House | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: House
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 21, 23 and 25 Ford Street, Bellingen, NSW 2454
Local govt. area: Bellingen
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
21, 23 and 25 Ford StreetBellingenBellingen  Primary Address
(at junction with Ford St)BellingenBellingen  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

A good local example of the Federation style. Its interest is created by the complexity of form rather than decorative detail. The stepping of the building line and the resultant verandah returns work very well. Obviously a house of some distinction. Would appear to predate the subdivision and the stepping may have been designed to maximise views from the elevated site. Presents well on several elevations. Fabric renewed but otherwise unaltered.
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Builder/Maker: W Atherton?
Construction years: 1911-
Physical description: Large Federation house on large allotment. Would appear to predate subdivision. Weatherboard construction. Complex plan and complex iron roof, gabled and hipped. Considerable interest created by stepping of building line on all sides. Bull nosed verandah follows the line of the building on three sides. Flat timber posts, now with lacework brackets. Good French doors. 5 fireplaces. Posted wire mesh fence. 18 foot concrete dome shaped well in front yard. Interior of house features a ball room with 12 foot, pressed metal dome ceiling. Small weatherboard/timber shed of interest.
Modifications and dates: 1984 photo and description indicates brackets have been added which appear to match those that originally featured on the building.. Repair and replacement of fabric appears true to original otherwise.
Further information: Owner advises that the domed ceiling of the ballroom is only one of three on the North Coast.
Current use: Residential
Former use: Residential


Historical notes: Recorded in the 1984 Planning Workshop survey. Then in poor condition and undergoing repair. Work appeared in keeping with original with possible exception of addition of lacework brackets. Age was estimated as c1900. Believed to be the house built by W Atherton for JC Cawood in 1911 (Source: Norman Braithwaite, SHI Study 1990 & Fred Thomasson, owner in 2009). Cawood left Bellingen in 1927 to become the first Governor Administrator in Alice Springs.

John Charles: District Forester and sawmiller, President Bellingen Shire Council NSW, Coroner and Magistrate Appointed Government Resident of Central Australia 15 December 1926. Oversaw 1928 Inquiry into actions of Constable Murray’s punitive expeditions against Aborigines at Conniston Station following killing of European settler. Resigned November 1929. Retired to Cronulla NSW (Source:

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This item is assessed as historically significant locally.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This item is assessed as aesthetically significant locally.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
This item is assessed as socially significant locally.
SHR Criteria f)
This item is assessed as aesthetically rare locally.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as aesthetically representative locally.
Integrity/Intactness: This item is assessed as socially significant by association locally.
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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanBLEP 2010I2806 Aug 10   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Bellingen Heritage Study1991BG0166Perumal Murphy Wu Pty Ltd  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Oral History   
Written  Planning Workshop report

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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1110166

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