House | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: House
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 41 Booth Street, Balmain, NSW 2041
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Leichhardt
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
41 Booth StreetBalmainLeichhardt CumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

No. 41 Booth Street is of local historic and aesthetic significance an example of a Victorian period semi-detached dwelling probably constructed between the 1860s and 1880s. Despite some alterations and additions, the building significantly retains a sense of its earlier form and fabric including stone facades, gabled roof and simple pattern of openings. The building is enhanced by a garden setting and fence and with No. 39 Booth Street makes a positive contribution to the Booth Street streetscape.

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.
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 stone, semi-detached dwelling with gable roof clad in corrugated steel with stone chimney and decorative timber barge board to the front gable end. The narrow front façade has an open verandah with curved roof clad in translucent sheeting and supported on simple timber. The façade also has a timber and glass panelled door and four paned timber framed windows on the ground floor and a pair of French doors to the first floor. The building has long narrow footprint. A lightweight skillion roofed awning has been attached to the south western façade. A brick and timber two storey additions has been added to the rear. The building is setback from the street frontage which has a high timber picket gate and fence on stone base with stone piers with garden area including a large gum tree between. The building abuts its neighbour to the north (No. 39) with large setback from the southern site boundary. A brick paved driveway extends from the street to the awning/ car port structure.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
In very good condition. Some ivy is growing on the stone walls at the south western corner of the building.
Modifications and dates: 1970: Rebuild bathroom/ laundry. Erect living room and dining room (9771).
1977: Renovations (39/41, 15708).
1987: Alterations and additions (39/41, 87/130).
Further information: Holes in the stonework suggest a balcony or railing existed in the upper front façade. Windows appear to have been relaced and vents have been added in the wall at first floor level.
Current use: Residential
Former use: Residential


Historical notes: Surgeon William Balmain was granted 550 acres and most of the area now encompassing Balmain in 1800. In 1801 the entire grant was transferred to fellow surgeon John Gilchrist. Gilchrist never actually lived in NSW and advertised the land for sale in 1823. However, the sale was not a success. He gave power of attorney to his Sydney-based agent and merchant, Frank Parbury, who commissioned Surveyor John Armstrong to subdivide part of the land. In 1836 22, 2-4 acres lots mostly about Balmain East were auctioned for sale by Parbury on behalf of the absentee landowner, Gilchrist.
The early sales proceeded however, further subdivision was suspended in 1841 due to difficulties associated with Gilchrist’s will, but was resumed in 1852 when Surveyor Langley divided the remaining land into 46 and later 47 sections. Langley used existing routes such as Darling Street and other tracks such as Beattie and Mullens Streets, which followed the local topography and contours, to delineate the parcels. The sections were purchased over the next 30 years by wealthy investors, local speculators and builders.
The site is part of Section 5 of the 1852 subdivision. In 1860 Balmain architect James McDonald was appointed town clerk and over the next eight years constructed a number of major streets in the area including Palmer Street. It is assumed that the subdivision, including formation of Little Stephen Street and surrounding development occurred from this time.
It is not clear when the house was constructed, however, a Sydney Water plan of the area (Balmain Sheet No. 32) dated 1888 and revised in the 1890s shows the building had been constructed by this time. The building is set well back from the Booth Street frontage with verandah extending across the front facade. It occupies a large site with wide frontage to Booth Street, however, is constructed to the northern site boundary and abuts a larger, but similar structure with same setback from Booth Street and verandah across the front façade. What appears to be a stair or wall extends from the street frontage to the south eastern corner of the building. A division or fence line extends across the site at the rear of the building and separates it from several detached structures located to the west of the building.
Since that time it would appear that alterations and modifications of the rear of the building have also been undertaken. The site continues to feature wide frontage with a number of trees occupying the wide setback from the southern site boundary.

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. Growth of Balmain-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site and building is of local historic significance as part of an early subdivision and Victorian period of development in the local area probably initially constructed between the 1860s and 1880s.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is of local aesthetic significance as an example of a Victorian period stone semi-detached dwelling constructed prior to the late 1880s. Despite some alterations and additions, the building significantly retains a sense of its earlier form and fabric including stone facades, gabled roof and simple pattern of openings. The building is enhanced by a garden setting and fence and with No. 39 Booth Street makes a positive contribution to the Booth Street streetscape.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The stone facades are of some technological significance and probably constructed of stone quarried in the local area.
SHR Criteria g)
The building is a representative example of a Victorian period stone semi-detached dwelling constructed prior to the late 1880s.
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 scale, character and details of the building including face stone facades, gabled roof forms and simple pattern of openings should be retained and conserved; - no new openings should be made to the stone facades; - the face stone should remain face stone and not be painted; - any further additions should be restricted to the rear of the building and should not detract from the earlier character of the building or its relationship to No. 39; - the mature trees and planting including large gum in the front yard should be retained and maintained to prevent any damage from leaves and branches to the building fabric.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan I14123 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: 1940149

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