Brereton - former house, grounds and sandstone retaining wall to Mona La | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Brereton - former house, grounds and sandstone retaining wall to Mona La

Item details

Name of item: Brereton - former house, grounds and sandstone retaining wall to Mona La
Other name/s: Ferniehurst
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 18 Mona Road, Darling Point, NSW 2027
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
18 Mona RoadDarling PointWoollahra  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The subdivision and the house demonstrate a major historical phase in the development of Darling Point as a residential suburb in the early part of the 20th century. This phase saw the breaking up of the early large land grants and estates, in this case the Mona Estate, and the closer subdivision and development of the southern part of the peninsular for good quality upper middle class investment housing, principally for the rental market. The house demonstrates the nature of upper middle class investment housing built in the area at the time and the trend in the area to higher residential densities commencing in the 1920s with the widespread conversion of houses to duplexes and flats.

One of three originally identical adjoining houses, the building is a fine representative example of good quality investment housing built in a restrained version of the Federation Queen Anne style popular at the time, and provides evidence of the aesthetic tastes of the period. The building demonstrates many of the key characteristics of the style and a range of characteristic formal and decorative elements and finishes including an extensive use of decorative timber work in various forms such as the Art Nouveau curved timber arch to the entrance porch, fretwork gable end detailing, turned timber verandah posts, fretwork beam ends and fretwork and spindle work friezes.

The three buildings are part of group of houses in Mona Road of similar scale, form and character all built within the first decade of the 20th century and later converted to duplexes. In combination, the winding alignment of Mona Road, the large ficus hillii street trees and the group of buildings form a distinctive streetscape characteristic of Mona Road. The sandstone retaining wall to Mona Lane continues the sandstone wall of the neighbouring properties and contributes to its distinctive character. Significant views of the rear of the group, to which their designs are generally orientated, are available from Mona Lane, New Beach Road and Rushcutters Bay Park.
Date significance updated: 22 Jul 05
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: Not known
Builder/Maker: Not known
Physical description: One of a group of three adjoining substantial two storey Federation Queen Anne houses (18, 20 and 22) built c.1908/9 as investment properties to the same plan and with almost identical detailing. The house was converted to a duplex in the early 1920s. The house is sited a full floor below the level of Mona Road on an allotment which slopes substantially from its main frontage to Mona Road to a rear boundary to Mona Lane. Like most of its neighbours, the primary orientation of the house is towards the west, now the rear of the site, with the eastern elevation facing Mona Road a secondary part of the building. The view of the house from Mona Road is currently obscured by a flat roofed dark brick garage with a roller door and a carport and entry covered by a ficus climber and backed by a full height timber louvred screen. A bridge provides level access to the upper flat and the lower flat is accessed via a stair from the bridge. The entrance to the lower flat is in an entrance porch framed with an Art Nouveau curved timber arch in a projecting two storey wing on the northern side of the house. The rear of the house is elevated above the level of Mona Lane, with the steep rear of the site retained by a rusticated sandstone wall continuing those of neighbouring properties and containing a rear gate.

The house is constructed of face brick with rusticated sandstone foundation walls. The roof, which has recently been replaced, is of dark grey concrete slates with matching ridges. A small gablet on the main roof facing the street and a matching gablet facing west have bargeboards cut out with a distinctive trefoil form, with timber ventilation louvres below. This distinctive detail makes the similarity with Nos 20 and 22 very obvious. The barge boards to the large gables at the front and back of the house are decorated with fretwork with a scalloped trim matching those on No 14, but with decorative timber work in the apexes which is very similar to but subtly different from that in Nos 20 and 22. The rear of the building has a wide projecting bay with its own awning roof at ground floor level. Above this is a slightly narrower slightly tapering bay with its own roof and floor to ceiling windows and toplights. This is similar to No 20, but without the same vertical separation between the bays and the support brackets, leading to speculation that the lower bay has been altered. The rest of the rear elevation consists of a recessed two storey balcony with turned timber posts and balusters (probably recent), fretwork beam ends and a timber boarded soffit. The balcony has been enclosed with large sheets of glass. The lower balcony has a decorative timber fretwork and spindle work frieze.

Two brick chimneys are decorated with projecting brick courses and have terra cotta chimney pots.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good general condition.
Date condition updated:31 Mar 06
Modifications and dates: 1922 - Conversion to a duplex. Architects: Vernon & Mills.
1935 - Alterations and additions to garage
1965 - Mechanical/ventilation air conditioner
1967 - Alterations and additions to flat
1970 - Alterations and additions to flat
1973 - Mechanical/ventilation air conditioner
1976 - Construction of swimming pool; alterations and additions to flat
1994 - Alterations and additions to flat
Further information: Forms part of a distinctive streetscape in Mona Road, which includes the ficus hillii street trees. The house and the sandstone retaining wall at the rear of the property contribute to the characteristic streetscape of Mona Lane and to significant views of the row of houses from New Beach Road and Rushcutters Bay Park.
Current use: Residence
Former use: Residence

History

Historical notes: The site is part of a 15 acre grant by Governor Brisbane to his astronomer, James Dunlop in the mid 1830s. Dunlop did not build on the land. In 1841 he sold it to Thomas Ware Smart who, a year later, built the house known as ‘Mona’ which still exists at 38 Mona Road. The Mona Estate was subdivided in the 1880s, with Mona Road providing access from Darling Point Road, and lots on its eastern side offered for sale. This subdivision does not appear to have proceeded. The land was resubdivided in 1904 with Mona Road taking a substantially different alignment and connecting with New South Head Road. The subject allotment was created in this subdivision.

The house, originally known as ‘Ferniehurst’, was built c.1909 as an investment property and rented to a Mr Robert Kerr, JP, who lived there until 1921. In 1922 it was bought by Miss Helen Molyneux Royds, whose sister owned and occupied No 14. Miss Royds converted it to a duplex and lived in the upper flat until her death in 1968, when it passed to her brother, Mr John Molyneux Royds.

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. Street patterns and subdivision-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The subdivision and the house demonstrate a major historical phase in the development of Darling Point as a residential suburb in the early part of the 20th century. This phase saw the breaking up of the early large land grants and estates, in this case the Mona Estate, and the closer subdivision and development of the southern part of the peninsular for good quality upper middle class investment housing, principally for the rental market. The house demonstrates the nature of upper middle class investment housing built in the area at the time and the trend in the area to higher residential densities commencing in the 1920s with the widespread conversion of houses to duplexes and flats.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Does not meet the inclusion guidelines for this criterion.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
One of three originally identical adjoining houses, the building is a fine substantially intact example of good quality upper middle class investment housing built in a restrained version of the Federation Queen Anne style popular at the time, and provides evidence of the aesthetic tastes of the period. The building demonstrates many of the key characteristics of the style and a range of characteristic formal and decorative elements and finishes including an extensive use of decorative timber work in various forms such as the Art Nouveau curved timber arch to the entrance porch, decorative fretwork gable end detailing, turned timber verandah posts, fretwork beam ends and fretwork and spindle work friezes.
The three buildings form part of a group of houses in Mona Road of similar scale, form and character all built within the first decade of the 20th century and later converted to duplexes, but substantially retaining their early forms. In combination, the winding alignment of Mona Road, the large ficus hillii street trees and the group of buildings form a distinctive streetscape characteristic of Mona Road. Significant views of the rear of the group, to which their designs are generally orientated, are available from Mona Lane, New Beach Road and Rushcutters Bay Park.
The sandstone retaining wall to Mona Lane continues the sandstone wall of the neighbouring properties and the relationship of the building with the landform and its neighbours are all characteristic of the streetscape of this locality.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Does not meet the inclusion guidelines for this criterion.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Does not meet the inclusion guidelines for this criterion.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Does not meet the inclusion guidelines for this criterion.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The building is a good representative example of a Federation Queen Anne house built for investment purposes.
Integrity/Intactness: Although views from Mona Road are obscured by the garage, carport and screening, the front of the building itself is the most intact of the three identical buildings and, with the exception of the roof cladding, substantially retains the integrity of its original design and construction.
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.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanWoollahraLEP 199522 Jul 05 52 
Local Environmental PlanWoollahra LEP 201416223 May 15   
Within a conservation area on an LEPMona Road HCALEP 199527 Feb 04 46 
Heritage studyTanner 01 Jan 97   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Darling Point Heritage Item Study2003 Mark Robinson  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenRate books/BA records  
WrittenRosemary Broomham2001Darling Point: Thematic History
WrittenTanner & Associates1997Preliminary Heritage Item Investigation - Darling Point

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: 2711513


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