Carss Cottage | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Carss Cottage

Item details

Name of item: Carss Cottage
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Cottage
Location: Lat: -33.9905973589 Long: 151.1204070540
Primary address: 74 Carwar Avenue, Carss Park, NSW 2221
Parish: St George
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Kogarah
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT1 DP125981
PART LOT376 DP12759
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
74 Carwar AvenueCarss ParkKogarahSt GeorgeCumberlandPrimary Address
Carlton Crescent (off)BlakehurstKogarahSt GeorgeCumberlandAlternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Kogarah CouncilLocal Government19 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

Carss Cottage forms a substantial part of a rare setting and is one of the oldest buildings in the southern Sydney area south of the Cooks River. It is the oldest building in the Kogarah area and is associated with the early development of the Kogarah area. William Carss was of sufficient stature in Sydney society in the 1830s as a master craftsman to have been a member of the founding committee of the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts in 1834. It is a rare example of mid Victorian period stone homestead in the southern area of Sydney. Situated on a knoll close to Kogarah Bay and through its largely unspoilt setting, it plays an integral role in the aesthetic and architectural quality of the Bay (Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners 1993:26,27).
Date significance updated: 02 Aug 12
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Division intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.

Description

Designer/Maker: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Scottish masons
Construction years: 1865-1865
Physical description: Sandstone walls and slate roof.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical condition is good. Achaeological potential is excellent for those documented demolished original outbuildings.
Modifications and dates: 1865 - built
1924 - estate subdivided and cottage converted for park ranger
1928 - oubuildings demolished and internal alterations and modifications made to the cottage.
1930s - landscaping works included the construction of the stone walling, arbor and stone seats.
Current use: Historical museum
Former use: Cottage, park rangers residence

History

Historical notes: Carss Cottage is situated on a land grant made to Johnathon Croft of 119 acres on 28 January 1853. Within ten months Croft sold the land to William Barton on 17 October 1853 for 352 pounds.

This land speculation was to continue for another two years with sales in June 1854 to John Chappellow, for 538 pounds and in September 1855 to Lewis Gordon possibly in default of a mortgage.

Gordon sold the 119 acres to William Carss on 7 January 1863 for 540 pounds. Carss was one of fifty tradesmen (stonemasons and carpenters) who had been recruited in Glasgow by Dr John Dunmore Lang. Carss arrived in Sydney in 1831 accompanied by his wife Helen Turnball. A cabinet maker by trade he found work as the chief carpenter and joiner for the construction of Lyndhurst under John Verge, architect.

Carss Cottage is believed to have been built by December 1865, when Carss changed his address to the 'George's River, Kogarah'. The house is reputed to have been constructed by the Scottish masons who had been employed in the construction of Edmund Blacket's University of Sydney buildings. The stone was reported to be quarried on site from a huge rock in the vicinity of the present-day Norfolk Island pine tree.

William Carss died on 26th May 1878. He was survived by his children Mary, Anne and James. There was also a housekeeper called Amelia Claggett. Carss was buried in the vault near the present day recreation centre. Carss' wife died in 1853.

The property was transferred to the daughters Mary and Anne on 1 August 1878. This was subsequently amended on 3 April 1879 solely to Mary.

On Mary Carss' death in 1916 the cottage was bequeathed to the Sydney Sailors' Home apparently in accordance with her father's wish. The transfer however did not eventuate until after James' death in the following year. James married the housekeeper, Amelia Claggett, on his death bed. Amelia Claggett remained in the cottage until she was forced to vacate taking most of the furniture with her.

In the mid 1920s the trustees of the Sydney Sailors' Home sold the property to the Kogarah Council for 12,000 pounds. The estate was divided into recreational and residential spaces. That portion reserved for park purposes (50 aces) was opened and dedicated on Australia Day 1924 and the remaining 374 suburban lots were offered for sale that day.

The cottage was converted to a new use as the residence of the park's ranger. The first ranger was Joseph Harald Coxhead, who held the position between 1924 and 1953. In 1928 a health inspector's report noted extensive white ant activity, inadequate ventilation and poor drainage. At this time outbuildings were demolished and internal alterations and modifications made to the cottage. During the 1930's landscaping works included the construction of the stone walling, arbor and stone seats.

As a result of the enthusiasm aroused by the lead-up to the 1970 James Cook bicentenary celebrations, Kogarah Council decided to form a historical society and to lease Carss Cottage to the Historical Society for use as a historical museum. (Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners 1993:22-26)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
It forms a substantial part of a rare setting and is one of the oldest buildings in the southern Sydney area south of the Cooks River. It is the oldest building in the Kogarah area and is associated with the early development of the Kogarah area. William Carss was of sufficient stature in Sydney society in the 1830's as a master craftesman to have been a member of the founding committee of the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts in 1834. (Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners 1993:26,27)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
It is a rare example of mid Victorian period stone homestead in the southern area of Sydney. Situated on a knoll to Kogarah Bay and through its largely unspoilt setting, it plays an integral role in the aesthetic and architectural quality of the Bay. (Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners 1993:26,27)
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
It is the oldest building in the Kogarah area and one of the oldest in the southern Sydney area. (Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners 1993:26,27)
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.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act gen garden & build. maintenance


Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):
(1) The maintenance of any building or item on the site where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing material; and
(2) Garden maintenance including cultivation, pruning, weed control, the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates, garden walls and tree surgery but not extensive lopping;
Jul 22 1988
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 0058702 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0058722 Jul 88 1193881
Local Environmental PlanCarss Cottage 02 Oct 98   
National Trust of Australia register Carss Cottage, Park & Pool, Grave of Wm.Carss6950-6952, 7812   
Register of the National Estate - InterimCarss Park Urban Conservation Area102096   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenClive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners Pty Ltd1993Carss Cottage Conservation Analysis and Conservation Guidelines
TourismDestination NSW2007Carss Cottage View detail
WrittenWarwick Varley, Allied Tree Consultancy2012Arboricultural Impact Assessment (for the Kogarah Bay Sea Scouts Hall)

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

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045326
File number: EF14/4794; S90/3454; HC33402


Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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