La008 : Culgoa | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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La008 : Culgoa

Item details

Name of item: La008 : Culgoa
Other name/s: Clifflands
Primary address: 198-204 Leura Mall, Leura, NSW 2780
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
198-204 Leura MallLeuraBlue Mountains   Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Criterion (a): Natural and Cultural History
Culgoa/Clifflands was and is one of the earliest residences in Leura and a fine example of a country retreat. Like Darley at Lilianfels in Katoomba, Sir William Cullen, who was Darley’s successor as Chief Justice of New South Wales, found a mountain summerhouse highly desirable and the quality of the house, although now somewhat compromised, reflects the importance of its early owners.

Criterion (b): Persons
The house is significant because of the distinction of the original owner, Sir William Cullen, politician, Federalist, barrister and Chief Justice of New South Wales, and his wife, Lily White.

Criterion (c): Aesthetic
Culgoa is a fine Federation residence in good condition. It features a fine verandah and joinery, with high quality leadlight in the front doorset and in the rear toplight.
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

Construction years: 1896-1896
Physical description: Culgoa is a single storey residential building with Federation arts and crafts influences. It has a hipped and gabled roof. A feature gable is on the north end of the west elevation (facing Leura Mall). The roof is of corrugated steel and extends over the south and west facing verandahs and the walls are of splayed weatherboards. The gable is half-timbered with roughcast infill.

The verandah is supported on turned timber posts and is terminated by the gabled projections. An unusual feature is the extension of the verandah under the gabled front to create an entry porch.

Culgoa has double hung windows. A narrow cornice passes above the windows in the western gable. The front door has sidelights and a toplight with fine leadlight glazing indicating the name "CULGOA" and the date "1896". The toplight of the rear door also has leadlight glazing featuring a waratah motif.

The house has a rendered chimney.

At the rear of the house are hipped wings, the south wing with a north facing verandah which has been infilled.

A mature cherry tree features on the street boundary of the front garden.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good
Date condition updated:23 Apr 01
Modifications and dates: Gabled garage in rear yard
North rear wing modified
Current use: Medical Rooms
Former use: Residence

History

Historical notes: The substantial block of land extending from what became 188 to 204 Leura Mall was by 1911 owned by Eliza Lady Cullen. Eliza Cullen (known as Lily) was the daughter of R.H.D. White of Tahlee House at Port Stephens, a former bank employee who lived flamboyantly on income inherited (after a lawsuit) from his grandfather’s estate in central Melbourne (ADB VI 389-90).

In 1891 Lily White had married William Cullen (1855-1935), a distinguished graduate of the University of Sydney, a lawyer and mathematician who entered the New South Wales Parliament in the year of his marriage. He was a prominent proponent of Federation and after 1903 practised law as a barrister before the Federal High Court which he had been vigorous in creating. In 1910 Cullen became Chief Justice of New South Wales in succession to Sir Frederick Darley and in the following year he too was knighted. Cullen was also prominent in the affairs of the University of Sydney, where he was a Fellow of Senate from 1896, Vice-Chancellor from 1908 to 1911 and Chancellor from 1914 until 1934 (ADB VIII 167-8).

Soon after their marriage, the Cullens bought lots 3 and 4 of section 11 in the original sub-division of portion 72 at Leura (Rate Books). At the south end of this land the Cullens, in the name of Lily, built an attractive country retreat in 1896 (fanlight), just as the Darleys did at Lilianfels. The Cullens’ house was called Clifflands, with a substantial garden around and vacant land to the north. Lady Cullen sub-divided the northern section into six allotments in 1915, but retained lots 1 and 2, as well as Clifflands itself until 1917, when the house was acquired by Lady Cullen’s relatives, Alfred and Adele White, who lived, like the Cullens, in Mosman and were principals in the Pitt Street firm of A.B.S. White and Co. (Rate Books).

The Whites changed the name of the house to Culgoa and it is presumably they who inserted the leadlight glazing on the front door’s toplight, giving the name Culgoa but the date 1896, which has been rather misleading.

The Cullens returned to Leura to live after Sir William retired from the bench in 1925 and they both died there, Lily in 1930, William in 1935, being buried in Wentworth Falls cemetery (ADB VIII 168). But they did not resume ownership of Culgoa.

The White family retained Culgoa for over thirty years. In the 1930s ownership passed to Beryl and Joyce White, daughters of Alfred and Adele. By 1937 a small garage measuring 3 by 5 metres had been added, but the assessed value of the property had sharply declined, in common with most properties in Leura (Rate Books).

The house became a dental surgery in 1997.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Culgoa/Clifflands was and is one of the earliest residences in Leura and a fine example of a country retreat. Like Darley at Lilianfels in Katoomba, Sir William Cullen, who was Darley’s successor as Chief Justice of New South Wales, found a mountain summerhouse highly desirable and the quality of the house, although now somewhat compromised, reflects the importance of its early owners.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Culgoa is a fine Federation residence in good condition. It features a fine verandah and joinery, with high quality leadlight in the front doorset and in the rear toplight.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
A fine example of a country retreat
Integrity/Intactness: Reasonable
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 PlanLocal Environmental Plan2005LA00807 Oct 05 122 
Heritage study LA008   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blue Mountains Heritage Study1983LA008Croft & Associates Pty Ltd & Meredith Walker  Yes
Heritage Study Review, Blue Mountains1992LA008Tropman and Tropman  Yes
Heritage Review Katoomba Leura2001LA008Jack, Hubert, Morris, LavelleRIJ; PH Yes
Technical Audit BM Heritage Register2008LA008Blue Mountains City CouncilCity Planning Branch No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Leura Rate Books
WrittenJ Atchison1976White, Robert Hoddle Driberg (1838-1900) in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume VI
WrittenJ M Bennett1981Cullen, Sir William Portus (1855-1935) in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol VIII
WrittenJohn Sands1912Sydney and Country Directory

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: 1170451


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