Kingsclear Road Heritage Conservation Area | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Kingsclear Road Heritage Conservation Area

Item details

Name of item: Kingsclear Road Heritage Conservation Area
Type of item: Conservation Area
Group/Collection: Urban Area
Category: Townscape
Primary address: , Alexandria/Erskineville, NSW
Local govt. area: Sydney


Generally bounded by Railway Parade, Henderson Road, Mitchell Road, Copeland Street, Swanson Street, western boundary of 54 Swanson Street, Ada Lane, southern boundary of 107-125 Railway Parade and Sydney Street.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
 Alexandria/ErskinevilleSydney  Primary Address
 AlexandriaSydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The Kingsclear Road Heritage Conservation Area has historic significance as a Victorian small lot subdivision that developed in association with the Eveleigh Railway Yards. The area predominantly comprises a range of one and two storey working class housing of the Victorian period including terraces, cottages and shops, together with development of Federation and inter-war periods. The industrial development illustrates a later overlay reflecting the growing importance of the area as an industrial centre in the early twentieth century.
Date significance updated: 19 Jun 18
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: various
Builder/Maker: various
Construction years: 1860-1930
Physical description: The area is surrounded by Railway Parade, Henderson Road, Mitchell Road, Copeland Street, Swanson Street, western boundary of 54 Swanson Street, Ada Lane, southern boundary of 107-125 Railway Parade and Sydney Street. It comprises a diverse range of development predominantly residential, reflecting the major stages of development, namely the original grants, the subdivision of various estates in the late nineteenth century, consolidation in the early twentieth century. The surviving Victorian building stock comprises predominantly one and two storey terrace houses, shops and cottages, with some later (Federation period) terraces and shops of a similar scale and form. Inter- war period development includes public housing, industrial buildings, a hotel and several public buildings near the station. The area includes a former nursery.

Railway Parade / Henderson Road:
Mixed development, residential, factories, pub, very altered, high fences. Rating C
Mitchell Road: Mixed scale / use and period, groups of intact Victorian terrace development. Rating C
Swanson / Copeland Streets:
1 and 2 storey scale Victorian, some commercial, oval. Rating A
Park Street: Victorian residential development, intact, contemporary development. Rating A
Newton Street: Large scale detracting development. Rating C
Renwick Street: Predominantly single storey. Rating B
Suttor Street: Rear of School, single storey Victorian. Rating A
Jennings Street: Mixed, predominantly 1 storey Rating B
Dibbs Street: Single storey, intact. Rating A
Dudley Street: Predominantly single storey. Rating B
Lyne Street: Varied development. Rating B
Alexandria Street: Intact Victorian terrace development. Rating A
Kindsclear Road: Intact Victorian terrace development, view to landscaped mound enhances street. Rating A
Brandling Street: Intact Victorian terrace development. Rating A
Clara Street: Mixed development Rating B
Ethel Street: Intact terrace group, enhanced by road closure. Rating A
Ada Street: Varied groups Rating B
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Generally good condition. Low archaeological potential.
Date condition updated:27 Sep 12
Modifications and dates: Inter-war warehouse development converted to residential units in recent times.
Further information: The Kingclear Road Conservation Area was part of the larger Erskineville Oval Conservation Area under the previous instrument, South Sydney LEP 1998. Under LEP 2012, gazetted on 14 December 2012, the Erskineville Oval Conservation Area was divided into two separate conservation areas, Kingsclear Road and Erskineville Estate.

The Conservation Area Review Study has recommended that the subject conservation area be renamed Kingsclear and Eveleigh South Conservation area.

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: This site forms part of the land of the Gadigal people, the traditional custodians of land within the City of Sydney council boundaries. For information about the Aboriginal history of the local area see the City’s Barani website:

The conservation area includes portions of a 1400 acre grant to William Hutchinson in 1823, a 30 acre grant to John King in 1794, and Nicholas Divines grants totalling 210 acres in 1794/9.

In 1825, Hutchinson’s grant was acquired by Cooper & Levey. The Cooper occupancy of the area was passive, the family was content to lease portions of land for long term leases. Cooper’s South Eveleigh estate was subdivided for auction sale in 1886. The estate boasted a 3 minute train ride to Redfern, the promise of a public school, shop frontages on Henderson and Mitchell Roads and residence sites opposite the park.

King’s 30 acres was granted on condition he clear the land and grow wheat. It became known as Kings Clear Grant. King sold 14 acres to Robert Henderson who established the Camellia Grove Nursery in 1838. Henderson laid out the famed gardens at Macleay’s Elizabeth Bay House. He married Elizabeth Shepherd, daughter of Thomas Shepherd of Shepherd’s Darling Nursery at Darlington. A fresh water stream flowed through the Nursery, named Sir Thomas Brisbane Spring. By 1890, the nursery was reduced to 5 acres. Kings grant was divided into the Greenfield Estate and Hendersons Estate. The Greenfield Estate ran both sides of Henderson Road to Chisholm Estate (purchased for railway workshops). To the east and south was Coopers Waterloo Estate and to the west Hendersons Camellia Grove Nursery, 1897. Robert Henderson Junior, a naturalist, lived at Erskine Villa, built by Reverend George Erskine in 1830, and operated the Camellia Grove Nursery in the vicinity of Brandling Street. His camellias were highly regarded as were his dahlias, clematis and primula and he had 874 varieties of roses for sale in the 1880s. Charles Henderson was Mayor of Alexandria from 1878-1883.

Devine’s Estate was subdivided from 1828 into large villa sites of about 10 acres. Early development occurred in the south of the grant near Rochford Street from the late 1840s. A protracted claim and appeal on Devine’s Estate by a relative in the 1850s and 1860s stalled development. The villa estates were subdivided from 1880, prompted by the expansion of the railway and the opening of Erskineville Stations in 1884.

Subdivision during the 1880s was prompted by expansion of the railway forming working class settlements associated with Eveleigh Railway and Goods Yards. Proximity to industry and the railway encouraged settlement by tradespeople.

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-
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. Worker's Dwellings-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal (none)-
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 Development-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The conservation area demonstrates the nineteenth century subdivision and development of southern Sydney for housing for the workers for Eveleigh railway workshops, from the Victorian, Federation and inter-war periods. The area illustrates the establishment and development of the Municipality of Alexandria, from 1868. The industrial development illustrates a later overlay reflecting the growing importance of the area as an industrial centre in the early twentieth century.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The area represents small lot subdivision associated with the principal employer "The Eveleigh Railway and Goods Yard". It is a working class settlement with corner store communities associated with the establishment of the railways and small-scale industry.

The area is associated with important early settlers Robert and Charles Henderson and the Camelia Grove Nursery.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The one and two storey terraces or cottages have aesthetic value for their collective representation of the late Victorian and Federation style in working class development.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Particular sites have significance for identifiable groups including St Mary's School, Alexandria Park Community School and Kurrajong Hotel.
SHR Criteria g)
Representative of Victorian subdivision and Victorian, Federation and inter-war development.
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:

1.Protection of Significance: (a) Subdivision: - Retain Victorian subdivision - Do not allow amalgamation of sites nor subdivision of Erskineville Estate (b) Key Period Significant (Contributory) Development: - Retain 1 Storey Workers Cottages of Victorian and Federation periods - Retain 1-2 Storey Victorian terraces - Retain Scale - Maintain building alignment - Retain form - Retain finishes and details - Reinstate verandahs, front fences, lost detail - Additions to rear not to exceed ridge height and retain original roof form - Discourage front dormers - Retain Victorian, Federation and Inter-war public buildings/shops/hotels 2. Redevelopment of Non Contributing Sites: - Encourage reinterpretation of Victorian Subdivision - Respect scale and form of significant development - Respect building line of significant development - Encourage rendered and painted finishes - Encourage contemporary detail - Limit carparking access from street - Do not allow carparking forward of building line - Limit redevelopment to existing volume 3. Enhance Significance of Area: - Enhance Alexandria Park vistas by landscaped mounds (eg Kingsclear Road vista) - Enhance vistas to Erskineville Oval - Establish/maintain and enhance street planting to unify streetscape - Encourage render/paint finishes to detracting developments - Remove/discourage reproduction of period detail in contemporary development - Provide landscape screening to detracting sites Contributory Buildings: Contributory buildings should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement should be prepared for contributory buildings prior to any major works being undertaken. There shall be no vertical additions to such buildings and no alterations to the façade of the building other than to reinstate original features. 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. Neutral and Detracting Buildings: Neutral and detracting buildings should where possible be enhanced. Replacement of such buildings should be in accordance with the infill provisions of the relevant planning controls.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012C314 Dec 12   
Local Environmental Plan - LapsedSouth Sydney Local Environmental PlanCA2028 Jul 00   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
South Sydney Heritage Study1993 Tropman & Tropman Architects  Yes
South Sydney Conservation Areas2003 Architectural Projects P/L  Yes

References, internet links & images


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

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2435703

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