Terrace | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Terrace
Other name/s: Mealeys Pawnbrokers terrace
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Terrace
Primary address: 5 Queens Place, Balmain, NSW 2041
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Leichhardt
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
5 Queens PlaceBalmainLeichhardt CumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

No. 5 Queens Place is of local historic, aesthetic, social and technical significance as a good and representative example of a sandstone terrace constructed in the late1850s to early 60s. The building significantly retains its front verandah and facade. The building is rare in the local area and together with Nos. 7 and 9 forms a unique and fine group of simple early buildings in a compact urban setting and is an excellent example of one of the earliest speculative developments in Balmain.

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: 27 Jun 11
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: Three storey stone Victorian Georgian style house with a below street level basement , an upper ground floor about 500mm above Queens Place and a first floor with raked ceilings partly within the gable ended roof clad in corrugated steel with stone chimney and no eaves. Constructed to the Queens Place frontage the ground floor has a wide sloping corrugated steel skillion awning/verandah roof supported on square timber posts with decorative timber fretwork extending out over the footpath to the kerb line.

Walls are built of pale sandstone with timber frame floors except at lower groungd level, which is a concrete slab on the ground. No. 5 adjoins No. 7 and 9 and form a row. The houses are set back about one metre extending the width of the footpath.

The ground floor façade is almost symmetrical with a central wide timber panelled front door with highlight over with large 12 paned timber framed double hung windows with timber shutters on either side. The first floor level has three smaller 9 paned timber framed double hung windows that align with the ground floor openings. The windows appear smaller due to the lower ceiling level. They have been replaced with casement windows.

The eastern façade end wall has stone toothed corner courses suggesting possible intentions to extend the row beyond three. The boundary wall is adjacent to townhouses on the adjoining lot which have been built in the last 20 years.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good condition
There is some rust stains on the wall due to a downpipe.
The sandstone is in relatively good condition but there is evidence of exfoliation and deterioration of the basement courses above footpath level.
The verandah/awning posts have been replaced.
Date condition updated:18 Oct 10
Modifications and dates: 1969- Internal walls (9519)
2005 - Alterations and Additions (CC/2005/426)
2006 - Section 96 Modification (M/2006/484)
2007 - Alterations and Additions (OC/2007/120)
Current use: Residential
Former use: Pawnbroker/residence


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.

Parbury himself leased/ bought 10 acres at the south eastern part of the Waterview Bay and built the first house on the Balmain grant, Waterview House in 1835 (demolished c. 1905). It was a six-roomed single storey house with stables, outbuildings and a fenced garden. It stood near the corner of Colgate and Caroline Street. It was later purchased by George Cooper, Comptroller of Customs, who owned/ leased 28 acres adjacent to the west. Cooper subsequently fell victim to the crash of the early 1840s and was declared bankrupt. In 1841 The Waterview Estate was subsequently divided into modest building allotments (Lots 1-36) with very narrow streets (leaving as much land for development) leading down to the bay with its slipway and wharves.

Queens Place was originally a dead end street with access to Campbell Street only established in 1914. Alexander Chape bought lots 21 and 22 in Waterview Street and Queens Place in 1842 from Marsh. In 1844 the land had an unoccupied weatherboard cottage. Between 1844 and 1857, Chape built his grocers shop on the corner of Waterview Street and Queen's Place. In 1857, he was made the Balmain postmaster when the agency was taken away from another shopkeeper, Noah Collier.

In 1856 Chape sold the rear portions of lots 22-23 to Presbyterian minister Rev James Collins. Collins built a stone house on part of the lot which later became 5 Queens Palace. Collins let the house for a period from 1863-65 and then sold the house to Thomas Daley , carpenter. In about 1866 Daley built the adjoining row of houses, No. 7 and 9 Queens Place. At the same time the verandahs were extended across the entire row.

Sometime around the 1870s No. 5 was used as a pawnbroker's office by Thomas Daley. Daley originally lived in No. 9, and continued his business in No. 5 until his death in 1901.

The three houses were passed to Daley's neice Ann Mealey and in 1904 she lived at No. 5 and continued the pawnbroker business. In the mid 1920s the business was known as a "Loans Office". During that time a Mrs Johanne Mealey lived in No.7 and also No. 9 along with other short term tenants.

The pawnbroker business continued through the Depression years until the 1940s when it was closed. Miss Anne Mealey died in 1958 and Nos 5-9 passed to her neice Elizabeth Mealy. In September 1959 the three houses were sold to Graeme Beutel, painter. A new lot for No. 5 was created in December 1973. Around 1970 No. 7 and 9 were sold as a pair to Noeline Quin and then sold in 1971 to Mrs Jane Waddy.

Sydney Water plan (Balmain Sheet No. 16) dating from the 1880s and revised in the early 1890s shows the buildings constructed just behind the street boundary line. Since the 1960s it would appear the buildings have undergone some changes to the rear.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Growth of Balmain-
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 are of local historic significance as part of an early subdivision and Victorian development constructed around the 1850s-60s.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site is associated with Thomas Daley and the Mealey family both of whom carried on the pawnbrokering business from the 1870s, which was an essential social service during the depression years of the 1930s.early phase of urban and commercial development.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is of local aesthetic significance as an example of a terrace house built in the Victorian Georgian style with a sandstone façade and wide awning over the footpath.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Thomas Daley and the Mealey family carried on the pawnbrokering business from the building, which was an essential social service during the Depression years of the 1930s.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The sandstone would have been locally cut and quarried on site.
SHR Criteria f)
Rare group of simple terraces combining stone and timber.
SHR Criteria g)
No. 5 Queens Place is a representative example of a good and unique Victorian Georgian style residence built as part of a group - Nos 5-9 Queens Place..
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:

- The original form and detailing of the building should be retained and conserved, particularly the front façade and verandah. - no new openings should be made on the front and side façades of the building; - any future alteration and additions should be confined to the rear of the building and would be best designed as a separate structure apart from the main house.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan I29223 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
WrittenOikos Architects2005No. 5 Queens Place Balmain - Conservation Management Plan
WrittenPeter Reynolds1981Leichhardt Historical Journal No. 10

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: 1940307

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