Newcastle Synagogue | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Newcastle Synagogue

Item details

Name of item: Newcastle Synagogue
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Synagogue
Primary address: 122 Tyrrell Street, The Hill, NSW 2300
Local govt. area: Newcastle
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
122 Tyrrell StreetThe HillNewcastle  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The Jewish Synagogue located in Tyrrell Street, Newcastle is significant historically for its associations with the development of the Jewish faith in Newcastle. The building is a significant contributor to the condensed streetscape in this part of Tyrrell Street, and is believed to be highly valued by the contemporary Jewish community. Although of typical Romanesque style, the Synagogue should be considered rare on a local level for its historical and social values.
Date significance updated: 04 Jan 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: Pepper & Jeater
Builder/Maker: Frewin and Cook Pty. Ltd
Physical description: The single storey face brick synagogue is a typical Romanesque ecclesiastical building, with simple massing, semicircular-headed windows, buttresses, a tower with cupola, and an entrance defined by a curved element and columns. Details of the building are highlighted in painted render. The boundary fence to Tyrrell Street is also in face brick and rendered piers, with palisade infill panels. A Star of David adorns the circular window in the southern façade. Landscaping is predominantly simple turf, with a large palm in the front garden.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Appears to be in good condition (observation from street only).
Date condition updated:04 Jan 05


Historical notes: The site was purchased from the A.A. Company in 1921 for the construction of a Synagogue. The foundation stones were laid in May 1927 and the building completed in the following September.

The building features a large social hall beneath the Synagogue proper, which was designed to allow for two later additions – an extension to the north, and the provision of a ladies’ gallery cantilevered to the front wall. In anticipation of the latter, a false room (entered by a trapdoor) was provided under the dome to serve as a foyer to the proposed gallery.

During the Gulf War the Synagogue was subjected to acts of vandalism, which included a large stone being thrown at the front of the building resulting in a broken window.

Despite declining levels of attendance, the Tyrrell St. Synagogue continues to serve as the spiritual centre for Newcastle’s Hebrew community – a role it has played for over eighty years.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship religion (in the city)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship cultural sites-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups people/groups-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Synagogue represents the development and continuation of the Jewish faith in the Newcastle area, and hence has a special spiritual association with the local Hebrew community.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
None Noted
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Synagogue is an important landmark of the streetscape in this section of Tyrrell Street, particularly with the recent removal of fig trees.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The place is believed to be highly valued by the local contemporary Jewish community.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
None noted.
SHR Criteria f)
The place is not considered to be rare from an architectural perspective, however it is the only Synagogue in the Newcastle area.
SHR Criteria g)
The style of the Synagogue is representative of typical Romanesque ecclesiastical architecture.
Integrity/Intactness: The available information 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 I60815 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
WrittenL.E Fredman1977Newcastle Synagogue Jubilee 1927-1977 Newcastle
WrittenM Ilett National Trust listing for Newcastle Synagogue

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

rez rez
(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: 2173970

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.