Bh098 : Shipley Tea Rooms | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Bh098 : Shipley Tea Rooms

Item details

Name of item: Bh098 : Shipley Tea Rooms
Primary address: 166-168 Shipley Road, Blackheath, NSW 2785
Parish: Kanimbla
County: Cook
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
166-168 Shipley RoadBlackheathBlue Mountains KanimblaCookPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

Criterion (a) Historical
The Tea Rooms were an important element in the development of tourism in the Shipley, Mount Blackheath and Megalong area in the 1930s.

Criterion (c) Aesthetic
The location of the former Shipley Tea Rooms is a significant element in the local streetscape.
Date significance updated: 21 Oct 04
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.


Builder/Maker: Eric Longton
Construction years: 1935-1935
Physical description: The former Shipley Tea Rooms is a large building with a simple rectangular plan set close to Shipley Road. Located near the junction of Shipley Road and Kanimbla Valley Road it is sited to be clearly visible to passing traffic.

The building has a hipped roof of corrugated steel and a verandah on the front. The walls are clad with rusticated weatherboard and the verandah ceilings are lined with battened fibro. Multipane sliding sashes provide a screen at the north end of the verandah and 4 over 1 pane double hung sashes screen the south end.

The sub-floor of the former tea rooms has been enclosed.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:21 Oct 04
Current use: Gallery
Former use: Tea Rooms


Historical notes: The Shipley Tea Rooms were constructed about 1935 by Eric Longton. Eric was the eldest son of Robert Longton, who had been one of the first settlers in the Shipley area in 1892. The original Longton home was Chellowdene, which still survives 300 metres north-east of the Tea Rooms. Robert Longton had been a textile worker before he settled in the Mountains, where he became an orchardist. Robert died in 1932 at the age of 74, leaving a widow, five children, two sons and three daughters. Eric was the eldest son and he trained as a builder, but acquired land of his own in Shipley. (Historic Blackheath, 124, 136 )

The incentive for opening a tea-room was the increase of tourism in the 1930s, when cars and buses were seeking out Hargraves Lookout and Mount Blackheath Lookout, making Shipley Road much more frequented. The Tea Rooms were strategically sited at the intersection of the roads leading to the two lookouts. Soon after the Shipley Tea Rooms opened, the decision to build Kanimbla Valley Road (BH 119) as Unemployment Relief brought gangs to the neighbourhood until the outbreak of war in 1939. So Devonshire teas at Eric Longtonā€™s were popular and the tea room thrived. (Historic Blackheath, 96, 136-8) In quite recent times, however, it has closed as a refreshment room and is now occupied by an art gallery.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Tea Rooms were an important element in the development of tourism in the Shipley, Mount Blackheath and Megalong area in the 1930s.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The location of the former Shipley Tea Rooms is a significant element in the local streetscape.
Integrity/Intactness: High
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 PlanLEP1991BH09827 Dec 91 183 
Heritage study BH098   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blue Mountains Heritage Study1983BH098Croft & Associates Pty Ltd & Meredith Walker  Yes
Heritage Study Review, Blue Mountains1992BH098Tropman and Tropman  Yes
Blue Mountains Heritage Review2003BH098Jack, Hubert, Lavelle, MorrisRIJ, PH, CM Yes
Technical Audit BM Heritage Register2008BH098Blue Mountains City CouncilCity Planning Branch No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenRotary Club of Blackheath1976Historic Blackheath

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

(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: 1170665

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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.