House Group "Ilfracombe" and "Penzance" including interiors and front fencing | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


House Group "Ilfracombe" and "Penzance" including interiors and front fencing

Item details

Name of item: House Group "Ilfracombe" and "Penzance" including interiors and front fencing
Other name/s: 'Ilfracombe', 'Penzance'
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 397-399 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, NSW 2037
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
397-399 Glebe Point RoadGlebeSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

397-399 Glebe Point Road have historical significance for their ability to evidence the subdivision of the Strathmore Estate in 1894. It contains a fine pair of turn of the century houses, "Ilfracombe" and "Penzance," the quality of which reflects the development of Glebe Point Road as a prestige address.

The houses are transitional between Victorian Filigree and Federation styles, that are of high integrity, and contribute to the character and significance of Glebe Point Road.
Date significance updated: 18 Nov 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.


Construction years: 1901-1902
Physical description: A pair of one-storey freestanding houses that date from the turn of the century within the key period of significance, set on wide sites that have retained their context. The houses are not matching pairs, but are similar in scale and form.

Both houses are setback from the street. They front verandahs running across the façades to projecting bays which have bullnose roofs and cast iron detailing. There is tessleated tiling to the front path and floor of the verandah of both dwellings.

No. 397 features typical Victorian elements such as gabled roof clad in slate, broad eaves, rendered details to the walls and chimneys, bullnose verandah with lace details and palisade front fence.

No 399 has a hipped and gabled roof clad in terracotta tiled roof which is a replacement of the original slate cladding. The orginal face brickwork has been painted. The bay window features decorative mouldings, double hung windows with coloured panes in the top sashes. The original eight panelled front door with sidelignts and fanlight with original patterned glass survives. There are some original features in the front rooms including timber joinery, one mable fireplace with tile inserts, ceilings, ceiling roses and cornices.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Date condition updated:14 Sep 06
Modifications and dates: No 397- Large two storey rear addition.
No 399 - the facebrick has been painted. Main roof cladding replaced with terracotta tiles and one chimney removed. Rear wing has been altered. The former stables building adjoining the lane has been demolished.
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.

The 1828 subdivision made allowance for in roads into the Glebe; Bay Road and Glebe Road (Glebe Point Road) were created by cutting through bush, pulling out stumps and ‘filling in the largest of the holes’. Glebe Point Rd, or alternatively known as the Glebe Rd, opened up in 1829 as the initial exploitive action in the form of a tract with fence either side. This basic line of communication cut into the then dense forest covering the Glebe with only bush tracks made by drays penetrating off the Glebe Rd to the individual estates.

Strathmore (c.1857), Maryville (c.1855), Llangollen (c. 1844), Margaretta Cottage (c. 1845) Sidcup (c.1868), Dellwood (c. 1872) and Bayview (c. 1873) were built on the Golden Estate, part of James’ Lot 2. Further subdivisions and consolidation of Glebe Point occurred when the upper middle class vacated their grand villas for the suburbs in the late 19th century, with improvements in transport and the draw of the garden suburb, coupled with an increasingly industrial character to Blackwattle Bay with land reclamations. The Avona Estate was subdivided in 1899, the Strathmore Estate in 1894 and 1899. The Golden Estate and Glebe Heights Estate was subdivided in 1908. This resulted in an overlay of speculative terrace development of a working class and middle class character, in the late Victorian and Federation styles.

A main influencing factor on the character of the subdivided areas of Toxteth Park Estate was the covenant, issued on the death of George Allen, in that being a devout Wesleyan no alcohol was to be brought on to the estate in the form of Hotel or Inn development, no commercial development, and that any building be constructed out of brick of stone or both. As a consequence of the covenants, the Glebe Point end as it became known was a very desirable and fashionable part of Sydney to live in, with some large houses being built along the Glebe Point Road around the turn of the century. These mainly belonged to a higher socio-economic group than would be found in the Church lands or other speculative pockets of the Glebe.

Site History
397-399 Glebe Point Road was built on the subdivision of the Strathmore Estate.

The first listing of a house by the name of Penzance, ( then No 377) is in 1901 with the occupant shown as Francis Crocker. Subsequent listings between 1902 and 1920 show that Francis Crocker and family continued in residence at this time, with the next occupant being William C Ryan in both 1922 and 1924.

397 Glebe Point Road was first listed in the Sands Directory of 1902 and occupied by Septimus Stedman. The building was then known as ‘Ilfracombe.’

On 11th January 1920 a Sales Notice appeared for the house at No 399, "on account of the owner leaving for England." The house is described as "A detached brick cottage, 399 Glebe Point Road, with stable, buggy house etc. Land 30ft by 125 fit back to lane." (SMH 17/1/1920 pg 16). A further notice on 28th indicates that the roof was slate with front and rear verandah, hall 5 rooms, bathroom, kitchen, laundry and pantry…" ( SMH 28/1/1920 p 4)

On 31 May 1975, a notice refusing the issue of a 317A Certificate by Leichhardt Council indicated the house at No 399 had been adapted for occupation as three flats and no town planning approval had been given. On 10 July 1995 a Building Certificate, BC 201/95 has been issued, presumably returning the house of a single occupancy.

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. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
397-399 Glebe Point Road have historical significance for their ability to evidence the subdivision of the Strathmore Estate in 1894. The quality of the building reflect the development of Glebe Point Road as a prestige address.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The houses are transitional between Victorian Filigree and Federation styles, that are of high integrity, and contribute to the character and significance of Glebe Point Road.
SHR Criteria g)
A representative example of a pair of turn of the century houses found in inner Sydney They also have representative significance as part of a group of one-storey residences which collectively illustrate the late Victorian/Federation development in Glebe.
Integrity/Intactness: Externally - 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 buildings should be retained and conserved, and continue to be included in the Heritage Schedule of the LEP and be protected by the Conservation Area Listing. 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 main part of the buildings and no alterations to the façadesother 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. On-going careful maintenance of these significant houses is recommended. In the long term, when re-roofing is required for number 399 Glebe Point Road, reinstatement of original slate roofing (as exists to number 397) should be considered.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I76814 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Glebe Point Road Main Street Study Stage 21991 Bechervaise and Associates  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City View detail
WrittenColin Israel2014Statement of Heritage Impact for alterations and additions - 399 Glebe Point Road
WrittenJohn Sands P/L Sands Sydney Directory 1858-1932/3

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: 2427789

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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