"Windyridge" (house) | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


"Windyridge" (house)

Item details

Name of item: "Windyridge" (house)
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Cottage
Primary address: 50 and 50B Sunrise Road, Palm Beach, NSW 2108
Parish: Narrabeen
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Pittwater
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
50 and 50B Sunrise RoadPalm BeachPittwaterNarrabeenCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

"Windyridge", built in 1919 to the design of Wilshire and Day and built by Charles Verrills as a holiday house and modified by his son Frederick Verrills, has historic and aesthetic significance as a good example of vernacular weekender typical of the early Pittwater subdivisions.

The architectural heritage of the area is characterised by this house form which, in Pittwater, evolved as a structure subordinate to the landscape and which utilised natural materials to harmonise with the surroundings and lessen their visual impact. The weekender is representative of the popularity of cottage retreats within Pittwater built of local natural materials to simple designs with traditional construction techniques.

This house is associated with early subdivision and leisure development and is culturally significant. It is still in its original state thus making it architecturally significant.

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: 14 Mar 15
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: Wilshire & Day Architect
Builder/Maker: Charles Verrills & modified by Frederick Verrills
Physical description: Windyridge is located on a prominent site at the top of Sunrise Hill with scenic views to 270º and is not visible from Sunrise Road.

It was built as a vernacular weekender with terracotta pan tile roof, ochre stucco rough cast masonry walls, gables and external joinery in general are of dark stained timber.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Appears in good condition externally.
Date condition updated:15 Jul 14
Modifications and dates: Back verandah was enclosed in 1919. Over a period of time the dead load of the terracotta tiles required the roof structure to be reinforced. This was done by Frederick Verrills, the son of the builder. Due to excessive leakage, the terracotta tiles were replaced by much lighter decramastic roof tiles.
Further information: Prominent position at summit of Sunrise Hill with 270 degree views. Massive stone retaining wall on cliff face below the house.
Current use: Residential
Former use: Residential


Historical notes: "Windyridge" was owned by Dr Harwood and purchased after WWI by C Hume Gillham, a surveyor and well known Palm Beach personality.

Gillham also built Three Winds and stone retaining wall below "Windyridge". (Steege p.59-62)

The house was designed by Wilshire & Day Architects and was built by Charles Verrills in 1919 then modified by his son Frederick Verrills. Henry Austin Wilshire was a well-known city architect who was closely associated with Furlough House, Narrabeen, the well-known seaside holiday resort for the wives and children of soldiers, of which he was honorary architect and adviser. He was one of the pioneers of Palm Beach, and was one of the founders of the Australasian Pioneers' Club. (SMH, 23 August 1923)

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)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Windyridge, built in 1919 to the design of Wilshire and Day and built by Frederick Verrils as a holiday house, has historic significance as a good example of vernacular weekender typical of the early Pittwater subdivisions
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]
Windyridge, built to the design of Wilshire and Day by Charles Verrills then modified by his son Frederick Verrils as a holiday house, has aesthetic significance as a good example of vernacular weekender typical of the early Pittwater subdivisions.
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 vernacular style 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 vernacular weekenders.
SHR Criteria g)
Representative of vernacular weekenders typical of the early Pittwater subdivisions built of local natural materials to simple designs with traditional construction techniques. The house is also representative of body of work of Wilshire and Day.
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. Photographic Archival Recording should be undertaken before major changes in accordance with the NSW Heritage Office guidelines for Photographic Recording of Heritage Items using Film or Digital Capture (2006).


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  04 Feb 94   
Local Environmental PlanPittwater LEP 2014227015227 Jun 14   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
 1989 B 13Barrenjoey Peninsula & Pittwater Heritage Study  No
Barrenjoey Peninsula & Pittwater Heritage Study1989 Macdonald Mcphee P/L Craig Burton  No
Pittwater Community Based Heritage Study Review2015 City Plan Heritage  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAndrew George Burgess1989A regional Outlook: A study of the Concepts of Regionalism and their Application to the Residential Architecture of the Palm Beach Locality
WrittenJoan Steege1984Palm Beach 1788-1988

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: 2270152

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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