Maltings, (The) | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Maltings, (The)

Item details

Name of item: Maltings, (The)
Other name/s: Tooths Mittagong Maltings Group
Type of item: Complex / Group
Primary address: 2 Colo Street, Mittagong, NSW 2575
Local govt. area: Wingecarribee
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
2 Colo StreetMittagongWingecarribee  Primary Address
Ferguson CrescentMittagongWingecarribee  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The Maltings is significant in illustrating the pattern of development in the brewing industry of NSW and of industrial development in Mittagong in many ways. The DC Research Historical Conservation Report states these as follows:
. The Maltings complex is a major and relatively intact turn-of-the-century industrial complex connected with the growth and centralisation of the NSW brewing trade.
. The complex is tangible evidence of early entrepreneurial risk-taking predicted on the growth of the barley growing industry in NSW.
. It comprises the oldest purpose-built commercial malthouses in the state.
. The site stands as a reminder of The Maltings' early and enduring importance to the commercial and social life of the town of Mittagong.
. The site is the only significant intact reminder of the industrial importance of the Mittagong district in the 19th century.
. The site also contains remains from a factory site associated with the local dairy industry from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, as well as weirs that, in part, pre-date the development of The Maltings.

The Maltings is also important in demonstrating a high degree of creative and technical achievement through its technical, architectural and asthetic attributes. The DC Research Historical Conservation report states these as follows:
- Technological
. The Maltings is probably the best extant example in NSW of a traditional malthouse based on the germinating floor system.
. The techniques and surviving equipment at the site indicate the influence and dependence of the malting process on British Traditions.
. It is a large scale traditional complex, said even before the first World War to be the largest in Australia.
- Architectural
. The main malthouse buildings are a major specimen of masonry industrial architecture of the Federation era.
. They represent an elegant but robust example of the way in which architectural form follows industrial function.
. The Maltster's cottage is an elegant Federation era residence, distinguished by its surrounding verandah and river setting.
- Aesthetic
. The gardens and trees of The Maltings site are attractive landscaped features in their own right, and tacitly mirror both the indigenous and imported aspects of The Maltings' history. They reflect the company policy to present a 'caring image' although this did not necessarily reflect working conditions.
. The site is an excellent example of an intact rural industrial complex, in which the park-like setting can be seen to complement and enhance the industrial architecture.

In terms of social attributes, the Maltings is significant as a place which is held in high esteem and has a strong association with the community at large and Mittagong residents in particular. The DC Research Historical Conservation Report states these as follows:
. The Maltings is a landmark in Mittagong, well known to generations of travellers on the Hume Highway and the main southern railway line.
. The Maltings has a strong association with Tooth & Co., the major brewing company in NSW for most of the 20th century.
. Its industrial history is characterised by long serving employees skilled in the traditional malting process.
. In particular there was the strong family tradition of the Jones family of malsters, whose two generations were associated with operations at Mittagong continuously from 1901 to 1980.
. As head malsters supervising the continuous malting operations, the Jones' lived on the property for almost the entire 20th century working life of The Maltings.
. The construction of Malthouse 1 and 3 helped confirm the growing reputations of Stuart Bros and Robert Wall & Sons respectively as major industrial/commercial builders in NSW.
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.


Builder/Maker: Stuart Bros; Robert Wall & Son
Construction years: 1899-1916
Physical description: The Maltings is located about 120 km southwest of Sydney on the northern outskirts of Mittagong and adjacent to the main southern railway line. The main entrance is from the north, off the old Hume Highway. The site of 6.6ha straddles Nattai Creek, flowing north to Lake Burragorang.
The Maltings Group consists of major malthouse buildings on the western side of the Nattai Creek and fronting the main southern railway line. Both buildings are served by rail sidings. In addition to these dominant structures there are a number of ancillary/out buildings which include large barley stores, sheds, a service building complex (engine rooms and pumps) and a company cottage. A light rail bridge and a pedestrian bridge provide crossing points over Nattai Creek.
The site has not been used for malting purposes and has remained largely vacant since 1980 following the fire in Malthouse 3. The only economic activity carried out on site is in Barley Store No.2 which is rented for a carpet cleaning supplier. The company cottage is also rented and a caretaker lives on the site.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
A comprehensive survey of the site and its components was undertaken in 1989 by D K Mead (for DC Research). The survey identified 29 individual coponents (see site plan). Because this record exists, it is proposed only to record details of the site as a whole for the purposes of the Wingecarribee Heritage Survey.
Date condition updated:26 Nov 14
Further information: Listed by The Royal Institute of Australian Architects along with the manager's residence.
Listed in the Local Environmental Plan for Wingecarribee, 1989.
Current use: Vacant/Unused
Former use: Industrial/Manufacturing


Historical notes: The Maltings Company of NSW (Ltd) was formed in September 1898. Having
selected the site at Mittagong for its suitable climate, proximity to the
largest market, availability of rail transport facilities and a good water
supply in the Nattai River, a single unit Malt-house was erected. It was
built on conventional lines and commenced operation in August 1899. The
building provided two concrete growing floors, with all necessary adjuncts,
and the company operated with fair success despite difficulties in the supply
of barley at this time. Tooth & Co., the Sydney brewing company, meanwhile,
had decided to acquire a malting establishment for its purposes, and they
purchased the Mittagong Works in 1905 and immediately set about improving and
expanding the operation.
Various additions were made at this time and the No.2 Malthouse was completed
in 1907. When this was in production, the maltings were reported to be one of
the largest in the southern hemisphere. The third malthouse was built and
opened in 1916. The expansion of the maltings was concurrent with the
expansion of Tooth's during this period - when they were buying and closing
many of the smaller country breweries and considerably expanding their own
market in NSW. These maltings supplied the malt used in Tooth & Co. breweries
in Sydney, and was an important part of their operation. The early 1940's
were the maltings most active period, with output of malt being approx
200,000 bushells annually. This output was severly restricted following a
large fire in August 1942, which completely gutted No.2 Malthouse and damaged
No.1. The No.1 Malthouse was returned to service early in 1943 by
constructing a temporary shell of timber and fibro inside the original brick
walls, and fuller repair was made during the ensuing years. The No.2
Malthouse was completely rebuilt during the early 1950's and recommenced
active operation in 1953. Operation continued normally until another fire
gutted the No.3 Malthouse in 1969. Tooths continued to operate at the site
until 1980, when the works were closed and the site sold to a group of local
business people, who intended to re-use the buildings as a commercial and
Arts Crafts and Museum Complex. This proposal lapsed and a project to develop
the site as a hotel was proposed in 1989.
Most of the screw-conveyors and bucket-elevators for transporting the malt to
the silos, the mechanical kiln turners and the engine room generating plant
are in working order. Some pieces were removed by Tooths on vacating the site
for display in their own museum at the Kent Brewery and were later donated to
the Powerhouse Museum, where some items are presently on display.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This item is assessed as historically significant statewide.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This item is assessed as aesthetically significant statewide.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
This item is assessed as socially significant regionally.
SHR Criteria f)
This item is assessed as historically rare statewide.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as aesthetically representative statewide.
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 PlanWLEP 2010I10316 Jun 10   
Local Environmental Plan - Lapsed  12 Jan 90 00700289
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Wingecarribee Heritage Study1991WI0103JRC Planning Services  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Kennedy, JFH. "The Mittagong Maltings" in Tooth's K.B. Chronical Vol.XVIIì Oct. 1949.
Written  Else-Mitchell, J. "Mittagong and District, Its Industrial Development" inì RAHS Vol. XXVI, 1940.
Written  DC Research, 'The Maltings, Mittagong. Historical Conservation', 1989

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: 2680103

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