Ellerslie Terrace | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Ellerslie Terrace

Item details

Name of item: Ellerslie Terrace
Type of item: Built
Category: Terrace
Primary address: 43 Ballast Point Road, Birchgrove, NSW 2041
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Leichhardt
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
43 Ballast Point RoadBirchgroveLeichhardt CumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

No. 43 Ballast Point Road is of local historic and aesthetic significance as an example of a Victorian Filigree terrace constructed c. 1881. Despite alterations and additions to the rear, the terrace significantly retains its overall scale, form, character and details as it presents to the street including the rendered façade, parapet and associated rendered details, party walls and chimneys, pediment and rendered mouldings, open verandah and balcony and associated decorative details and pattern of openings. The building is part of a prominent and large group of terraces (Nos. 35-47) constructed along the ridgeline which make a positive contribution to the Ballast Point Road 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.

Council's Library Service has identified photos and/or subdivision plans relating to this item which may be viewed online through the council website at http://www.leichhardt.nsw.gov.au/ Select Library & Local History to get to the Library online catalogue and keyword search "Balmain Map" for results.
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.


Builder/Maker: EH Buchanan
Physical description: Two storey rendered terrace with high parapet and rendered chimneys with profiled capping and terracotta pots. The building is one of a group of seven terraces extending along the Ballast Point ridge line. The group has a continuous parapet with deep rendered profiled cornice, decorative panels and bracketed frieze that curves down and follows the fall of the street to the east. Curved pediments are located over Nos. 45 and 47 and Nos. 37 and 39. An open verandah with concrete floor and timber balcony extends between the two party walls which also have rendered decorative details to the ends. The balcony has cast iron lace balustrade, valance and brackets and skillion roof clad in corrugated steel. The front façade also has a timber panelled door with toplight and timber framed double hung window set with arched heads, bracketed rendered sill, rendered label moulds and twisted column mullions on the ground floor and French doors with timber shutters on the first floor. The building is setback from the street frontage which has a timber picket gate and fence on a rendered base and small garden with low shrubs between. The site extends back to Wharf Road. Additions extend from the rear of the building with balconies at the first floor level. A double brick garage with skillion roof and wide roller door is constructed to the Wharf Road boundary.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
In very good condition. The concrete floor slab/ verandah floor finish is failing and the base of the front fence is cracking.
Modifications and dates: 1963: Erection of rear entrance steps (6056).
1971: Laundry alterations, kitchen and bathroom (91/463).
1999: Addition of a study room to the rear of the first floor (D/1999/436).
2000: Alterations and additions to the rear of an existing terrace-house, involving the extension of an existing first floor study (CC/2000/206).
Further information: The rear yard also features mature trees and plantings.
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. This subdivision and sale of this land took place in 1836 and commenced from the eastern end of the suburb (East Balmain) due to its proximity and convenient water access and later spread west. The early subdivision was, however, suspended in 1841 due to difficulties associated with Gilchrist’s will, but was resumed in 1852 when Surveyor Langley divided it into 46 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 located in Lot 31 of the 1852 subdivision. The early site ownership is not known. The group, known as “Ellerslie Terrace”, was constructed in c.1881. The buildings were designed by architect EH Buchanan in the Victorian Filigree style.
Edward Harman Buchanan arrived in Balmain in 1877 and began to practice here in 1880. He was a leading figure in the creation of Birchgrove Park (from 1882), was elected Alderman in 1893 and in 1888 became the youngest Mayor in the Colony.
A Sydney Water Plan dated 1887 (Balmain Sheet 5) show the group with front verandahs setback from the street frontage, rear tunnel back wings and long narrow sites extending back to Wharf Road.
Since that time it would appear that alterations and additions have been undertaken to the building including additions to the rear wing and construction of the garage.

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]
The site is part of an early subdivision and late Victorian period of development in the local area constructed in c.1881.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site is associated with a number of land speculators. The buildings are associated with local architect and later Mayor of Balmain, EH Buchanan.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is of aesthetic significance as two storey late Victorian period terrace constructed in the Filigree style. Despite alterations and additions to the rear, the terrace significantly retains its overall scale, form, character and details as it presents to the street including the rendered facade and associated rendered details, party walls and chimneys, highly decorative parapet, pediment and rendered mouldings, open verandah and balcony and associated decorative details and pattern of openings. The building is part of a prominent and grand group of terraces constructed along the ridgeline. The group (Nos. 35-47) makes a positive contribution to the Ballast Point Road streetscape.
SHR Criteria f)
The group is the largest (but not longest) terrace row in the area.
SHR Criteria g)
EH Buchanan designed a number of grand terraces in the area including Nos. 2-8 Rose Street, however, these were constructed later in c. 1888.
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 particularly the painted and rendered brick facades, party walls and chimneys, highly decorative parapet, and rendered mouldings, pediment, open verandah and balcony and associated decorative details and pattern of openings be retained and conserved; - no new openings should be made on the front façade and parapet; - the front vernadah and balcony should remain open; - any further alterations and additions should be restricted to the rear of the building and site and should not detract from the existing form, character and scale of the building as presents to the group and Ballast Point Road.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan I50923 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: 1940531

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