Bundarra - house and grounds | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Bundarra - house and grounds

Item details

Name of item: Bundarra - house and grounds
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 7 Bundarra, Bellevue Hill, NSW 2023
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
7 BundarraBellevue HillWoollahra  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The residence at No. 7 Bundarra Road Bellevue Hill is of local significance as a good and intact example of late Federation Arts & Crafts style architecture attributed to the noted practitioner of the style, architect Bertram James Waterhouse 1876-1965. The residence is reflective of the works of English Architect Charles F. Voysey, a notable participant in the English Arts & Crafts Movement.
Date significance updated: 05 May 06
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: Bertram James Waterhouse
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1919-1920
Physical description: Design attributed to Bertram James Waterhouse.
Garage additions by Gerald M. Carr Architect (1925)

The two-storey face brick residence is located on the low side of Bundarra Road overlooking Rose Bay to the rear. A steep pitched roof forming an oversized gable end to the street frontage dominates the residential form. Upper floor windows are contained within oriels projected from the gable end and in gablets and hipped dormers set into the steep tiled roof. Windows and doors to the ground floor are variously set beneath belled extensions of the oriels, flat roofed projecting frames and tiled, hipped roofed awnings. Gable ends and dormers are infilled with timber shingle and rough cast render, the lower surfaces of both are belled outwards to create a sequential order of finish from red face brick close to ground, roughcast to the upper sleeping floor and shingle infill to the timber framed roof above. The Charles Voysey inspired roof form incorporates a tall slab-sided chimney finished in roughcast render, projecting terra cotta capping and chimney pots. Casement windows have clear glazed highlights.

Grounds consist of open lawn with specimen tree planting and boundary shrubs to street frontage and concrete paved drive to northwestern side. A low brick fence defines the front boundary.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The building is in good condition with much original external fabric sympathetically maintained. The existing mottled glazed terra cotta tile roof may be a replacement from the 1950’s. The garage, located to the side of the residence and constructed in 1926, provides a neutral addition of limited impact upon the site.
Date condition updated:01 May 03
Modifications and dates: Alterations have been identified as:
B 0050/26 - Alts & Adds - Garage
B 0293/57 - Alts & Adds - Dwelling
Further information: This building is in a context of extensive reconstruction based upon current Residential 2(b) zoning and available outlook. In view of the removal of the previous visual curtilage and context, nominal areas for additions should be established as conservation guidelines.
Current use: Residential
Former use: Residential


Historical notes: The site of 7 Bundarra Road Bellevue Hill Road is located at the base of the eastern slope to a ridgeline identified as Ghinigulla by the indigenous Wangal clan prior to European settlement. The ridgeline takes the name Bellevue Hill from the naming of a lookout point to the southern end as Belle –Vue by Governor Macquarie in 1820. The site is part of a 190 acre grant to Capt. John Piper made by Governor Macquarie in 1820. The grant became part of the 1500 acre Piper Estate passed to Piper’s creditors Daniel Cooper and Solomon Levey in 1826. In 1847 Daniel Cooper became sole owner of the Cooper Estate. Daniel Cooper willed his estate to a nephew Daniel Cooper, a resident of London with little interest in development. Cooper in turn left the still largely undeveloped lands to his sons Daniel and William. The proviso that the lands be held until the sons turned twenty-one, saw large areas released on 99-year leases at low rental. Under Daniel Cooper III’s instructions, sales of his Bellevue Hill holdings commenced in 1883. Sales did not accelerate until the Bellevue Hill tram service of the 1890’s facilitated regular commuting.

The Bellevue - Bondi Estate, the most extensive subdivision in Bellevue Hill, was released by the Cooper Family in three stages from 1912-20. The Estate extended from O’Sullivan Road to Victoria Road and from Old South Head Road to Plumer Road. Construction of Birriga Road a key access route to the estate commenced in 1911 but was not fully operational until 1913. In 1909 the Bellevue Hill Tram service had been constructed to Bellevue Hill Park. Extension of the service down Birriga Road in 1915 saw the new subdivision opened to residential development.

The site of No.7 Bundarra Road was formed within the subdivision of the Estate which was undertaken from February 1918. Sands Sydney Directory indicates construction of the residence in the period 1919-20 with Thomas Abbott listed as the first resident and assumed owner. In 1926 approval was granted to construct a single garage to the northern side of the residence, the works being detailed in Inter-war Classical Revival Style and carried out for Mrs A. Abbott. Subsequent alterations were approved for the later owner R.D. Kirkman in 1957. R.D. Kirkman proprietor of Kirkman’s Studio, manufacturers of refined furniture, was a prominent member of Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club from the 1930’s onward. The Kirkman family remain as owners and residents of the property in 2003.

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. Housing - Suburban Expansion-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Creative endeavour-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site at 7 Bundarra Road Bellevue Hill has evolved from later subdivisions of the Cooper Estate resulting in infill of the sandy heath lands forming the eastern slopes of Bellevue Hill accessed by extension of the Bellevue Hill tramway at the beginning of the 20th century.

The provision of medium sized house lots with covenants controlling standards of construction indicated efforts to maintain a high standard of development on the lands overlooking the outer harbour and Rose Bay. The sales record the change in demand for suburban land as improved transport attracted wealthy homebuilders to locate further from the city. The residence has historical significance as a well-designed and detailed example of an Arts and Crafts style house employed in the early development of the Bellevue - Bondi Estate.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site at 7 Bundarra Road Bellevue Hill has local association with the early members of colonial society including Captain John Piper and the Cooper family and with the purchaser and first occupant / owner of the residence Thomas Abbott. The site also has local association with the later occupant R.D. Kirkman, a prominent member of Bondi Surf Bathers Lifesaving Club from the 1930’s to the 1950’s and honorary member through to the end of the century and a long term eastern Suburbs furniture manufacturer. The building is also reputed to have some association with the noted architect B.J. Waterhouse, which has been recently confirmed by the curators of the BJ Waterhouse exhibition [Maher]. These associations provide some significance under this criterion.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The building at 7 Bundarra Road Bellevue Hill demonstrates the aesthetic influences of English Architect Charles A Voysey upon the Federation Arts & Crafts Style as practiced into the Post World War One era. The prominent gable and chimney details are typical of the late works by architect B.J. Waterhouse to whom the design is attributed. The building demonstrates the stylistic preferences employed for large freestanding residences during the Federation and inter -war years. The building demonstrates the quality and detailing of early 20th century architecture employed in the new forms of freestanding suburban housing, which characterized subdivisions of Bellevue Hill as a desirable residential location. Based on these qualities and the considerable landmark quality of the building, it is considered to have aesthetic significance.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The residence at 7 Bundarra Road Bellevue Hill is not associated with a particular community or cultural group within Woollahra for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The site at 7 Bundarra Road Bellevue Hill whilst demonstrating the maintenance of high standards of technical skill in construction of inter-war housing in the Bellevue Hill area remains a typical rather than a bench mark or reference site of technical and research significance.
SHR Criteria f)
The residence at 7 Bundarra Road Bellevue Hill represents a type of limited occurrence in Sydney given further rarity by its quality and remaining detail.
SHR Criteria g)
The residence at 7 Bundarra Road Bellevue Hill retains the principle characteristics of a Federation Arts & Crafts Style residence of the form and detail associated with architect B J Waterhouse. As such it retains representative significance.
Integrity/Intactness: The building has been the subject of sympathetic alterations and limited addition, particularly that of a small garage to the northwestern side. The current colour scheme detracts from the traditional detailing of the building.
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:

Conservation policy In order to maintain significance of the building and its contributing setting all original fabric and finishes external to the building are to be considered important and should be retained in the original relationship to the building. Maintenance should be limited to conservation of existing original fabric and finishes and of sympathetic supporting fabric of later addition. Alterations should be limited to removal of unsympathetic additions and modifications, and construction of works highly sympathetic to the form, design and detail of the original residence and its landscape setting. This approach should extend to the grounds and include the r long-term replacement of unsympathetic elements. No works should be carried out which obscure or reduce the visual relationship of the building to its setting, or the view of the building from Bundurra Road. ' The curtilage is recommended to be the site of the building.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 199505 May 06 55 
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra LEP 20141623 May 15   
Heritage studyTanner 01 Jan 98   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
 2003 Colin Brady Architecture + Planning  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenLibby Maher2004Amendments to heritage inventory sheet
WrittenRosemary Broomham2002Belleuve Hill Thematic History
WrittenSand's Directories1900The Sand's Sydney Directories

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: 2711054

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