Residential flat building, gateposts, gates | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Residential flat building, gateposts, gates

Item details

Name of item: Residential flat building, gateposts, gates
Other name/s: Formerly named Ardenbralight
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Mansion
Primary address: 23 Wentworth Street, Point Piper, NSW 2027
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
23 Wentworth StreetPoint PiperWoollahra  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The building at 21-23 Wentworth Street, Point Piper is a large two storey residence constructed in a Scottish Baronial style. It has high aesthetic significance for the relatively intact condition of the external envelope and aesthetic significance as a fine and rare example of the style. The building has had some modification internally to change it into flats in the 1920s but the external envelope largely retains the original fabric and detailing. The house has social significance as one of the large residences built in the area and as the home of the barrister Cecil B. Stephen, as well as for its later use by the Red Cross as a Convalescent Home during the First World War. The stone gateposts and boundary fence are in character with the building and add to the significance of the building. Subdivision of the original site has allowed a two storey structure to be constructed in the south western corner of the original front boundary detracting from the significance of the building when viewed from the west but the building nevertheless, retains high aesthetic significance for its quality of fabric and design.
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: John William Manson
Physical description: A three storey mansion in random course rock face sandstone located on the northern side of Wentworth Street Point Piper. Dark coloured sandstone quoins feature at the corners and window edges and the service wing in rear is constructed in roughcast render over brickwork. The building is in a Scottish Baronial style featuring a wide stone arched entry to the front porch under a roof clad in slate . The front facade features a facated two storey bay with hipped roof and gabled projections to the opposite side of the front entry. Arched head to some windows at ground floor level, square head to upper floor windows. A set of six stone framed windows light the main stair and are glazed with leadlights. The dining room windows also feature leadlight sashes to the top. The front yard is paved with crushed gravel and a front fence of sandstone piers also features cast iron panels. This fence joins to a higher sandstone wall to the eastern end of the front boundary. A low set block of flats over garages is located to the western side of the house on the front boundary. Style: Federation Period / Scottish Baronial External Materials: Sandstone walls, part timber shingles and brick to side walls, rendered pebble dash to west side with stone quoins, timber windows and doors, slate roof cladding, timber rafters are exposed at ends. Internal Materials: Unseen. A three storey sandstone mansion in a Federation Period / Scottish Baronial style.
Modifications and dates: Alterations include a flat roof addition to west, and new garages with rooms above to the South Street frontage situated close to existing house. Small shed with concrete roof to the west of the building. Slate roof building appears to be service wing.
Current use: Residential flat building
Former use: Residence


Historical notes: Site forms part of the land originally granted to Captain John Piper in 1820. Designed by the English architect John William Manson and constructed around the turn of the century. The Sands Directory notes no property to northern side of Wentworth Street in 1902, the first listing for the building appears to be in 1904 when Barrister Cecil Bedford Stephen is noted as occupying 'Ardenbralight.' Stephen remains in occupation until 1913 when Mrs C.B. Stephen is recorded. In 1917 the house is being used by the Red Cross as a Convalescent Home but it is again a residence in 1919 when T. K. Stephen is in residence. This remains the same until 1922 when the building is converted into flats. Ownership of 'Ardenbralight' transfered to Sir Benjamin John Fuller, theatre proprietor in 1925. The building continues as flats to the present day.

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 proposals for new work. As the facades of the building appear to have remained relatively intact, there should be no proposals allowed which alter the external envelope or materials. All proposals for new work should consider the retention of all original fabric and detailing both externally and internally. There should be no painting of stonework or materials which did not originally have a paint finish. Window and door openings should not be enlarged or filled in, and the form and massing of the building should not be compromised by alterations to the roofline. Proposals for redevelopment should consider the removal of the building on the south western corner of the site.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 199510 Mar 95 28 
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra LEP 201428823 May 15   
Heritage studyWoollahraPP-1417 May 84   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Woollahra Heritage Study 19971997816.0090Graham Brooks and Associates Pty LtdGBA 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: 2710160

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