St Michael's Anglican Church Group Buildings Incl. Interior & Grounds & Fence | NSW Environment & Heritage

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St Michael's Anglican Church Group Buildings Incl. Interior & Grounds & Fence

Item details

Name of item: St Michael's Anglican Church Group Buildings Incl. Interior & Grounds & Fence
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Primary address: 81 Flinders Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
81 Flinders StreetSurry HillsSydneyAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

This group is significant for its streetscape contribution to Albion and Flinders Street. The church is designed by the colonial architect, Edmund Blacket. Blacket gained a reputation for sound work, outstanding knowledge of Gothic styles, and ecclesiastical work. St Michael's Church is a good example of a Gothic styled church with a later hall and rectory.

The Church probably illustrates the 1st phase of development subsequent to the subdivision of early land grants, and hence the development of European settlement.
Date significance updated: 10 Aug 01
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.

Description

Designer/Maker: Church: Edmund Blacket, Rectory: Burcham Clamp
Physical description: The Church, Hall and Rectory are part of St Michael's Church Group.
St. Michael's Anglican Church is a well designed sandstone Gothic Revival church with a slate roof, dating from 1854. Its foundation stone was laid on 29th September 1854. Large dormer windows which light the nave on the Albion Street elevation were added 6 years after Blacket's death in 1888 (Herman, 1963). The Chancel was rebuilt and new Vestries added in 1917 by Architect J. Burcham Clamp when the widening of Flinders Street made this necessary. The fine interior of Nave with side aisles has an organ loft, a painted ceiling with dormer lights and good furniture of Blacket design (The National Trust of Australia, 1976).
St Michael's Hall is a late Victorian exercise in Ecclesiastical Gothic, having a two storied painted brick facade with a tiled roof dating from 1904.
St Michael's Rectory is a two storied Edwardian styled face brick building with a slate roof, double hung windows, timber balcony with shingled balustrading. The Rectory dates from 1917 and was designed by architect Burcham Clamp (The National Trust of Australia, 1976).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good.
Date condition updated:10 Aug 01
Modifications and dates: Church: 1888 addition - dormer windows.
Church: 1917 - Chancel rebuilt and new Vestries added.
Further information: Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are constantly updated by the City as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conservation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Current use: Church, rectory and homeless shelter (hall).
Former use: Church, Hall and Rectory

History

Historical notes: The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora.
With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today. All cities include many immigrants in their population. Aboriginal people from across the state have been attracted to suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe and Redfern since the 1930s. Changes in government legislation in the 1960s provided freedom of movement enabling more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney.

(Information sourced from Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani )

This site stands on part of what was once John Palmer's 70 acre land grant called 'George Farm', dated 1/04/1794. The site was purchased by Isaac Nichols in 1814 at the Provost Marshall's sale. In November 1833, the estate was subdivided according to plans prepared by Peter Bemi, surveyor.
St Michael's Church was one of two churches upon which Edward Thomas Blacket was working on at the time he was appointed Colonial Architect (1849-1854), the other being the Presbyterian Church, Woolloomooloo. Blacket gained a reputation for sound work, outstanding knowledge of Gothic styles, and ecclesiastical work. St Michael's Church is the epitome of the Gothic church while the church at Woolloomooloo is an example of a strict Classical church (Herman 1963:60). Herman (1963:60) states 'Nowhere could Blacket's versatility in design, or his scholarly mastery of the then accepted styles of architecture, be more clearly demonstrated'. Blacket is reputed to have designed 58 churches - and each church is a separate and individual design. Many local architects, including W.E. Kemp (who designed Bourke Street Public School) were trained in Blacket's office.

Blacket is an important architect in Sydney's history. During the 40 years of his active professional life, Blacket designed and built the greatest buildings of the University of Sydney, a residential college at the University of Melbourne, 4 cathedrals, over 50 churches and many houses, factories, shops, clubs, stores, hotels, hospital and banks (Herman, 1963: v).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations (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 a)
[Historical significance]
The Church probably illustrates the 1st phase of development subsequent to the subdivision of early land grants, and hence the development of European settlement.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This group is significant for its streetscape contribution to Albion and Flinders Street. The Church is designed by Blacket, an important architect in Sydney's history.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The hall is significant for its social welfare contribution to the community.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The western end of the Church contains a fine octagonal belfry, which was repeated in Holy Trinity, Berrima (1849). This repetition is exceptionally rare as Blanket rarely repeated himself in the manner in which he solved the same architectural problem.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
St Michael's Church is a representative example of a Gothic styled church and complex.
Integrity/Intactness: High.
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 building should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement, or a Conservation Management Plan, should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. There shall be no vertical additions to the building and no alterations to the fa├žade of the building other than to reinstate original features. The principal room layout and planning configuration as well as significant internal original features including ceilings, cornices, joinery, flooring and fireplaces should be retained and conserved. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, should not be visibly prominent and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I154314 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1980Register of the National Estate Database - St Michaels Church Group, Surry Hills NSW
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City
WrittenHerman, Morton1963The Blackets: an era of Australian Architecture
WrittenSands, John1904Sands' Sydney Directory
WrittenSheedy, David1976National Trust Classification Card - St Michael's Church of England, St Michael's Hall, St Michael's Rectory

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: 2420082


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