Bh157 : Residences Group Listing, Former | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Bh157 : Residences Group Listing, Former

Item details

Name of item: Bh157 : Residences Group Listing, Former
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Other - Residential Buildings (private)
Primary address: 40-68 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath, NSW 2785
Parish: Blackheath
County: Cook
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
40-68 Govetts Leap RoadBlackheathBlue Mountains BlackheathCookPrimary Address
Wentworth StreetBlackheathBlue Mountains   Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

40 to 68 Govetts Leap Road as a group are an important component of the townscape in this part of Blackheath. All are similarly scaled and detailed Federation era style domestic buildings that were built within a relatively close span of time in the early twentieth century. Several are also associated with prominent local citizens. 52 Govetts Leap Road has significance because of its associations with prominent and influential local merchants Peter Sutton and Charley Wadson and their families, and with the short lived Oakdene Grammar School, while "Glenella" has strong associations with the locally prominent Phillips family, who built it and then managed the building as a guest house for many years.
Date significance updated: 12 Apr 02
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.


Physical description: The group comprising 40-68 Govetts Leap Road includes: No. 40 (Cascade Antiques); No. 52; No. 56-60 ("Glenella"); No. 64.

40 Govetts Leap Road is a large single storey building that is residential in scale. It has a prominent hipped roof covered with tiles that assumes a broken backed configuration as it extends over the verandah on the southern and western sides of the building. The roof is punctuated by several painted brick chimneys with corbelled tops. The verandah roof is supported off timber posts with decorative capitals. The floor of the verandah is timber, and a handrail with a simple timber balustrade encloses much of the structure; the south eastern corner and part of the western side of the verandah have been enclosed. The walls of the house are lined with relatively deep rusticated timber weatherboards. Windows generally consist of simple timber framed casement sashes with multi-paned highlights above. However, the building has been subjected to modification. The roof tiles are not original. The south eastern portion and part of the western side of the verandah have been enclosed. Early or original window sashes have been modified or replaced. That part of the building that extends towards Wentworth Street on its western side appears to be a later addition. Early verandah joinery such as brackets and possibly valances have been removed. The property is partially enclosed by a low and substantial brick fence along the Govetts Leap Road and part of the Wentworth Street boundaries.

52 Govetts Leap Road is a substantial single storey Federation era bungalow. It has a hipped roof that has a broken backed configuration over the verandah on the southern (front) side of the building and is gabled over the projecting room at the western end of the southern side. The walls are lined externally with rusticated timber weather boards, while the gable is embellished by wide timber battens. The roof is covered with corrugated iron which is relatively recent. Four sets of doors open onto the verandah, including a glazed and panelled door, a solid four panelled door and two pairs of french doors. The verandah roof is supported of solid timber posts and a length of timber balustrading has been introduced in the recent past. Windows are generally double hung timber framed sashes, except the two windows in the projecting room at the front of the house, which appear to have been modified into fixed single pane sashes with decorative glazed panels over. These are shaded by a bracketted canopy. The building is in good condition, but has been modified to some extent in the recent past.

56-60 Govetts Leap Road, "Glenella", is a large, predominantly single storey building that demonstrates some of the characteristics of the Federation Queen Anne style. The building has a hipped roof, apart from the wing that projects from the western end of its front, which has a gabled roof. The roof is covered with corrugated iron and walls are lined with rusticated timber weatherboards. A verandah with a bullnosed corrugated iron roof painted in contrasting bands of colour runs across the full length of the southern side of the building. The verandah roof is supported off turned timber posts, and has a turned timber valance running beneath the beam supporting the roof. Window joinery is of timber. The canopy over the front gate replaces or is a modification of an earlier pergola. Timber verandah brackets have been removed.

64 Govetts Leap Road is a single storey cottage with a hipped roof covered with corrugated iron and brick walls. The wall of the southern side of the building, facing Govetts Leap Road, has been faced with cement render that has been coursed to resemble stone, while the walls along the sides are of face or common brick with a plinth of cement render; external walls have been painted. A rendered chimney with decorative mouldings at its top penetrates the roof on the eastern side of the house. A verandah with a bullnosed profile roof runs across the front of the house. Its ends have been enclosed with timber partitions that contain small panels of differently coloured glass; turned timber posts, brackets and valance panel appear to be original, or if a later reconstruction are appropriately detailed. Windows are generally timber framed, with double hung sashes.
Current use: Residential, commercial
Former use: Residential, boarding house, commercial


Historical notes: The site of 40 Govetts Leap Road (Cascade Antiques) is formed from the amalgamation of part of Lot 1 and part of Lot 2 of Section 2 of the subdivision of Gardner's grant (Deposited Plan 2904). On 18 December 1906 Alfred Neate, a railway inspector from Redfern and one of the children of Charles Edwin Neate (brother of John George Neate) became the registered proprietor of Lot 1 of Section 2 of the subdivision of Gardner's grant (LTO 1745-10). Charles Neate sold, or at least transferred the title to part of the land to his uncle's wife, Mary Neate and sold the other part to Dr Rodon Tregarthen Michell in May 1919 (LTO 2043-57). Michell was to become an alderman on the first Blackheath Council in 1920 and president of the Blackheath branch of the Red Cross in 1925 before moving to Chatswood a year or so later. On 7 January 1907 Elizabeth Annie Tassie Neate, the wife of John Neate junior, became the registered proprietor of the adoining Lot 2 Section 2 (1747-130), and in November 1919 she sold part of the land to Dr Michell. He mortgaged his land to Alfred Neate on 10 June 1919, then in November 1927 sold it to Sydney James Woolnough, a medical practitioner of Blackheath. Woolnough mortgaged the property in November 1927 to Michell, now residing in Chatswood, and again in August 1929 to William Waitt, a Sydney merchant. In September 1930 Woolnough leased the house to Russell William Richards, a medical practitioner living in Blackheath. The following November he mortgaged the property to William Waitt again, and after discharging the mortgage in September 1939 immediately took out another one with Waitt. In 1946 Woolnough sold the property to Walter and Wertley Snelling. Walter Snelling was a local carpenter who was very active in the local community. He was the captain of the Blackheath football team in the mid 1920s, served on the local fire brigade for many years and was its captain at one stage, and was a member of Lodge Blackheath, where he was Master in 1936 (Yeaman). The transfer of title took place on 9 August 1946. After Walter Snelling died around 1973 the property passed into the possession of his widow. (LTO 3017-244)

In 1905 the site of 52 Govetts Leap Road was acquired by widow Elizabeth Waring, who lived in Annandale, when she purchased Lot 4 Section 2 DP 2904 from Thomas Bloodworth. The land became legally hers on 5 November 1905. In July 1909 she sold the land to Linda Payne Price, who was the wife of Ron James Payne Price (described as a gentleman of Blackheath) and who mortgaged it back to Elizabeth Waring. Evidently a dwelling was erected on the land, for in April 1910 it was leased to sisters Gertrude and Mabel Barnes, who already lived in Blackheath. The house became known as "Oakdene". Three years later, in March 1913, Linda Payne Price sold the property to Ethel Neate, the wife of estate agent Herbert Neate. Ethel Neate owned it for about ten years before selling it to local storekeeper Peter Sutton, in December 1923. (LTO 1648-131). Peter Sutton (1891-1970) was born in Redfern. In 1910 his family moved to Blackheath on account of the ill health of one of his brothers, and he established a newsagency near the Post Office. Sutton was an alderman on the Blackheath Municipal Council between 1923 and 1926, between 1932 and 1935, then from1938 until its amalgamation with the City of Blue Mountains in October 1947. He played an important part in the construction of the swimming pool in Blackheath Memorial Park and the establishment of the Blackheath Bowling Club during the 1930s (Historic Blackheath). Sutton and his family lived in "Oakdene" for about ten years, then between 1933 and 1936 it became the home of the Oakdene Grammar School.
"Oakdene" was sold to Charley Arthur Wadson by Donald Hughes Watley, Sutton's mortgagee who held the power of sale, in January 1940 (LTO 1648-131). Charley Wadson (1905-1972) was born in Perth and went to Blackheath in 1912 when his mother established the Moray Private Hospital. He trained as a carpenter and joiner and traded as a building contractor between 1928 and 1932. He returned to the Blue Mountains during the depression and, because there was no opportunity for building work at the time established a mercery business in February 1932 in Govetts Leap Road. After marrying Millicent Warren on 10 July 1937, the couple moved to Blackheath and took up residence above Moran and Cato’s shop on the corner of Wentworth Street and Govetts Leap Road. Wadson was the local Scoutmaster during the 1920s and early 1930s, an alderman on the Blackheath Council between 1941 and 1944, and served on the Blackheath Volunteer Fire Brigade between 1933 and 1944. Wadson amalgamated the land on which "Oakdene" stood and the adjoining allotment (Lots 4-5 Section 2 Deposited Plan 2904) onto one title (5738-226) and took out a succession of mortgages over the property with the Blue Mountains Starr Bowkett Building Co-operative Society - Wadson took an active part in the Society from the early 1930s onwards and was chairman of its Board of Directors for a number of years. As well, his wife Millicent was the local agent for the Society. After Charley Wadson died in 1972 "Oakdene" was inherited by two of his daughters, Lynette Wadson of Narwee and Fay Smith of Blaxland. Millicent Wadson moved into "Oakdene" and lived there until 1980. (Blue Mountains Gazette, 7 October 1992; LTO 5738-2266; Yeaman).

The land that comprises the site of "Glenella" is formed out of three allotments of the second section of the subdivision of Andrew Gardiner'searly land grant, identified as Lots 6, 7 and 8. The three allotments were all acquired by George Phillips, although not at the same time. George Phillips, a South Australian who was a carpenter by trade, moved to Blackheath with his family at the beginning of the twentieth century on account of the delicate health of one of his children. He purchased the first of the three allotments, Lot 6, in May 1905 from Thomas Bloodworth, then the following September mortgaged it to Aaron Cohen of Katoomba. He probably built the house known as "Glenella" at this time. In December 1907 Phillips purchased the block of land to the east, Lot 7, from Joseph Jackson, who had acquired a large number of allotments from Thomas Bloodworth at the end of 1905. In July 1913 Phillips mortgaged his property to Anthony Chamier, then in December 1913 took out another mortgage, this time with Phyllis Chamier (LTO 1608-80 and 1654-173). The house was extended by 1915 and became a guest house, managed by Mrs Elizabeth Phillips and her five daughters. In 1917 a two storey section was added, thus allowing the establishment to accommodate 60 guests. George Phillips also acquired the block of land to the east of "Glenella", identified as Lot 8. This had been sold by Joseph Jackson to Emilie Louisa Wearne, the wife of Joseph Wearne of Petersham in January 1906. She mortgaged the land to Edward Littley of Sydney in November 1905 and built a small single storey cottage. In March 1916 Mrs Wearne sold it to Albert Henry Crossley, a labourer of Blackheath, who sold it in turn to George Phillips in July 1923. Although the property remained in the possession of the Phillips family for many years, in October 1939 George Phillips transferred its title to Glenella Pty Limited. George Phillips and his wife both died in 1948, but for many years the guesthouse was run by their daughter Leila and then by one of their daughters-in-law, Laurel. In 1973 "Glenella" passed out of the possession of the Phillips family when it was sold. It was purchased by Michael and Monique Manners during the early part of 1980s and at this time its reputation for fine dining was established (Silvey, p.37).

The site of 64 Govetts Leap Road is part of the large amount of land acquired by Joseph Jackson after the subdivision of Andrew Gardner's land grant. In the course of the sale of his land, in February 1908 Jackson sold an allotment to Ann Halliday, the wife of plasterer John Halliday. At that time the couple lived in Petersham and may have built the cottage that stands on the site for recreational purposes (LTO 1859-158). In December 1930 Mrs Halliday sold the property to Thomas Wooffindin from Hurstville, and in May 1939 Wooffindin sold it to Alice Ann Macnaught, the wife of William Macnaught, from Sydney. About five years later, in August 1944, Alice Macnaught sold the house and land to Stanley Bernard Walsh, a smallgoodsman from Forest Lodge. Less than two years later the property was sold again, this time to Joyce Finley and Mary McEwen, who was the daughter of Ivy Coogan, licensee of Gardiners Inn between 1935 and 1943 and married to John McEwen, who was the hotel's licensee between 1943 and 1946 (Bates, p.85). In February 1950 the women sold it to Henry Collier, one of the prominent Collier family. Henry Collier owned the property for about twenty eight years, until 1978, when it was sold to Terence and Diana Kenny, from North Sydney. In 1984 the Kennys sold it to Michael and Monique Manners, who purchased "Glenella" next door at the same period of time. The Manners' in turn sold it Alexander and Margaret Petunis in 1988 (LTO 1859-158)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. (none)-
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]
Refer to individual listings
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Refer to individual listings
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Refer to individual listings
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Refer to individual listings
SHR Criteria f)
Refer to individual listings
SHR Criteria g)
Refer to individual listings
Integrity/Intactness: Refer to individual listings
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 PlanLEP2005BH15707 Oct 05 122 
Heritage study BH157   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Technical Audit BM Heritage Register2008BH157Blue Mountains City CouncilCity Planning Branch No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenRefer to individual listings  

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: 1172009

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