Heritage

St. Mary's Anglican Church and Pipe Organ

Item details

Name of item: St. Mary's Anglican Church and Pipe Organ
Other name/s: Gern Pipe Organ
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Location: Lat: -33.8962104614 Long: 151.2551034270
Primary address: 240 Birrell Street, Waverley, NSW 2024
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Waverley
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP813589
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
240 Birrell StreetWaverleyWaverleyAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Waverley Anglican ParishReligious Organisation 

Description

Designer/Maker: Edmund Blacket
Builder/Maker: A. Gern (pipe organ)
Construction years: 1863-1864
Physical description: Sited on the highest point in Waverley and set in attractive garden surrounds.

Church:
One of Edmund Blacket's earlier churches. Both modest and attractive, and essentially intact. Impressive stone church in Ecclesiastical Gothic style. Long nave with chancel, vestry and two side porches. Dressed sandstone with concrete tiled roof (originally shingled). Paired lancet windows between buttresses. Stained glass with label moulds over. Good belfry above western parapet gable (LEP, 1996)

Grounds:
It appears little of the original landscape features remain from the Victorian period. Possibly the driveway layout is original (now concreted). An impressive grey sandstone wall along Birrell Street frontage exists, possibly from c.1925. The bank of hydrangea (H.macrophylla cv.) shrubs along the southern wall of the church probably dates from the same period. There are mature Canary island palms (Phoenix canariensis), near adjacent former Church Hall and within grounds. These are notable landscape elements to about 13m high, dating probably from c.1920.

The central lawn is of buffalo grass. Traditional central and edge bordering flower beds punctuate the lawn.

A columbabium (c.1970) exists on the north side of the church, screened by a mature cypress possibly from c.1920 (LEP, 1996).
Date condition updated:08 May 14
Modifications and dates: It appears little of the original landscape features remain from the Victorian period. Possibly the driveway layout is original (now concreted). An impressive grey sandstone wall along Birrell Street frontage exists, possibly from c.1925. The bank of hydrangea (H.macrophylla cv.) shrubs along the southern wall of the church probably dates from the same period. There are mature Canary island palms (Phoenix canariensis), near adjacent former Church Hall and within grounds. These are notable landscape elements to about 13m high, dating probably from c.1920.

The central lawn is of buffalo grass. Traditional central and edge bordering flower beds punctuate the lawn.

A columbabium (c.1970) exists on the north side of the church, screened by a mature cypress possibly from c.1920 (LEP, 1996).
Further information: Generally in good condition (LEP, 1996)
Current use: church
Former use: church

History

Historical notes: Waverley the suburb's name comes from the book title by Sir Walter Scott, famed Scottish author and poet. It was given thus by Barnett Levey (or Levy, 1798-1837) who came to Sydney in the 1820s to visit his brother. Seeing how prosperous the city was he settled and set up business in George Street as a general merchant. He was influential in bringing theatre to Australia, establishing the Theatre Royal in part of his building off George Street. In 1831 he was granted a 60 acre piece of land in the area of today's Waverley, bounded by (now Old) South Head Road, Birrell Street, Hollywood Avenue and Paul Street. He built a substantial two storey home on (Old) South Head Road in 1827, naming it Waverley House after the novel of that name.

In 1837 the house was taken over for a Catholic school or orphanage. It was demolished in the early 20th century (Pollen & Healy, 1988, 266).

In 1857 a small stone church was built in Church Street Waverley for the local Anglican congregation (this is now the site of St. Clare's College (LEP, 1996). It was soon found to be inadequate and the construction of the present building commenced with the laying of its foundation stone on June 6th, 1863 (http://www.stmaryswaverley.org.au/styled-13/styled-3/index.html). It was built on a 0.4 hectare site donated by T.D. Edwards, that was part of original grant to B Levey (LEP, 1996).

The building was consecrated on May 19th, 1864 by Bishop Barker. The church was built by W Bailey. The original design envisaged a tower and spire, which were never built (LEP, 1996).

Porches and the organ chamber were added in 1872 (LEP, 1996). In the 1870s it was extended by 17ft. to its present size. The church was designed in the Early English Gothic style by Edmund Blacket, a prominent Victorian Architect. The stained glass windows are some of the earliest to be made in the colony, the two in the first bay of the south wall of the nave being the earliest windows to be commissioned in N.S.W. (http://www.stmaryswaverley.org.au/styled-13/styled-3/index.html).

In 1888 the pipe organ was added (LEP, 1996).

The Church is listed on the Register of the National Estate, Waverley Local Environmental Plan and the NSW State Heritage Register and extensive restoration to the fabric of the building has taken place since the 1980s.

In 1993 a gallery was added and the organ relocated (http://www.stmaryswaverley.org.au/styled-13/styled-3/index.html).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Practising Anglicanism-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Edmund Blacket, Government Architect-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
One of Edmund Blacket's earlier churches. Of considerable historical interest. One of the oldest buildings in the Waverley Council area, and notable for its association with Bishop Barker and important local families. Sited on the highest point in Waverley and set in attractive garden surrounds.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Notable for its association with Bishop Barker and important local families
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Architectural and aesthetic;value for its design, siting, on the highest point in Waverley and streetscape/landscape value, set in attractive garden surrounds.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Cultural and social values
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Rarity value for its age, design and intactness
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
representative example of a Gothic Revival church design by Edmund Blacket
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementDocument and prepare an archival record 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act maintenance


Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):
*Change of use;
(1)Maintenance of any item on the site, where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing material.

(2) Operation of the columbarium in its existing location.
Jan 30 1987
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0016002 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0016030 Jan 87 200510
Local Environmental PlanWaverley LEP 06 Dec 96   
Heritage study L31/0038   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Waverley Heritage Study1990 Perumal Murphy P/L  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenPollen, Frances & Healy, Gerald1988'Waverley' suburb entry in "The Book of Sydney Suburbs"
WrittenSt.Mary's Anglican Church, Waverley2014Parish History, in 'About Us' View detail

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

rez
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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045043
File number: S90/05379 & HC 32178


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