Heritage

Mary Immaculate Group

Item details

Name of item: Mary Immaculate Group
Other name/s: St Charles Borromeo Church, Parish House and Minamurra Cottage (former)
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Location: Lat: -33.9008884129 Long: 151.2550548870
Primary address: 45 Victoria Street, Waverley, NSW 2024
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Waverley
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
   CP/SP70813
PART LOT1 DP774158
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
45 Victoria StreetWaverleyWaverleyAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address
280-282 Bronte RoadWaverleyWaverleyAlexandriaCumberlandAlternate Address
Charing CrossWaverleyWaverleyAlexandriaCumberlandAlternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Association of Franciscan Friars BrosReligious Organisation 

Statement of significance:

The Mary Immaculate Group is of State significance. It includes the buildings known as Mary Immaculate and St Charles Borromeo Church, the former Parish House and Minnamurra Cottage.
Date significance updated: 30 Oct 07
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Branch intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.

Description

Designer/Maker: Sheerin & Hennessy
Builder/Maker: John Ptolomy; W.J.Bolton (1929)
Construction years: 1890-1929
Physical description: The Mary Immaculate Group comprises:
1) Mary Immaculate and St Charles Borromeo Church;
2) the former Parish House; and
3) 'Minnamurra' cottage.

Other structures on site include the:
4) Juniorette College;
5) Grotto;
6) Perimeter (Victoria Street) sandstone block boundary retaining wall;
7) Friary (1891, demolished).

Setting:
The group is located on a three acre site on the southern side of Victoria Street, east of the intersection of Bronte Road and Carrington Road. Its eastern portion is bounded (on its northern side) by a high sandstone block wall. A raised garden bed and landscaped garden is located behind the wall, with a number of mature trees and plantings. The most notable is a mature Hill's fig (Ficus microcarpa var.Hilliii) located close to the wall's western end near the driveway to the church (PMA, 2014, 1).

One of the Fathers planted the large Hill's fig (Ficus microcarpa var. Hillii) and other plantings in c.1937. Aerial photos dating from the 1930s and 1943 show the buildings and surrounding garden, wall and trees along the Victoria Street frontage (PMA, 2014, 2).

Structures:
1) Mary Immaculate and St. Charles Borromeo Church (1912, front facade remodelled in the 1920s)
Large cathedral with Classical Revival facade to the lower part of building. The clerestorey level, with its two imposing bell towers, appears to be in a different style. The entrance is formed by a large, pedimented portico with four, imposing Ionic columns. Ionic pilasters continue around to the sides. There are interior niches at the front with statues. The twin towers are square with horizontal rendered bands (LEP, expanded slightly).

A landmark church building and an important element in the historic Charing Cross townscape.
Facade is considered a fine example of a 1920s Academic Classical remodelling (Recorded in Identifying Australian Architecture as an illustrative example of the style). An example of the work of noted architects, Sheerin and Hennessy. Local, historical and social interest, particularly to the local Catholic community. Sources: Dowd, pp. 190-192. Apperly et al, Identifying Australian Architecture, 103. National Trust (NSW) Suburban Register listing form (LEP).

Modern buildings adjoining are reasonably sympathetic (LEP).

2) Sandstone Block Wall along Victoria Street (c.1891).

3) Friary (1891; extended in 1928/9 with the Juniorette College).
A large three storey building with an attic and basement and Gothic Revival style detailing.

4) Juniorette College (1928/9)
built at the rear of the Friary.

5) Grotto (c.1928/9)
between the church and the Friary (PMA, 2014, 2).
Date condition updated:01 Oct 14
Modifications and dates: 1912: church; 1929 faade remodelling.

C1935 planted fig tree and other plantings.

Late 1980s original Friary was demolished following a fire, and the current Friary built in its place.
It is assumed that the brick driveway extending from the street and some landscaping and planting between the buildings were added at this time.
Current use: Church, Friary
Former use: Church, Friary

History

Historical notes: Waverley:
Waverley took its name from the title of a book by the famous Scottish author and poet, Sir Walter Scott. Its connection with the suburb of Waverley comes through Barnet Levey (or Levy, 1798-1837) who came to Sydney in the 1820s to visit his brother. When he saw how prosperous the city was becoming, Levey decided to settle here and set up a business as a general merchant. In 1831 he was granted 60 acres in the area bounded by the present Old South Head Road, Birrell Street, Paul Street and Hollywood Avenue. He must have occupied the land before the official grant because he built himself a substantial two story home on Old South Head Road in 1827, naming it Waverley House after the book by his favourite author. As time passed the house became a distinctive landmark and gave its name to the surrounding district, which was simply called Waverley. Levey established Sydney's first permanent theatre behind his shop in George Street. His projects consumed all his money, and when he died in 1837 he left a widow and four children in poverty. In 1837 the house was taken over for a Catholic school or orphanage, but it was demolished early in the 20th century.

Waverley municipality was proclaimed in 1859. By the 1880s trams were running to the beaches in the Eastern Suburbs and Waverley became a popular picnic spot. Waverley Park had a splendid oval, used by the established Waverley District Cricket Club.

Waverley Cemetery was established in 1877 on the site of the old tram terminus, on a beautiful site near the ocean. It houses many historically notable people.

The 1866 NSW Gazetteer described Waverley as having Clough's Windmill, Allan's Soap Works, Dickson's Soap and Candle Works and Scott's Blacking and Fireworks Factory. There were also four quarries producing excellent freestone. Today however, it is an attractive residential suburb, just west of Tamarama Beach (Pollen & Healy, 1988, 266-7)

Mary Immaculate Group:
The first Catholic Church was built in 1854 on the site of the nearby St Charles School. Later churches were built on the same site in 1866 and 1902 (LEP, 1996).

In 1879 the Franciscan Order of Friars took over the work of the Waverley Parish. In 1891 they built their Friary on this site, which had been gifted to the Order (PMA, 2014, 2).

The Friars initially conducted church services in various churches constructed on the nearby St.Charles School site, however as these no longer catered for the growing Catholic population a new church was built adjacet to the Friary in 1912. The church originally had Romanesque features designed by architectural firm, Sheerin and Hennessy and built by John Ptolomy.

In 1928/9 the church had a major Classical remodelling undertaken to the design of Hennessy and Hennessy, with WJ Bolton the builder.

In 1928/9 the Friary was also extended with new Juniorette College constructed at its rear. A grotto was also built between the chruch and the Friary around this time (PMA, 2014, 2).

One of the Fathers planted the (now large) Hill's fig tree and other plantings in c.1937. Aerial photographs from the 1930s and 1943 show the buildings, but also the surrounding garden, wall and trees along the Victoria Street frontage (PMA, 2014, 2).

The Juniorette was relocated to Robertson in 1946, however the old building continued to be a focus of the Order until the late 1980s when the original Friary was demolished following a fire, and the current Friary built in its place. It is assumed that the brick driveway extending from the street and some landscaping and planting between the buildings were added at this time. Part of the site has also been sold and the area around the site developed as a nursing home. The church, associated wall and garden remain as prominent landmarks in the area (PMA, 2014, 3).

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 Catholicism-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Friary-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Church-

Recommended management:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementCarry out an Archaeological Assessment 
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 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
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 0062602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0062618 Nov 88 1726015
Local Environmental PlanMary Immaculate Church 06 Dec 96   
National Trust of Australia register National Trust (NSW) Suburban Register 19868890   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Waverley Heritage Study199019/4 - 0271Perumal Murphy P/L  No
National Trust Suburban Register19868890National Trust of Australia (NSW)  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Charing Cross Heritage Walk View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Charing Cross Heritage Walk View detail
WrittenCostin Roe Consulting2014Report on sandstone boundary wall, 47 Victoria Street, Waverley
WrittenJohn E. Keane ofm.1998A church at charing cross : overview of the history of the fabric of Mary Immaculate church, Waverley, and its background
WrittenPerumal Murphy Alessi Heritage Consultants2014Statement of Heritage Impact - Proposed Repair and Rectification of the High Stone Wall, no.45 Victoria Street, Waverley
WrittenPollen, Frances & Healy, Gerald (ed.s and contributors)1990'Waverley' entry, in The Book of Sydney Suburbs

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

rez
(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: 5045410
File number: S90/04626 & HC 32915


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