James Spring Drinking Fountain and Horse Trough | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


James Spring Drinking Fountain and Horse Trough

Item details

Name of item: James Spring Drinking Fountain and Horse Trough
Other name/s: NSW Institution For The Deaf, Dumb and Blind
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Monuments and Memorials
Category: Memorials
Primary address: 96-148 City Road, Darlington, NSW 2006
Local govt. area: Sydney


The University of Sydney : Darlington Campus
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
96-148 City RoadDarlingtonSydney  Primary Address
Butlin Avenue (Near)DarlingtonSydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

A rare surviving example of a finely carved horse trough and drinking fountain, indicating a high level of civic pride. Of aesthetic and historical significance.
Date significance updated: 13 Aug 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: Morrow & De Putron Architects
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Physical description: Sandstone horse trough with Art Nouveau detailing. Bears inscription: "This fountain presented to the Municipality of Darlington by James Spring Esquire. 15 years Mayor. January 1910". The fountain also has the architect's names "Morrow & De Putron architects" in gold lettering. Set immediately next to the eastern gutter of City Road near Butlin Street. Although this is its original site, it is in continuous danger from passing traffic. The detail of the fountain may have been influenced by the gate lodge opposite.
Date condition updated:19 Aug 00
Modifications and dates: Timberwork to street.
Further information: A strategy to protect this element from further damage needs to be undertaken.

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: Fountain
Former use: Horse Trough


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 )

For general history of the University of Sydney Conservation Area refer to Heritage Inventory Sheet No. 2431001.

Built c1910, the drinking fountain and horse trough was prescribed to the Municipality of Darlington by the Mayor James Spring.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Community facilities-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
A relatively rare surviving example of a horse trough in the built up suburbs surrounding the CBD. An example of the civic pride of the Darlington Municipality.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
A rare example of a horse trough, with carved detail.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Contributing to the streetscape.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
SHR Criteria f)
A relatively rare surviving example. The lack of a comparative analysis of these elements makes their rarity difficult to assess.
Integrity/Intactness: Substantially intact.
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:

Ensure that the impact of any proposal on the heritage significance of the item, and its setting, is assessed when planning new works.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSouth Sydney LEP 1998 as amended23328 Jul 00 97 
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images


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: 2431032

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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