Gates and fence of former Crows Nest House | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

About us

Gates and fence of former Crows Nest House

Item details

Name of item: Gates and fence of former Crows Nest House
Other name/s: North Sydney Demonstration School
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Gate
Primary address: 182 Pacific Highway, North Sydney, NSW 2060
Local govt. area: North Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
182 Pacific HighwayNorth SydneyNorth Sydney  Primary Address
176-186 Pacific HighwayNorth SydneyNorth Sydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

Only remains of Crows Nest House and significant reminder of this important property. Picturesque roadside feature and evocative of importance the property originally contained. Fine example of nineteenth century design and craftsmanship.

Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include information on landscape significance, interiors or the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are updated by Council as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conversation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Date significance updated: 17 Mar 11
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: An iron pike-and-rail fence enclosing the Demonstration School on two sides, the Pacific Highway and Bay Road, with rails set in semi-circular topped sandstone foundation course. Tall square sandstone posts adjacent to gates and on corners. Main gate has four gateposts and a fine pair of iron central gates with cast-iron plate carrying motif of crows in a nest.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Minor Alteration


Historical notes: Alexander Berry built Crow's Nest House as his residence in 1850, and died there in 1873. After his death, his brother, David Berry leased the property until his death in 1889, when the property was inherited by Sir John Hay. He carried out major extensions to Crow's Nest House, converting it into an imposing late Victorian mansion. It is thought that Hay had the iron fence with sandstone base and gateway built, surrounding the estate, around 1890. Above the iron gate there is a small decorative moulding of crows in a nest. The stonemason was probably William Montgomery. Sir John Hay died in 1909 and Lady Hay continued to live in Crow's Nest House until her death in 1931, after which the estate was subdivided and Crow's Nest House demolished to make way for the present North Sydney Demonstration School.

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. (none)-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria f)
This item is assessed as aesthetically rare locally.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as historically representative locally. This item is assessed as aesthetically representative regionally. This item is assessed as socially representative locally.
Integrity/Intactness: _
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 I095702 Aug 13   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
North Sydney Heritage Study Review19930783Tony Brassil, Robert Irving, Chris Pratten, Conybeare MorrisonTB May 1992 Yes

References, internet links & images


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: 2180783

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.