Stead House (circa 1850s, also known as Frankfort Villa and Waterloo Villa) | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Stead House (circa 1850s, also known as Frankfort Villa and Waterloo Villa)

Item details

Name of item: Stead House (circa 1850s, also known as Frankfort Villa and Waterloo Villa)
Other name/s: Stead House, including interiors
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 12 Leicester Street, Marrickville, NSW 2204
Local govt. area: Marrickville
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
12 Leicester StreetMarrickvilleMarrickville  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Stead House (circa 1850s, also known as Frankfort Villa and Waterloo Villa), including interiors.

Stead House is one of the earliest residences remaining in the Municipality. Its conversion to a hospital in 1911 is typical of the changing use of the early villa estates in the early part of the 20th century.
Date significance updated: 31 Aug 17
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: Stead House is a large, two storey villa with a rendered facade. Paired corner bay windows leading to a verandah/ balcony with heavy, rendered columns and brackets, and cast iron balustrading. Simple, flat window openings. Little detailing other than paired brackets to the eaves and a raised central gable.There is an early wrought iron security door to the front of the building. Bethesda House was built c1920 and is constructed of face brick with simple double hung windows. The corners of the main building and the pillars of the fence have contrasting brickwork. The fence also has iron railings. There is a tower to the rear of the main building. A rendered brick portico is situated at the front of the building and may be a slightly later addition to the main building. The portico has a sunroom over the covered entrance way. There are ramps to the front entrance with iron railings.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:18 Mar 99
Modifications and dates: The original slate roof of Stead House has been tiled. Other than this, there are only minor modifications to this building. There are also minor modifications to Bethesda House.
Current use: Stead House - Administration. Bethesda House - Nursing Home
Former use: Stead House - Residence / Maternity hospital. Bethesda House - Nuring Home


Historical notes: Stead House was built on a lot which was part of 12.14 hectares granted to James Waine on 5 September 1795.

The original portion of Stead House is believed to have been built by a Mr. Mitchell in 1850. Further reseach is required to establish when the first stage of the house was ocnstructed. The intact Regency joinery in the main donwstairs rooms suggests that Stead House as initially constructed as a one storey Regency villa in c1845-1855.

The property was then purchased in 1868 by Samuel Cook (1830-1910) who was general manager of the Sydney Morning Herald and Sydney Mail from 1888-1907.

Samule Cook substantially altered the house, adding the northern bay and second floor in the early 1870s in a Victorian Italianate manner. The house was named 'Frankfort Villa' and Cook set about turning it into a horticultural showpiece. His garden was still intact in 1905 when it was featured in an article in the Sydney Mail, which stated it was unequalled in its variety of trees, shrubs, flowers and particularly its fine collection of roses which formed a dwarf hedge on both sides of the sweeping carriageway.

Frankfort Villa was purchased by the Salvation Army in 1911 after Cook's death in 1910. It is likely the rear north wing was added at this time. It was renamed the "Bethesda Mothers Hospital" (Bethesda meaning 'place of compassion'), and provided special facilities for unmarried mothers.

It remained in the hands of the Salvation Army and was licensed in 1925 to become "Bethesda Hospital" amd took general patients in addition to maternity cases. The south winog may have been added at this time. In 1956 it was recognised as a traingin school for midwifery and in 1970 a training school for nursing aides.

Due to staffing and funding difficulties, the hospital closed in 1973. It was renamed Stead House in 1973 and provides accommodation for female students.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
SHR Criteria f)
Stead House is a rare surviving example of the early, large, residences in the area.
SHR Criteria g)
Stead House is representative of early, large, two storey villas in the area. Bethesda House is representative of 1920s nursing homes.
Integrity/Intactness: This buildings are intact and retain their integrity.
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:

General maintenance


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanMarrickville LEP 2011I12512 Dec 11 2011/645 
Local Environmental PlanMarrickville Local Environmental Plan 2001 18 May 01 86 
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Marrickville Heritage Study19862.103Fox and AssociatesNovember 1984 No
Marrickville Heritage Study Review19972030138Tropman & Tropman Architects1997-1999 Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenOtto Cserhalmi and Partners2001Proposed Noise Attenuation Measures SHI: Stead House
WrittenSydney Mail1905article on the garden at Frankfort Villa

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: 2030138
File number: 2.103

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