Womerah - Federation Queen Anne style dwelling | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Womerah - Federation Queen Anne style dwelling

Item details

Name of item: Womerah - Federation Queen Anne style dwelling
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 31 Trelawney Street, Eastwood, NSW 2122
Parish: Hunters Hill
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Ryde
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
31 Trelawney StreetEastwoodRydeHunters HillCumberlandPrimary Address
Shaftsbury RoadEastwoodRyde  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

Womerah, built 1905, is of historical significance as evidence of the early development of the Eastwood Heights Estate, subdivided in 1903 by architect Charles Robert Summerhayes (1860-1948).Womerah has historical association with architect, alderman and 1911-1912 Ryde Mayor Charles Robert Summerhayes (1860-1948)., as it was designed by Summerhayes as his own family residence. Summerhayes was a prominent local architect, responsible for the Eastwood Heights Estate subdivision, a number of other local subdivisions and who had designed and superintended the building of 42 residences at Eastwood, as well as 3 "up-to-date shops" near the railway station. Summerhayes was also the designer of the first dedicated Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church at 626-630 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, NSW (now on the NSW State Heritage Register). Womerah is of aesthetic significance as a fine, substantial architect-designed representative of the Federation Queen Anne style.
Date significance updated: 07 Dec 11
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

Designer/Maker: Charles Robert Summerhayes, architect
Physical description: A picturesque, substantial, predominantly single storey Federation Queen Anne style house with attic rooms, prominently positioned on a corner allotment with views to the Parramatta River.

The house is set in a lawn with low shrubs around the house and along the low face brick perimeter fence and mature trees, and the trees provide a green backdrop to the house.

The house was originally face brickwork (now rendered) and has a complex hipped and gabled terracotta tiled roof with ornamental ridge capping with asymmetrical street facing gabled bays, an octagonal corner turret and dormer windows, the front dormer originally featuring a balcony (now enclosed).

The integral verandah is supported by timber columns and incorporates a curvilinear timber valance. Fenestration comprises double wing timber sash windows in groups of three with fan lights to the front facade and some casement windows. The front façade windows incorporate some leadlight. Roughcast is employed at gable ends, contrasting with the brickwork (now rendered) of the main body of the house.

The house name "Womerah" appears in Art Nouveau style lettering in a gable end.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good
Date condition updated:07 Dec 11
Modifications and dates: Alterations include:
- subdivision of the original allotment, creating new lots to the west and north,
- rendering of brickwork
- the enclosure of the balcony to the front dormer window
- retiling of roof,
- alterations to the western verandah
- lean to additions to the rear and
- the construction of a garage and fencing to Shaftsbury Road.
Current use: Dwelling
Former use: Dwelling

History

Historical notes: AREA HISTORY
Aboriginal people inhabited the Sydney basin for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. The northern coastal area of Sydney was home to the Guringai people, western Sydney was home to the Dharug clans, and southern Sydney was inhabited by the Dharawal clans. The Guringai lived primarily along the foreshores of the harbour, and fished and hunted in the waters and hinterlands of the area. All clans harvested food from their surrounding bush. Self-sufficient and harmonious, they had no need to travel far from their lands, since the resources around them were so abundant, and trade with other tribal groups was well established. The British arrival in 1788 had a dramatic impact on all of the Sydney clans. Food resources were quickly diminished by the invaders, who had little understanding of the local environment. As a result, the Aboriginal people throughout the Sydney Basin were soon close to starvation. The Sydney clans fought back against the invaders, but the introduction of diseases from Europe and Asia, most notably smallpox, destroyed over half the population. The clearing of land for settlements and farms displaced local tribes and reduced the availability of natural food resources, leaving Aboriginal people reliant on white food and clothing. The French surgeon and pharmacist Rene Primavere Lesson, who visited Sydney in 1824, wrote: "the tribes today are reduced to fragments scattered all around Port Jackson, on the land where their ancestors lived and which they do not wish to leave." (Information taken from City of Ryde Aboriginal Site Management Report, Aboriginal Heritage Office, 2011)

The first land grants in Eastwood were given in 1794 to Samuel Wheeler, Rev. James Bain, John Redman, Patrick Campbell, Thomas Bride, Zadoc Petit and William Patullo. Land grants continued in the area until 1801, although this period also saw many original grants sold to local landowners to form larger farms. Captain John Macarthur purchased several land grants in the area between1794 and 1799. He later sold this land to Joseph Holt, who, on behalf of Lt. William Cox, amalgamated 14 farms in the Field of Mars district into one estate. This amalgamation of farms did not last long. William Cox sold some of the estate to D’Arcy Wentworth at the area’s first auction in 1804. In 1807 Gregory Blaxland established Brush Farm Estate from nine farms purchased from D’Arcy Wentworth, thought to be the original land grants of Wheeler, Bain, Redman, Campbell, Bride, Petit and Patullo. Major Edward Darvall, a retired English army officer, leased Denistone Farm from Dr Foster in 1840, and later purchased a 400 acre estate in the Ryde area, covering part of Eastwood and West Ryde. William Rutledge bought land in 1835, including land originally granted to Lt. William Kent and John Love in the 1790s. This formed Eastwood Estate (the site of Eastwood House). It is evident from newspaper notices of the period, that William Rutledge and his family had built a house and occupied the property, known as "Eastwood, Field of Mars" from at least 1837 till 1844. William Rutledge, of Irish origin, had arrived in Sydney in December 1829 with his uncle Dr. Thomas Forster (who leased nearby Deniston (sic) from his father-in-law Gregory Blaxland of Brush Farm). Rutledge was a government contractor and a director of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, who later moved to Victoria.

Edward Terry was mayor for Ryde in 1871-73, 1875-6 and 1899, and was a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly from 1898 to 1904. During these years Terry encouraged the development of the Eastwood area, including influencing the government to run the new Strathfield to Hornsby rail line through his property in the 1880s.

The original railway bridge across the Parramatta River was the Meadowbank Bridge, a lattice girder bridge designed for John Whitton, (Engineer-in-Chief of the NSW Railways between 1856 and 1890). The bridge was competed in August 1886 as part of the original infrastructure for the Main North Line, and the stations along the section of the line from North Strathfield to Hornsby also opened in 1886. The construction of the railway encouraged rapid subdivision and construction in the areas near the railway stations at Meadowbank, West Ryde, Denistone and Eastwood. once land became available for subdivision into suburban blocks.

The main camp for the railway workers was set up in the Eastwood area, leading to the establishment of a local school, Post office and hotel in Eastwood. Brush Farm was subdivided from 1881, and Darvall Estate from 1902. When Terry’s Estate subdivisions were offered for sale from 1905, businesses began to move into Rowe Street. By the 1920s Rowe Street was established as Eastwood’s commercial centre.

ITEM HISTORY
Womerah was built on lots 32 & 33 of the Eastwood Heights Estate subdivided in 1903 by architect Charles Robert SUMMERHAYES (1860-1948). The subdivision was bounded by Shaftsbury Road, Clanwilliam Street, Railway Road (now Tarrants Avenue) and included Rose Street (now Stewart Street), Lily Street (now Coronation Avenue) and Alice Street (now Trelawney Street). Rose and Alice were the daughters of Summerhayes and Lily was his wife's name. Built by Summerhayes as his private residence, Womerah was completed in late 1905. The Cumberland Argus & Fruitgrowers Advocate reported in June 1905 that building had begun on the house and that it was expected to cost upwards of 1500 pounds. The Argus reported that it was near completion in November 1905 and was "a model home and a most valuable addition to the architecture" of Eastwood. A description of the house appeared in the Christmas 1906 number of the Argus (December 17 1906 pp.37,39). Summerhayes was at that time an Alderman on Ryde Council and the Argus explained that, in his capacity as an Alderman and owing to his practical experience as an architect, Summerhayes was "able to render signal service to the Municipality as a whole and to West Ward in particular". Summerhayes had come, said the Argus, to Eastwood around 1901 when the area was "practically a bush", it was now a town and the transformation was "mainly due to Alderman C.R. Summerhayes, who was largely instrumental in bringing into existence the progress association which, during its brief career, has worked wonders".

The Argus further reported that Summerhayes was responsible for a number of subdivisions and that as an architect he had superintended the building of 42 residences at Eastwood, as well as 3 "up-to-date shops" near the railway station.

The Argus published a photograph of Womerah and described the house in detail: "It ... contains ten rooms, all of which are lofty and spacious, and fitted with fibrous plastering ceilings. In the centre is a spacious hall, and the accommodation includes an ideal billiard-room and cosy office for the owner. A studio is to be added for Mrs Summerhayes, whose beautiful and artistic oil paintings are much admired by all who have seen them. Electric bells are fitted throughout the establishment, which is beautifully furnished, and provided with every modern convenience. The spacious grounds have been laid out to the best advantage, a well kept lawn and tennis court being conspicuous in front, while there is a charming park at the rear."

Charles Robert Summerhayes was Mayor of Ryde in 1911-1912

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)-
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 Suburban Development-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Womerah, built 1905, is of historical significance as evidence of the early development of the Eastwood Heights Estate, subdivided in 1903 by architect Charles Robert Summerhayes (1860-1948).
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Womerah has historical association with architect, alderman and 1911-1912 Ryde Mayor Charles Robert Summerhayes (1860-1948)., as it was designed by Summerhayes as his own family residence. Summerhayes was a prominent local architect, responsible for the Eastwood Heights Estate subdivision, a number of other local subdivisions and who had designed and superintended the building of 42 residences at Eastwood, as well as 3 "up-to-date shops" near the railway station. Summerhayes was the designer of the first dedicated Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church at 626-630 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, NSW (now on the NSW State Heritage Register), and of his first residence "Bombara" 88 Stanmore Road, Stanmore, built in 1897 (locally heritage listed in the Marrickville Council area).
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Womerah is a fine, substantial architect-designed Federation Queen Anne style house.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Womerah is a fine representative example of the Federation Queen Anne style.
Integrity/Intactness: Overall form and most detailing intact (see list of modifications).
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:

DOCUMENTATION: A Heritage Impact Statement is required by Council to accompany any Development Application for non-minor work. Please consult Council staff about your proposal and the level of documentation that will be required as early as possible in the process. Note that Council has adopted planning provisions to assist in the making of minor changes that will not have any impact on the significance of properties without the need to prepare a formal application or Heritage Impact Statement. In this case Council must be consulted in writing to confirm the nature of the works. APPROACHES TO MANAGING THE HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROPERTY: (Note: the detailed requirements for each property will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The following advice provides general principles that should be respected by all development.) Further subdivision of the land is discouraged. The overall form of the building should be retained and conserved and new uses should be restricted to those that are historically consistent and/or able to be accommodated within the existing fabric with minimal physical impact. All significant exterior fabric should be retained and conserved. The setting of the property should be protected from the impacts of development and significant plantings, walls, paths and other landscape elements should be retained in a manner that will not threaten the viability of significant gardens, landscapes or views. The external surfaces and materials of significant facades (generally, but not limited to, those visible from the street or a public place including the water) should be retained, and painted surfaces painted in appropriate colours. Sandstone and face brickwork should not be painted or coated. Significant door and window openings should not be enlarged or enclosed. OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHANGE: All development should respect the principle of ‘do as much as necessary but as little as possible’. In most instances, new work should not attempt to replicate historic forms. A ‘contemporary neutral’ design that sits quietly on the site, and enhances the quality of the item, will be a more sympathetic outcome than a ‘fake’ historic building. Respecting the scale and overall forms, proportions and rhythms of the historic fabric is critical. As a general principle, all major alterations and additions should NOT: - result in demolition of significant fabric - result in excessive site cover; - be visually prominent or overwhelm the existing buildings. - intrude into any views of the property from the public domain, including the water; and should be: - located behind the historic building/s on the site; - visually subservient and have minimal impact on heritage significance including that of views over the property. Single storey extensions will generally be preferred over two-storey forms unless there is a sound heritage reason to do otherwise. Attic rooms must be accommodated in the original roof form. Solid fences or high walls on street boundaries and structures - including car parking structures - forward of the front building line are strongly discouraged. Given the extent of alterations, the existence of at least one early historic photo of the house, and it's known architect design, it is considered that a Conservation Management Plan should be required prior to any major work.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanRyde LEP 2010129   
Local Environmental PlanDraft Ryde LEP 2011I129   
Local Environmental PlanRyde LEP 2014I12902 Sep 14   
Local Environmental Plan - LapsedLEP No. 10513217 Jan 03 14356
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Ryde Heritage Study1988132Jonathan Falk Planning Consutants P/L Assoc with Rodney Jensen and Assoc P/L  No
Review of 1988 Ryde Heritage Study.2002 Hill Thalis Architecture and Urban Projects.  Yes
Review of 1988 Ryde Heritage Study.2002 Hill Thalis Architecture and Urban Projects.  Yes
Ryde SHI Review Stage 12012 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenBeverley McClymont2010Eastwood suburb history, Dictionary of Sydney online

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: 2340103


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