Laurel Hill | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Laurel Hill

Item details

Name of item: Laurel Hill
Other name/s: Federation house
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 32 Smith Lane, Wollongbar, NSW 2477
Parish: Tuckombil
County: Rous
Local govt. area: Ballina
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
32 Smith LaneWollongbarBallinaTuckombilRousPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

Laurel Hill has historical significance due to its association with the early European farming history of the Wollongbar area (dairying) and early European farming families of the Wollongbar area (Cooke family). The item is also an important example of vernacular north coast architecture/weatherboard Federation architecture in Wollongbar/the shire. Laurel Hill is as an excellent example of a middle-class home, built in country NSW in the 1920s.
Date significance updated: 25 Nov 09
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: Samuel Cooke
Physical description: The property Laurel Hill is approximately 6070sq meters and is located on the eastern side of Smith's Lane within the village of Wollongbar. It has a 75 meter frontage to Smith's Lane and contains an historic timber house (c.1922) and mature landscaped grounds.

The house had all modern conveniences available at the time (flushing toilet under the main roof, electricity from a generator, built-in wardrobes). It was designed for the warm temperate climate with verandahs on all sides and external bedrooms on each corner to maximise the airflow. The main timbers used in the construction of the house were cedar and white teak with floors of spotted gum. A cedar mantel piece and fireplace feature in the lounge room and stain glass in the doors depict flannel flowers and the large gardens contain a well and several London plane trees. The house has a high degree of integrity and has been well maintained.

The lot size was determined by the need for a house cow. Since 1922 the grounds have been attractively planted and maintained. The now mature plantings make a substantial contribution to the streetscape of Smith's Lane.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The timber house has a high degree of integrity and has been well maintained.
Date condition updated:10 Mar 10
Current use: Residence
Former use: Residence

History

Historical notes: Laurel Hill is listed on Council’s LEP as an Item of Environmental Heritage. Laurel Hill is of local historic, social and aesthetic heritage significance, given its association with the history of the farming of the Wollongbar landscape.

The property Laurel Hill contains an historic house built in 1922 for the Cooke family. The house was designed by Samuel Cooke as a retirement home for his family. It had all modern conveniences for the times (flushing toilet under the main roof, electricity from a generator, built-in wardrobes). It was designed for the warm temperate climate with verandahs on all sides and external bedrooms on each corner to maximise the airflow. The main timbers used in the construction of the house were cedar and white teak with floors of spotted gum. A cedar mantel piece and fireplace feature in the lounge room and stain glass in the doors depict flannel flowers and the large gardens contain a well and several London plane trees.

This property is also significant for its association with Isabella Cooke, wife of the original owner, who was a gifted needlewoman. Today, her quilts, which were made at this home, are hung in the National Gallery of Australia, and the Victorian Art Gallery.

The mature landscape plantings make a considerable contribution to both the property, and the streetscape of Smiths Lane.

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. Houses and cottages-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The item is associated with the early European farming history of the Wollongbar area (dairying).

(C) The item is an important example of vernacular north coast architecture/weatherboard Federation architecture in Wollongbar/the shire.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The item is associated with the Cooke family, particularly Isabella Cooke
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The item is an important example of vernacular north coast architecture/weatherboard Federation architecture in Wollongbar/the shire. The mature landscape plantings make a considerable contribution to both the property, and the streetscape of Smiths Lane. The property is aesthetically pleasing.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The property, and the neighbouring property, are widely acknowledged by the local community as the homes of a pioneering Wollongbar family
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.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan I9625 Jan 13   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Draft Shire Wide Community Based Heritage Study2008 Ballina Shire Council  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAlstonville Plateau Historical Society Publishing Alstonville Plateau Historical Society, Milestones and Memories
WrittenJohn Archer1987The Great Australian Dream: The History of the Australian House
WrittenPhillip Drew1992Veranda: Embracing Place
WrittenRobin Boyd1991Australia’s Home: A Pioneering social history of our Domestic Architecture

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

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1040243


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