St Philip's Anglican Church and 1920s church hall | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


St Philip's Anglican Church and 1920s church hall

Item details

Name of item: St Philip's Anglican Church and 1920s church hall
Other name/s: St. Phillips Church of England
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Primary address: 29 Clanalpine Street, Eastwood, NSW 2122
Parish: Hunters Hill
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Ryde
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
29 Clanalpine StreetEastwoodRydeHunters HillCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The 1907 church is historically significant as part of the development of the Anglican church in Eastwood. The Church has historical association with the Darvall family who donated the land, and with its designer, architect Charles Robert Summerhayes, a local alderman and prominent local architect and builder whose works were particularly prevalent in the Eastwood area. The church has aesthetic significance as a landmark Federation Gothic style Church, representative of the style, on a prominent corner in Eastwood. The church has social significance for the local Anglican community.
Date significance updated: 16 May 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.


Designer/Maker: Charles Robert Summerhayes, Architect
Construction years: 1906-1907
Physical description: The Church site covers several allotments of land. Lot 1 DP 1134188 includes the church and a circa 1920s L shaped hall near the church. A later, c.1960s brick hall fronting Clanalpine Street is on a separate allotment. The church site has frontages to Clanalpine Street, Shaftsbury Road and Rutledge Street.

The Church: A simple Federation Gothic Revival church structure with additions from the interwar period.. Prominently located on the corner of Rutledge and Shaftsbury Streets. The building consists of a nave, three side and one alter bay, and an entry porch to Shaftsbury Road. The parapeted gabled roof is clad in Marseilles pattern terracotta tiles. Face brick walls are punctuated by brick buttresses and pointed arched openings. Fenestration comprises leadlight set in elegant tracery with a quatrefoil motif. The parapet openings and buttresses feature rendered coping and the base course is similarly rendered. The interwar porch also features free brickwork enlivened with render detail to parapet and window reveals. The round arched opening has a carved stone reveal and the parapet features a quatrefoil motif ornamentation. Windows are diamond pattern leadlight. A face brick fence and memorial gate dated 1936 mark the Shaftsbury Road entry. Mature trees exist along this street frontage. A tower has been added at the rear of the church.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:02 May 12
Current use: Church
Former use: Church


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).

Today’s Field of Mars Reserve is the remnant of a district which once extended from Dundas to the Lane Cove River. In January 1792, the first land in the Ryde area was granted to eight marines, along the northern bank of the river between Sydney and Parramatta. The area was named by Governor Phillip the ‘Field of Mars’; Mars being the ancient Roman God of war, named to reflect the military association with these new settlers.

These grants were followed soon after by grants to ten emancipated convicts in February
1792, the land being further to the east of the marines grants, thus the area was called Eastern Farms or the Eastern Boundary. By 1794 the name Eastern Farms had given way to Kissing Point, a name believed to have originated from the way in which heavily laden boats passing up the Parramatta River bumped or ‘kissed’ the rocky outcrop which extends into the river at today’s Kissing Point.
Further grants were issued in 1794 and 1795, gradually occupying most of the foreshores
between Meadowbank and Gladesville. Some of the grants were at North Brush, north of the
Field of Mars settlement, in the area of Brush Farm and Eastwood. Most of the grants were
small, from 30 to 100 acres.

By 1803 most of the accessible land had been granted. Settlement was based along the
Parramatta River and overlooking ridges. Governor King recognised that most of the smaller
farms had insufficient land for their stock but it was not possible to grant them larger allotments.

In 1804 it was decided that a ‘traditional English common’ - a large area of public land for use
by local inhabitants - would be set aside. Six commons were gazetted.

The Field of Mars Common, an area of approximately 5,050 acres located north of the Field
of Mars and the Eastern Farms, covered most of the Ryde Municipality. The village itself
comprised only a modest scattering of houses in a few streets around the church, surrounded
by farms, orchards and some large estates. Nevertheless the name was well-established by 12 November 1870 when the Municipal District of Ryde was officially proclaimed.

In 1874, the Common, by then a reported place of undesirables, was resumed as Crown land
and subsequently cleared for the laying out of allotments and streets. In 1884 twenty-five acres were allocated for the Field of Mars Cemetery.


The first Anglican Church in Eastwood was built in 1884 as the Main Camp Church for the railway workers, but numbers dwindled after the completion of the railway line in 1886 and the building was taken down. In 1906 Rev. J.H. Mullens, the rector of St Anne’s Ryde, decided to support the establishment of a church at Eastwood. Mrs. Darvall gave two blocks of land on the corner of Rutledge Street and Shaftsbury Road for a site for the new church and Mr. E. Terry made a gift of 100 pounds towards building costs (Northern District Times 9/5/2007, p32).

On 20 November 1906 the Sydney Morning Herald reported that: "The work of erecting the first portion of the Anglican Church at Eastwood was commenced yesterday. There will be accommodation for 300, and the building will be constructed of brick from plans prepared by Mr. Summerhayes, architect".

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that "The new Church of England at Eastwood, to be known as St. Phillip's, will be officially opened on Sunday, April 28, by the Archbishop" (SMH, Saturday 20 April 1907 page 8 "The Churches" column).

Following the opening of the church in 1907 it was run by a series of assistant ministers from St Anne’s. In 1914 St Phillip’s was made a Provisional Parish and the Rev. H.W. Mullens was appointed Curate-in-Charge (The Ryde Recorder 1/6/1977, p1). St Phillip’s was given parish status in 1919 and Rev. Andrew Colvin was appointed as the first rector.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing in an exemplary architectural style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Community Development-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The 1907 church is historically significant as part of the development of the Anglican church in Eastwood.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The Church has historical association with the Darvall family who donated the land. The Church has historical association with its designer, architect Charles Robert Summerhayes, a local alderman and prominent local architect and builder whose works were particularly prevalent in the Eastwood area.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The church has aesthetic significance as a landmark Federation Gothic style Church on a prominent corner in Eastwood.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The church has social significnce for the local Anglican community.
SHR Criteria g)
The church is representative of suburban Federation Gothic style Anglican churches.
Integrity/Intactness: The church is 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 buildings 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 201035   
Local Environmental PlanDraft Ryde LEP 2011I35   
Local Environmental PlanRyde LEP 2014I3502 Sep 14   
Local Environmental Plan - LapsedLEP No. 10513117 Jan 03 14347
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Ryde Heritage Study1988131Jonathan 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
WrittenSydney Morning Herald1907 Saturday 20 April 1907 page 8 "The Churches" column
WrittenSydney Morning Herald1906Tuesday 20 November 1906 page 11 "General Notes" column

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: 2340154

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