"Norton House" | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


"Norton House"

Item details

Name of item: "Norton House"
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 33 Johnston Street, Annandale, NSW 2038
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Leichhardt
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
33 Johnston StreetAnnandaleLeichhardt CumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

No 33 Johnston Street is of local historic and high aesthetic and technological signficance as a good and largely intact late Victorian dwelling constructed during the 1880s that retains distinctive face brick and stone details. The overall form and distinctive features such as the four main chimneys, roof form, polychromatic face brick work on the front façade, street facing gable and faceted bay and associated decorative elements and two storey verandah combine to make a positive contribution to the Johnston Street streetcape.

Note: This inventory sheet is not intended to be a definitive study of the heritage item, therefore information may not be accurate and complete. The information should be regarded as a general guide. Further research is always recommended as part of the preparation of development proposals for heritage items.
Date significance updated: 22 Nov 12
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: Two storey face and rendered brick late Victorian dwelling with gable and hipped main roof clad in slates and four prominent face brick chimneys with brick corbelling and terracotta pots. Another smaller chimney extends above skillion roofed rear wing. The front façade is constructed of constrasting, polychromatic face brickwork (red and sand colour) with decorative details including corner quions. The front façade also features a gable roofed projection with faceted bay with sandstone details and circular vent and decorative fascia to the gable end and two storey vernadah with slighlty bullnosed roof clad in corrugated iron, cast iron decorative posts and decorative lace balustrades, bracketets and valance. The building features timber framed double hung regular and arched windows and timber and glass panelled entry door. The northern façade is constructed of common brick and southern façade, which is constructed on the southern site boundary, is rendered. The building is setback from the Johnston Street frontage which features a wrought iron palisade fence on stone base with stone piers and garden hedge. A central tesselated path extends from the fence to the front verandah. Another brick paved path also extends along the northern boundary. The front garden features two mature trees including a large camphor laurel and low shrubs and plantings.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The house appears to be in sound and very good condition and well maintained. The roots of the large camphor laurel located in the south western corner of the site, (front garden) appear to be affecting the southern portion of the front fence which has a considerable lean.
Date condition updated:12 Apr 10
Modifications and dates: 1979: Alterations (No. 17669).
1981: Alterations and additions to dwelling (No. 19741).
2001: Removal of trees (T/2001/214)
2005: Construction of a double carport at rear of property (D/2005/8)
2011 - Construction of a swimming pool, seating area and landscaping (D/2011/294)
Current use: Residential
Former use: Residential


Historical notes: The site is part of 290 acres which was originally granted in 1799 to Major, later Colonel, George Johnston, a marine officer of the First Fleet. His son Captain Robert Johnston later leased portions and oversaw the first subdivisions, known as North Annandale Estate from 1874. In 1877 John Young, a prominent building contractor in the late 19th century and Mayor of Leichhardt (1879-80 and 1884-86), consolidated 280 acres and transferred it to the Sydney Freehold Land, Building and Investment Company Ltd which he formed in 1878 and which proceeded to subdivide and sell residential allotments over the next 30 years.
Annandale was to be a “model township”. Young created the 100ft wide boulevard along the main ridge, Johnston Street, which was intended to be the finest street in the Colony and encouraged the symmetrical street grid pattern. Land sales were slow, particularly away from the higher ground along Johnston and Annandale Streets so the company was forced to revise lot sizes and smaller lots were subsequently created through re-subdivisions.
It is in this context that the subject building was constructed during the 1880s. A Sydney Water plan dated 1889 and revised in the early 1890s shows the builidng occupying a wide site on eastern side of Johnston Street. The front projection with faceted bay and front verandah is clear. The building is constructed on the southern site boundary with rear wing extending from the south eastern corner of the building and wide setback from the northern site boundary. Hatching at the junction of the two parts of the building indicates that some change was undertaken in the period between the preparation of the plan and the revision. Inspection of the site today indicates that the northern portion of the site was subdivided and developed possibly in the early decades of the 20th century. An Inter-war liver brick bungalow now occupies the subdivided portion (No. 33A).

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)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
No. 33 Johnston Street is of local historic significance as a good and highly intact example of a late Victorian dwelling constructed following the major subdivision in the local area. Changes to the building and subdivision of the site are reflective of changing standards and the ongoing development of the local area.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is of high aesthetic significance due to the nature of the building form and details particularly the distinctive polychromatic face brickwork, faceted bay, verandahs and associated fabric and chimneys. Combined with the garden plantings these make a positive contribution to the Johnston Street streetscape.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The building is a good example of a late Victorian dwelling that incorporates high standard building materials and techniques which provides information on late 19th century practices.
SHR Criteria f)
The building incorporates unusual polychromatic facebrick on the front façade which is not common in the local area.
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.

Recommended management:

It is recommended that: - the existing form and scale of the building and features, including two storey nature and roofscape, chimneys, face brick facades including polychromatic brick façade and details, projecting and faceted bay and street facing gable and associated details, two storey verandah, cast iron decorative features and posts and tesselated tiles, should also be retained and conserved; - the front sandstone and palisade fence and gates should also be retained. The stability of the front fence and impact on the large tree roots should be monitored and investigated if the fence becomes unstable; - surfaces such as the face brick and stone should remain unpainted; - surfaces that have previously been painted such as timber and steelwork should continue to be painted in appropriate colours. It is not necessary to remove the rendered and painted finish from the southern façade. The northern façade should also remain face brick; and - the mature trees in the front yard and rear yard should be maintained and monitored so that they do not impact on the building.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan I3623 Dec 13   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Leichhardt Municipality Heritage Study1990 McDonald McPhee Pty Ltd (Craig Burton, Wendy Thorp)  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenMax Solling and Peter Reynolds1997Leichhardt: On the Margins of the City

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: 1940038

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