Appian Way Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Appian Way Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Appian Way Precinct
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 1-25 & 2A-18 Appian Way, Burwood, NSW 2134
Parish: Concord
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Burwood
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
1-25 & 2A-18 Appian WayBurwoodBurwoodConcordCumberlandPrimary Address
302-318 Burwood RoadBurwoodBurwoodConcordCumberlandDuplicate Address
70-78 Liverpool RoadBurwoodBurwoodConcordCumberlandDuplicate Address

Statement of significance:

A rare Edwardian 'garden city' bungalow precinct with excellent Federation Queen Anne and at least one Federation Arts and Crafts architectural and landscape detail, largely intact streetscape, around an unusual and beautifully landscaped oval, containing a resident-owned recreational and sporting facility.
The design and construction of the estate was based on a vision of suburban utopia of its owner George Hoskins who was instrumental in developing the steel industry in NSW.
The concept for the design was based on 'Garden City' ideas being developed in England and USA at the time, for example, "Riverside" in Chicago by Frederick Law Olmstead and Vaux and "Bedford Park", "Port Sunlight" and "Letchworth" in England designed by Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin springing from the 'Picturesque Landscaping Movement' of the 18th Century in England.
The Appian Way Precinct is of State significance as a representative of an innovative approach to residential development that contains outstanding examples of Edwardian and Federation architecture in a garden setting.
Date significance updated: 13 Dec 01
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: George Hoskins and William Richards
Builder/Maker: William Richards
Construction years: 1903-1909
Physical description: The original Hoskins' Estate dating from the early 1900's consisted of 39 allotments, with 36 houses fronting Burwood Road, Appian Way and Liverpool Road plus a recreation reserve. The properties are large, ranging from a quarter acre to three-quarters of an acre, (0.1ha to 0.3ha) and irregularly shaped.
The Conservation Area currently comprises 41 houses, 31 of which are reasonably intact, a recreation area consisting of three lawn tennis courts with a weatherboard pavilion, and landscape elements such as street trees and picket fences. Five (5) houses (Numbers 70-78 Liverpool Road, southern side) within the Conservation Area are not in the Hoskins Estate but in the Austinlee Estate and three (3) houses of the original estate fronting Liverpool Road are not in the Conservation Area. The houses in the Precinct, are consist of timber verandahs, dark brick, multipitched and gabled roofs and are alternatively covered with marseilles tiles and slates.


Historical notes: In 1903 George Hoskins who was founder of Australian Iron and Steel Industries, purchased 8ha of land at the intersection of Liverpool Road and Burwood Road. He conceived a design for a model suburban estate. The design included large houses on expansive grounds arranged around a centre recreation reserve.
Mr. Hoskins, from 1893, resided in St. Cloud, No.223 Burwood Road, which overlooked the Appian Way.

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. Garden Suburbs-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
It is a personal and individual interpretation of the architectural styles of the early 1900's by George Hoskins and builder/designer William Richards. Suggested early precedents include 1869 Emery Childs' Riverside (1600 acres) and residential suburbs in Chicago Illinois by Frederick Law Olmstead & Calvent Vaux, with informally curved roads, tree lined streets and links to open spaces. Concepts of physical and social qualities. Olmstead referred to 'Happy tranquility'.
The Hoskins Estate was much more modest than Riverside but similarities are clear. Other possible influences could have been the first Garden Suburbs in England at Bedford Park 1876 and in Bournemouth. Elbenezeer Howard published a book "Garden Cities for tomorrow" in 1897 promoting integration of recreational and residential areas. Hoskins inclusion of a recreational area may be an idea taken from the Haberfield Estate development of R.Stanton with its provision of recreational facilities including lawns and a community meeting pavilion.
There was no regulation regarding sub-divisions in New South Wales until 1906. Although William Richards had migrated from England the designs in the Appian Way are said to be based mainly on local Australian Architecture.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
It is associated with George Hoskins who was instrumental in developing the steel industry in New South Wales.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The area is a rare Federation Queen Anne (sometimes referred to as Edwardian Bungalow) precinct of architectural and constructional excellence. It represents an almost intact, complete Federation streetscape (though not strictly in Federation style) and is a unique part of the development of Sydney with exceptionally generous landscaped settings of high quality. The ideas that influenced Richards' design of Hoskins Estate Houses were those of the Federation Queen Anne Style popular from the early 1890's to the start of World War One.
The essential character of the houses of the estate are related to intersecting gabled roofs, verandahs integrated with the house under the same roofline and turned timber verandah posts. Generally the houses are of complex, asymmetrical form, being dominated by extensive verandahs and prominent, irregular rooflines. The verandahs often have a corner emphasis and as the houses are placed on wide allotments, they tend to feature carefully designed and executed side elevations as well as street facades.
The trees and shrubs used in the gardens have changed over the years, but original planting were probably a combination of Australian natives and exotic species. The recreation area was essentially mown and rolled grass courts, but some shrubs were planted around the pavilion. The pavilion itself is of timber and iron roof construction and includes dressing rooms and an open verandah with a bench for participants and spectators to rest or shelter.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
It was the product of the vision and desire of George Hoskins to create an ideal suburban environment. The Conservation Area is rare because of its unuque form, which is centered on a social ideal celebrated in the form of the central recreational area and facility. The estate and its houses provide an insight into both the period of its development and the people who lived in it.
The streetscape was designed 'to suggest and imply leisure contemplativenes and happy tranquility', a character of informal village greens, commons and playgrounds. In the 19th century, leased accommodation was usually at the low end of the market with small houses or terraces. Leasing houses on the Appian Way was unusual, as the houses were large in size and number. Hoskins also, unusually, maintained a continuous involvement in the estate. A recreation reserve was created in the middle of the Appian Way, with subdivison. It was originally a croquet green, lawn bowling green and lawn tennis court, to provide opportunuties for recreation of all ages. In 1909 the area became 3 tennis courts. A registered company was formed in 1913- the Appian Way Recreation Club Limited- with the shares subscribed for by residents of the estate with George Hoskins, a resident, the major shareholder and controller. The Recreation Club leased the area to the Appian Way Tennis Club. In 1929, the Hoskins' Estate Company decided to sell the recreation area. However, a local resident formed a new company and residents suscribed to shares, although today not all shareholders are residents.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The area comprises a very unusual and discrete form of garden suburb incorporating the ideas of the builder and owner, in particular the idea of leasing the houses to maintain control over the area. It is rare because no two allotments are same shape or size, with complex free standing designs quite different from the average urban street.
SHR Criteria f)
Appian Way is a rare example of its type that remains as possibly the finest Federation housing precinct in Sydney.
SHR Criteria g)
It is a represantative of an innovative approach to residential development that contains outstanding examples of Edwardian and Federation architecture in a garden setting.
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 PlanAppian Way Conservation Area001921 Jul 89 844570
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Burwood Heritage study19863.28Fox & Associates Architects/Planners Sydney  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenBurwood Council2001Development Control Plan No.4
WrittenBurwood Municipal Council1975Town Planners Report
WrittenThe register of the National Estate1986Heritage Listing-Computer printout

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: 1250265

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