Dwelling | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Dwelling
Other name/s: The Rosary
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 41 Bacon Street, Grafton, NSW 2460
Local govt. area: Clarence Valley


The property boundary.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
41 Bacon StreetGraftonClarence Valley  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The Rosary is an architecturally significant building demonstrating the early use (1905) of fibro in Australia. The house is well known and the Power House Museum has used it as an example to demonstrate this particularly building style. It appeared in the Grafton and Clarence River District Booklet (1931) as one of Grafton's fine homes. Historically it is associated with the Hockey family and more recently the Melenhorst family. It may be of state significance. It is located within the Grafton Heritage Conservation Area.
Date significance updated: 13 Jul 15
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: Mr Archer
Builder/Maker: Strauss Brothers
Physical description: Federation style single storey bungalow having fibro diamond shingle roof tiles (to imitate slate) with projecting gables to the front, one over the front bay window and the other over the verandah. The verandah has cast iron decoration and is supported by timber posts. The house is clad both inside and out with Italian fibro. This form of construction is extremely rare. The fibro is apparently held in place with bird's wire reinforcement. Brick chimney intact. Terracotta decorations to roof. Recent brick and iron fence. Significant garden with roses. The house has been used as an example of this form of construction by the Power House Museum.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Well maintained
Date condition updated:03 Apr 05
Modifications and dates: 1980 additions to the rear and construction of a swimming pool undertaken by new owners
Further information: Picture appears of the house c1931 in the Grafton & Clarence River District booklet.
Current use: Residence and B & B
Former use: Residence


Historical notes: The Rosary was built for Mr George E. Hockey one of the local shoe store brothers and son of Mr Edmund Hockey an early settler in Grafton who established the boot making business and associated retailing shops. Edmund was particularly community minded and was a member of Grafton City Council, member of the Masonic Lodge, committee member of the School of Arts and member of the Clarence Pastoral and Agricultural Society. George was an avid rose grower and the house was surrounded by hundreds of roses which he would give to young brides. He opened the garden twice a year to the public and according to John Melenhorst, that's how the property got the name The Rosary (J. Melenhorst, 2005). At some stage the house was sold and divided into three flats.

From 1970 - 1979 it was owned by Ken Priest. It was then purchased by the local Master Builder John Melenhorst and his wife Marion. John, who specialises in restoring heritage buildings, returned the building to a single residence and added to the rear. In 2004 it was used as a Bed & Breakfast establishment.

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)-
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]
This house is historically significant for its association with the Grafton businessman George Hockey, who ran a shoe shop in Grafton at the turn of the century.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The house is associated with the Hockey family.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The use of fibro in early housing is of technical significance and has been acknowledged in promotional booklets as one of Grafton's fine homes.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
This dwelling has research potential and may reveal information about the construction of early fibro buildings.
SHR Criteria f)
An extremely rare example of an early fibro house, using imported Italian fibro.
Integrity/Intactness: Largely Intact
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.

Recommended management:

Listed on LEP


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  10 Jun 11 2011-272 
Local Environmental PlanClarence Valley Local Environmental Plan 2011I47423 Dec 11 2011-701 
Within a conservation area on an LEP  10 Jun 11   
Within a conservation area on an LEPClarence Valley Local Environmental Plan 2011C323 Dec 11 2011-701 
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Grafton Community Heritage Study2004 J. Gardiner  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnon1931Grafton & Clarence River Districk booklet
WrittenLesley Apps2002Divine Resurrection

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: 1640230

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.

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