Terrace Group including interiors and front fencing | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


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: 16-34 Gibbes Street, Newtown, NSW 2042
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
16-34 Gibbes StreetNewtownSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

A locally rare, and distinctive late Victorian Italianate terrace, with mansard roofs and bay fronted windows, which together with a similarly designed terrace on the opposite side of the street contributes greatly to the character of the streetscape. It dates from one of the key period of layers for the development of Newtown as a direct result of subdivision of the Gowrie Estate.
Date significance updated: 15 Oct 13
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.


Designer/Maker: Combermere Gibbings and Charles Robert Summerhayes
Physical description: 16- 34 Gibbes Street is a single storey late Victorian Italianate terrace with attic level. It comprises of ten dwellings made up of five pairs. It is constructed of rendered brickwork with decorative stucco. There are paired entry porches with arches with crenelated parapets flanked by faceted bay windows with dormers above set within mansard roofs, and front verandahs, some of which have retained their original cast iron friezes. The porches have a Doric profile whilst the arches are decorated by a profiled hood and key stone imitating sandstone. Above the key stone is a string course and cornice. The bay windows have a cornice profile across their sills. Each of three windows to the faceted bay have a thicker band of stucco around the openings.

The terrace is setback from the street with a small front garden with a palisade fence and gate to the street.

At the rear of the mansard roof are single eye lid dormers to each dwelling.

The early layout of each terrace comprises a front door facing a corridor with two main ground floor rooms. In-between these two rooms is a steep timber stair leading to an attic level which has two bedrooms. The ceilings were originally lathe and plaster, some of which have been replaced. There are single storey rear wings which have been altered over time.

On the opposite side of Gibbes Street there is a similar row of terraces which differ from the subject terraces in that they have a pedimented parapet above the front faceted bay windows.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Fair to poor. It would appear that the terraces were constructed with footings of insufficient strength. There is evidence of cracking and tilting.
Date condition updated:06 Jan 12
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.

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. The Conservation Area lies within the latter grant. Devine 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 Bernard Rochford, Devine’s assigned convict servant and sole benefactor. In 1852 Mr John Devine, a relative of Nicholas Devine claimed title to the whole of Devine's 210 acres. A lengthy legal battle ensued becoming known as the Newtown Ejectment Case. Devine was unsuccessful but the holders of the property established a fund and paid him compensation, thereby retaining title to the land. The are now known as the Newman and Gibbes Streets Conservation Area lies within two portions of the 1830s subdivision sold by Rochford to Bodenham and McGillivray. By 1858 the land was in the ownership of Waterford, later passing to Newman.

Charles Alfred Newman operated a school in Church Street, lived in Susan Street and Brown Street, was a Council auditor in the 1860s and local Registrar for Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Early subdivision plans show Newman Street subdivision known as ‘Seymourville’. The Whitehorse Estate adjoined Newman’s Estate to the south. Allotments north of Whitehorse Street were subdivided in 1870. Development along Cooks River Road is evident in maps from 1880s and included the Newtown Markets by the station, Newtown Public School, St Georges Hall and Congregational Church. Newman’s Estate was subdivided into 53 lots, 16 ft wide frontages and sold in 1884 as was the portion of land north of Gibbes Street West.

Gibbes Street was formed in 1885 after the Gowrie Estate was divided and was named after Alderman Frederick Jamison Gibbes, MLA.

Newtown Superior Public School was built in 1893 on the site of the Congregational Hall which had housed a school since 1863. In 1905, land at the rear of the school on Norfolk Street was bought for the construction of a new Infants School.

Lilian Fowler Reserve commemorates Australia’s first female Mayor. Lilian Fowler was elected to Newtown Municipal council in 1928, became Mayor in 1930, and represented Newtown in the Legislative Assembly 1944 - 1950.

History of Site ( Based on NBRS 2013)

The site is located in part of the 90 acres granted to Nicholas Devine on 8/10/1799. Bernard and Mary Ann Rochford conveyed seven acres two roods and seven perches of land in Devine's grant to James Lachlan McGillivray by lease and release in November 1830. Cavanagh subdivided the land and a portion, amounting to one acre 28 perches, was conveyed by lease and release to David Chambers in April 1836. This land became in the ownership of Stephenson Arthur Bryant, insolvent. William Higgins Senior and Junior, Trustees of the will of Bryant, per solicitors William Alexander Manning and James Frederick Fitzhardinge, conveyed the land to Torrens Title by Primary Application 8049 in March 1890. At the date of the primary application the land was in the occupation of William Snesdell Eggleton, and the property was valued at £2000.

Manning and Fitzhardinge subdivided the land in DP 3121 comprising five allotments in Angel Street, and four parcels in Norfolk Street and the extension of Gibbes Street. On 26th October 1894 the land was sold to Combermere Gibbings and Charles Robert Summerhayes for £700. By their direction several parts of land were transferred to several purchasers.

Coinciding with the 1894 conveyance, Gibbings and Summerhayes lodged a subdivision application with Newtown Council to take over and make part of Gibbes Street and lane that runs to the east of the street. The residue of land was transferred to Gibbings and Summerhayes in 1895 for 10 shillings. They subsequently erected a group of ten houses arranged in five semi-detached pairs ( 16-34 Gibbes Street) on the land in 1896. Gibbings and Summerhayes were architects and also traded as Hotson and Co in which name they advertised the lending of money for building.

16-34 Gibbes Street is first listed in Sands Directory in 1897.

David Crozier of Rockley ( near Bathurst) purchased the group of houses from Summerhayes and Gibbings in March 1898. Crozier was a miner, and with his sons, held gold leases on property at Mount Maud and Mount David near Rockley until 1897. Crozier died in 1926 whereupon the Gibbes Street property was transferred to his son David William Crozier and unmarried daughter Florence Maud May Crozier.

The 1943 aerial photographs suggest that the existing dormers to the first floor dormers had been constructed by then.

Following David Croziers death in 1943 his sister, now married, Florence Maud May Haslam, became the sole surviving joint tenant. She simultaneously conveyed the property to her self and her unmarried sister Ethel Ida Lily Crozier, as joint tenants. They jointly sold the property in 1846 to Robert Ross Skone of Neutral Bay, clerk, He maintained the group of ten houses as rental properties.

In the mid 1950s , Robert Skone subdivided the property into 10 allotments. In 1957 he commenced to sell the individual lots.

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]
The building has historic significance as it dates from the key period of development of Newtown and the subdivision of Gowrie Estate into residential development.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The terrace was developed by Combermere Gibbings and Charles Robert Summerhayes, who were architects and also traded as Hotson and Co in which name they advertised the lending of money for building.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building has aesthetic significance as a good example of a late Victorian Italianate style terrace which features an unusual mansard roof with front faceted bay dormers, which together with a similarly designed terrace on the opposite side of the street contributes greatly to the character of the streetscape.
SHR Criteria f)
An unusual and locally rare example of a terrace with a mansard roof.
SHR Criteria g)
Representative example of a late Victorian style terrace found in the inner suburbs of Sydney.
Integrity/Intactness: Moderate to 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 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. The mansard roof form is to be maintained as well as the original dormers which are gabled at the front and have skillion roofs at the rear.There are to be no roof additions to the mansard roofs. Missing Cast iron friezes to front verandahs should be reinstated.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I97714 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

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

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenA Cortesi & Z Evanns2004Statement of Heritage Impact, Property: 34 Gibbes Street Newtown
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City View detail
WrittenNBRS and Partners2013Statement of Heritage Impact - Residential Development, 24 Gibbes Street, Newtown

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: 2420827

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