Federation Queen Anne style weatherboard dwelling | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Federation Queen Anne style weatherboard dwelling

Item details

Name of item: Federation Queen Anne style weatherboard dwelling
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 75 Marsden Road, West Ryde, NSW 2114
Parish: Hunters Hill
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Ryde
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
75 Marsden RoadWest RydeRydeHunters HillCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The house has historical significance as one of the early farm houses associated with the Spurway family orchardists in the Ryde area, one of three such houses in Marsden Road. The house has historical association with Frederick Ernest Spurway (1867-1953), who built the house circa 1903, and his son Frederick Thomas Spurway. Frederick Ernest Spurway was a son of James Spurway (1837-1912) and Maria A. Smith, a prominent local orchardist, who continued the family orcharding business in this area. He was an alderman on Dundas Council and at one time Mayor of Dundas Council (1918). His son, Frederick Thomas Spurway (died 1967), continued the Spurway orcharding and nursery business. The house has aesthetic significance as a fine representative example of a modest circa 1903 weatherboard Federation Queen Anne style house.
Date significance updated: 04 Feb 13
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: 1903-
Physical description: A single storey Federation cottage set on an average allotment fronting Marsden Road, and located in the close vicinity of other houses at one time belonging to the Spurway family: No. 69 'The Vinery' and No. 135 'Riverview'. The weatherboard, single storey Federation Queen Anne style house has an informal massing with a hipped corrugated iron roof with an offset gable over a projecting front wing. The main hip has ventilating gablets. A separately roofed verandah wraps around the south east corner, and has been partially infilled. There is a skillion roofed addition to the rear. The house is clad in weatherboard and features some roughcast to gable ends and chimneys. Timber casement windows are grouped in threes, and feature multi-pane highlights and decorative timber aprons. Shingled awnings shelter south-west facing windows and feature a tre-foil fret work motif and decorative brackets The verandah is supported by square timber posts with a simple timber valance supported by brackets.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:27 Aug 12
Modifications and dates: Outbuildings shown on the 1943 (NSW Lands Dept) aerial photo have since been demolished.
Current use: residential
Former use: residential


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 area around West Ryde and Meadowbank was granted to the colonial official William Balmain, a surgeon on the First Fleet, from 1794. He named the property ‘Meadowbank’. This Estate was farmed by John and William Bennett throughout most of the nineteenth century, except for 40 acres that were sold to Major Edward Darvall. William Bennett was a sea captain involved in trade, who appreciated the river frontage. The Darvall property stretched from Shaftsbury Road to Ryedale Road and from Rowe Street to Victoria Road, a total of 360 acres (146 hectares). The Darvall’s built Ryedale House on the site in the late 1850’s, and the family lived there for the next 70 years. The other largest estate in the area, also covering both Meadowbank and West Ryde, was granted to Lieutenant William Kent between 1796 and 1799. Smaller land grants were made in 1798 to Edward Goodin , Michael Connor, Richard Porter and George Patfield. On the edge of the area was also small land grant made to the ex-convict Ann Thorn in 1795. She later married James Shepherd who acquired more land in the area, including William Kent’s original land grant. The Shepherd’s became a notable local family. James’ son, Isaac Shepherd, lived in the Meadowbank section of the Estate and built himself a two-storey sandstone mansion called Helenie. In the 1860s he was a member of the Legislative Assembly.

Shepherd’s Estate was the first subdivision in the area, and lots were offered for auction in 1841. All 23 lots were sold, although an economic downturn meant that development of the sites did not progress quickly. The Meadowbank Estate was first subdivided in 1883, in anticipation of the railway line. The Strathfield to Hornsby line was opened in 1886, and further Meadowbank Estate subdivisions were offered in 1888. Some lots, around Station Street, were sold to professional gentlemen who commuted to offices in the city. The largest land sale, however, was the Helenie Estate to the Mellor brothers. They established the Meadowbank Manufacturing Company in 1890. The site was well situated for both river and rail transport, and they separated some lots for building housing for Company officials. The Company manufactured agricultural implements, and later railway rolling stock and tramcars.

For most of the 19th century transport to and from the Ryde Council area across the Parramatta River was achieved by road and ferry. However, construction began on the Gladesville Bridge in 1878 and it opened for traffic on 1 February 1881. Nearly two years later, the Iron Cove Bridge opened in November 1882. With these two road bridges completed the entire pattern of Ryde's communication with the city altered.

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.

West Ryde as a suburb did not develop a separate identity to Ryde until the 1920s and 1930s. It was designated as its own postal area in 1926, and the local public school was renamed ‘West Ryde Public School’ in 1930 (originally called Meadowbank). The railway station was not changed to West Ryde until 1945, although the name had been debated for several decades previous to the final change.

This item is one of three houses built by members of the Spurway family in Marsden Road, following the 1873 subdivision of Kingston Farm, an 100 acre grant made to the Reverend Samuel Marsden in 1794.

Kingston Farm was subdivided and auctioned in 1873 by Marsden's daughter Anne Hassall and her daughter Catherine Elizabeth Hope.

Riverview, the house at no.135 Marsden Road was built on lots 13 and 14 (3 acres 21 perches) sold to George Spurway in 1873. George Spurway was an orchardist born in Dundas in 1843 - a son of George Spurway, erstwhile convict overseer for Gregory Blaxland at Brush Farm and Frances (Fanny) nee Pratt.

George Spurway's brother James (b. 1837) bought lots 18 & 19 of the Kingston subdivision in 1873, at the same time as his brother bought lots 13 and 14. James Spurway's lots comprised 11a 38p. He was also an orchardist and was born on the Brush Farm estate in 1837. While James Spurway presumably cultivated the land soon after the purchase, he did not live there. He and his brothers had also inherited land at Dundas from their father.

In 1858 James Spurway (1837-1912) had married Maria A. Smith (NSW Marriage certificate 2639/1858) - daughter of the woman who was later to become the progenitor of the Granny Smith apple- at St Annes, Ryde. James and Maria spent many years after their marriage in a house on the southern side of Stewart Street Dundas, near the present entrance of Lottie Stewart Hospital. James Spurway (senior) was a prominent figure in the Dundas/Ermington district in the 1880s and 1890s. He financed the building of the Dundas Baptist Church which opened in 1894 and served as a lay preacher in the church. At the same time be bought several other orchard blocks in the district, including the Eulalia nursery at Ermington.

James and Maria Spurway had a number of children born at Ryde between 1858 and 1867, including James S. (1858); Maria A (1860); George T. (1863); Robert W. (1865); and Frederick E (1867). There were also other births recorded at Parramatta to a James and Maria Spurway between 1870 and 1875, indicating the couple were residing in Parramatta in the 1870s. In 1901 James and Maria and their youngest children retired to a house in Manly.

James Spencer Spurway (1858- 1928), the son of James and Maria Spurway, married Elizabeth A. Woodcock at Ryde in 1880 (NSW marriage certificate 4835/1880). James S. Spurway and his wife Elizabeth A, had five children between 1882 and 1891, the first born at Paddington, the second born at Ryde in 1885, and the last three born at Waverley.

In the mid 1880s James Spurway built a house on lots 18 and 19 of the Kingston subdivision which he called The Vinery. This is the house at no. 69 Marsden Road. Sands' Sydney Directories lists James Spurway in Marsden Road (then called Flagstaff Street) as early as 1886.

From 1887-1890 the Directories list James Spencer Spurway’s brother Robert Spurway (born 1865) in Marsden Road and then a James Spurway reappears at the address from 1891 till 1903 with their brother Frederick Ernest (born 1867) listed also from 1903.

James Spurway (senior) died in 1912, and the land in Marsden Road passed to his son Frederick Ernest Spurway (1867-1953). Fred was an orchardist like his father and was an alderman of Dundas Council at that time. Frederick Ernest Spurway was elected Mayor of Dundas Council in 1918 (Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 9 February 1918, page 11). .Frederick Ernest Spurway is the only name listed in Sands' at an address corresponding to lots 18 & 19 of the Kingston subdivision (the subject land) until 1918. From 1918 his name is followed by that of his son Frederick Thomas.

Frederick Ernest Spurway died in 1953 and his sons Frederick Thomas, Maurice Edwin, Harry George and Ernest Arthur were executors of his estate. Frederick Thomas was then a nurseryman like his father in Marsden Road but the other 3 lived at various addresses in Eastwood and Orange.

In 1958 the brothers applied to bring the land under the provisions of the Real Property Act (PA 40837) and sold the bulk of the land to the City Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd. The land was surveyed and subdivided in 1958 (DP 30394) with 3 lots remaining in Spurway ownership. Lots 3 & 4 of DP 30394 comprising 2 acres 7 perches were The Vinery lots and were occupied by James Keith Spurway and Edna Mary Elizabeth Spurway. Lot 7 was not included in the Primary Application because it had earlier been conveyed (May 1957) to Frederick Thomas Spurway. It seems that Frederick Thomas Spurway was at this time living on this lot in a weatherboard cottage which had been built by his father. (Book 2405 No.920) This is the house now known as 75 Marsden Road (SHI No. 2340139).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Orcharding-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Clearing land for farming-
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]
The house has historical significance as one of the early farm houses associated with the Spurway family orchardists in the Ryde area, one of three such houses in Marsden Road.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The house has historical association with Frederick Ernest Spurway (1867-1953), who built the house circa 1903, and his son Frederick Thomas Spurway. Frederick Ernest Spurway was a son of James Spurway (1837-1912) and Maria A. Smith, a prominent local orchardist, who continued the family orcharding business in this area. Frederick Ernest Spurway was an alderman on Dundas Council, and was elected Mayor of Dundas Council in 1918 (Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 9 February 1918, page 11). His son, Frederick Thomas Spurway (died 1967), continued the Spurway orcharding and nursery business.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The house has aesthetic significance as a fine example of a modest circa 1903 weatherboard Federation Queen Anne style house
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
No social significance has been identified.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The dwelling is considered to have little archeological or research potential
SHR Criteria f)
The house is not rare.
SHR Criteria g)
The dwelling is a fine weatherboard example of a Federation Queen Anne style dwelling.
Integrity/Intactness: the 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.

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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanRyde LEP 2010    
Local Environmental PlanRyde Draft LEP 2011I66   
Local Environmental PlanRyde LEP 2014I6602 Sep 14   
Local Environmental Plan - LapsedLEP No. 10531017 Jan 03 14350
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Ryde Heritage Study1988310Jonathan 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
Ryde SHI Review Stage 22012 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1918Article on election of Frederick Ernest Spurway as Mayor of Dundas, Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 9 February 1918, page 11.
Written  Research by Ryde Library Local Studies

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: 2340139

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