Terrace House | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Terrace House

Item details

Name of item: Terrace House
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Cottage
Primary address: 13 Briggs Street, Camperdown, NSW 2050
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
13 Briggs StreetCamperdownSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The building is a representative example of a single storey mid - Victorian double fronted workers cottage which dates from the key period of development of the O'Connell Town subdivision in Camperdown.
Date significance updated: 21 Jan 14
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: No 13 Briggs Street is a single storey Victorian double fronted cottage constructed of painted sandstone blocks and rendered masonry with timber windows and doors and a gabled corrugated iron roof with skillion roof over the front verandah which has sandstone side walls. The rendered brick front wall and verandah supports are not original. There is a later single storey rear addition.

The interior of the original part of the cottage comprises four rooms and does not have a central corridor. Two fireplaces have been retained. The original ceilings have been replaced.

A narrow side walkway runs along the western side of No 13 to the rear yard.

There are some tall trees at the rear of the property which partly screen the residential flat building behind the site.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
In good condition.
Date condition updated:20 Dec 10
Modifications and dates: The sandstone has been painted at some stage and may have been added later. The front windows have been replaced with modern timber double hung windows with amber glazing. The verandah has been altered with brick columns, a brick balustrade wall and a wrought iron gate. The timber shutters are not original.
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: Residential
Former use: Residential


Historical notes: Historical Overview
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.

An area of 240 acres was first granted by Governor Philip Gidley King to Captain William Bligh on 10 August 1806, 3 days before Bligh assumed the office of Governor. Bligh named this land “Camperdown” in commemoration of the English naval victory over the Dutch at the Battle of Camperdown in 1797 in which he was decorated. By 1810 all the available land in the area has been taken up in grants. Although the land was allocated to more than 30 people it was rapidly consolidated into large estates. The first subdivision of Bligh’s grant took place in 1841 when Bligh’s estate was auctioned by Samuel Lyons. The area was further subdivided into the O’Connell Town Estate in 1843. Stephen Street, which late became known as Briggs Street, is one of the streets shown on the 1843 Plan of O'Connell Town.

In 1862 Camperdown was incorporated as a Municipality, but due to financial difficulties did not operate until 1868. Council did not receive sufficient income to cover extensive drainage works required due to large non rate paying land holdings such as The University of Sydney and two major hospitals. Some of the streets were renamed in 1878 when Camperdown Rd became Church Street because of the two churches in the area.

Between 1880 and 1890 most of the working class terrace housing in the area had been completed. From 1900 to 1918 there was some infill development and the replacement of earlier residential areas. Camperdown Municipality was absorbed within the City of Sydney in 1908.

In 1913 Stephen Street was renamed Briggs Street.

The area declined from being predominantly residential between 1920 and 1940 when infill development in the form of inter-war and Federation warehousing occurred. The area has in recent years been under development pressure from the expansion of the nearby Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University of Sydney.

13-15 Briggs Street ( 43-45 Stephen Street)
Samuel Lyon died in August 1851 and bequeathed the property in trust to John Gilchrist, William Dawes and John Purkis.

William Dawes and John Purkis conveyed Lots 155 and 156 ( currently 13-15 Briggs Street) to Thomas Reeves in December 1853. He sold the property to George Young Finlay in October 1872 for 26 pounds.

The adjoining allotments 153 and 154 ( currently 17-23 Briggs Street ) were sold by Dawes and Purkis to John Smedley in 1852 who in turn sold them to Thomas Pierce in 1867 and thence to Finlay in 1880.

It is likely that the subject buildings at No 13 and 15 Briggs Street were erected c 1872 when Finlay purchased the pair of allotments and similarly the adjoining four terraces houses at 17-23 Briggs Street are likely to have been built c 1880 when Finlay purchased those allotments.

The first confirmed listing for the site in Sands Directory, then numbered 43-45 Stephen Street, is in 1884 when Benjamin DeLissa and Robert J Muir are noted as living at those addresses. Prior to this date the Directory does not list the properties by street number.

Following George Young Finlay's death on 22 May 1917, his estate was sold and divided among his surviving brother and sisters.

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. Worker's Dwellings-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The building dates from the key period of development of the O'Connell Town Subdivison in Camperdown.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building is a good example of a mid-Victorian workers cottage which demonstrates some of the key elements of the style including the sandstone construction and overall form.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The building demonstrates workers housing from the mid- Victorian period.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The building has limited potential for further research mainly relating to the history of occupants of the building.
SHR Criteria f)
The building is not rare.
SHR Criteria g)
The building is a representative example of a mid - Victorian workers cottage found in the inner suburbs of Sydney.
Integrity/Intactness: Medium
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 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 2012I4114 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
South Sydney Heritage Study1993 Tropman & Tropman Architects  Yes

References, internet links & images

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

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: 2420507

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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