The Homestead Building and Site | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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The Homestead Building and Site

Item details

Name of item: The Homestead Building and Site
Other name/s: The Homestead, Georges Hall
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Homestead building
Primary address: 1a Lionel Street, Georges Hall, NSW 2198
Parish: Bankstown
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Bankstown
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT101 DP827530
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
1a Lionel StreetGeorges HallBankstownBankstownCumberlandPrimary Address
Henry Lawson DriveGeorges HallBankstown  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

It is a fine example of Australian Georgian architecture and retains many of its former qualities and characteristics typical of its period and style. It has important associations with the renowned Johnston family. It was the second Johnston house built on this land with the first house being affected by flooding. Its location on the rise above the river and floodplain, demonstrates the settlers' adaption to their environment. The Homestead is the earliest remaining house in the Bankstown district. It is also evidence of the earliest permanent settlement in the area. (Lester Tropman and Associates 1987:2)
Date significance updated: 31 Oct 01
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: Unknown
Construction years: 1837-1837
Physical description: Stuccoed brick construction on sandstone foundations enclosing extensive cellars. Floor and roof are of pit sawn timbers fastened by hand forged nails. The original part of the house is of symmetrical design with wide verandahs to three sides enclosing four large rooms, a hall and pantry. Two additional rooms added at south west corner. The attic has four large rooms lit by attractive dormers having arched transomes with curved glazing bars. This pattern is repeated in the fine fanlight over the south door. The interior joinery is cedar with extensive panelled window reveals, dados and built-in cupboards. Doors are all six panelled and windows either twelve pane sash type or French windows with transomes above. Windows are all shuttered, including the unusual front French door with narrow sidelights. Verandahs are massively constructed of timber with an unusual tall skillion pitch over the cellar entrance. There are some fine marble chimney pieces and Edwardian timber ones in later additions. The roof is now covered with Marseilles pattern tiles and Edwardian brackets have been added to the verandah posts but the house is otherwise intact and in very good condition. The original kitchen wing has possibly been incorporated within later additions. All other outbuildings have been demolished. (Sheedy 1976)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical condition is good. Restoration and archaelogical work undertaken in 1992/93.
Date condition updated:24 Sep 97
Modifications and dates: 1837 - built
1912 - two additional rooms added at the south west corner and other external alterations
Current use: Convalescent Home
Former use: Homestead

History

Historical notes: On 6 April 1798, George Johnston recieved a land grant of 172 acres in the district from Governor Hunter. The grant was made up of a number of parcels of land including 12 acres at Marquee Point, 70 acres adjacent to 'Strongs Farm' and 90 acres above 'Red Bank'.

It was on the 12 acre lot at Marquee Point, at the junction of Prospect Creek and the Georges River that Johnston built a simple timber farmhouse building. It was known as Georges Hall. It became an unofficial military outpost and in 1801 it was reported that there were no less than one sergeant and four privates stationed there. George Johnston spent most of his time at his large family home known as Annandale. George Johnston died in 1823 and his son David inherited the Georges Hall property, known as Johnston's Flat and the upper farm or David Banks.

David Johnston married Selina Willey in February 1836 and the couple resided in Georges Hall. However, the land was prone to flooding and it is likely that this led to the construction in 1837 of a new house called Georges Hall, today known as The Homestead.

David and his wife lived at Georges Hall until his death in 1886, three years after his wife. In his will David left his large land holdings to be divided between his children by the Trustees. Two sons, George Robert and Arthur Alfred inherited the Georges River Estates, consisting of 1064 acres, as joint tenants. In 1876 an agreement was made between the brothers that should either of the two pass away the surviving party had the option to buy the other party's share at current market values. It appears that following the death of George, Arthur purchased George's share.

Arthur continued to reside at Georges Hall with his wife until he died in 1907 when he was found in his bedroom having shot himself with a pea rifle. His wife, Maria inherited the property and remained at Georges hall. The property was gradually subdivided and in 1913 the Georgetown Estate was formed. Ralph Johnston controlled the 100 acre property until 1917 when it was sold to Henry Crossing a grazier from Pilliga.

James William Ashcroft and his wife Amelia puchased the property in 1920 residing there for only two years until James Ashcroft's death in 1922. It was then sold to Robert Harvey Layton and during this time the remaining 100 acres was subdivided and a subdivision planned known as the Deepwater Estate.

Layton sold much of the Deepwater Estate including the lot on which the original Georges Hall stood. In 1948 the After Care Association purchased Georges hall for use as a hostel for elderly women. The name 'The Homestead' appears to have come into use by 1946 when a valuation of the house and grounds was conducted. The Association spent 2000 pounds on renovations and other necessary alterations including additional bathing facilities.

In the late 1950's it was decided to built a men's hostel on adjacent land and to finance the project the 14 lots of land around The Hometead was auctioned off. (Lester Tropman and Associates 1987)

Through funding from the Heritage Assistance Program, restoration and archaeological work was undertaken during 1992 and 1993. The building is now used as a school operated by Calvery Chapel.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
It has important associations with the reknown Johnston family. It was the second Johnston house built on this land with the first house being affected by flooding. Its location on the rise above the river and floodplain, demonstrates the settlers adaption to their environment. The homestead is the earliest remaining house in the Bankstown district. It is also evidence of the earliest permanent settlement in the area. (Lester Tropman & Assoc 1987:2)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
It is a fine example of Australian Georgian architecture and retains many of its former qualities and characteristics typical of its period and style. (Lester Tropman & Assoc 1987:2)
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
It is the earliest remaining house in the Bankstown district. (Lester Tropman & Assoc 1987:2)
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 PlanBankstown LEP No. 209 09 Mar 01 491185-1196
Local Environmental PlanBankstown LEP 201544805 Mar 15   
Heritage study 37   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenD Sheedy1976National Trust Classification Card - The Homestead
WrittenLester Tropman and Associates1987Conservation Plan on The Homestead

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: Local Government
Database number: 1060001
File number: S90/03334


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