Bronte | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Bronte
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 470 Bronte Road, Bronte, NSW 2024
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Waverley
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
470 Bronte RoadBronteWaverleyAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

Oldest known building in the Waverley Council area. Always magnificent and still one of the area's best. Fine example of an individually styled Mid-Victorian mansion. Appears to be substantially intact and retains its outstanding original setting. Special historical interest for its associations with Mortimer Lewis, the Lowes, and other prominent local citizens. Rare, reconstructed period gardens provide a remarkable setting for the house, with notable trees from c.1880.
Date significance updated: 07 Feb 00
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: 1811-1850
Physical description: Magnificent, Mid-Victorian mansion overlooking Bronte Park. Has been described as Swiss style (Dowd, 156) but towers and form also reminiscent of a medieval French chateau. All slate roofing. Main roof consists of repeated hipped form. Central gabled projection to front (facing park). Verandah on each side, returning around house. Simple timber posts with large span brackets. Round towers on corners to Bronte Road, with conical roofs. Two storey rear extension comes right up to road alignment. Ashler coursed render with unusual ground floor openings. Difficult to see from park or roadway due to ……………. House and garden set on flattish terrace above south side of valley. Enjoys view east, through parkland to sea. Massed mature tree planting, from c.1880, envelopes Victorian house. Species include massive Moreton Bay and Port Jackson figs, a tall clump of thick bamboo, and tall Hoop and Norfolk Island pines. Circular gravel drive, lawn and rear garden, were very sympathetically reconstructed in the 1970's. Front steps lead down grass banking to lawn terrace and, via a rustic path, down to wilder romantic garden. Reconstructed cottage style flower garden on north side of house has many traditional plants including annuals, Salvia, Ginger and Day lilies, Strelitzia, Plumbago etc. Garden almost completely blocks view of neighbouring houses, giving a fine illusion of privacy and space. Garden maintained in good condition.
Current use: House and park
Former use: House and park


Historical notes: Land, which includes the present day park, was originally granted to Mortimer Lewis, the Colonial Architect. He laid foundations but was forced to sell in 1840's recession. House completed by Barrister Robert Lowe, and his wife, in 1845 or early 1846. Little altered since then.

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]
This item is of historical significance
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This item is of streetscape/landscape significance
SHR Criteria f)
This item is of rarity value significance
Integrity/Intactness: Substantially intact; altered sympathetically
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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  06 Dec 96   
Local Environmental Plan  26 Oct 12   
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Waverley Heritage Study1990L13/0083Perumal Murphy Pty Limited  No

References, internet links & images


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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2620389

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