Lemongrove Conservation Area | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Lemongrove Conservation Area

Item details

Name of item: Lemongrove Conservation Area
Other name/s: Lemongrove Estate
Type of item: Conservation Area
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Cottage
Primary address: Lemongrove Road, Macquarie Avenue, Hemmings Street and The Crescent, Penrith, Penrith, NSW 2750
Local govt. area: Penrith


The listing includes the area bounded by Hemmings Street, Thurston Street, Lemongrove Road and The Crescent, Penrith.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Lemongrove Road, Macquarie Avenue, Hemmings Street and The Crescent, PenrithPenrithPenrith  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The Lemongrove Conservation Area is distinguished by its number of brick and timber cottages of the late-Victorian and inter-war eras. The buildings were principally erected in the nineteenth century and early part of the twentieth century and demonstrate the pattern of suburban settlement at this elevated locale. These properties imbue the area with high historic and aesthetic values as well as giving a sense of place to the edge of the city.
Date significance updated: 26 Oct 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.


Physical description: The Lemongrove Estate Conservation Area is located north of the railway line on a slight rise. The precinct is well defined and contained within a tight area with few intrusive developments. While isolated by the railway, the area is close to the traditional judicial, religious and educational centre of Penrith with the tower of St Stephen’s Anglican Church visible from The Crescent. The principal road thoroughfare is Macquarie Avenue, which connects with the railway overbridge. While the area has pockets of post 1960 flat blocks it retains most of the freestanding dwellings erected prior to c.1930, all set within gardens.

The range of house types suggest diversity in the social background of the early inhabitants with modest two room weatherboard cottages contrasting with elaborate Queen Anne style brick bungalows. Set immediately to the north of the railway line, the edge of the precinct is visible from the railway with the cottages on The Crescent being particularly noticeable. The elevated and slightly undulating nature of the precinct and collection of houses, diversity of style, scale and materials present a historic residential area that is unique in the LGA. The precinct also includes buildings from the later part of the twentieth century. The buildings from the 1930s-1960s period generally contribute to the character of the area and demonstrate infill development and diversity.

Lemongrove stradles a ridge to the north-east of the Penrith Town Centre. At its highest point this ridge has an elevation of 17 metres above the town centre. As a result, all of the north/south roads in Lemongrove provide axial vistas to the south. The elevated nature of the site engenders a feeling of spaciousness because the streets are not enclosed on all sides.

The topography of the area is accentuated by the manner in which the houses step down the ridge. The building layout emphasises the gradual reduction in height away from the ridge.

While none of the original vegetation remains, the development of gardens and the growth of trees have assisted in the formation of the area's character. Of particular importance are the Brushbox street trees which are well developed in parts of Lemongrove Road, Macquarie Avenue and Hemmings Street.

Gardens have been established between the road boundary and the house setback. The scale of the and structure of the garden is dependent on the depth of the setback. Generally the gardens consist of low bushes and shrubs with only the occasional large tree. Larger trees and shrubs in the backyards are visble from the street and form a backdrop of houses in a suburban landscape setting. In some instances gardens have been neglected in recent years.


Historical notes: The Lemongrove Estate was occupied by John and Sarah MacHenry in 1827, and was granted to Sarah in 1834 by Governor Bourke. The MacHenrys erected a residence, "Lemon Grove House", on a ridge in the northern section of the land. There is documentary evidence that parts of the land was used as a lemon orchard during this period. " Lemon Grove" was later purchased by Robert and Margaret Thurston and in 1885 it was subdivided and sold on behalf of their children. The Lemongrove Estate of 1884 became a desirable suburb for the professional and business people of Penrith to live-in at the turn of the century. This resulted in a number of large Victorian residences being erected within the Estate. The subdivision also attracted working class men, and in particular, railway employees which resulted in a number of worker’s cottages being erected at Lemongrove after its subdivision in the 1880s through to the 1920s. The variety of houses built are still evident today for example modest two roomed dwellings (railway employees perhaps) to two-storey villas which remain intact. These building illustrate the building styles and forms of the late 19th to early 20th Century, as well as revealing something of the social and cultural patterns of that era. The original streets in the subdivision, Lemongrove Road, Macquarie Avenue, Hemmings Street and The Crescent (the names of the individuals who played a role in the development of the area) retain good examples of residential development from this period.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 Subdivision and consolidation-
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 Towns-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The houses demonstrate the range of lower and middle class cottages erected in Penrith over the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The houses are good examples of their type and reflect evolving architectural styles and construction materials. Collectively the cottages provide streetscapes which are unique in Penrith LGA due to the consistency of scale, materials and building forms.
SHR Criteria f)
The area is distinguished by its number of brick and timber cottages of the late-Victorian and inter-war eras. The buildings are part of a collection of structures in north Penrith erected over the nineteenth century and early part of the twentieth century which collectively demonstrate the pattern of suburban settlement at this elevated locale.
SHR Criteria g)
The Conservation Area is unique in Penrith LGA demonstrating Victorian subdivision patterns.
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.

Recommended management:

1) In order to avoid future loss of distinctive characteristics due to demolition of original contributory buildings and their replacement by unsympathetic structures, the area should be given statutory protection as a matter of priority (such as identification in a Draft LEP as a Conservation Area). 2) Zoning to allow residential flat development over the whole of Lemongrove Estate be removed and a more appropriate residential zoning be considered. 3) The Heritage Items and Contributory items be retained and conserved, these sites should not be subdivided for infill development. 4) New development should reflect the scale, massing, setbacks and form of existing buildings. New development should preferably not replicate historical styles but provide new design solutions of high quality that complement and add to the visual amenity and quality of the area. 5) An appropriate curtilage should be retained in relation to the streetscapes and significant building. 6) Garden settings and significant landscape elements are to be retained. 7) Owners of buildings identified as Heritage Items should be encouraged over time to recover the significant form of those buildings by removal of intrusive elements. Council should provide guidance and assistance to owners to facilitate this. 8) Signage to houses used for commercial purposes should relate to the historical style of building, and should not be intrusive. 9) Enclosed verandahs and minor facade changes to heritage listed or contributory buildings should be reversed with the significant form of buildings recovered where possible. Owners should be encouraged where applications for work are made to reinstate the streetscape form of the buildings. 10) Any new development which abuts the Conservation Area must provide an appropriate interface between one area to the other through its scale, form, materials and landscaping.


Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Statutory InstrumentInclude in a Conservation Area within an LEP26 Oct 05


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanLemongroveP720 Dec 91 18030
Local Environmental PlanPenrith LEP 2010HCA222 Sep 10   
Heritage studyLemongrove Estate Residential Conservation AreaP-704 Jan 87   
Heritage study 226081801 Nov 07   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
 0P 7   No
Penrith Heritage Study Review2005 Paul Davies Pty. Ltd.  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenPenrith City Council1982Lemongrove Environmental Assessment Study

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: 2260818

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.