Plunkett Street Heritage Conservation Area | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Plunkett Street Heritage Conservation Area

Item details

Name of item: Plunkett Street Heritage Conservation Area
Type of item: Conservation Area
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Other - Residential Buildings (private)
Primary address: Plunkett Street, Nowra, NSW 2541
Parish: Nowra
County: St Vincent
Local govt. area: Shoalhaven


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All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Plunkett StreetNowraShoalhavenNowraSt VincentPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

Historic grouping of church, school, domestic residences and government buildings which retain their historic and aesthetic cohesion and reflects the ascendency of Nowra following the disastrous floods of 1870 which destroyed much of Terara. The area is an important focus for the town with historic, aesthetic and social value. Individual elements are listed on the Register of the National Estate and by the National Trust. The Court House and Nowra Public School have Regional Significance. The Conservation Area is Local significant (Shoalhaven).
Date significance updated: 09 May 17
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.


Physical description: Collection of fine nineteenth century Victorian and Federation Public and Religious buildings on Plunkett Street. One of the oldest areas of Nowra. The Conservation Area includes the following items (each of which has a separate inventory form);

All Saint's Anglican Church Group (cnr of Berry St) Local significance comprising of the following buildings.
Victorian Period
All Saints Church Hall (former St John's Church): 1877-1878
All Saints Rectory (former St John's Rectory): 1878
Federation Period
All Saints Anglican Church & Lych-Gate: 1900-1905
Nowra Primary School (cnr of Berry St) Regional (State) significance.
Former Principal's Residence (No 82 Plunkett St) Local significance.
Former Police Residence (No 84 Plunkett St) Regional (State) significance
Nowra Court House and Kerbside (Plunkett Street) Regional (State) Significance.
Former Police Station (now a Museum: cnr Kinghorne St) Local significance.

Complementing these buildings is a range of representative housing types which include Victorian and early twentieth century designs. Numbers 59, 61, 71, 75, 77, 83, 85, 87 and 89 Plunkett Street are of particular note (refer to individual inventory entries).

The streetscape is immature in respect to street plantings but there is considerable contribution from planting associated with the public buildings located on the south side of the street.

Original sandstone kerbs exist particularly noticeable in front of the Courthouse. Rising sun jointing to the concrete footpaths on the four corners where Plunkett St. intersect Berry and Kinghorne Streets.
Modifications and dates: Several mature trees within the Plunkett Street Primary School frontage removed c. 2010-11. Original sandstone kerbing on the corner of Plunkett Street and Berry Street demolished to install concrete pedestrian laybacks.
Further information: Refer to individual inventory items.
Current use: Multiple uses
Former use: Multiple Uses


Historical notes: In 1829-1830 settlement of the area now known as Nowra began. The embryonic town was surveyed in 1851. After disastrous flooding across the Shoalhaven floodplains in 1862 and 1870 the settlements which had become established at Terara, Numbaa and Pyree were abandoned in favour of the higher ground in Nowra. Plunkett Street was chosen as the centre of government with Police Station, Court House and Schools erected in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Early Anglican Services in the district were conducted at Terara, in the home of Mrs Prosper DeMestre. The first church of St. John's was erected on land donated by Mrs DeMestre and was opened on the 26th June, 1856. After the disastrous floods of 1862 and 1870 the population moved towards Nowra. A new temporary church of St. John's was erected in 1877 by a Mr Mason on the Plunkett Street site. A Rectory was added in 1878 also by Mr Mason. The present All Saints Anglican church was erected 1900 by Alex Johnston of Berry. The memorial lych gate was erected to commemorate the fallen in WW1. Refer to individual listings for the history of items on Plunkett Street.

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 (none)-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. (none)-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria f)
This item is assessed as aesthetically rare locally. This item is assessed as historically rare locally.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as aesthetically representative regionally (State). This item is assessed as historically representative regionally (State). This item is assessed as socially representative regionally (State).
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:

The precinct is to be managed so as to retain its historic, aesthetic and social values which reside in individual components. Specifically the streetscape should be managed to retain: - its continuity and character; - the historical pattern of development implicit in the range of single storey houses and major public buildings; and - the pattern of front gardens and public landscaping which contribute to the streetscape. Overhead power on the south side of the street should be relocated underground or bundle-cabled.


Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP)10 Oct 12


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Regional Environmental Plan  11 Apr 86   
Local Environmental PlanShoalhaven LEP 2014C222 Apr 14   
Local Environmental Plan  13 Apr 07   
Heritage studyPlunkett St Conservation AreaNB063   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Illawarra Regional Heritage Study Review1993 Perumal Murphy Wu  No
Shoalhaven City Council Heritage Study 1995-19981998NB063Peter Freeman Pty Ltd25/3/96 RSH Study: Y Yes
Illawarra Region Historic Buildings and Sites1981 Ann Croston Ali  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenA C Ali1981Illawarra Region Historic Buildings and Sites

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: 2390754

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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