Former Bexley Council Chambers (Jack & Jill Kindergarten) | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Former Bexley Council Chambers (Jack & Jill Kindergarten)

Item details

Name of item: Former Bexley Council Chambers (Jack & Jill Kindergarten)
Other name/s: Government and Administration
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Government and Administration
Category: Council Chambers
Primary address: 131 Queen Victoria Street, Bexley, NSW 2207
Parish: St George
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Rockdale
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
131 Queen Victoria StreetBexleyRockdaleSt GeorgeCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

This public building is significant as the Council Chambers constructed for the Borough of Bexley after its incorporation in 1900 and as part of the development of services in the Bexley area of Rockdale. It is a representative example of Federation council chambers designed at the start of the 20th century in the Rockdale area.
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.


Construction years: 1901-1901
Physical description: A single storey gabled roof, rendered brick Federation-style building with painted weatherboard porch details, terra cotta tile roof and World War II bomb shelter at the side. There are plantings of brush box trees on the grounds, flanking the front entry.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building has been significantly altered, with the face bricks painted, original chimneys removed, and an addition to the side of the bomb shelter. The interior has also been significantly altered. The front porch has been enclosed and widened with a bay window.
Date condition updated:17 Aug 10
Modifications and dates: DA-1984/1021 : CONSTRUCTION OF PARENTS MEETING ROOM
DA-2005/303: Installation of Shade cloth Sail at the Bexley Jack & Jill Pre-School
DA-2010/306 : Internal alterations to existing Bexley Jack & Jill Pre-School Kindergarten
DA-2010/406: Replace existing awning with Colorbond timber awning at the rear of existing childcare centre
Current use: Day Care Centre
Former use: Council Chambers


Historical notes: In March of 1822, James Chandler purchased 100 acres of land called " Sylvester's Farm" on the northern side of Wolli Creek. In July of 1822, Governor Brisbane granted Chandler 1200 acres on the southern side of Wolli Creek. The two parcels together became known as the " Bexley Estate"

Present- day Bexley began its municipal life as a ward of The Municipality of Hurstville, proclaimed on 28th March 1887. A contemporary newspaper report stated:
" The municipality is divided into three wards. Bexley Ward includes the settlement near the Kogarah railway station, known as West Kogarah, and that near the Carlton station, and is therefore the most populous".
At the time of the incorporation there was only a handful of homes along Forest Road and it was possible to walk to Hurstville from Bexley across open, unfenced paddocks. The entire area was extremely rural and the substantial citizens then living at Bexley hoped that their new municipal status would bring them some of the benefits that had already accrued to Rockdale. But they were sorely disappointed and their representatives were compelled to campaign for the most elementary improvements.
This situation was unlikely to be tolerated for long indeed, in less than three years the residents of Bexley Ward were already considering a movement for separation as an individual borough. After considerable canvassing of ratepayers a progress association was formed. Its first meeting on 11th July 1890 in the Bexley Presbyterian Church Hall elected Joseph Godwin as secretary of the movement and discussed the possibility of separation from Hurstville on the grounds that a fair proportion of their council's revenue was not being spent in Bexley.
The Borough of Bexley was incorporated on 28th June 1900 as a direct result of ten years of constant agitation. The first Mayor was Mr. J.W. Larbalestier, a well-known Sydney boot merchant. A succession of temporary Council Clerks-Messrs Greisbach, Wearne and Dunne-led to the appointment in December 1902 of Richard W. Churchill.
Lacking a Council chamber, the newly-elected Bexley aldermen first met in a school room of Rev. C.T. Forscutt's College in Gladstone Street until a block of land was acquired at the corner of Northbrook and Queen Victoria Streets.
Bexley became part of Rockdale on the 1st. January 1949

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Rockdale-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. On the urban Fringe - Facilities-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The former Bexley Council Chambers is historically significant as part of the development and growth of the Bexley area after the incorporation of the Borough of Bexley in June 1900.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
This 1901 public building is historically associated with the Bexley Municipal Council.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building has some aesthetic value as a Federation council chambers despite later modifications.
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)
This public building is a representative example of Council chambers built in the Rockdale area at the beginning of the 20th century as the various Boroughs of Rock dale became incorporated
Integrity/Intactness: Building is reasonably intact although it has had major alterations.
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 2011I15405 Dec 11   
Local Environmental Plan  25 Aug 00 109 
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Rockdale Heritage Study199134Meredith Walker and Terry Kass  No
Rockdale Heritage Inventory Review2010 Louise Thom  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenW. R. Rathbone .1986Rockdale, Its Beginning and Development

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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2330156

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