House Group "Edith Villas" Including Interiors and Front Fencing | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


House Group "Edith Villas" Including Interiors and Front Fencing

Item details

Name of item: House Group "Edith Villas" Including Interiors and Front Fencing
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Villa
Primary address: 226-228 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, NSW 2037
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
226-228 Glebe Point RoadGlebeSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The site and building provides evidence of the earliest residential development on the Toxteth Estate. It is an important building in the professional work of the noted architect Stanley Uther. The building's quality reflects the development of Glebe Point Road as a major street and the aspirations of the Allen family for the future development of the Toxteth Estate. Unusually elaborate and massively scaled parapetted Victorian Free classical style terrace pair that makes a fine contribution to the streetscape.
Date significance updated: 07 May 07
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: Stanley Uther
Construction years: 1877-1877
Physical description: A two storey attached grand terrace, with attic level that is hidden behind the parapet. It dates from the Victorian period within the key period of significance, set on a wide site that has retained its context.The building is setback from the street. The site has a original front fence of iron palisade on a stone plinth approximately 6 to 8 metres high. The front garden wraps around the side, is informally landscaped and features an offset path and steps, hedging and provides and appropriate setting for the house.The façade presents a complex asymmetrical elevation and is constructed of rendered masonry on a rendered masonry base course. The roof is parapeted. The roof is clad in concrete tile and features bracketed corbelled chimneys, slate and chimney pots. The verandah runs across the facade and has a straight profile. It is clad in corrugated sheet metal and features cast iron columns brackets, fringe, balustrade and dentils, incised render to fin walls and stone paving. The façade features a Gothic style bifora parapet. The front door is offset and is 4-panelled and glazed with arched fanlights. Fenestration comprises a group of three vertically proportioned French doors and arched double hung timber windows with security bars.

Significant internal fabric includes arched opening from entry hall leading to the stair, original joinery, main timber stairs, plaster ceilings, ceiling roses and moulded plaster ceilings in the principal rooms and ,fireplaces. The planning configuration in the main part of the terraces is intact,
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building appears to be in excellent condition
Date condition updated:07 May 07
Modifications and dates: Alterations include:
Security grills and a gate at no. 226
Main roof reclad with concrete tiles at no 228
Internal alteraitons in the service areas and rear wings.
Rear single storey additions
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. 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 )


The Sydney Glebe lands were granted to the Church of England in 1789, and in 1828 "to relieve the pressing needs of clergy"” Glebe was subdivided into 28 allotments and all but three lots (numbers 7,8 and 28) were offered for sale. The Toxteth Estate comprises 4 lots from the 1828 subdivision of the Glebe. Lot 21 was acquired by AB Spark, and lots 22-24 were acquired by George Allen.Toxteth Park was built for George Allen in 1831, to the design of John Verge. Toxteth Park house consisted of a rectangular two-storey block with single-storey wings and a stone-flagged verandah which was laid around two sides of the house. Set at right angles, behind the main building, and facing a large paved courtyard, were the kitchen and servants’ quarters. Shortly after the completion of the house the Sydney Gazette described its ‘spacious garden, containing some hundreds of the choicest trees- and a tract of forest land capable of being converted into the most romantic pleasure grounds’. On George Allen’s death in 1877, George Wigram Allen, his son, moved into "Toxteth House" but not before making extensive alterations to the principal buildings of the estate under the superintendence of G.A. Mansfield somewhere between 1877 and 1881. This action must have had a large impact on the popular builders of the adjacent estates, for, the greater part of the Allen estate seems to have been sub-divided and built up from the early 1880s to the early 1900s employing the Italianate and elaborate variations of it during the 1880s and 1890s, while the late 1890s and 1900s came under the influence of a "Federation" style. George Allen, in his will, decreed that only private dwelling houses be built on the future subdivision of the estate, and that they be constructed out of either brick or stone. Being a devout Wesleyan, Allens covenant prevented alcohol being brought on to the estate in the form of Hotel or Inn development. 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. George Wigram Allen died in 1885. Subdivision of Toxteth Park had commenced in earnest in 1884 with 88 building sites offered for sale. In 1886, Mills & Pile offered forty-five allotments for sale in Wigram Road, measuring for the most part, twenty-five feet to thirty feet. One hundred and thirty-four ‘choice villa sites’ were offered in Boyce Street, Ross Street and Toxteth Road.

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. 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. History:226-228 Glebe Point Road a pair of large residences dates from 1877 as noted on the parapet and are visible on the Bryne Glebe Map 1888. Uther appears to have designed the pair of attached dwellings known as "Edith Villas". The detailing of the parapet is exactly the same as that of Palmerston Terrace.

Bernard Smith, Bernard & Kate "The Architectural Character of Glebe, Sydney", notes: "One of the earliest of the parapet terraces in Glebe, Edith Villas (1877), at 226-28 Glebe Point Road, is also one of the most elaborate. For, by the mid-1870s, the parapet terrace was already well developed in other inner suburbs of Sydney; the difference in the elaboration of the parapet in the late 1870s being rather a question of money than of chronology. Edith Villas proudly displays an elaborate cornice surmounted by a pierced parapet with a central panel for an inscription that was n ever inscribed. In 1877, when they were built, these two terraced houses must have stood in isolation upon the Allen Estate as a striking declaration of the new Italianate style. The elaboration not only of the parapet, but also of the chimney stacks and of the two 'Palladian' windows on the ground floor, indicates an intention here to provide superior accommodation for professional tenants. Unfortunately, the height of the parapet out-scales the terrace. It appears to have been proportioned to a run of six, rather than two, apartments".

Thomas Sapsford Sydney, City Architect, believed to have lived in No.226

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]
The site and building provides evidence of the earliest residential development on the Toxteth Estate. The building's quality reflect the development of Glebe Point Road as a major street and the aspirations of the Allen family for the future development of the Toxteth Estate.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The building has historical associative significance for its association with noted architect Stanley Uther who designed the building. It is also associated with Stanley Uther. Architect Thomas Sapford is understood to have libved at No 226.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Unusually elaborate and massively scaled parapetted pair of Victorian Free classical style terraces that make a fine contribution to the streetscape.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The site has medium archaeological potential as a late Victorian building.
SHR Criteria f)
The building is a rare quality example of a highly intact residential exterior.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is representative of the high quality residential development that occurred at Glebe Point Road in the late nineteeth Century.
Integrity/Intactness: 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 included in the Heritage Schedule of the LEP and should be protected by the Conservation Area Listing. Subdivision should not occur. Consolidation of sites should not occur. The existing use of the site should continue. No alterations should occur that would compromise the side garden. An appropriate gate should be incorporated.These houses are currently well presented and maintained and it is recommended that this continue.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I74314 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Statement of Heritage Significance & Statement of Heritage Impact2019 Nigel Parsons & Associates Architects  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City
WrittenBerchervaise & Associates1991Main Street Study
WrittenScotton and Yee2007Statement of Heritage Impact
WrittenSmith, Bernard and Kate1989The Architectural Character of Glebe, Sydney

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: 2427830

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