Derry | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Derry
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 12 Phillips Street, Neutral Bay, NSW 2089
Local govt. area: North Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
12 Phillips StreetNeutral BayNorth Sydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Built at an intersection, one of a pair of two distinguished houses which make a significant contribution to the surrounding area. As the house where May Gibbs wrote Gumnut Babies 1916 and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie 1918, 'Derry' is particularly important.

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.
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.


Builder/Maker: Andrew James Doak
Physical description: One of a pair of large two storeyed Federation style semi-detached houses (nos. 12 & 14 Phillips Street) in brick and Marseilles tile with elaborate lattice decoration to their timber verandahs.This building is designed in the Federation Filigree style.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:


Historical notes: The houses were built in 1904-05 by Andrew James Doak of Winwood who owned a lot of land in the Neutral Bay area. One of Doak's tenants was May Gibbs (1877-1969) who leased No. 12 and wrote her most important children's books here between 1913 and 1919. The houses copy an earlier pair of houses built nearby at 44 and 46 Aubin Street, for two of Doak's daughters, Miss K and Miss R Doak. The restored fences are similar to the original.

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)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences (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 g)
This item is assessed as historically representative locally. This item is assessed as aesthetically representative regionally. This item is assessed as socially representative regionally.
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 I068102 Aug 13   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
North Sydney Heritage Study Review19931216Tony Brassil, Robert Irving, Chris Pratten, Conybeare MorrisonTB October 1992 Yes

References, internet links & images


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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2181216

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