Rothesay - house, front garden | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Rothesay - house, front garden

Item details

Name of item: Rothesay - house, front garden
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 3 Cranbrook Road, Bellevue Hill, NSW 2029
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
3 Cranbrook RoadBellevue HillWoollahra  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The residence Rothsay, which is constructed in the Victorian Free Classical style. Situated on land originally fronting New South Head Road at Rose Bay the house now has its frontage to Cranbrook Road. This building, although having undergone extensive modification both inside and out, holds social significance as one of the large mansions built in the district in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The building holds some aesthetic significance for the quality of the original classical detailing which is still largely intact, and for the contribution it makes to the streetscape of the immediate area.
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: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1880-
Physical description: The two storey rendered brick residence is constructed in the Victorian Free Classical style and features a tower element on the northern facade. The slate clad root is supported on bracketed eaves and a colonaded verandah with roof terrace encloses the main rooms to the east and north. Quoins are featured at the corners of the building and the leadlight glazed french doors to the main rooms on the ground and first floor are finished with a simple Greek Revival style architrave and timber shutters. Style: Victorian Free Classical External Materials: Slate roof with some use of corrugated asbestos cement sheet, rendered brick walls with cement detailing, timber windows and doors, galvanised guttering and downpipes Internal Materials: Unseen
Modifications and dates: The building has undergone a number of modifications, most important being the transition to two flats in c1931, and the addition of a number of wings to create a private hospital in c1944. The building was restored to a private dwelling in 1982 when the additions were largely demolished and a games room and roof terrace added to the northern facade. The interior of the residence appears to have been extensively modified during its lifetime with little remaining of the original interiors.
Current use: Residence
Former use: Residence and private hospital


Historical notes: The site appears to have been purchased by D.C. Bell in 1888 or 1889. Bell then commissioned a house which was under construction in 1889-90. The name 'Rothsay' first appears in the council rate records in 1892-93 and the property included house, grounds and statues. The property was purchased by the Hon. John Frazer in 1893-94. It again changed hands in 1894-95 when it was purchased by the Hon. James White of nearby Cranbrook House, and in 1896-97 it was purchased by W.H.Hoskings and Frank Norrie. The title shifted to Frank Norrie in 1905-06 and after his death was occupied by his wife, Mrs Sarah Norrie. In 1920 the property was known as 483 New South Head Road, and in 1921 it was purchased by Westbrook. The ownership again changed to Walter A. McMorran in 1926 and the house was converted into two flats in 1931. The northern portion of the land was subdivided into three blocks in 1938 and the address then changed to Cranbrook Road. From 1938 the name was Roth'e'say and by 1944 the residence was being used as a private hospital.

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. Emergence of building styles-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. A place to live-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Cultural and social life-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Historically representative at a Local level.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Aesthetically representative at a Local level.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Socially representative at a Local level.
SHR Criteria g)
Socially representative at a Local level. Aesthetically representative at a Local level. Historically representative at a Local level.
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:

A Heritage Report required prior to any proposals for new work. As the building has already undergone extensive modification internally and externally, it is therefore recommended that proposals for new work could be considered. Proposals for new work on the exterior should consider retention of the tower element, the verandahs with classical columns and railing to north and east facades, the bracketing under the eaves, as well as the leadlight french doors, architraves and shutters.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 199510 Mar 95 28 
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra Local Environmental Plan 20141923 May 15   
Heritage studyWoollahraBH-218 May 84   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Woollahra Heritage Study 19951995150.0350Schwager BrooksSchwager Brooks 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: 2710038

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