Maclean McNaughton Place Post Office | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

About us

Maclean McNaughton Place Post Office

Item details

Name of item: Maclean McNaughton Place Post Office
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Postal and Telecommunications
Category: Post Office
Primary address: 44 River Street, Maclean, NSW 2463
County: Clarence
Local govt. area: Clarence Valley


Corner River Street and McNaughton Place, Maclean. Part of the McNaughton Place Group.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
44 River StreetMacleanClarence Valley ClarencePrimary Address
McNaughton PlMacleanClarence Valley ClarenceAlternate Address

Statement of significance:

A post office and former residence which is important for its associations with the late nineteenth century development of Maclean. It is aesthetically important for the contribution it makes to the townscape, and in particular to the courthouse group of public buildings. It is socially important for its role in the community as a centre of communications and as a meeting place. The building is of architectural interest as an example of the Federation Free style and for its associations with the government architect W L Vernon .
Date significance updated: 03 Aug 05
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.


Designer/Maker: W L Vernon
Builder/Maker: Borecry, Patrick
Construction years: 1893-
Physical description: Built in 1893 to a design by W L Vernon, Government Architect. It has walls of double pressed brick on concrete foundations the upper storey being externally rough cast with cement pebble render. There is a single storey attached former residence. There are substantial brick arches in the walls of the ground floor, characteristic of the style. It is adjacent to the "Federation" style Police Station. The exterior walls are a combination of red face brickwork at ground flood level and roughcast (pebble dash) render to the upper storey. The hipped roof is of terracotta tiles with a pair of terracotta finials on the ends of the main ridge. Three massive fact brickwork chimneys are scattered around three elevations. Windows on the major elevations include both a pair of half-round headed window assemblies (one on each elevation at ground floor level) and double-hung sashes with multi-paned top sashes to the top storey. Face brickwork decorative detailing features on the corners of the first floor, around the first floor windows and around the ground flood window and door arches. A large archway at ground flood level given access to a recessed porch from which open the postal chamber and telephone exchange. The mail sorting offices and staff amenities were formerly living quarters. Prominent chimneys. On the ground floor is the postal chamber and the telephone exchange. The mail sorting offices and staff amenities are in the former residence.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Well maintained
Date condition updated:14 Sep 05
Modifications and dates: The removal, as part of extensive renovations and alterations in 1958, of the original front balcony (timber framed) which overlooked River Street with French doors opening from the bedrooms on the first flood. Also at this time a new tile roof was added and the French doors converted to windows and more private boxes and telephones were installed. These alterations do not, however, substantially detract from the overall quality of the building.
Current use: Post Office
Former use: Post Office and Residence


Historical notes: The first Post Office was opened in Maclean in 1862 in the store owned by Alexander Cameron. It was moved in 1875 to a building on the opposite side of River Street. The name was changed from Rocky Mouth to Maclean in 1885. Two years later the residents petitioned the Postmaster General for a new Post Office. An amount of 1500 Pounds was placed on the estimates in 1890 and land was obtained on the Wharf Reserve at the corner of River Street and what is now known as McNaughton Place. A tender of 1,980 Pounds was accepted from Mr Patrick Berecry of Sydney. The plan called for walls of double pressed brick on a concrete foundation, the upper storey being rough cast outside with cement to relieve the otherwise bare appearance. A narrow balcony at the front overlooked River Street with French doors opening from the bedrooms. The rest of the living quarters were located on the ground flood together with the Postal Chamber and telephone exchange. The entrance porch is surmounted with ared brick arch to match the arched tops of the ground floor windows. Other features are the bulls eyes window, corner quoins and string courses A fine sandstone lintel tops the entrance door from McNaughton Place. It was opened for business at the beginning of 1893. Substantial changes were made in 1958. A residence in Alexander Street was purchased for the Postmaster to enable the former living quarters to be used for a large mail sorting room, an office for the P.M., staff amenities and an enlarged main office The fine cedar interior ceiling and panelling were retained but the balcony was removed and the French doors replaced with windows. A new roof was fitted and the brass sign replaced following removal during the Second World War. The single telephone cabinet in the porch was replaced by three adjacent to the telephone exchange. 1990 has seen further changes with a change of location for the posting boxes, additional private mail boxes and the removal of the phone booths to the opposite side of McNaughton Place. The Maclean Shire LEP has evaluated the Post Office as 'giving substantial architectural character to Maclean and by the use of identical design elements blending perfectly with the adjoining police station.'

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Communication-Activities relating to the creation and conveyance of information (none)-


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  11 May 01 812497
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
National Trust Country Register  National Trust of Australia (NSW)  No
Maclean Heritage Study2006 Jane Gardiner  Yes
Maclean Shire Heritage Study198953T. Shellshear  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenChivell, R J National Trust of Australia (NSW)

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1990129
File number: 014408

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.