Kitchener House (formerly Arpafeelie) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Kitchener House (formerly Arpafeelie)

Item details

Name of item: Kitchener House (formerly Arpafeelie)
Other name/s: Arpafelie
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Bungalow
Location: Lat: -33.9425 Long: 150.9208
Primary address: 208 Moorebank Avenue, Moorebank, NSW 2170
Parish: Holsworthy
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Liverpool


208 Moorebank Avenue, Moorebank.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
208 Moorebank AvenueMoorebankLiverpoolHolsworthyCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

Kitchener House demonstrates the military history of the Liverpool area and the links between Australia and Britain at the turn of the 20th century. It is associated Field Marshal Lord Kitchener and has been the residence of various senior officers and their families for over ninety years. The site as an example of a Federation style residence indicates a level of technical achievement and creativity in its design and construction. It is a fine representative example of a Federation style building set in its own gardens, it is aesthetically pleasing. Kitchener House is now one of the best preserved Federation Bungalows in the Liverpool area. There is the potential to gain more information on the site from further architectural, archaeological and documentary research.
Date significance updated: 26 Jul 04
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: This site is a single storeyed "Federation Bungalow" residence with painted brickwork walls and terracotta tiled roof. (Walls originally were probably painted). The hipped roof continues over the verandah to the front and side elevations. A pair of gabled roofs break the roof line on the front elevation and mark the locations of projecting bays either side of the centrally located front north elevation. All gables feature simple timber bargeboards with decorative pierced timber infill boarding. The numerous chimneys are of face brickwork with elaborate corbelled mouldings and strapwork. The verandah features tuned timber columns with decorative timber corner brackets. Windows are generally timber-framed, double hung sashed; the two windows to of the northern wings have curved heads and multi-paned top sashes. The front door is panelled and half-glazed and has fan and side lights.

The building generally is well maintained and retains much of its original/early fabric. It is set in an attractive landscaped garden. The front garden features a number of large mature exotic trees including two crepe myrtles, plane trees, camphor laurels and liquid amber as well as a mature brush box and paper bark tree which are early plantings. Border shrubs and garden beds are of more recent planting. The garden has a brush fence to the street and paling fencing around the sides and rear. The house is located adjacent to the Holsworthy Army Base.

In 2001, as part of research undertaken for the Register of the National Estate, the interior of the site was inspected. The house consisted of three bedrooms, lounge, dining, kitchen, two bathrooms, family room, and laundry. The family room, laundry and second bathroom were constructed to the rear of the house c1970s. The second bedroom was originally two bedrooms but had been converted into one larger bedroom. All bedrooms had marble fireplaces as did the lounge room. A plaque located to the left of the front door when entering commemorated the visit of Kitchener, it read "Kitchener Field Marshal Earl KG KP OM CGIE KCB KCMG CSI While visiting Australia at the request of the government to report on certain aspects of defence of the Commonwealth was quartered in this cottage on 6 and 7 January 1910 and witnessed the operations of the mobile field forces of NSW in manoeuvres and tactical exercises". Access was not gained to the site’s interior during inspections undertaken in 2004.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Exterior excellent. Some peeling of paint in the interior walls and leaking through the roof reported in 2001.
Date condition updated:26 Jul 04
Modifications and dates: The original facebrickwork has been painted. The second bedroom appears to have been two smaller bedrooms, the dividing wall has been removed and new window openings have been created with aluminium frames. In 1995 the house was repainted externally and the bathroom and kitchen were refurbished.
Current use: Unoccupied
Former use: Private residence, associated with Holsworthy Military Camp


Historical notes: Kitchener House stands on land which was part of a land grant made in 1810 to Thomas Moore. Moore received two grants totalling 1300 acres at Moorebank in the Parish of Holdsworthy, County of Cumberland. The district's population grew and larger properties such as Moore's were broken down into smaller farms. Vineyards and orchards became popular uses of the land in the 1870s and 1880s, however some farms proved uneconomical towards the end of the century.
Thomas Moore's grant was subdivided and sold off, largely by the 1890s. William Alexander Smith purchased the subject land (15 acres in total) on which he established an orchard and vineyards. According to the Register of the National Estate, Smith constructed the current residence on the land. The date of construction of the house is not known, it is believed to have been constructed between 1895 and 1905. Smith died in late 1905/early 1906, implying the construction of the house predates this. The residence was originally known as "Arpafelie".
Following Smith's death the property was transferred in 1906 to Robert Paul Aitkins of Sydney who mortgaged the property to Smith's widow Emeline. The property was then transferred in August 1906 to William Charles York. York also purchased additional land bringing his holding to 22 acres. York and his family lived in the residence until late 1909. By 1910 it was leased to the Army for the visit of Field Marshal Lord Kitchener from England. According to the 1992 Heritage study the subject property was purpose built during this period (and not in the early 1900s by Smith), as a residence for Kitchener's visit.

Kitchener was invited by Prime Minister Deakin to advise the Commonwealth on developing its land defence. After Federation it was felt that an overhaul of the defence system in Australia was required. Lord Kitchener, with a delegation, undertook a nationwide tour in 1910 to review the status of the Australian Army. His visit and recommendations would result in the establishment of the Australian Imperial Forces.
He arrived in Liverpool in the first week of January 1910 and spent two and a half days in the area visiting military establishments in the district. He was met by a mounted party of senior officers early in the afternoon of January 6.
Following his observations Kitchener recommended the setting up of a permanent army establishment in the area. In 1912, 883 acres were acquired by the Commonwealth Government at Holsworthy for a Remount Depot and Veterinary Hospital and in 1913 a further 16,868 acres were acquired for the Army at Holsworthy.
For the duration of his stay, Kitchener apparently resided at the subject property. At some point afterwards the it became known as "Kitchener’s House". A plaque in the house interior, located to the left of the front door, commemorates his visit, it reads "Kitchener Field Marshal Earl KG KP OM CGIE KCB KCMG CSI While visiting Australia at the request of the government to report on certain aspects of defence of the Commonwealth was quartered in this cottage on 6 and 7 January 1910 and witnessed the operations of the mobile field forces of NSW in manoeuvres and tactical exercises".
For the visit the house was extensively refurnished in oak, although there appears to be no evidence of these refurbishments today. Kitchener House was leased by the Commonwealth as a military residence until the 1920s. The certificate of title shows a transfer to the Commonwealth in 1926. In the late 1930s the house was used as an Officers Mess. From the late 1950s until the late 1980s it was occupied by the Brigadier who commanded the Army formations in the Liverpool area until a new house was provided. The house was then used as a residence for a Senior Officer at the Holsworthy Base. In 1995 a refurbishment of the residence occurred including repainting and renovation of the kitchen & bathroom. The house was awarded the conservation category winner in the Liverpool Business Awards as one of the best examples of a single storey Federation Bungalow in Liverpool.
Kitchener House has been sold to a private developer and is no longer owned by the army.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Rural/Semi-rural housing-
7. Governing-Governing Defence-Activities associated with defending places from hostile takeover and occupation Military housing-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Federation style architecture-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Field Marshal Lord Kitchener-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site demonstrates the military history of the Liverpool area. It also demonstrates the relationship between Australia and Britain at the turn of the 20th century.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site is associated with Field Marshal Lord Kitchener. The house has also been a residence for senior officers and their families for over ninety years, including the Brigadier commanding the Army in Liverpool until the 1980s and senior officers at the Holsworthy Base.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The site as an example of a Federation style residence indicates a level of technical achievement and creativity in its design and construction. The fine Federation style building is set back from the road within its own garden and has an almost semi-rural, secluded setting, it is an aesthetically pleasing site.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
There is the potential to gain more information on the site from further architectural, archaeological and documentary research.
SHR Criteria f)
The site is one of the grandest and best preserved examples of a Federation style cottage in the Liverpool area.
SHR Criteria g)
The site is a representative example of a Federation style cottage that retains much of its original fabric, detailing and character .
Integrity/Intactness: Intact, but modified
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 Conservation Management Plan should be reviewed to guide the ongoing management and conservation of this site. An archaeological assessment should be included in the CMP. Prior to any alteration, change, addition, redevelopment to any individual building or item which forms part of Kitchenor House or subdivision of the land upon which this site is situated a Statement of Heritage Impact should be prepared which assesses the impact of that proposal. The SHI should take into account the CMP and include relevant recommendations from the CMP. If a CMP has not been prepared when such redevelopment, alteration or subdivision is proposed the CMP should be prepared first.


Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementReview a Conservation Management Plan (CMP)27 Jul 05
Recommended ManagementDevelop a Statement of Heritage Impact25 Jul 05
Recommended ManagementCarry out an Archaeological Assessment25 Jul 05


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanLiverpool LEP 20085829 Aug 08   
Local Environmental Plan - Lapsed 025203 Feb 95 011654

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Liverpool Heritage Study1992LP0047Neustein & Associates  No
Liverpool Heritage Study Review20041970124FORM architects aust pty ltdHelen Davies & Cathy Fisher Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenEric Martin & Associates,2001"Conservation and Management Plan: Kitchener House, Moorebank, NSW" Draft January 2001. Keating, C. "
WrittenKeating C.1996"On the frontier: A social history of Liverpool"
WrittenPhilips P. (ed)1996"The Heritage Homes of the Australain Defence Force"

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: 1970124
File number: 102578

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