Heatherbrae | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Heatherbrae
Other name/s: Welbeck, Heather-brae
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 2 Second Avenue, Eastwood, NSW 2122
Parish: Hunters Hill
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Ryde
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
2 Second AvenueEastwoodRydeHunters HillCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The house is of historical significance as a house built for warehouseman, Albert James Sydney Palmer of Eastwood in 1911, on Lot 65 and part of Lot 66 of the first 1902 subdivision of the Darvall Estate. The house has aesthetic significance as a large two-storey Federation Arts & Crafts style house, a good representative example of the style.This architectural style is rare in the Eastwood area.
Date significance updated: 09 Oct 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.


Construction years: 1911-
Physical description: A simple austere two storey Federation Arts and Crafts style house built on an average allotment in a suburban location, close to the railway. The house is set in landscaped grounds bounded by a low face brick fence, and has a side driveway which leads to a rear garage. The house has a simple rectangular form, with a projecting flat-roofed single storey porch to the street facade. The roof is gabled, clad in slate with terracotta ridge capping, and has projecting timber lined eaves and three roughcast chimneys with pairs of terracotta chimney pots. The gable ends are finished in roughcast stucco. The walls are finished with render and feature a projecting string course and projecting sills. Windows are timber casements. The house now has two front doors, presumably dating from its conversion to two dwellings sometime between 1924 and 1938.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:09 Oct 12
Modifications and dates: 1924-1938: Conversion of house into two dwellings, with two front doors to the ground floor façade. The flat-roofed single storey porch to the front and the rendering of the external walls are also likely to be alterations from this period.
Further information: From the history of the house the two-storey form and slate roof are original.
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 AHO and the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, the recognised custodians for this area, as well as members of the local Aboriginal community generally agree that the term Guringai may not be the original name for the area, tribe or language, however, given the lack of any credible alternative, it is considered to be an appropriate and convenient term to represent the area as distinct from other parts of Sydney. The clan names are in some regards less contentious for some areas. The City of Ryde Council area is commonly accepted to be Wallumedegal country (various spellings). 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."

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) that was purchased by Edward Terry in 1865. Terry developed the property and was an influential figure in Ryde’s history, most notably as Ryde Council’s first mayor.

Edward 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 main camp for the railway workers was set up in the 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.
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 Shaftesbury 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).

Anthony William Darvall began the subdivision of the Darvall Estate. Anthony William's sons, Edward Roger and George Harrison Darvall, and his son-in-law William Herbert Bean continued the subdivision of the former Darvall Estate following Anthony's death in 1915. No. 2 Second Avenue Eastwood, then known as Lot 65 and part of Lot 66, was included in the first subdivision in 1902 (known as "Darvall Estate, Tully's First Subdivision"). The estate consisted only of building sites at this point in time as is evident in contemporary newspaper excerpts and an auction poster.

On 13th May 1908, Thomas Charles Davis, a commission agent, became the owner of one rood 12 ¼ perches, known as Lot 65 and part of Lot 66 being part of 100 acres (portion 53 of parish) originally granted to William Balmain by Crown Grant 1794 (Certificate of Title vol. 1874 fol. 132).

On 31st July 1911, Lot 65 and part of Lot 66 were transferred to Albert James Sydney Palmer of Eastwood. It would appear that the house now located at no. 2 Second Avenue Eastwood was built around this time. Albert James Sydney Palmer, a warehouseman, married Dorothea Parker in 1891. In March 1912 he wrote a letter to Ryde Council complaining of having ‘a water frontage to his gateway’. In 1915, the Sands Street Index shows Palmer as living in "Welbeck" Second Avenue, Eastwood. Palmer advertised the sale of the premises "Welbeck" on 17th May 1916. Described as an ‘Old English Design Brick Residence’ located "Four Minutes from Station", it was a large house described as "Residence, splendid views. Containing drawing, dining rooms,6 bedrooms, hall, landing bathroom, kitchen, pantry, laundry (fitted tubs, copper etc.) and venetian blinds throughout. Grounds: beautifully laid out lawns, flowers, fruit trees, vegetables, fowl run, tool shed, all in perfect order". with an asking price of £1250. In February 1917, Palmer appears to have done some tuck pointing work to the front of the residence before putting it up for sale again as "Welbeck House" on 3rd March 1917, when it was described as a ‘Gentleman’s Residence’ with ‘splendid views and nearly half acre of land, brick house, slate roof, all well finished, containing drawing, dining room, 6 bedrooms, hall, landing, bathroom, breakfast-room, kitchen, pantry, laundry (fitted tubs, copper), venetian blinds throughout, large sleeping-out verandah 50fit long. Grounds beautifully laid out, lawns, flowers, fruit trees, vegetables, fowl runs, tool house, all in perfect order." Welbeck House did not sell in 1917 and on 11th May 1918 Palmer placed an advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald for the erection and completion of a brick kitchen and laundry. Although the house was being equipped with 2 kitchens and laundries, it continued to be used as a sole residence.

On 28th May 1918, Jane Blackstock Roberts, wife of Sydney Roberts, a manufacturer from Eastwood, became the new owner of Welbeck House at no. 2 Second Avenue Eastwood. By June 1919, she had sold the premises to Arthur Hopkins of Eastwood. According to the 1920 Sands Street Directory, Hopkins was living at the premises at this time. Although no house name was listed, an advertisement for a ‘detached residence’ known as ‘Heather-Brae’ was listed in the Sydney Morning Herald on 30th November 1921. On 1st August 1924 ‘Heather-Brae’ (no. 2 Second Avenue Eastwood) was transferred from Arthur Hopkins to William George Curtis Palmer, a merchant from Burwood. The premises were transferred to Eliza Eva Byrne, wife of Herbert Henry Byrne, an Eastwood estate agent, on 27th April 1925. The 1924 Valuation List continues to describe ‘Heatherbrae’ as a two storey house with 6 rooms.

On 24th August 1938, Leslie Gordon Scott, a solicitor from Epping became the proprietor of ‘Heatherbrae’ at Second Avenue Eastwood.

The 1939 Valuation List indicates that at some point between1924 and 1939 the two storey premises at no.2 Second Avenue Eastwood were being used as 2 flats with a garage. This use of the premises continued as 2 flats after Scott transferred the property to Stewart Dickson of Eastwood, a bus proprietor, on15th July 1948.

On 18th August 1954, Stewart Dickson transferred the premises to Henry Gordon Hansen, a welder and fitter, and his wife Peggy Hansen, of Eastwood. When Henry Gordon Hansen died in 2009, the property was transferred to his son. The Hansen’s owned the historic house for over half a century.

A recent real estate advertisement for the property (2010) described the house as a 2 storey home, 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, still divided into 2 flats "currently rented out", on approximately 1300 square metres of land (Raine & Horne ad from www.realestate.com.au).

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 Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses from rural to suburban/ subdivision of large estates-
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 is of historical significance as a house built for warehouseman, Albert James Sydney Palmer of Eastwood in 1911, on Lot 65 and part of Lot 66 of the first 1902 subdivision of the Darvall Estate.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
No historical association with prominent persons has been identified.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The house has aesthetic significance as a large two-storey Federation Arts & Crafts 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 dwelling is a rare example of a Federation Arts and Crafts style house in the Eastwood area.
SHR Criteria g)
The dwelling is a fine example of a Federation Arts and Crafts style dwelling.
Integrity/Intactness: The house was converted into two dwellings in the period 1924-1938 and underwent some alterations at that time.
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 PlanDraft Ryde LEP 2011I114   
Local Environmental PlanRyde LEP 2014I11402 Sep 14   
Local Environmental Plan - LapsedLEP No. 10533017 Jan 03 14354
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Ryde Heritage Study1988330Jonathan 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  Ryde Library Files for 2 Second Avenue, Eastwood
Written  Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980
Written  Certificate of Titles: vol. 5899 fol. 227, vol. 1874 fol. 132, vol. 1842 fol. 190, Transmission Application AF104265F and App.: 2505
Written  The Sydney Morning Herald 30 November 1921
Written  Sydney and New South Wales, Sands Street Index (1861-1930)
Written  Valuation Lists for 2 Second Avenue Eastwood, 1924, 1939 and 1947
Written  The Cumberland Argus & Fruitgrowers Advocate 10 October 1900
Written  The Cumberland Argus & Fruitgrowers Advocate 10 May 1902
Written  The Cumberland Argus & Fruitgrowers Advocate 6 September 1902
Written  The Cumberland Argus & Fruitgrowers Advocate 2 March 1912
Written  The Sydney Morning Herald 17 May 1916
Written  The Sydney Morning Herald 7 February 1917
Written  The Sydney Morning Herald 11 May 1918
Written  The Sydney Morning Herald 3 March 1917
WrittenGeeves, Philip1970A place of pioneers: the centenary history of the Municipality of Ryde
WrittenKaty Nebhan2012Research for Ryde SHI Review Stage 2
WrittenMartin, Megan1998A Pictorial History of Ryde
WrittenMcClymont, Beverly2010Eastwood, Dictionary of Sydney online
WrittenShaw, Kevin (Ed.),2002Historic Ryde: A guide to some significant heritage sites in Sydney

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: 2340156

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