Terrace Group Including Interiors and Front Fencing | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Terrace Group Including Interiors and Front Fencing

Item details

Name of item: Terrace Group Including Interiors and Front Fencing
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Terrace
Primary address: 39-49 Brown Street, Newtown, NSW 2042
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
39-49 Brown StreetNewtownSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

39-49 Brown Street is of local historic and aesthetic significance. It dates from a key period of the development of Newtown within the early 1900s. It is a fine a representative example of a Federation Queen Anne style terrace, demonstrating key aspects of the style, which contributes to the streetscape and conservation area.
Date significance updated: 15 Aug 11
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: A single storey Federation Queen Anne style terrace house group of brick construction. The facades were originally of face brick, but some of them have been rendered and painted, with terracotta tiled roofs with front gablets..

There are small front gardens with a palisade fences on masonry plinth to the street.

There is a strong rhythm of rear skillion wings, separated by light wells with most of the rear chimneys having been retained..

Some of the terraces have rear skillion dormer windows.
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: 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.

The area north of Wilson Street was originally part of Bligh’s 240 acre grant of 1806 which extended to Johnstons Creek and Orphan School Creek across City Road and Parramatta Road to the north. South of Wilson Street lay Nicholas Divine’s Burrin Farm.

In 1794 Acting Governor Grose granted 120 acres to Nicholas Devine, Superintendent of Convicts, who received a further grant of 90 acres from Governor Hunter in 1799 which comprise the body of the suburb of Erskineville and Macdonaldtown. Devine named his estate Burrin Farm after his birthplace in Ireland and built his home in the area in the vicinity of the present corner of George Street and Erskineville Road. After Devine's death in 1830, the estate was cut up and sold by Devine’s assigned convict servant and sole benefactor, Bernard Rochford.

In 1852 Mr John Devine, grand nephew and heir to Nicholas Devine claimed title to the whole of Devine's 210 acres. Thirty defendants fought the case and won. Devine appealed and lost a second case in 1857. Again he was unsuccessful but the holders of the property established a fund and paid him compensation, thereby concluding the celebrated Newtown Ejectment Case.

William Bucknell was a defendant in the Newtown Ejectment case. William and Martha Bucknell purchased part of Divines Estate between Wilson Street and the railway line.

Bucknell’s property extended from Felix Wilson’s The Pines Estate to the east, Wilson Street to the north, just south of the railway line and west to Blackman’s Estate. Auctioneer John Blackman’s land was known as Retreat Paddock upon which Retreat House (c.1845) and Retreat Cottage stood on Wilson Street. Blackman’s Estate ran west to Brown Street and the remainder of the area was Ralph Robey’s Estate. The Retreat was later known as Twickenham House and demolished in 1971 for the Sydney Nursery Training College. The Twickenham Estate was subdivided in 1906. Robey and Blackman were also defendants in the Newtown Ejectment Case.

Robey was a merchant, politician and Company Director, who was elected to City council in 1846. Robey’s Linthorpe House and grounds were situated between Linthorpe and Wilson Streets. Linthorpe House was owned by Mr Robey, then D.P. McEwan. Christopher Rolleston subdivided the estate. The estate was subdivided in stages with the first sales along Wilson Street and Erskineville Road and the last major sale occurring in 1905 after the demolition of Linthorpe House. At this time Herbert Street was formed and Linthorpe Street took today’s alignment. In 1905, Council requested that the Linthorpe Estate be resumed and dedicated as a public reserve.

Another early home was that of Henry Copeland Yarraville, located between Watkin, Burren and Copeland Avenues. Subdivision of the grounds of Yarraville occurred in 1906, and was advertised as Copeland’s Paddock. Blocks on the east side of Burren Street were subdivided and sold in 1900 as the Yarraville Estate. Henry Copeland (1839-1904) was a mining expert and Member Legislative Assembly for Newtown 1882-1883. He lived at Yarraville in the 1870s-1880s, and also owned 14 lots on the eastern side of Burren Street which he sold in 1900. The Yarraville Garden was subdivided in 1906.

Watkin Street below Wilson Street was originally Hill Street, named after the owner of that area, C.W. Hill, when the street was opened in 1882 and dedicated as a public reserve.

North of Wilson Street (in the vicinity of Brown Street) was the Leichhardt Lodge Estate, of S.C. Brown, M.L.C., subdivided and sold after Brown’s death. Stephen Campbell Brown (1829-1882) was a member of the Legislative Assembly representing Newtown from 1864-1881, residing at Leichhardt Lodge from 1867, but previously in Newtown. Leichhardt Lodge was one of the best houses in Newtown. The Estate was formerly occupied by W.H. Aldis, an early settler. Adjoining Browns Estate was a terrace of small cottages ‘York Terrace’ occupied by well known persons. These were demolished for a swimming baths and skating rink which failed and became Marcus Clarke’s retail premises, later known as the Hub of Newtown, a name which stayed with the cinema which operated in the building from the 1920s.

To the east lay Hanson’s Paddock, between Bucknell Street and Watkin Lane, subdivided into narrow lots and sold in 1880. Hanson’s Paddock was offered for sale by John Wesley Watkin, a Wesleyan Methodist, Auctioneer and Manager of Sydney Freehold Land and Building Society. Blocks in Yaralla Street and on the east side of Bucknell Street were set out in a survey of 1871. Yaralla was named by Thomas Walker after his waterfront estate at Concord. He owned land between Bucknell Street and Kettles Estate.

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. Residential-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Historically significant as part of a key period of the development of Newtown during the early 1900s.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
It is of aesthetic significance as afine example of a Federation Queen Anne style terrace row which contributes to the streetscape and conservation area.
SHR Criteria f)
The terrace is not rare.
SHR Criteria g)
Representative of the Federation Queen style in a terrace form.
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. The strong rhythm of single storey rear wings, separated by lightwells is to be maintained. Two storey additions are not approprate. The roof space within the main roof may be utilised for an attic, however no front dormer windows are permitted although rear skillion dormers designed in accordance with Council's DCP may be acceptable. Existing chimneys are to be retained.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney Local Environmental Plan 2012I96514 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

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: 2420528

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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