Federation House | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Federation House

Item details

Name of item: Federation House
Other name/s: Federation Style. House
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 191 Wollongong Road, Arncliffe, NSW 2205
Parish: St George
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Rockdale
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
191 Wollongong RoadArncliffeRockdaleSt GeorgeCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The house once named "Illawarra", is historically significant as part of a largely Federation streetscape on Wollongong Road, one of the earliest roads in Rockdale. The house is aesthetically significant as part of grouping of Federation dwellings with intact front gardens. The building is a good representative example of a Federation house in Rockdale.
Date significance updated: 24 Aug 10
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 unusual single store Federation house with a hipped roof and front facing projecting gable and a front veranda. The gable end is half stucco with timber battens and timber shingles. In the projecting wall is a bay window with steep pitched roof and an arched entry set into the brick opening onto the veranda. The roof is Marseille tiles and the walls red oxide brick to the front façade with a decorative string course of darker brick and plain commons to the sides. The original stuccoed chimneys are still extant. The veranda is supported by pair of turned timber veranda posts. There is a mid 20th century steel fence at the front.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The dwelling is in reasonable condition
Date condition updated:30 May 10
Current use: Dwelling
Former use: Dwelling


Historical notes: The subject property is part of land purchased at auction by Thomas Hill Bardwell in 1853. In 1881, brothers Thomas and Alexander Milsop each purchased adjacent 6-acre parcels of Bardwell’s land (Rathbone 49); together, the 12 acres were bounded by present-day Lorraine Street, Wolli Creek Road, Wollongong Road and Wilson’s Road. The brothers Milsop, of Protestant Irish stock, had been attracted to Australia in 1852 by the discovery of gold in Victoria. After failing to make their fortunes there or in New Zealand, they returned to NSW where they found their fortune on the Kurrajong Goldfield near Forbes. Alexander Milsop later became the first Mayor of Hurstville. On their two parcels of 6 acres each they erected two identical houses, Belmont and Fairview. Both houses are extant. In c1900, the land formerly belonging to Fairview (bounded by present-day Lorraine Street, Wilson’s Road, Wollongong Road and a division between it and the Belmont Estate to the west) was subdivided. The date of construction of the subject house is unknown, although it was likely between 1900 and 1910. The earliest owners and occupants are also unclear. Fred Willis appears have occupied the house, which he named Illawarra, by c1914. The next occupant was Arthur Bruce Ferguson of Ferguson’s nursery in Kingsgrove, who from 1920 lived at the subject house; while Robert J Ferguson, possibly a relation, lived next door at No.193 since 1914 (Sands Directory). Ferguson died in Arncliffe in 1949, leaving his wife and daughter an impressive estate (‘£64,474’, SMH, 10 May 1950). It is not clear whether, at the time of his death, Ferguson was still living at the subject house, which was sold by Richardson & Wrench in 1950 (‘Real Estate’, SMH, 9 December 1950).

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 house once named "Illawarra", is historically significant as part of a largely Federation streetscape on Wollongong Road, one of the earliest roads in Rockdale.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The building is associated with Arthur Bruce Ferguson of Ferguson’s nursery in Kingsgrove.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This dwelling is aesthetically significant as part of a streetscape of 5 Federation dwelling with intact front gardens.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Does not meet this criterion.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Does not meet this criterion.
SHR Criteria f)
Does not meet this criterion.
SHR Criteria g)
The building is a good representative example of a Federation house in Rockdale.
Integrity/Intactness: Dwelling is reasonably intact.
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 PlanRockdale LEP 2011I6305 Dec 11   
Local Environmental Plan  16 Nov 01 175 
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Rockdale Heritage Inventory Review2010 Louise Thom  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: 2330105

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