Blacktown Primary School (former) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Blacktown Primary School (former)

Item details

Name of item: Blacktown Primary School (former)
Other name/s: BlacktownHeritage Centre
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Education
Category: School - State (public)
Primary address: Flushcombe Road, Blacktown, NSW 2148
Parish: Prospect
Local govt. area: Blacktown
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Flushcombe RoadBlacktownBlacktownProspect Primary Address

Statement of significance:

One of the earliest surviving buildings in Blacktown and the oldest remaining building in the Blacktown Central Business District, it is the only remaining portion of the school. The school remains in a prominent location in the Blacktown Civic Square and is a rare remaining example of Blacktown’s original civic buildings of the 19th Century. The School is a high quality example of the federation gothic style of George A Mansfeild, a prominent 19th century Architect.
Date significance updated: 27 Jun 19
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.


Designer/Maker: G A Mansfield
Builder/Maker: John Johnson
Construction years: 1876-1877
Physical description: The Public School building is a small portion of the former Public School site. The original school building and its additions are the only remaining element of the former larger school site. The building is a single storey brick building with two gables on the northern side. The building displays simple Victorian features such as a finial on one gable, sandstone dressed blocks and brick archives over the windows. (Edds: 2005)
The building is a typical example of the federation gothic style of George A Mansfield, a significant Government Architect of the 19th Century.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Restoration works were undertaken in early 2006, bringing back many original elements of the building through repair and replacement where necessary. (Edds: 2005)
Date condition updated:28 Feb 06
Modifications and dates: The 2006 development of the Civic Plaza caused the removal of the remaining playground area, including tree, asphalt and any other remnant surrounds. (Edds:2005)
Further information: The building is now an important heritage feature within the Blacktown CBD.
Current use: exhibition space and tourism information facility
Former use: Public school


Historical notes: The school and separate teacher's residence was designed by George Allen Mansfield, architect to the Council of Education, and constructed by John Johnsone for 897 pounds. The memorandum of agreement to construct the school and residence was signed on 1/8/1876. The building consisted of a single storey rectangular room 31.6ft x 16ft with 12 feet high ceilings. A single, centrally placed fireplace along the entrance wall provided heating to the classroom whilst cast iron galvanised vents within the wall provided ventilation. A gallery was located at the southern end of the school room with a tiered floor providing seating. The other 2/3 of the school room also had a tiered floor which provided three rows of tiered desks. The only entrance was through a small attached brick porch which had a timber framed lean-to with two wash basins. The roof was clad with shingles. Decorative barge boards and finials completed the Victorian detailing of the school. The school teachers residence was located west of the school room, at the rear of the site. The playground was located between the two, incorporating detached water closets and a watertank. Construction of the school did not actually commence until early 1877 as the purchase of the school grounds was not finalised until this date. They were reported, complete in September 1877. In 1881 the district inspector GH Murray recommended construction of a second classroom and a weathershed after a report by school teacher John Mills that there were some structural problems with the existing classroom. Construction took place in 1883, necessitating the removal of the tiered gallery in the original classroom to make way for further desks. A tiered gallery was built in the new classroom. Despite various works from this time, a 1904 schools architect report found the school poorly lit and ventilated and too small, so he recommended an extension of the school. This extension was approved and was constructed in an Edwardian style c1905. In 1915 a new, separate classroom building was constructed. By c1929 there were three separate classrooms. The school continued to develop, with more brick classrooms and other facilities added during the 20th century. The school was closed in 1990.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 Settlement in the 19th Century-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The school is the first public school building in Blacktown City and associated with the provision of education in the early residential development of Blacktown during the late 19th century and for continuing contribution throughout the 20th century. (Edds:2005)
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site has an association with GA Mansfield, Architect and John Johnson, builder. (Edds:2005)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The school is an example of GA mansfield's Victorian Gothic style of public school; (Edds:2005)
The school has a new prominent setting within the Blacktown Civic Square.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The social significance of the school is reinforced by the community fight to save the building after the school closed in 1990. (Edds: 2005)
SHR Criteria f)
The School is a rare remaining civic building from the original 19th Century Blacktown CBD that developed after the railway line came through to Blacktown.
SHR Criteria g)
The former school provides a good example of standardised school buildings of the late 19th and early 20th century. Comparative examples may be found in Sydney and elsewhere in NSW. (Edds:2005)
Integrity/Intactness: good - high - restored
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 PlanAmend No 143 12 Apr 02 722262
Local Environmental PlanBlacktown Local Environmental Plan 2015I1007 Jul 15 430 

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blacktown Heritage Study1988 Jonathan Falk Planning Consultants in association with Rodney Jensen and Assoc.s  No
In House Heritage Items Review2009 Margaret Fallon  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenGraham Edds & Associates2005Blacktown Public School Mini Conservation Management Plan

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: 1140006

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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