Federation style dwelling | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Federation style dwelling

Item details

Name of item: Federation style dwelling
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 3 Tyrell Street, Gladesville, NSW 2111
Parish: Hunters Hill
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Ryde
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
3 Tyrell StreetGladesvilleRydeHunters HillCumberlandPrimary Address
3 Tyrrell StreetGladesvilleRyde  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The house is of aesthetic significance as an intact representative Federation Queen Anne style residence, Built in 1916, the house is historically significant as evidence of the development of the Gladesville Park subdivision created in 1886. The house has a late 20th century historical association with politician Rodney Cavalier who was an occupant of the house for some years from 1985. Rodney Mark Cavalier (1948- ) was elected to the State seat of Fuller (later redrawn as Gladesville) representing the Labor Party in 1978. He became Minister for Education from 1984 to 1988 in the Wran and Unsworth governments,during the period he was residing at 3 Tyrell Street (from 1985).
Date significance updated: 05 Mar 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: 1916-1916
Physical description: Large single storey brick Federation Queen Anne style house set on a landscaped suburban allotment with a low face brick front fence and side driveway. The house has a picturesque asymmetrical form with a pyramidal roof extending over a corner verandah which terminates in offset projecting gabled bays. The roof is clad in asbestos cement shingles and features terracotta ridge capping. The western corner is chamfered and features a bay of casement windows and highlights with coloured glass panels. The front facade also features a fine oeil de boeuf window. The house is constructed of red tuck pointed face brickwork on a rendered base course with a string course of painted rusticated stonework. The verandah balustrade has a roughcast finish and supports simple timber posts and decorative timber brackets.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:30 Nov 11
Modifications and dates: Little evidence of external alteration.
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 the Gladesville area has its origins in the earliest land grants in the Ryde LGA, which were made from 1792 and were known as the "Eastern Farms" (being east of Parramatta). From 1795, land grants in the Gladesville and Tennyson Point areas in the district of Kissing Point were made to John Doody, a convict artist. William House (1795), Ann Benson (1796) and Charles Raven (1799).

In 1836 John Glade, an emancipist, was issued with the deeds to Doody's grant, which he had purchased in 1817. The district became a rural farming and dairy area supplying the Sydney market, but remained isolated, with the only access via the Parramatta River. By the time of John Glade's death in 1848, he had expanded his property to include a number of adjoining holdings. His land was sold to a Sydney solicitor and developer Mr William Billyard,. Billyard promptly subdivided the land, and offered it for sale from November 1855, as the "Gladesville Estate". However, development was slow and large portions of the Gladesville Estate were offered for sale over the next thirty years.

In colonial times, a flagstaff was erected on the high point of a local ridge. It was an important communication point between Sydney and Parramatta, especially when the Governor was in residence at Parramatta. Signal flags relayed messages from Sydney to the next flagstaff near Brush Farm, and on to Parramatta.

A defining aspect of the development of Gladesville was the building of the Great North Road. The road was surveyed in 1825 and led from the road between Sydney Town and Parramatta, down modern-day Great North Road at Abbotsford, across the Parramatta River by punt through Gladesville, along the ridge line through Ryde and then north to the Hunter Valley via Wisemans Ferry. A ferry house/inn was established by December 1830, sited above the cutting leading down to the wharf. The footings for this building survive. The first commercial building in Gladesville was the Flagstaff Inn, licensed to John Worthington in 1856, set up to meet the needs of travellers along the Great North Road (Martin, A Pictorial History of Ryde 1998, 19).

The point at which the punt reached the northern shore of the Parramatta River was called Bedlam Point, presumably due to the nearby Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum, designed by Mortimer Lewis and opened in 1838. Bedlam (a corruption of Bethlem/Bethlehem) was the name of England's first lunatic asylum. However, the name Bethlem was applied to the area as early as 1820 and it was officially called Bedlam Point soon afterwards, long before the Tarban Creek asylum was built. In 1869, Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum was renamed Gladesville Hospital for the Insane. By the mid-1960s, the institution was known simply as Gladesville Hospital. In 1993 premises at Gladesville Hospital and Macquarie Hospital were revoked as hospitals, and were amalgamated to form the Gladesville Macquarie Hospital. Today, much of the hospital's riverfront grounds forms part of the Parramatta River Recreation Park.

The subdivision and development of Billyard's Gladesville estate included the building of a wharf at the bottom of Wharf Road to allow better access to the area and overcome the difficult task for passengers of alighting midstream from the regular Parramatta River steamers onto the punt to be conveyed to shore. The land parcels were described as suitable sites for 'gentlemen's villas' with ample grounds for gardens, lawns and orchards. A post office was established at the wharf from 1861. The regular ferry services, bringing residents and visitors, led to a decline in the use of the punt after the 1860s.

By 1880 most of the Gladesville Estate lots had been purchased and the subdivisions were extending to the west into Raven’s land that became known as Tennyson Point. Master Mariner, William Raven, had been granted and acquired 154 hectares (extending from Tennyson Point to Buffalo Road) from 1795. Raven was also part owner of HMAS Britannia and he mastered the naval store ship Buffalo, after which Buffalo Creek and Road are most likely named. The Parramatta River was the focus of rowing and sculling in NSW with highly competitive races attracting many thousands of spectators along the foreshores between Henley Point and Meadowbank. The subdivision of Raven’s land capitalised on this popularity with the advertising flyers highlighting the proximity to the "championship course" and the streets being named after rowing terms and personalities. The Tennyson Estate however was not fully settled until the early twentieth Century.

Not withstanding the construction of the wharf at Gladesville, residents had been petitioning since 1861 for improved access to Sydney by road. This was finally provided through the release of the Field of Mars Common for subdivision in 1874, which provided the funds to construct bridges at Gladesville (1881) and Iron Cove (1882) and thus direct road links to the city.

After the opening of Gladesville Bridge in 1881, horse-drawn bus services operated to the city and provided an alternative to ferry transport. In 1910 the tramline from the city to Drummoyne was extended across the Gladesville Bridge through to Gladesville and eventually to Ryde. This fast and efficient transport service was the impetus for many subsequent residential subdivisions along the Great North Road, later Victoria Road.

The Bedlam Point settlement, which had begun around the junction of Wharf and Great North roads and grew westward, emerged as the distinct village of Gladesville by the 1870s. The post office moved from the wharf to this area in 1867. Sydney's first Protestant hall was built in Gladesville in 1867, allowing different itinerant ministers to conduct services in the area. The Anglican Christ Church opened in 1877 and became a separate parish in 1878. Gladesville Public School began classes in April 1879. In 1888 the Presbyterian Church of St Andrew was built.

By the early 20th Century Gladesville and Tennyson Point were effectively developed, the residents enjoying fast commutes to the city by horse-drawn buses and later trams. The first Gladesville bridge was replaced by the present concrete-arch bridge in 1964.


The land was part of portion 66 granted to Mrs Hannah Thompson in the eastern farm area by Governor Bourke. Tyrell Street (originally spelt Tyrrell Street) is named for William Tyrrell (c.1759-1827), a convict transported on the "Alexander" in the First Fleet. In 1792, with his wife and son George, he moved onto land granted to him near Putney. One of his later blocks was to the north of present day Tyrell Street.

Tyrell Street (at that time spelt Tyrrell Street) was part of the Gladesville Park subdivision created in 1886 and offered for sale in the in July, 1886

The Australian Mutual Investment and Building Company Limited owned a large amount of land in the Tyrell Street, Raven Street and Western Crescent area (vol 1024 fol 44) Of relevance for the subject property was the transfer of 20 July, 1899 to Elijah Rose, a merchant of St Peters and William Booth of Sydney of lots 7-9, section D, DP 1821. A new CT was issued: vol 1291 fol 76. This land consisted of 1 rood and 34 ¼ perches.

On 3 November, 1903 the lots were transferred to Matthew Brown Herps a farmer of Lower Portland (vol 1291 fol 76) and in 1906, a year after his death in 1905, to Claude Herbert Somerville Herps of Lewisham, manager and Raymond Luther Herps, a farmer of Lower Portland. Throughout these changes in ownership the land had not been further subdivided.

On 6 December, 1906 lot 8 Section D, DP 1821 (this property) was transferred to Anna Heath, the wife of Thomas Heath (new CT vol 1751 fol 142). Also in 1906, lot 9 was sold to Ada Amelia Heath, spinster and nurse of Gladesville; lot 7 to Joseph Henry Ginger. Lot 8 consisted of 24 ¾ perches.

On 2 October, 1915 the property was transferred to John Joseph Holcombe, a plasterer of Balmain. (vol 1751 fol 142)

There are no surviving rate books for this period of Ryde’s history so the only record which shows occupation in the street is the Sands Directory.

The following lists the number of occupants in Tyrell Street from the Sands Directories:

1911: 1; 1912: 3; 1913: 9; 1914: 10; 1915: 13; 1916: 15; 1917: 18.

The 1917 Sands Directory (compiled from information from the previous year) is the first time John Holcombe (sometimes referred to as John Halcombe) is listed. In conjunction with the date of purchase of the land (end of 1915) it is presumed the house was built in 1916. This would have coincided with John’s marriage to Vera May Pride in 1916 (registered at Balmain North)

The 1924 land valuation lists the name of the house as ‘Corelli’. Likewise, some issues of the Sands Directory record this name.

John Holcombe died in October, 1932, aged 43. In his funeral notice he is described as being ‘late of 7 Tyrell Street’ which in the 1933 electoral roll is lived in by Annie and Alfred Pride. Annie and Alfred were Vera’s parents. Alfred is listed as the owner of the property in the 1924 land valuation. (The full history of 7 Tyrell Street has not been traced. When the Pride family first purchased it is unknown. The first reference to a ‘Pride’ in the street is in the Sands Directory of 1922.) While in 1932 the Holcombe’s were living at 7 Tyrell Street, in the preceding years John and Vera and later Vera, after John’s death, were at 3 Tyrell Street.

The property was transferred to Vera May Holcombe on 16 December, 1953. (vol 1751 fol 142).

On 31 March, 1981 3 Tyrell Street was transferred to Marilyn Ireen Turner, collection manager and Peggy Georgette Becker, telephonist both of Balmain. (vol 1751 fol 142)

On 10 September, 1985 Rodney Mark Cavalier became the registered proprietor. (vol 1751 fol 142). He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of the New South Wales Parliament from 1978-1988 initially representing the electorate of Fuller and later Gladesville. He held various ministries including Energy, Finance and Education.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with prominent local persons-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Built in 1916, the house is historically significant as evidence of the development of the Gladesville Park subdivision created in 1886.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The house has a late 20th century association with Rodney Mark Cavalier (1948-), who was employed by the Australia Council, the Australian Workers Union, as an aide to Clyde Cameron. Cavalier was an alderman for Hunters Hill Council, and was elected to the State seat of Fuller (later redrawn as Gladesville) representing the Labor Party in 1978. He became Minister for Education from 1984 to 1988 in the Wran and Unsworth governments,during the period he was residing at 3 Tyrell Street (from 1985).
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The dwelling has aesthetic significance as an intact Federation Queen Anne style dwelling with original features including asbestos cement tiled roof.
SHR Criteria g)
The dwelling is representative of Federation Queen Anne style dwellings in the Ryde area.
Integrity/Intactness: Relatively ntact.
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 2010135   
Local Environmental PlanDraft Ryde LEP 2011I135   
Local Environmental PlanRyde LEP 2014I13502 Sep 14   
Local Environmental Plan - LapsedLEP No. 1053517 Jan 03 14356
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Ryde Heritage Study198835Jonathan 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
Written  Research by Dr. Peter Mitchell
WrittenAngela Phippen and Margaret Farlow2008Gladesville suburb history, Dictionary of Sydney online
WrittenAnglea Phippen, Ryde Library Local Studies & Family Histrory Librarian2012Research - Land titles, Sands Directories -for Ryde SHI Review Stage 1, Paul Davies Pty Ltd

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: 2340159

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