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

Culture and heritage


Valhalla - Federation Queen Anne style dwelling

Item details

Name of item: Valhalla - Federation Queen Anne style dwelling
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 24 Maxim Street, West Ryde, NSW 2114
Parish: Hunters Hill
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Ryde
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
24 Maxim StreetWest RydeRydeHunters HillCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The house "Valhalla" built 1906, is of historical significance as part of the second subdivision of the Miriam Hill Estate of 1900. The house was built for Gustaf E. Green, engineer, by Emil Green, builder. The dwelling has aesthetic significance as a good weatherboard example of the Federation Queen Anne style, its weatherboard construction material being rare in the area.
Date significance updated: 31 Jan 12
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.


Builder/Maker: Emil Green
Construction years: 1906-1906
Physical description: A single storey weatherboard Federation cottage with extensive additions to the rear and side. The house is set on a well landscaped allotment that features several palm specimens. There is a stone and timber picket front fence, and a side driveway accessing a contemporary carport. The house has a hipped and gabled roof clad in corrugated sheet metal, and features a brick and roughcast chimney. The front facade features an offset projecting gabled wing with bay windows and a separately roofed corner verandah. The bay window is roofed in timber shingles, and features coloured glass multipane highlights above timber casement windows. The entry door is glazed and has side panels and highlights. The verandah has turned timber posts and a curved fretted timber valance.
Modifications and dates: Large modern rear addition.
Current use: Dwelling
Former use: Dwelling


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).

European settlement of this area began with land being 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 Darvalls 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) by his Brother-in-law Sir John Fowler. 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.

The land which is now No. 24 Maxim Street was first granted to William Kent in 1797. The area remained agricultural until it was subdivided for residential use as part of the Miriam Hill Estate in 1888. The impetus for subdivision was the opening of the railway in 1886. The southern part of Maxim Street was formed with the Meadowbank Township subdivision on the 6 October 1906.

24 Maxim Street is lot 15, Sec 3, DP 3646 and was part of the Miriam Hill Estate (aka Meriam Hill Estate).

The first sub-division of the Meriam Hill Estate was advertised in 1888. This was land to the north of Victoria Road (then called Parramatta Road), and bounded by Goodwin Road, Hermitage Road and Ryedale/Terry Road. A subsequent sub-division of this part of the estate was advertised in 1897.

Land to the south of Victoria Road (then called Parramatta Road) was called the second sub-division of the Miriam Hill Estate (DP 3646) and included lots to the east and west of the Ryde Pumping Station including Maxim Street. This DP is dated 1900. From evidence in the Sands’ Directories Maxim Street is first listed in 1904. A subsequent sale of land in this part of the estate in 1914 shows many unsold blocks but also shows evidence of those who already had built their houses including Jeffreys, Taylor, Sheehy, Springall, Green and Simons on the eastern side of Maxim Street.

This house at 24 Maxim Street called ‘Valhalla’ was built c.1906 for Gustaf Emil Green. At the time the house was built there were already 5 other houses in Maxim Street. Gustaf Emil Green is listed as the purchaser of Lot 15 Sec 3 DP 3646 on a transfer dated 3 June 1904 (vol 905 fol 111) and a new CT was issued vol 1548 fol 33. He is listed as an engineer.

Gustaf (sometimes Gustav) E Green had married Emily L Simons at Petersham in 1906. Three children were born to them and registered in Ryde: Alma (1907), Beryl G (1909) and Bessie M (1912).

The first mention of them in the Sands Directory in Maxim Street is in 1907. As the Sands Directory was published at the beginning of the year this reflects the situation in 1906.

From the evidence of the 1924 Valuer-General’s land valuation the house was a weatherboard cottage, four rooms and an iron roof. Gustav E Green is described as an engineer. In the 1933 electoral roll he is described as an engine driver and he lived in the house with his wife and his unmarried daughter Beryl, described as a stenographer.

Frances Charlotte Mackay, wife of George Duncan Mackay of Coogee, ironworker is listed as the owner of the property on a transfer dated 28 November, 1938 (vol 1548 fol 33)

Frances Mackay lived there with her husband George Duncan Mackay, an ironworker. They had married at Randwick in 1936.

She still owned the property at the time of the1947 Valuer-General’s land valuation of 1947 but by 1954 they were living at Tuggerawong (electoral sub-division of Wyong).

In the early 1950s the property was owned by George Duncan Mackay, boilermaker of Ryde (a son of George and Frances?) and his wife Joyce Olive Mackay as joint tenants (vol 1548 fol 33) but was transferred in 1975 to Geoffrey Neil Hughes of West Ryde, journalist and his wife Eleanor Marie Hughes as joint tenants (vol 1548 fol 33) .

Eleanor Marie Hughes became the sole registered proprietor in 1988 (vol 1548 fol 33).

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]
The house "Valhalla" built 1906, is of historical significance as part of the second subdivision of the Miriam Hill Estate of 1900. The house was built for Gustaf E. Green, engineer, by Emil Green, builder.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The dwelling has aesthetic significance as a good weatherboard example of the Federation Queen Anne style.
SHR Criteria f)
The dwelling is a rare example of a timber Federation period dwelling in the West Ryde area.
SHR Criteria g)
The dwelling is a fine example of a timber Federation Queen Anne style dwelling.
Integrity/Intactness: Some rear additions, front section 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 201071   
Local Environmental PlanRyde Draft LEP 2011I71   
Local Environmental PlanRyde LEP 2014I7102 Sep 14   
Local Environmental Plan - LapsedLEP No. 105 17 Jan 03 14 
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Ryde Heritage Study1988328Jonathan 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 12012 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written Angela Phippen, Local Studies Librarian, Ryde Library2012Historical research - land titles, Sands Directories- for Ryde SHI Review Stage 1, Paul Davies Pty Ltd
WrittenAngela Phippen2008West Ryde 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: 2340141

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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