Wirian - house, stone fences, retaining walls and gateposts | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Wirian - house, stone fences, retaining walls and gateposts

Item details

Name of item: Wirian - house, stone fences, retaining walls and gateposts
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 3 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, NSW 2023
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
3 Victoria RoadBellevue HillWoollahra  Primary Address
551 New South Head RoadBellevue HillWoollahra  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

‘Wirian’ at 3 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, retains a high degree of historical associational significance and a comparative rarity as an intact example of the body of residential works of the architectural firm of Halligan and Wilton and as the current home of the contemporary Sydney artist Martin Sharp. 3 Victoria Road contains a high degree of aesthetic significance as an example of a restrained Inter War 'Arts and Crafts' style of architecture. The first floor bow window, porte cochere, window joinery and applied ceramic decorations are all elements that contribute to the aesthetic significance. ‘Wirian’ contains a moderate degree of technical significance for its ability to describe Inter War methods of construction and detailing in the Arts and Crafts style. This building demonstrates a moderate degree of social significance through its listing by a special interest group
Date significance updated: 16 Jan 04
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

Designer/Maker: Halligan and Wilton
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1923-
Physical description: ‘Wirian’ is a long and large two-storey house lying between Victoria and New South Head Road. The building is smooth rendered with twelve paned sash windows timber shutters. Four square chimneystacks sit in the low pitched slate roof. The hipped roof is clad in slate and uses lead on the ridge cappings. The Victoria Road façade has a bow window at first floor level containing five sashes with leadlight glazing. The bow wall is supported off two heavy corbels. A square bay window is located on the western elevation.

A number of blue and white ceramic decorative tiles have been set in the rendered wall finish on the Victoria Road façade. Below a window adjacent the front door is a decorative panel of ‘broken’ mosaic tiles, these appear to be contemporary and not part of the original design. The pair of timber panelled entry doors display bolection mouldings and are provided with shelter by the single storey porte cochere. The northern elevation displays an enclosed balcony supported on heavy dentilated corbelling.
The pair of timber entry gates off Victoria Road sit between square capped sandstone pillars, the style of these elements are more Edwardian in character.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The exterior of the building appears to be in very good condition.
Date condition updated:16 Jan 04
Modifications and dates: None Known
Current use: Residential
Former use: Residential

History

Historical notes: The house “Wirian” was built in 1923 for Enid Ann Friend, wife of Owen Esmond Friend of Sydney, grazier, on land that was originally part of the Piper Estate. In the late 1820's John Piper suffered financial losses and the firm of Cooper & Levey purchased much of his estate. In 1902 Captain William Scott, vetinerary surgeon in His majesty’s Forces, purchased from William Cooper land which included over 19 acres at Rose Bay and was described as Lots 11&12 and part of Lot 17 of the Point Piper Estate. By 1907 a small portion of this land had been sold and the remaining 18 acres was resumed by the Crown. In the second decade of the 20th century, the land was again re-subdivided as the Cranbrook Estate subdivison and sold by auction as Crown Grants though not officially registered as Crown Grants until the 1920's. On 1st December 1917 Enid Ann Friend purchased Lots 19& 20 of the Cranbrook Estate subdivision for £7161. On the same day Samuel Hordern (later Sir Samuel Hordern) purchased Lot 1 of the Cranbrook Estate subdivision on behalf of Cranbrook School and part of this land was purchased by Enid Friend in 1921. By 1923 she is recorded as owning over one acre of land. The architectural form of Halligan & Wilton architects were engaged to design her home “Wirian” and plans were approved by council in 1920. In 1934 the land was again re-subdivided into 3 allotments A,B & C and the following year sold to David James Mackay Sim. Sim kept allotment A which included the house “Wirian” & allotment B and sold allotment C to Thomas Field. Allotment B remained part of the grounds of “Wirian” until 1977 when it was sold to Cranbrook School. The current owner, well known Sydney artist, Martin Ritchie Sharp, purchased the property in 1978.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The building does not fulfil the inclusion value for this criterion.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
‘Wirian’ has a high degree of associational historic significance as part of the body of works of the architectural firm of Halligan and Wilton and as the current home of the contemporary Sydney artist Martin Sharp.

The firm of Halligan and Wilton was established in 1907. Prior to this time MB Halligan ran a flourishing practise as a sole practitioner. He was responsible for the design of the Royal Sydney Golf Club, Tooths Maltery House in Mittagong, multi storey commercial buildings in the city and a number of private residences. Halligan ceased to practise in 1921 at the age of 68. Very little was written on FHB Wilton and his role in the firm.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
3 Victoria Road continues a high degree of aesthetic significance as an example of a restrained Inter War ‘Arts and Crafts’ style of architecture. the first floor bow window, porte cochere, window joinery and applied ceramic decorations are all elements that contribute to achieving the high degree of aesthetic significance.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
‘Wirian’ demonstrates a moderate degree of social significance through its listing by a special interest group.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
‘Wirian’ contains a moderate degree of technical significance for its ability to describe Inter War methods of construction and detailing in the Arts and Crafts style.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The total number of identified examples of Halligan and Wilton’s domestic works is relatively small and appears to be concentrated in the Woollahra Municipality. 3 Victoria Road should be considered to have some rarity value at a local level as an intact example of this firm’s residential work.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
3 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, is significant for its role as one of the intact body of built examples of the work of the architectural firm of Halligan and Wilton, and its role as a locally significant representative Inter War ’Arts and Crafts’ style of architecture.
Integrity/Intactness: The external fabric of the building remains largely intact. Aspects that make up the aesthetic significance of the building include the two-storey form with the entry and porte cochere, window joinery and applied ceramic decorations.
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:

It is recommended that any proposal for modification of the building respect the restrained manner of the detailing of the existing building. It is recommended that an internal and external photographic record be made of the property and be lodged with Woollahra Council and the local historical association.

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Statutory InstrumentList on a Local Environmental Plan (LEP)16 Jan 04

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 199510 Mar 95 28 
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra LEP 20144323 May 15   
Heritage studyWoollahraBH-2401 Jan 84   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Inter-War Houses and Flats2001 Noel Bell Ridley Smith & Partners Architects  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1907The Cyclopaedia of NSW, p418 ‘Halligan M.E.’
WrittenLand Title1905CT Vol 1636 Folio 248
WrittenLand Title1902PA 12333
WrittenRoyal Australian Institute of Architects 20th Century Architects of Significance-NSW region, Sydney Practices 1900-1940
WrittenSands Directory1931Vacant
WrittenSands Directory1923OE Friend – ‘Wirian’
WrittenSands Directory1922Not Listed
MapSydney Water Various-as shown on each sheet
GraphicWoollahra Council Archives Former Building Applications to Council

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: 2711465


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