"The Palms" (house) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


"The Palms" (house)

Item details

Name of item: "The Palms" (house)
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 3 Bilgola Avenue, Bilgola Beach, NSW 2107
Parish: Narrabeen
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Pittwater


Lot 53 DP 517038 & Lot 133 DP 752046
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
3 Bilgola AvenueBilgola BeachPittwaterNarrabeenCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The Palms is one of the first houses of the subdivision and with the older section of the house, to the north, an excellent example of a 1920s bungalow externally and internally this house is architecturally significant. It is culturally important as it associated with the early subdivision of Bilgola and its relatively intact condition. The formal planting of palms and the sandstone drainage channel with stone bridges creates a setting of high aesthetic significance which enhances the architectural significance of the house.

The listing includes the interiors of the house; however detailed analysis and assessment should be undertaken at the time of any future changes to the interior in order to ascertain the relative heritage significance.
Date significance updated: 13 Oct 16
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: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Mr Powell
Physical description: Manganese brick base, shingle upper wall linings, terracotta tile roof, stucco chimneys. Formal planting of palm trees in rows in the garden.

The house faces north toward Bilgola Avenue but is accessed from the south where the garage is located on a separate block of land separated by the stone stormwater channel. (Eric Martins & Associated 2003)

The house occupies most of the available land and has a well developed garden on all sides including the small open area to the north and the integrated path and bridge network over the stormwater channel to the south (Eric Martins & Associated 2003).

"The house is a single storey Federation Bungalow with a large pitched tiled roof, deeply shady verandas, eaves with exposed rafters, bay windows, wall hung shingles, masonry and timber post veranda columns. A c1975 contemporary alteration/extension has been added to the south side which has a skillion roof, large timber framed windows. This sits in stark contrast with the rest of the house. Internally, the main rooms are fine examples of the period retaining much original fabric including dark stained beams, with white ceilings, dark timber panelling with timber shelf, fireplace, multi paned casement windows in dark timber frames and timber floors." (Eric Martins & Associated 2003)
Modifications and dates: c.1975 a contemporary alteration/extension was added to the south side which has a skillion roof and large timber framed windows.

A second storey addition was approved in 2005 (DA No. N0968/03) after extensive negotiations with the owner/applicant.
Further information: Formal planting of palm trees in rows in garden
Current use: Residential dwelling
Former use: Residential dwelling


Historical notes: The lot was created in the Bilgola Estate Subdivision in 1922 and is therefore associated with early development of the area. The house was constructed shortly after the 1922 subdivision, as a holiday house by Mr Powell, possibly a local stonemason. It has remained an integral part of the history of the area since.(Eric Martins & Associated 2003)

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 (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The lot was created in the Bilgola Estate Subdivision in 1922 and is therefore associated with early development of the area. The house was constructed after the 1922 subdivision and has remained an integral part of the history of the area since.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Research to date does not indicate any historical association with a person or groups that are important to the historical development of the area.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The setting of the house among the palms and the sandstone drainage channel with stone bridges create a high aesthetic appeal and greatly enhance the setting, while reflecting the history of the area and the subdivision (Eric Martins & Associated 2003). The Palms is also architecturally significant due to the retained 1920's features. The house is an excellent example of a 1920s cottage with unusual features [such as the] extensive use of timber shingles externally and the fine dark timber detailing internally. The 1920’s architectural features and the formal planting of palm trees in rows in the garden are important elements of the aesthetic appeal.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Social significance of the place requires a more detailed study to ascertain its value for the local community. However, it could be anticipated that the house’s early construction would provide a historical connection to the local community.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The house has potential to provide evidence on the construction system of 1920s cottages.
SHR Criteria g)
The house is representative of and an excellent example of a 1920s style cottage.
Integrity/Intactness: The c.1975 extensions to the south are not assessed as having any heritage significance as they are out of character and inconsistent with the original house.
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:

The house should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Impact Statement should be prepared for the house prior to any major works being undertaken. Archival photographic recording, in accordance with Heritage Council guidelines, should be undertaken before major changes. Further conservation or adaptive works should be guided by a Conservation Management Strategy.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanPittwater LEP 2014227001627 Jun 14   
Local Environmental Plan  04 Feb 94   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Barrenjoey Peninsula & Pittwater Heritage Study1989B 58Macdonald Mcphee P/L Craig Burton  No
Pittwater Community Based Heritage Study Review2015 City Plan Heritage  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenSue Hoban1998Manly Daily,' Convict Signatures there on The Palms', 23 March 1998

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

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(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: 2270016

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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