Terrace Group Including Interiors | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Terrace Group Including Interiors

Item details

Name of item: Terrace Group Including Interiors
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Terrace
Primary address: 512-518 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
512-518 Bourke StreetSurry HillsSydneyAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

In terms of streetscape (aesthetic) value, the item is significant as one of four in a group. The group is significant by its orientation which reflects early street layout (history). The group maintains the terrace house rhythm of the street, however its presence and scale describes a ‘speculative built’ infill between a grand Victorian terrace row and large 20th century warehouse block.

Built in 1905, the terrace row displays Edwardian tendencies by its face brickwork and window arrangement, however the style is not representative as a fine example of the Federation styles of the time. The historic significants of the site is largely acquired before the construction of the terraces.

The skillion roofed wings rear of the group are largely obscured by encroaching development to the rear lane and vegetation.
Date significance updated: 16 Jul 03
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.


Builder/Maker: Charles William Colton
Physical description: Two storey Edwardian Terrace house group. Four 2 storey terrace houses of 3.8 metre frontages. The rear wing is approximately 2.8 metres wide. The front of each terrace has 2 rooms spanning the boundaries with stairs in the second room going up to the 2nd storey, which also has 2 rooms. Service rooms are contained in the rear wing, approximately 9 metres in length. The 1st floor is only 6 metres in length.

The buildings are brick with timber framed floor and roof construction. The floor of the ground floor wing is concrete.

The roof is concrete tiled.

The party walls are 230mm thick.
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.


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. There is no written record of the name of the language spoken and currently there are debates as whether the coastal peoples spoke a separate language "Eora" or whether this was actually a dialect of the Dharug language. Remnant bushland in places like Blackwattle Bay retain elements of traditional plant, bird and animal life, including fish and rock oysters.

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 )

Lieutenant Grose granted Surrey Hills Farm to John Palmer in 1794. 1814 had the Surveyor General James Meehan plan the streets in a grid fashion and was auctioned by order of Provost Marshall William Gore. 19831 had Surveyor General Major Mitchell superimpose a contradictory grid of streets after private allotments had already been established. Mitchell’s road system depended on co-operation between adjoining landowners.

The subject site is situated south of the Surrey Hills Farm grant in the E.S Hall grant. Where the grants meet is where the Bourke Street bends and gives the reason of why there is a bend.

Governor Macquarie granted 185 acres of land to the south of the land auctioned in 1814 to Edward Smith Hall in 1822. Edward Smith Hall had purchased land in the 1814 auction where he established a farm a lived with his family from 1815 to 1821. He was a banker, grazier and editor of the controversial ‘Monitor’ newspaper and the first resident of Surry Hills. He sold this land shortly before receiving the 185-acre grant.

Hall was jailed in 1829 and sold of all his remaining property.

Edward Riley bought Hall’s original properties and other properties that made up the original Surrey Hills Farm. He also bought over 2 acres from Hall when he was grant the 185 acres. Riley in 1825 died by suicide and his estate was locked up in legal wrangling because of conflicting wills till 1848.

Thomas Burdekin purchase a large portion of the Riley Estate in 1842 from George Riley, one of the beneficiaries. Burdekin died in 1844 leaving a vast wealth to his wife and 3-surviving children.

In 1877 the first record of an occupant on the subject site was a timber merchant which lasted till 1886. To the north of the timber merchant, this land remained vacant till 1888 when the site became the Carrington Athletic Ground. The ground ceased to be used after the 9 years of the lease expired in 1899. Thomas Burdekin’s son Sydney was controlling the land that had been left by his father. 1897 whilst an Alderman on the Council he divided all the land including the timber merchant and athletics ground into 8 lots including new lanes. Norman Weekes Burdekin became the registered proprietor of the subject land after Sydney’s death 1900. He sold the southern portion to Charles William Coulton, a builder in 1902. Coulton sold 5 ½ perches of the 25 ¾ perches he bought to Janet McDougall, the wife of a Sydney publican. In June 1905, Coulton again sold the present No. 516 to Janet McDougall. The 1905 entry in the Sands Directory of occupied houses No. 512-518, indicates that Coulton had built 4 terraces including 2 houses for the McDougalls.

No.514 stayed in the McDougall family until 1977.

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 façade 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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I143914 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
South Sydney Heritage Study1993 Tropman & Tropman Architects  Yes
Statement of Heritage Impact 514 Bourke St Surry Hills2000 Julie Cracknell & Peter Lonergan  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2420474

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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