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

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Wyralla - house, grounds and sandstone retaining wall to Mona La

Item details

Name of item: Wyralla - house, grounds and sandstone retaining wall to Mona La
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 14 Mona Road, Darling Point, NSW 2027
Local govt. area: Woollahra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
14 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. Although recently converted back to a single dwelling, the house also demonstrates the trend in the area to higher residential densities commencing in the 1920s with the widespread conversion of houses to duplexes and flats.
Built c.1906, the house is a fine representative example of a good quality investment house built in the Federation Queen Anne style popular at the time, and provides evidence of the aesthetic tastes of the period. Its design demonstrates the primacy of Mona Lane at the time as the main access to this and other houses in the vicinity. The building demonstrates many of the key characteristics of the style and a range of characteristic formal and decorative elements and finishes including fretwork and scalloped trim to the barge boards, turned timber verandah posts, cast iron balusters and a fretwork frieze and brackets, Wunderlich decorative pressed metal sheeting, a small west facing gablet with a barge board cut into a trefoil form with a timber louvre ventilator below.

The house forms 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, 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. The rusticated sandstone retaining wall at the rear of the property contributes to the distinctive streetscape of Mona Lane. 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: Two storey Federation Queen Anne house, partly attached to the adjoining terrace house at No 12 (part of the row comprising Nos 2 to 12 Mona Road), and abutting the house at No 16. The house occupies a wedge shaped allotment with a narrow frontage to Mona Road containing little more than a timber gate, originally the secondary entry to the site. The allotment tapers and falls to a more substantial western frontage to Mona Lane, which was originally its main address and primary access. The house is designed to address this aspect, with little regard paid to part of the building facing Mona Road, which contains the service rooms and entry. The house is substantially elevated above Mona Lane behind a high well-made retaining wall of sparrow-pecked sandstone with a dressed sandstone coping with a recent painted timber paling balustrade above. The retaining wall is penetrated by an entry and sandstone stairs with decorative glazed tile risers climbing to a sandstone flagged rear terrace and a short flight of stairs to a original entry door. There is no garage or vehicle entry.
The Mona Road end of the house is effectively the original rear of the building, and has a diminutive, self effacing appearance, quite different to its appearance from the west. The gate gives access to an inclined reinforced concrete bridge with a galvanised pipe and chain wire balustrade leading to an entrance door on the first floor, part of a 1923 conversion to two flats, and to a flight of stairs which lead to a small paved courtyard on ground floor level. The ground floor has a distinctive splayed corner to improve the access to the side of the ground floor. This does not appear to be part of the original house, but predates the 1923 conversion.

The house is constructed of red face brick with rusticated sandstone foundation walls. The roof is of unglazed ‘Marseilles’ pattern terra cotta roof tiles with matching ridges and small finials. The rafters project under timber boarded eaves. The western (Mona Lane) elevation has a wide timber verandah with a diagonally placed square projecting corner bay. The original main entrance in the western elevation has a recessed porch framed by a brick arch springing from elaborate render capitals, with a projecting square bay over. There are numerous decorative features characteristic of the style, including fretwork and scalloped trim to the barge boards, turned timber posts, cast iron balusters and a fretwork frieze and brackets to both levels of the verandah and Wunderlich decorative pressed metal sheeting under the western bay window and in the gable end over the projecting verandah bay. A small west facing gablet has a barge board cut into a trefoil form with a timber louvre ventilator below, a detail which matches identical gablets on Nos 18, 20 and 22. This and other similarities suggest that the three houses may have been built by the same builder or that the timber detailing originates from a local joinery shop.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Excellent condition. Recently returned to its original configuration as a single dwelling and conserved.
Modifications and dates: 1923 - conversion to two flats: first floor entry bridge, addition of a large bay window to the front first floor room and internal alterations. Architects – Peddle & Thorpe.
1927 - sewing room and extension of verandah at Mona Lane (western) end of house approved but not carried out.
200/1 - converted back to a single residence. Original front door with side and top lights reinstated on western (Mona Lane) elevation. Original internal stair reproduced in original location.
Further information: Forms part of a distinctive streetscape to 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 is a resubdivision of lot 66 created in that subdivision.

The existence of the house at No 14 Mona Road is first noted in Sands Directory for 1907, when it was rented to a Mrs H H Hart. The house appears to have been built at the same time as the adjoining terrace house at No 12 and shares a common party wall. The house was orientated towards Mona Lane, and had its main frontage to and entrance from this side, indicating its primacy over Mona Road at the time.

The house was converted to a duplex in 1923 under the supervision of Architects Peddle & Thorpe. The internal stair was removed and a ramp built to provide access to the upper flat, occupied by the owner, Miss Adele Molyneux Royds, whose sister owned and occupied No 18. In 1927 plans for extension of the western part of the house and verandah were approved but not implemented.
The present owners have converted the building back to a single residence, reversed a number of unsympathetic alterations and reinstated much of the original timber decorative detailing including reinstating the original front door and reproducing the internal staircase.

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 also demonstrates 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]
The house is a very fine substantially intact example of investment housing built in the Federation Queen Anne style popular in the period, and provides evidence of the aesthetic tastes of the period. Its design deals well with an awkward confined site and demonstrates the primacy of Mona Lane at the time as the main access to and orientation of this and other houses in the vicinity. The building demonstrates many of the key characteristics of the style and a range of characteristic formal and decorative elements and finishes including fretwork and scalloped trim to the barge boards, turned timber verandah posts, cast iron balusters and a fretwork frieze and brackets, Wunderlich decorative pressed metal sheeting, a small west facing gablet with a barge board cut into a trefoil form with a timber louvre ventilator below.

The house forms 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, 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 which is characteristic of the Mona Lane streetscape.
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.
Integrity/Intactness: The building substantially retains the integrity of its original design and constrution.
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 Local Environmental Plan 201415723 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: 2711524


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