Terrace House "Horbury House" Including Interior | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

About us

Terrace House "Horbury House" Including Interior

Item details

Name of item: Terrace House "Horbury House" Including Interior
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Terrace
Location: Lat: -33.8677584759048 Long: 151.211140475593
Primary address: 171-173 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
171-173 Macquarie StreetSydneySydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

171-173 Macquarie Street is of historic, aesthetic and social significance as a rare surviving colonial city terrace retaining its external form and indicating the type of development that characterised Macquarie Street in the mid-nineteenth century. The primary significance is now in the streetscape value as the interiors have been demolished and rebuilt and therefore have no heritage significance.
Date significance updated: 09 Jan 06
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: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1842-1842
Physical description: Horbury House is a combined pair of 3 storey terraces with a basement, originally part of a terrace of 7 residences extending from the corner, and part of a continuous streetscape of terraces. They are the last residential terraces in Macquarie Street (apart from No. 145) and are located between a 1970s office development and a 1940s office building. Only the facade and some roof framing survive from the 1842 building. Category:Individual Building. Style:Old Colonial Regency. Storeys:3 + Basement. Facade:Rendered masonry, timber windows. Side/Rear Walls:Rendered masonry. Internal Walls:Plastered brick (1974). Roof Cladding:Slate tile (1974). Internal Structure:Reinf. conc. column & beam (1974). Floor:Reinf. conc. slab (1974). Roof:Timber framing (original) & steel framing (1974). Ceilings:Fibrous plaster (1974). Stairs:1 continuous stair, several other stairs. (1974). Fire Stairs:Reinf. conc. (1974). Sprinkler System:Yes. Lifts:None. AirConditioned:Yes
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building interior has been completely reconstructed with a new reinf. conc. frame structure. All reference to the internal forms of the terrace houses removed. Intrusive Elements:1970 reconstruction of interiors.
Date condition updated:09 Jan 06
Modifications and dates: 1842
Further information: High Significance:Macquarie Street facade, masonry and stucco detail.
Original timber framing to roof. Low Significance:1970 timber windows in facade. Comments:Was heritage item in 1989, listing revoked under H-LEP 1998. Listed reinstated in 2000. Now listed under Schedule 8, Part 2 Building Elements of the Sydney LEP 2005, noted as "Street façade, external walls, roof form".

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: Offices
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. 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 )

Macquarie Street, with its view of the Harbour and position midway between the hustling, noisy city and the leafy quiet of the towns and villages of Sydney's east, was an attractive locale for Sydney's elite and professional community from the first decades of the nineteenth century. Horbury House dates from the late 1830's being constructed in 1842 for Ousley Condell. It was named after Horbury, an area in England. From the 1890's its access to Sydney Hospital made the terrace an ideal site for surgeon's professional rooms. More recently, as the medical character of the street changed, it has been used as company offices.

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]
Horbury House is historically significant for its ability to demonstrate colonial residential patterns of living in the city in the form of row housing. Has historic significance locally.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Horbury House is aesthetically significantly for its simple colonial design and straight forward detailing. It is also significant for its strong streetscape presence in the varied and rich streetscape of the west side of Macquarie Street, and for the quality of the design and detailing. Has aesthetic significance locally.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Horbury House is socially significant for its representation of patterns of living in the city. Has social significance locally.
SHR Criteria f)
Horbury House is significant as a rare surviving city terrace pair in the prominent and highly developed Macquarie Street.
SHR Criteria g)
Horbury House is representative of patterns of residential development in colonial Sydney.
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:

General: The Macquarie Street facade and the side return should be retained in their planned form including roof and balconies. Future redevelopment of the site may take place provided that these elements are retained and the new work reflects the floor levels and arrangement of the facade. No further levels should be visible above the present roof line when viewed from the far side of Macquarie Street. Exterior: The rendered masonry facade and present roof form to main roof, should be retained. Significance should be recovered by the reinstatement of earlier entries and detail. Window joinery may be replaced provided original details are reinstated. No further floor space should be added to building. Interior: Adaptation should be acceptable to accommodate continued use. Future planning should reflect the major terrace division and main rooms where possible. No interior finishes are required to be retained. 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 Local Environmental Plan 2012I187714 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Sands Directory
Written  Land Title Search, Land Titles Office
Written  SCC Rate Books
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City

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

(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2423820

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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.