Building | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Building
Other name/s: Maroomba
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Mansion
Primary address: 21A Nelson Street, Woollahra, NSW 2025
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
21A Nelson StreetWoollahraWoollahra  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The site is significant as part of the original grant to Daniel Cooper and Solomon Levey in 1830. Maroomba, no. 21 a Nelson Street Woollahra is significant as a fine and largely intact residence in the Federation Queen Anne style which was constructed in the latter years of the nineteenth century. The building with its rendered detailing and prominent corner position has rare aesthetic significance for the strong contribution it makes to the character of the immediate area. It has social and historic significance for remaining in the ownership of the Ridge family for over half a century. Although the building was converted into flats around the 1950s and has had the brickwork painted and some verandahs infilled, this has reduced its significance externally only slightly as the facades remain relatively intact with original fabric and detailing.
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: 1897-
Physical description: Two storey painted brick residence in the Federation Queen Anne style. Roof comprises a series of hips and gables, with terra cotta tiles, and features a hexagonal tower to the north western corner. Brick chimneys have terra cotta chimney pots. Walls feature brick string courses, segmental arches to windows, and pair of full arches to entrance porch. Arches have brick header construction. The entrance porch has a mosaic tiled floor, and a painted pressed metal awning supported by timber brackets above. Entrance has solid timber door, with multi-paned side lights and a stain glass top light with the name 'Maroomba.' Windows are generally timber framed double hung with rendered sills. A small verandah to Wallis Street at first floor level has timber posts, balustrade and floor boards. A timber panelled extension to the east has a timber balcony at ground level. An enclosed verandah to Nelson Street at first floor level has timber panelling, and a mixture of casement and awning windows. A steep brick stairway leads to a single solid timber door at ground level from Nelson Street. To the rear is a brick and pebbledash rendered extension which houses no. 21. The extension has a brick arched verandah at ground level, mosaic tiles to porch, and marble steps and threshold. A solid timber door has stained glass top and side lights with the name 'Tarcoola.' Style: Federation Queen Anne External Materials: Painted brick walls feature brick string courses, segmental arches to windows and full arches to entrance porch. Timber panelled extensions to east and south. Terra cotta tiles to roof. Timber casement, awning and double hung windows. Internal Materials: Unseen
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Generally in fair condition, although some sections are in poor condition. Boundary and stair walls to Nelson Street are shifting, and some splitting of timber work. Heavy flaking of paint to some sections of timber work and the pressed metal awning
Date condition updated:19 Apr 04


Historical notes: Part of the West Woollahra district, bounded by Jersey Road, Oxford Street-Wallis Street and Edgecliffe Road, and characterised by the mixture of land uses, building forms and styles. The site formed part of the original grant to Daniel Cooper and Solomon Levey in 1830. In 1897 the site, described as 'fenced land' passed to Richard Charles Ridge of 'Gilgarnie', (15 Nelson St). It would appear Maroomba was constructed for Ridge in 1897. The ratebooks for that year list five houses owned by Ridge - however only Gilgarnie is named. Mrs Jane Mansfield occupied no. 21a Nelson Street from 1898-9 until 1903-4. 'Maroomba' is noted as the name of the residence from 1901-2. Richard Ridge is in occupation from 1911. In 1922 the property is noted as the Estate of the late Ridge. The property passed to Vivian Farran Ridge in 1922. The house was converted to flats for V. F. Ridge in 1927, at which time the name changes to 'Maroomba Flats.' Between 1930 and 1950, the building is owned by Miss Grace Stoney of 'Birrilee', (Rivers St, Bellevue Hill).

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 rare at a Local level. Aesthetically representative at a Local level.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Socially representative at a Local level.
SHR Criteria f)
Aesthetically rare 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 work which would adversely effect the form, composition or scale of the external massing. There should be no changes allowed which would alter or remove any original fabric or detailing. Window and door openings should not be enlarged or filled in and timber detailing should not be removed, if repairs are necessary these should be done in matching fabric and design. As the external brickwork has been painted consideration could be given to to the removal of painted surface. As the interior of the building has undergone modification in the years since construction, the interior can be altered but it is recommended that proposals which consider the retention of any remaining original fabric or detailing should be considered.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 199510 Mar 95 28 
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra LEP 201450523 May 15   
Within a conservation area on an LEPWoollahra HCALEP 199510 Mar 95 28 
Heritage studyWoollahra    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Woollahra Heritage Study 19971997521.0140Graham Brooks and Associates Pty LtdGBA No

References, internet links & images


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

(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2710097

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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.