The Retreat (Residence) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

About us

The Retreat (Residence)

Item details

Name of item: The Retreat (Residence)
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Other - Residential Buildings (private)
Primary address: 31 Parnell Place, Newcastle East, NSW 2300
Local govt. area: Newcastle
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
31 Parnell PlaceNewcastle EastNewcastle  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The Retreat is of local heritage significance as an example of the residential work of architect Frederick Menkens, and has associational significance with Newcastle's martime history - having been built for Captain Rueben R McIntosh, who was Newcastle shipping master at the turn of the 20th century. Aesthetically the house is demonstrative of the Queen Anne style of design that Menkens was producing in the Federation period, and is similar to The Boltons (also heritage listed).
Date significance updated: 18 Jul 13
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: Frederick Menkens
Builder/Maker: T.J.Burg
Construction years: 1904-1905
Physical description: Two-storey timber framed Queen Anne style, free standing residential building. The roof form is one of the most striking features having a gable form with name "the Retreat" in letters inset in the gable. The gable features a stucco finish with arched half timbering above a bracketed cornice. Fascias are clad in t&g timber. The ground level features a set of double hung timber windows.
Further information: The verandah was enclosed until restoration in the early 2000s.
Current use: house
Former use: house


Historical notes: Captain McIntosh and his wife Lillie Ada McIntosh purchase the land from Rev. James Murray, the first Bishop of Maitland, on 22 June 1904. Frederick Menkens is engaged to design a house for couple. Menkens advertises a construction tender which closes on 26 August 1904, and a building notice is issued in the Newcastle Herald on 12 October 1904. The contract is awarded to T.J.Burg. In 1916, Captain McIntosh is appointed Newcastle Shipping Master.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan I48615 Jun 12 64 
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenNewcastle Herald, 12 October 19041904Tender awarded
WrittenNewcastle Herald, 20/08/19041904Tender for construction 31 Parnell Place Newcastle East

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: 2173891

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.