Swifts (The) - Full LEP listing - Description in Further Comments | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Swifts (The) - Full LEP listing - Description in Further Comments

Item details

Name of item: Swifts (The) - Full LEP listing - Description in Further Comments
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Mansion
Primary address: 68 Darling Point Road, Darling Point, NSW 2027
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
68 Darling Point RoadDarling PointWoollahra  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Fine 'Brewer's Baronial' mansion, perhaps the grandest house remaining in Sydney. Set in well planted and extensive grounds. Built for the Sydney brewer Robert Lucas Tooth, and subsequently owned by the Resch family, also brewers, bequeathed by Edmund Resch to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney.

The grounds of this grand 1876 Victorian Gothic residence contain a substantial and significant variety of trees dating to this period of development.
Date significance updated: 11 Apr 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.

Description

Physical description: The house is essentially a High Victorian one given a 'Gothic' treatment by the addition of crenellations and a square central tower also with castellated parapets and small circular corner towers to achieve a medieval skyline. The windows have been given a slight Tudor air by the addition of carved frames. There is a porte cochere on the entrance front flanked by projecting bays and a very fine crenellated verandah on the north front flagged with sandstone. The windows have pretty timber valances and external timber Venetian blinds. The interior is lofty and spacious and remains essentially as furnished by the Resch family in the early part of the twentieth century and as such is a prime example of opulent bourgeois taste. The entrance hall and staircase are done in the Jacobean manner with fine marble floor, sandstone stair and elaborate rail. The dining room and study are also in an Edwardian baronial style while the drawing room is known as the 'Marie Atoinette' room and is in the reproduction French gilt manner.

Landscape description:
Located within the property are:

2 Moreton Bay Figs (Figus macrophylla)
Significance attributes: Two specimens, historic, visual dominance (District/Local)
Original: Ornamental/ Cultivated
Location: The two very large specimen figs are located on the front lawn to the residence, northern aspect and set well back from Thornton Street.
Heights: Both figs of similar size: 25 metres
Canopy Spreads: 30 metres
Trunk diameters: 2.5 - 3 metres (@1.0 metre above ground level)
Estimated Age: 120 years
Condition/Health: Excellent condition and health with very little dead wood in crowns and minimal evidence of past pruning.

Lemon-scented Gum (Eucalyptus citriodora)
Significance attributes: Single specimen, historic, visual dominance
Original: Ornamental/cultivated
Location: Tree located beside main entry gate, above a 2 metre high sandstone retaining wall and within the general boundaty planting.
Height: 12 metres
Canopy spread: 16 metres
Trunk diametre: 1.0m (@1.0 above ground level)
Estimated Age: 120+ years
Condition/ health: Excellent condition and health with very little dead wood in the crown

Bunya Pine (Auracaria bidwillii)
Significance attributes: Single specimen, historic
Origin: Ornamental/cultivated
Location: Pine located on eastern lawn, adjacent to the perimeter planting.
Height: 20 metres
Canopy Spread: 14 metres
Trunk diameter: 800mm (@1.0 metre above ground level)
Estimated Age: 100+ years
Condition/Health: Excellent condition and health with a very dense, broad canopy, typical of the species.

Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
Significance attributes: Single Specimen, historic, visual dominance
Original: Ornamental/Cultivated
Location: Pine located on the eastern lawn, adjacent to the perimeter planting.
Height: 27 metres
Canopy Spread: 12 metres
Trunk Diameter: 700mm (@1.0 metres above ground level)
Estimated Age: 100+ years
Condition/Health: Tree showing signs of senescence (aging and physiological decline).
Further information: Full LEP description - The Swifts - building, outbuildings, grounds, gardens, sandstone fences and retaining walls, garden terraces, gateposts, gates, sculptures, 2 Moreton Bay Figs, Lemon-scented Gum, Bunya Pine, Norfolk Island Pine

History

Historical notes: Grand Victorian Gothic house begun in 1876 by G.A. Morrell for the Sydney brewer, Sir Robert Lucas Tooth Bt and subsequently owned by the Resch family, also brewers and bequeathed by Edmund Resch to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. The foundation stone was laid on 18th March, 1876 by Sir Robert's daughter, then only a baby.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 199510 Mar 95 281347
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra LEP 20149923 May 15   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Register of Significant Trees1991 Landarc Landscape Architects  No
Listing for Woollahra1989 Australian Heritage Commission  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written   

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

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(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: 2711128


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