Coburra | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Heritage

Coburra

Item details

Name of item: Coburra
Other name/s: Federation Style. House
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 184 Forest Road, Arncliffe, NSW 2205
Parish: St George
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Rockdale
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
184 Forest RoadArncliffeRockdaleSt GeorgeCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The house known as Coburra, or Goburra as it was originally known, is representative of the aspirations of the merchant class and new wealthy of Arncliffe. The building has association with Theodore Williams, owner of the Reliance Knitting Company who was a pioneer in the manufacture of knitted goods in Australia’, supplying the defence department with knitted goods for the AIF during WWI. Williams and his family lived at Goburra until 1946. This dwelling is aesthetically significant as a large Federation detached cottage that makes a contribution to the streetscape of Forest Road. The building has important aesthetic references to Australian themes which were becoming popular in the Federation period such as the motif of the kookaburra on the front gable end. The building is a fine example of a villa built for a gentleman and his family on a large parcel of land in Federation era 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.

Description

Construction years: 1900-
Physical description: Single storey brick house. Gabled roof covered with slates. Mature trees in front garden. Stone fence trimmed with wrought iron and matching gates. There is a motif of a Kookaburra in the front gable end.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The dwelling is in good condition
Date condition updated:11 Aug 10
Current use: Dwelling
Former use: Dwelling

History

Historical notes: The subject property is part of 38 acres of land originally purchased at auction by George Wheeler in 1853. (Rathbone, A Village Called Arncliffe, p 27). In 1896, following George Wheeler’s death, Mrs Patience Amelia Knight acquired the whole of his 38 acres. In 1900 the subject land was sold in a subdivision known as Knight’s Estate. The house’s name appears originally to have been Goburra, as this is how it appeared in newspaper advertisements for the house on Forest Road, from 1900 until at least the 1940s. The house was ‘specially built...regardless of expense’ for the owner, merchant John Channon Cornish, in c1900. The Cornish family remained at the place until 1915. In 1907 they advertised for the sale of their family Jersey dairy cow (‘Advertising’, SMH, 24 August 1907), which gives an idea of the scale of the property, and in 1909 Cornish advertised in the same year for a personal chauffeur (‘Advertising’, SMH, 25 June 1907), confirming the family’s wealth. In 1910 yet another Jersey cow (‘a perfect pet, and quiet’) was sold from the Cornish household (‘Advertising’, SMH, 23 November 1910). Arthur Cornish, John’s son, was living at the place with his family when Goburra was sold at auction in 1915. The newspaper description gives some idea of the grandeur of the still-new building, which was ‘in perfect order’: A very superior and faithfully built gentleman’s villa residence, of brick and cement, on massive stone foundations, with best purple Bangor slate roof, containing wide and beautifully tiled front and side entrance halls, 7 large and lofty rooms.. exceptionally large and well-fitted kitchen, laundry etc.,...tiled bathroom, replete with every convenience, porcelain enamelled bath, basin etc. The wide black-and-white checked tile veranda, with marble nosing and steps, is a striking feature. In front is a fancy scroll iron fence on stone foundations with wrought iron gates at private and carriage entrances. Land, 100ft x 200ft, fronting Atkinson Street at the rear, and overlooking Hopetoun Park. The grounds are nicely laid out in lawns, flowers, fruit-trees etc., with gravelled paths. At the rear is a commodious garage, stables... Also adjoining the above... is a tennis court and superior building...used as pavilion and billiard room. (‘Auction Sales: Goburra’, SMH, 10 June 1915). The purchaser was Mr Theodore Williams and his wife May (nee Richards) (‘Funerals’, SMH, 28 September 1927). Theodore Williams, owner of the Reliance Knitting Company was described in an obituary as ‘a pioneer in the manufacture of knitted goods in Australia’, supplying the defence department with knitted goods for the AIF during WWI. He was president of the Hosier and Knit Goods Association for many years and was also a member of the Masonic lodges Kilwinning and Goulburn. Williams was still in residence at Goburra by his death, aged 67, in 1940 (‘Mr Theodore Williams’, SMH, 17 February 1940). May Williams lived at Goburra until her own death in 1950 (‘Deaths’, SMH, 13 October 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)-
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 Village community to commuter suburb - Housing-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The house known as Coburra, or Goburra as it was originally known, is representative of the aspirations of the merchant class and new wealthy of Arncliffe. The gentlemans villa for which no expense was spared, was designed to house a growing family but also to reflect the status of its owner.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The building has association with merchant John Channon Cornish. It also has association with Theodore Williams, owner of the Reliance Knitting Company who was a pioneer in the manufacture of knitted goods in Australia’, supplying the defence department with knitted goods for the AIF during WWI. Williams and his family lived at Goburra until 1946.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This dwelling is aesthetically significant as a large Federation detached cottage built in the Rockdale area, it is a significant contribution to the streetscape of Forest Road. The building has important aesthetic references to Australian themes which were becoming popular in the Federation period such as the motif of the kookaburra on the front gable end.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Does not meet this criterion.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Does not meet this criterion.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Does not meet this criterion.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The building is a fine example of a villa built for a gentleman and his family on a large parcel of land in Federation era Rockdale.
Integrity/Intactness: The house appears to be 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.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  25 Aug 00   
Local Environmental PlanRockdale LEP 2011I2805 Dec 11   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Rockdale Heritage Study199199Meredith Walker and Terry Kass  No
Rockdale Heritage Inventory Review2010 Louise Thom  Yes

References, internet links & images

None

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: 2330230


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