Residence | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Residence
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 26 Rowan Cres, Merewether, NSW 2291
Local govt. area: Newcastle
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
26 Rowan CresMerewetherNewcastle  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The former home of E.A.M. Merewether, manager of the Burwood Estate, was designed in 1924 by prominent local architects Pitt & Merewether - E.R.H Merewether was the son of the residents and built his own house adjacent at No. 76 Curry Street. The residence has strong associations with the Merewether family, and hence with the origins of the suburb. The well-maintained residence and grounds contribute positively to the streetscape and the area, and is considered a good example of its Federation Bungalow style. Its setting is further enhanced by the survival of the mature Date palms in the garden of the bungalow at 76 Curry Street, which was the architect's own home.
Date significance updated: 25 Sep 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.


Designer/Maker: Pitt and Merewether
Physical description: The large residence is constructed of face brick with timber joinery and gables, and tile clad roof. The southern gabled section of the residence appears to either be an addition or has had alterations. A large garage in matching style sits below the house and appears to be a later addition. The grounds are terraced in face brick retaining walls to match the house – these also appear to be recent additions. The house has been positioned to enjoy significant ocean and city views, and although constructed during the Inter-War period its features are more typical of a Federation Bungalow style.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Appears to be in good condition (observation from street only).
Date condition updated:25 Sep 04


Historical notes: The residence at 26 Rowan Crescent, Merewether was designed in 1924 by Newcastle architects, Pitt and Merewether, for Edward Alworth Mitchell Merewether, the eldest son of Edward Christopher Merewether and Augusta Maria Merewether (nee Mitchell). The Merewethers were the inheritors of Dr. James Mitchell's Burwood Estate and gave their name to the suburb that was established within the boundaries of the former Estate. The Merewethers retained ownership of all land in Merewether up until 1910 when the first land sales commenced.

E.A.M. Merewether, manager of the Burwood Estate, and his wife, Georgina Sofia Frances (nee Hickson), resided at the large house known as 'The Ridge' (later known as 'Hillcrest') that had been built by E.C. Merewether on the Burwood Estate in the early 1860s. In 1924 their eldest son, Edward Robert Hickson Merewether, architect and founding partner in the firm Pitt and Merewether, one of Newcastle's most prolific architectural firms, designed a new house for his parents to be erected not far from 'The Ridge'. The brick house contained ten rooms and featured two large bay windows on the eastern elevation with views to the ocean. The house also included two bathrooms, a sewing room, study and maid's quarters.

In November, 1925, E.A.M. Merewether died but his wife Georgina moved into the newly completed house at 26 Rowan Crescent which was thereafter known as 'The Ridge'. Georgina Merewether resided at the house until her death in 1964 aged 95 and the house subsequently was transferred from the family's ownership.

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. housing (suburbs)-
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. gentlemen's residence's-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups prominent individuals-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The residence is associated with the historically prominent Merewether family, and was in their ownership from its construction in 1924 until 1964. It was designed by prominent local architects Pitt & Merewether.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
ERH Merewether
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The residence and grounds make a positive contribution to the streetscape. The additions are sympathetic to the original building.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
None noted.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
None noted.
SHR Criteria f)
The place is not considered to be rare.
SHR Criteria g)
The residence is representative of its style.
Integrity/Intactness: The available information and extant physical fabric maintains integrity and allows for a sound analysis of significance.
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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan I32015 Jun 12 64 
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Review of Potential Heritage Items for NLEP2003 Ecotecture Pty Ltd  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1965Newcastle Morning Herald, 21 November, 1924, 26 October, 1964, 30 July, 1965.
Written 1964Newcastle Sun, 26 October, 1964.
Written 1935J. Dixon, History of Merewether, Merewether Municipal Council, 1935.
Written  Newcastle City Council Rate and Assessment Books.
Written  Pitt and Merewether AM-120/1-6, Newcastle Region Library.

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: 2173939

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.

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