followed when Kent found that his name was left out altogether when the plans were exhibited in London. Kent nevertheless supervised the construction of the house, which was designed for another member of the Fairfax family, Charles B.Fairfax. The house represents a rich example of Queen Anne elements: red brick walls with stone dressing, terracota shingles, balconies, bay windows, verandahs, leadlight windows and elaborate chimneys. It is said to have been the first Queen Anne home in Australia and set the tone for the Federation Queen Anne homes that were to become so popular. [The Federation House, Fraser and Joyce (New Holland Publishers) 2002, p.22] It was sold for $22 million in January, 2008. [Sydney Morning Herald, January 25, 2008, p.3; Sydney Architecture, Graham Jahn (Watermark Press) 1997, p.62]


Ginahgulla Road, Bellevue Hill (RNE)

Rovello is a two-storey house designed by Wilson, Berry and Neave. It is younger than other houses in the area—such as Rona, Fairfax House and Caerleon—having been built in 1936. It was designed around a courtyard modelled on the colonnaded Roman atriums. Features include a two-storey hall and a prominent set of timber stairs. It is regarded by someWho|date=September 2008 as the finest work by Wilson and co. [Heritage of Australia, p.2/131]


Carthona Avenue, Darling Point (RNE)

Lindesay is a two-storey Gothic Revival home. It was designed by Edward Hallen and built for the Colonial Treasurer, C.D.Riddell, in 1834. Its features include Tudor style chimneys, cellars, gabled roof, a courtyard at the rear and a coach house. Fittings include cedar joinery and marble fireplaces. In 1940, an octagonal summer house was added by Robertson and Marks. Lindesay was the first home to be built in Darling Point and was used by the Surveyor-General, Sir Thomas Mitchell, while Carthona was being built. [Heritage of Australia, p.2/132]


Carthona Avenue, Darling Point (RNE)

Like Lindesay, Carthona is a two-storey Gothic mansion, but is more elaborate and was a trendsetter in its time. [Sydney Architecture (Jahn), p.17] It was built around 1841-1844 for Sir Thomas Mitchell, who wanted to move away from the relatively congested area of Darlinghurst, and who is said to have carved some of the stonework himself. The architect was J.Hume, working from an English pattern book. Its features include castellated parapets, Tudor chimneys, unroofed balconies, arches and shuttered windows. The house is located at the bottom of Carthona Avenue and is set close to the harbour foreshore with water views. It was later bought by the family that owned the Bushell's tea company. [Heritage of Australia, p.2/132; Sydney Architecture (Jahn), p. 31]


Darling Point Road, Darling Point (RNE)

Swifts was designed by G.E.Morrell and built in 1882 for the brewer, Robert Lucas Tooth. Another Gothic mansion, it is more castle-like than most, with its towers and castellated parapets. It was later acquired by Edmund Resch, who left it to the Catholic Church when he died. It became the official residence of the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, but was sold in 1984. It sits in expansive grounds. [Heritage of Australia, p.2/132; Sydney Architecture, John Haskell (UNSW Press) 1997, p.71]


Greenoaks Avenue, Darling Point (RNE)

Bishopscourt was originally known as Greenoaks and was designed by Edmund Blacket. A cottage originally occupied the site, and the owner, Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, built the sandstone Gothic Revival mansion around this building, circa 1850-1860. Further extensions were made in 1935 after being designed by Leslie Wilkinson. The exterior features Tudor windows and carved doors and crests. The interior was based on the Palace of Westminster and is considered to be Blacket's best residential work,Who|date=September 2008 with stained-glass windows, tiled floors, an elaborate staircase and panelled library. The house was later acquired by the Anglican Church and became the official residence of the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney. [Heritage of Australia, p.2/132; Sydney Architecture (Haskell), p.71]

Gladeswood House

Gladeswood Gardens, Double Bay (RNE)

Yet another two-storey Gothic mansion, Gladeswood House was built in 1865. The architects are uncertain, but it may have been designed by Mansfield, Lambeth and Hill. Constructed of sandstone, it features two wings, a verandah with three bays, a slate roof, Tudor chimneys and a fireplace that is said to go back to 14th century England. Extensions and alterations were carried out after 1901. [Heritage of Australia, p.2/133]

Fernleigh Castle

Fernleigh Gardens, Rose Bay (RNE)

This two-storey home was built on the site of a sandstone cottage built in 1874, and incorporates the original walls of that building. Castle-like in appearance, it is constructed of sandstone and features a square Norman-style tower, smaller towers with their own turrets, and castellated walls. Although it also includes wrought iron balconies similar to homes in Paddington. The house has thirty rooms and a number of stained-glass windows. [Heritage of Australia, p.134]

The Hermitage

Vaucluse Road, Vaucluse (RNE)

The main house was designed and built around 1870-1878 by Edward Mason Hunt, influenced by the design of Roslyndale, in Woollahra. It features a castellated tower, elaborately carved barge boards and a roof of multiple gables. The house was seriously damaged by a fire in 1936, and was restored by Emil Sodersten. It was bought by the Woolworths company in 1964 and used as a staff training centre, [Walks in the Sydney Harbour National Park, p.54] but later returned to its original role as a private home. This Gothic house overlooks Hermitage Reserve and has harbour views. The Hermitage incorporates a smaller house, which was built circa 1840 by Alexander Dick. [Heritage of Australia, p.2/134; Sydney Architecture (Jahn), p.35]

Vaucluse House

Wentworth Road, Vaucluse (RNE)

Vaucluse House was built by William Wentworth, one of the explorers who first crossed the Blue Mountains, and also a statesman who played a part in drawing up the Constitution of New South Wales. Wentworth chose to build his house on the site of a stone cottage that dated back to circa 1803, on a property that began as a grant of 32 hectares to one Thomas Laycock in 1793. Work began in 1827, incorporating the original cottage, and was completed as a sandstone Gothic mansion, which was completed in 1830. Modifications were carried out in 1847, and a verandah was added circa 1850, along with parapets and stables. Some of the work on the New South Wales Constitution was carried out on the premises of Vaucluse House. The house has been added to the portfolio of the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales and is open to the public. [Heritage of Australia, p.2/135]

Greycliffe House

Nielsen Park, Vaucluse (RNE)

Greycliffe House is the second of the dominant Vaucluse homes and was built for one of the daughters of William Wentworth. Fanny Wentworth married John Reeve, a wealthy migrant from England. Reeve purchased land from Wentworth and commissioned the architect John Hilly to build Greycliffe House, which was completed circa 1852. The house is an elaborate structure with multiple gables and carved barge boards; it was extensively damaged by fire, circa 1897, but was restored. Along with Nielsen Park, Greycliffe House was added to the Sydney Harbour National Park in 1978 and functions as a visitors' centre and headquarters for the park. [Walks in the Sydney Harbour National Park, Neil Paton (Kangaroo Press) 1987, p.49-52]

trickland House

Vaucluse Road, Vaucluse (RNE)

Strickland House in Vaucluse was the home of John Hosking, Sydney's first Lord Mayor. The house was designed by John Hilly and built in the 1850s, when it was known as "Carrara". It consists of three storeys of sandstone, which was unusually painted, and features verandahs with Doric columns. Set close to the harbour foreshore, it has extensive views across the water. In 1915, the house was officially opened as Strickland Women's Convalescent House. It can be seen from the track along Hermitage Reserve, which is part of the Sydney Harbour National Park. [Walks in the Sydney Harbour National Park, p.56; Heritage of Australia, p.2/135]

Juniper Hall

Oxford Street, Paddington (RNE)

Georgian architecture was developed by English architects, in particular Sir Christopher Wren, in the seventeenth century. [A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture, Apperly (Angus and Robertson) 1994, p.24] The style features symmetry and order. It was largely brought to Australia by Francis Greenway and became a common architectural feature of the colony of Sydney.

One prominent example is Juniper Hall, a two-storey Georgian house that was originally the home of Robert Cooper, a gin distiller. Cooper reportedly designed the house himself and had it built circa 1825, including a cellar and attic in the structure. Unlike most Georgian homes, it features an upstairs balcony, which looks out onto Oxford Street. Juniper Hall became hidden behind a row of commercial buildings on Oxford Street. A restoration project was undertaken by the National Trust in which the commercial buildings were demolished so Juniper Hall could be seen clearly, and it was fully restored by Clive Lucas Stapleton and Partners in 1988. It functioned as a "Museum of Childhood", but this was unsuccessful; it is now leased as a commercial building. [Heritage of Australia, p.2/138; Sydney Architecture (Haskell), p.78]

West Maling

King George's Road and Penshurst Avenue, Penshurst

Like Caerleon, West Maling is consideredWho|date=September 2008 an outstanding example of the Queen Anne style. It was built circa 1888 as a "centennial" home, but the architect is not known. Its ribbed chimneys, gables and battens are similar to the Old English look popularised in the 1870s by Richard Norman Shaw, with a particularly strong Tudor element. This two-storey house also features a portico, verandah and Federation-style finials. Queen Anne homes like West Maling and Caerleon appealed to "establishment" types for whom the style was an expression of loyalty to Britain. The house was later when acquired by the Assemblies of God and used as a religious centre. [The Federation House, p.22; A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture, p.132]

The Crossways

Martin Road, Centennial Park

The Crossways is a large, two-storey house, built in 1908 and designed by Waterhouse and Lake. It is regarded as an example of the Federation Arts and Crafts style, but is also describedWho|date=September 2008 as representing the "stylessness" that was in vogue at the time. It includes recognisable Arts and Crafts elements such as the roughcast walls and irregular windows, but its style is broad and there is even a castellated section of wall at the side. Major alterations were carried out in the 1990s by Espie Dods. [A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture, p.141; Sydney Architecture (Jahn), p.89]

The Manor

Iluka Road, Mosmanmain|The Manor (Mosman, NSW)‎

The Manor, in the Mosman locality of Clifton Gardens fits broadly into the category of the Federation Queen Anne style. The original owner designed the idiosyncratic house himself. It was built circa 1911 by a Mr Bakewell, who originally planned to build an eight-room cottage. However, it grew progressively until it was a mansion with over thirty rooms. It was known locally as Bakewell's Folly. For unknown reasons, he lined most of the rooms with beaten copper, traces of which can also be seen on the exterior. He hoped that his married children would live with him at The Manor, but was disappointed. The Theosophical Society rented the house from 1922, using it as a centre with a community led by Charles Leadbeater, a Theosophist and alleged psychic. The Society bought the house in 1925, holding it under a trust deed. In 1951, ownership was transferred to The Manor Foundation Ltd, with the Theosophical Society continuing to use the house. The English writer Mary Lutyens, who stayed there in the 1920s, described the house as "a huge and hideous villa." [To Be Young, Mary Lutyens (Corgi Books) 1959, p.153] The Theosophists, however, regarded The Manor as "the greatest of occult forcing-houses." They saw it as one of the three major TS centres, the others being one in Adyar, in India, and one in Holland. The young Indian Jiddu Krishnamurti, who was presented as the new "World Teacher," stayed around the corner in David Street with his brother, Nitya, while Lutyens stayed at The Manor. [Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening, Mary Lutyens (John Murray) 1975, pp.191, 202; "The Theosophist" magazine (Theosophical Society) August 1997, pp.460-463]

The Abbey

Johnston Street, Annandale (RNE)

The Abbey is the most dominant house in a row of large houses on Johnston Street, Annandale. The area was developed by builder John Young as a prestige estate, although it never achieved the heights he dreamed. built in 1882, The Abbey was designed in a Gothic Revival style, vaguely reminiscent of a Scottish manor, with a prominent tower. The house features cloisters, arches, lions and chimneys, while the tower features carved stone gargoyles (John Young was also responsible for building St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, and it was rumoured that the gargoyles were appropriated from St Mary's.) The Abbey sits on a ridge alongside the "witches houses", so-called because their spires resemble witches' hats. The witches houses are Oybin, Rozelle (demolished), Greba, Hockindon, Highroyd, Kenilworth and Claremont (demolished). [Heritage of Australia, p.2/35; Sydney Architecture (Jahn), p.57]

Rose Seidler House

Clissold Road, Wahroonga main|Rose Seidler House

Rose Seidler House is a modernist house located in Wahroonga. It was designed by the late architect Harry Seidler, his first building in Australia. Built during the conservative 1950s, it is managed as a museum by the Historic Houses Trust who describe its role as having "...been a very influential house, stimulating much social comment and intellectual debate". [ [http://www.hht.net.au/museums/rose_seidler_house/main Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales] ]

Berith Park

Billyard Avenue, Wahroonga

Berith Park was designed by F.Ernest Stowe for Alfred Smith, who came from Queensland. Smith acquired the land in 1897 and the house was finished circa 1909. By 1914 the house was in the hands of Sir Arthur Ricard, the founder of the Dr Barnardos charity for children. Ricard made substantial changes to the house, putting in tennis courts, a swimming pool, a ballroom, an ornamental lake, cricket oval and gardens. The house was later bought by Alderman Crick, the Lord Mayor of Sydney and a founder of Fox Studios. Berith Park was used extensively as a location in a number of films. Crick later started selling off parts of the property. The Catholic Church bought the house in 1955 for use as a home for Dominican Fathers and then Dominican Sisters. It was sold again in 1979 and extensive changes were made. In 2004, more subdivisions were made and an acre of the land was sold off. [ [http://www.ig.com.au/wahroonga/berith_park.htm Wahroonga:Retrieved 6th May, 2008] ]


Water Street, Wahroonga

Westholme was designed in the Arts and Crafts style by Howard Joseland for John Bennett, one of the pioneer developers of the Wahroonga area. Bennett came from England and was a trained artist who had had exhibitions at the Royal Academy. In 1886 he married an Englishwoman from Birmingham; he then migrated to Australia, where he bought land in Water Street, Wahroonga. He built Westholme in 1894 and in 1908 added another house -- Wairoa -- at the other end of the block. Bennett died in 1929 and the land was subdivided, but Westholme remained in the family until 1984, when it was sold to Roderick Maclure. Wairoa was sold to various owners and was acquired by the Trustees of the Sisters of Saint Dominic in 1956. It was demolished in 1991. [ [http://www.ig.com.au/wahroonga/westholme.htm Wahroonga:Retrieved 9th May 2008] ]

ee also

*Buildings and architecture of Sydney
*History of Sydney

External links

* [http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Architecture Gallery of Sydney Architecture]
* [http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Federation_Architecture_of_Australia Gallery of Federation Architecture]
* [http://www.ig.com.au/wahroonga/ Heritage Homes of Wahroonga]


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