Dulcidene Homestead | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Dulcidene Homestead

Item details

Name of item: Dulcidene Homestead
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 22L Dulcidene Road, Dubbo, NSW 2830
Parish: Coolbaggie
County: Lincoln
Local govt. area: Dubbo
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
22L Dulcidene RoadDubboDubboCoolbaggieLincolnPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

A most impressive and stylish Edwardian house, with connections to an early and important Rawsonville community family, the Clarkes.
Date significance updated: 13 Feb 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.


Designer/Maker: Les Clarke
Builder/Maker: Les Clarke
Construction years: 1908-1912
Physical description: Architect designed this grand Federation period house, features multi gabled roof with a central lookout and clerestory. The roofs are capped on the ridges with ceramic tiles, but the main cladding is now 'decramastic' metal formed roof tiles. A side garden house retains some of the original diamond pattern asbestos type roof tiles, which also appear on the walls of the central lookout. The house is timber framed and clad in weatherboards, and much of the original verandah is now enclosed with fibro sheeting below handrail height and aluminium windows above.
Internally the house is exceptional with decorative and elaborate fretwork in the hall, wainscotting panels in the lounge room, many etched and glazed door and similar screws. Very detailed pressed metal ceilings with similar ceiling roses and cornices.
There are many materials in the house such as etched glass, very ornate timber valance in hallway, and carved doors that are believed to have been relocated from an earlier 'Marcus Clarke' building in Collins Street Melbourne. The initials MC are featured.
The central lookout is approached via a winding staircase and attic rooms. Beneath the house is a cellar and a large in-ground water tank (perhaps dating from a latter period). The lower section of the house forms a latter period). The lower section of the house below floor level is clad in pressed metal pseudo ashlar blocks.
To the rear a smaller cottage, which perhaps once formed the servants quarters and kitchen, is also timber framed and weatherboard clad.
A side garden includes a structure that may have formed a garden house or folly. It is clad in pressed metal pseudo stone to 900mm with lattice above and f.c. sheet behind. The f.c. may have been a latter infill.
Date condition updated:13 Feb 02
Current use: Residence
Former use: Residence


Historical notes: The original owner who built this house was Les Clarke, a son of Marcus Clarke, a man of considerable retail fame, reputed to be a descendant of the King of England. While Marcus Clarke (1846-1881) died very young at the age of only 35, he became famous for his written serialization :‘For the Term of his Natural Life', which he began when he was only 24 years of age, and which depicted convict life in Austraila.The house ‘Dulcidene’ was built in 1910 by Les Clarke, who named the house after his wife Dulcher (Dulci) Dene shortened to Dulcidene. Dulcher was originally from Launceston.
In the house there are a number of items; timber doorways and figured glazing with the initial MC that were relocated from the former Clarke house at Dulwich Hill called 'Sefton Hall’ and formerly from a Marcus Clarke house in Melbourne. 'Sefton Hall’ was named after the village that the Marcus Clarke had come from: Sefton near Liverpool. When ‘Sefton Hall’ homestead was demolished, Les Clarke relocated the fittings to Dulcidene. Another 'Sefton Hall' was also built as a summer residence by Les Clarke at Mt.Wilson, in the Blue Mountains.

Les and Dulcha’s daughter (now Mrs Noel McClean ) was born in 1925 and lived at Dulcidene until it was sold to Dick Croaker and his wife. Mrs Noel McClean never imagined that she would leave the house and it was especially dear to her during the war years.Mrs McClean went to school at Rawsonville, riding her pony the 5 miles to school each day.
Two special features of the house are the clerestory 'tower' that was originally not enclosed, with glass and the garden house that served as an office for Mr.Les Clarke. The internal fittings and timber work were noted in the sale contract as being allowed by the Clarkes to be relocated to a new home, but this did not eventuate. The Clarkes took great pride in the house and in its integrity.
The verandahs were enclosed, and other alterations made generally during the Croaker family period in the 1950s.
When the Croaker family first bought the homestead from the Clarkes, (sometime between 1949 and 1954) it was on a 2000 acre holding. This was sold in 1959 to the Goldsmith family, but the Croaker family rebought the home 7 years later, and then added on 1000 acres. It was later re-sold at auction on 20th February 1981 by H.L.Milling and Sons of Dubbo to the present owners, whose son and daughter-in-law now reside there.
The Clarke family were well known and respected citizens in the Rawsonville community. In the Rawsonville Hall today an interpretive sign on the wall reads ‘sixty eight years ago in July 1929 the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall at Rawsonville was opened by Mr Leslie Clarke, Patron of the Dubbo Branch of the R.S. and S.I.LA. (Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use (none)-

Recommended management:

1. The Heritage Advisor through the local Council can provide more details and assistance to owners when required on any of these matters. 2. Re-construction of original elements that are missing, hidden or inappropriately altered.(Recovery of significance), is to be encouraged. 3. Maintenance strategy e.g. developing a list of regular maintenance checks that should be carried out to maintain the building fabric and its setting.4. Investigate for state government funding assistance for any of the above recommendations and for possible Conservation Management Plan.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanDulcidene1530 Mar 98 56 
Heritage studyDulcidene 06 Feb 86   
Heritage studyDulcidene Homestead15/152048522 Nov 01   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Dubbo Rural Heritage Review200115/1520485B.J. Hickson in assoc with Terry KassB.J Hickson No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenB.J. Hickson2001site visit 22/11/2001.
Oral HistoryInterview with Mrs. Noel McClean, (nee Clarke)2001Dulcidene
WrittenPerumal, Wrathall and Murphy Pty Ltd in association with Cameron McNamara.1987Dubbo Heritage Study : Specialist Reports Volume.
WrittenWestern Magazine Feb 9th 19811981Dulcidene

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: 1520485

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