St Marks Anglican church - Full LEP listing - Description in Further Comments | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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St Marks Anglican church - Full LEP listing - Description in Further Comments

Item details

Name of item: St Marks Anglican church - Full LEP listing - Description in Further Comments
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Primary address: Darling Point Road, Darling Point, NSW 2027
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Darling Point RoadDarling PointWoollahra  Primary Address
57A Darling Point RoadDarling PointWoollahra  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The Church and Rectory buildings represent some of the earliest examples of 'Academic Gothic Revival' style architecture in Sydney. They are outstanding examples of this style, which was promoted by Bishop Broughton and facilitated by the extraordinary abilities of Edmund Blacket, who was to become Australia's leading exponent of ecclesiastical design. Though one of the earliest major works of Blacket, the Church remains one of his best known and successful designs.

St Marks Church and Rectory are given added prominence by their siting and their elevated position. The tower and spire of the Church have always been a dominant landmark on the Darling Point ridge since their construction and retain a visual prominence from many vantage points, despite the surrounding modern high-rise developments. The quality of the materials and workmanship as well as the patina of age and use that has mellowed the fabric of the Church and Rectory combined with the character of the surviving sandstone and iron fencing details has produced an outstanding streetscape of the early Victorian era, which despite the loss of some interesting buildings retains much of the Romantic English Village character depicted in several drawings and water colours of Darling Road.

The Howard Lea Hall is a good example of Edwardian 'Arts and Crafts' style applied to a utilitarian structure and is typical of the work of John Burcham Clamp, a leading architect of the Federation era. The Parish Hall is a good example of mid 20th century design with well proportioned and detailed design resolution and the Memorial Garden provides a substantial green setting to the church on its eastern side and a quiet reflective forecourt to the Parish Hall. Other structures throughout the group of buildings contain elements designed by the following architects: H Ruskin Rowe, a Prevost, H Dennis and Olding and C.C. Philips.

St Mark's Anglican Church Group embodies the establishment, evolution and growth of the Anglican Church in Sydney from the time of Bishop Broughton to the present.
Date significance updated: 23 Jan 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: Edmund T Blacket
Construction years: 1848-1854
Physical description: St Marks Church - Early Victorian 'Rustic Gothic Revival' style church with nave, chancel, vestries, organ chamber, tower and spire. Constructed between 1848 and 1880, of Sydney sandstone with hardwood timber shingled roofs.

Howard Lea Hall - Edwardian 'Arts and Crafts' style single storey church hall, constructed in 1917 in tuck pointed red face brickwork with a slate roof and copper fleche. Designed by J Burchamp Clamp, Architect and built by Stuart Brothers. The building was extensively renovated and adapted for new uses in 1994.

St Marks Parish Hall - Mid 20th Century contemporary style with Georgian influences. Two storey sandstone and brickwork hall building with a reinforced concrete framed lower floor and steel portal framed roof extension built in two stages between 1955 and 1963. The ground floor was designed by H. Ruskin Rowe and Elmes Architects. The first floor was designed by C.C. Phillips, Architect.
Date condition updated:16 Apr 04
Modifications and dates: Spire added to Blacket's designs (given by W. Laidley)
1861 Church extended to West to include porch and gallery
1863 Vestries added (given by W. Bradley)
1936 Lych Gate built
Further information: Full LEP description - St Marks Anglican Church - church, Parish Hall, Scout Hall, Gardens of Remembrance, sandstone retaining walls, steps and gateposts, gates, street fencing

The Church and Halls together with the Memorial Garden are set in a line along the edge of the Northern carriageway to Thomas Mort's 'Greenoak's, now Greenoaks Avenue, and contain significant landscape elements including early fences, retaining walls and dominant trees.

The group forms part of a large collection of important to late 19th century buildings of considerable townscape, historic and cultural significance, including the former St Mark's Crescent School, St Mark's Cottage and Bishop Court, formerly 'Greenoaks'.
Current use: Church
Former use: Church


Historical notes: The foundation stone of St Mark's was laid in 1848 on land given by Thomas Sutcliffe mort from his property Greenoaks (now Bishopcourt). Built to designs by Edmund Blacket, it was completed in 1854 with the spire, a gift from William Laidley, being added later. In 1861 the church was extended to the west to include the porch and gallery. Prior to completion of this building, accommodation for worshippers in this section of the parish of Alexandria was provided by Thomas Ware smart of Mona, who converted one of his cottages in Mona Lane in the Chapel of St Mark. In 1863 Wolliam Bradley of Lindesay built at his expense, the present vestries.

Built of Pyrmont sandstone in the Gothic Revival style with a shingled roof, a section of which has been renewed. The Lych Gate, built in 1939, was designed and given, with another donor, by the honorary architect Reginald Prevost. The Reverend George Fairfowl Macarthur was the first incumbent and the proprietor of St Mark's School which he conducted first at the Rectory, then at Macquarie Fields and afterwards at the Kings School, Parramatta. The St Mark's Society of Bellringers are very well known.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The Church and Rectory and the land on which they were built, have close associations with some of Sydney's most influential members of Colonial Society, particularly through the benefice of T.S. Mort, T.W. Smith, T.W. Smart, R. Tooth, W. Bradley and W. Laidley and the influence of William Dumaresq and Charles Nicholson. The establishment of a parish in the eastern suburbs of Sydney and in the 1840s indicated the growth of Sydney beyond the city boundaries and the expansion of the Established Church through the patronage and influence of wealthy colonial merchant families. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the Church has maintained associations with many important and influential members of Sydney society, some of whom have acted as church wardens and parish councilors.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
St Mark's Church is one of the best known Anglican Parish Churches in NSW. It embodies the continuation of the Christian spiritual tradition, through which it is particularly significant to the congregations that have attended and continue to attend St Mark's. The esteem in which it is held by the wider community is evidenced by the large numbers of people who visit it, and by its regular use as a favourite venue for baptisms, weddings and funerals.
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 PlanWoollahraLEP 199510 Mar 95 281347
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra Local Environmental Plan 20149523 May 15   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenNational Trust Australia1979St Mark's Church, Darling Point - Inventory sheet.
WrittenNoel Bell Ridley Smith and Partners Architects1996St Marks Anglican Church, Darling Point - Conservation Plan

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: 2711081

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