Grenfell Railway Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Grenfell Railway Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Grenfell Railway Precinct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Primary address: West Street, Grenfell, NSW 2810
Parish: Brundah
County: Monteagle
Local govt. area: Weddin

Boundary:

The boundary of the listing is in two parts. Firstly around the station complex the boundary is: west from the entrance gates along the front fence of the residence across the tracks and returning south on the far side of the runaround siding, then east approximately 10m past the platform and returning north east to meet the entrance gates. The boundary of the locomotive yard is to follow the property boundary on all sides north of Camp Street including the trestle bridge and street crossing.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
West StreetGrenfellWeddinBrundahMonteaglePrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Country Regional Network (CRN)Private 

Statement of significance:

The Grenfell railway precinct consists of a significant rural terminus station and yard that retains many elements from the original early 20th century station and yard complex and remains one of the most complete groupings of railway buildings and infrastructure on any of the Lachlan Valley branch lines. The 1901 railway precinct at Grenfell is an excellent intact example of a pioneer station building constructed during the peak of the expansion of the pioneer station design (introduced in 1897 and modified in 1900) and utilised in a network of economical pioneer branch lines in NSW. The importance of Grenfell as the terminus of the line is reflected in the notable design of the station building which is superior to most comparable buildings. The railway station and yard at Grenfell played an important role in the town's development and contributed to the prosperity of the town and district for much of the 20th century, most notably for its role in the transportation of wheat. The station building is a distinctive and highly visible landmark that can be seen from the main street of Grenfell. It is the only remaining modified pioneer station building in NSW that can still be viewed in its original context. The separation of the station building and the locomotive servicing area at Grenfell is also notable. (Note: This statement is based on the Statement of Heritage Significance and other content in the Grenfell Railway Station Conservation Management Plan prepared by Simpson Dawbin Associates in 2001. Information from the 2001 CMP has been abridged, reworded or otherwise altered). (SHI database no. ,SHR listing no. 1155, Wedding LEP2011 listing no. I71)
Date significance updated: 08 Nov 16
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: Henry Deane
Physical description: The Federation era, weatherboard station building at Grenfell was constructed using the ‘pioneer’ station design, however despite its status as a modest pioneer station it is a restrained but elegantly proportioned building featuring a steeply pitched, articulated roof, transverse and dormer gables, fretwork gable friezes, finely detailed window and door joinery, and ironwork to the awning. Notable features include the dormers, brick chimneys, decorated iron cantilever brackets to the platform awning, distinctive window sashes and the fretwork joinery screen and timber balustrade on the veranda. The interior of the station building consists of a ladies waiting room and toilet, general waiting room, booking office and ‘Out of’ store room. Decomposed granite has been used for the platform surface, with timber used for the platform face.Other extant structures at Grenfell include a goods shed (hardwood frame with galvanised iron roof and wall lining), and a loading bank. There may also be remains of a turntable and archaeological remains in the former goods yard. Also within the yard is a Type 3 water tank on a Type A timber stand, The stand is unusual in that the timber stand posts have been inserted directly into the ground without any concrete or masonry foundations.(Note: This description is based on information contained in the Grenfell Railway Station Conservation Management Plan prepared by Simpson Dawbin Associates in 2001 and from field inspections by ARTC personnel. Information from the 2001 CMP has been abridged, reworded or otherwise altered).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station building inspected December 2008: good condition.Goods shed inspected December 2008: satisfactory condition (gutter on trackside requires repairs).Station building assessed as having high physical integrity (GML, 2016) - Most key features intact, visible and well maintained such as roof detailing, doors and windows; minor changes to building since construction, but demonstrates original form.The water tank located in the lcoomotive yard area is a Type 3, 4x4 panel steel tank on timber joists and stand. The tank has been fenced off for safety, as the stand is leaning significantly and at risk of falling. As the stand is installed directly into the ground without masonry foundations, this lean may be the result of years of pressure and ground subsidence. The appearance of the timber members forming the stand appear as original fabric, no new replacement bracing or posts have been inserted. The steel tank is un poor condition. There are large cracks and some losses in the metal fabric, particularly at the corners and joins of panels. The water jib is intact. (Extent 2016)
Date condition updated:08 Nov 16
Modifications and dates: Relatively few changes have been made to the station building with minor changes including the supply of electricity in 1927 and connection to sewerage facilities in 1953. In 2005, a new door was installed between the toilets and the verandah on the roadside of the building.Modern steel security fencing has been installed surrounding the water tower for safety and security reasons.
Further information: Significance Assessment:SHR Criteria a)[Historical significance] The extant railway structures at Grenfell remain as physical evidence of the development of a small but significant 20th century terminus station and yard in country NSW. The railway station and yard played an important role in the economic development of Grenfell and surrounding districts for much of the 20th century. (This is an abridged, updated and otherwise altered statement based on information obtained from the 2001 Conservation Management Plan for Grenfell Railway Station). SHR Criteria c)[Aesthetic significance] The railway station at Grenfell is a distinctive and aesthetically significant building which is complemented by the nearby goods shed and other railway structures, forming a highly visible railway precinct located within an attractive landscape setting. The station building is a fine example of early 20th century railway architecture, designed in the Victorian period but stylistically Edwardian in its expression and detail. The gable and roof form balanced by the decorative cantilever awning is unusual as is the extensive use of coloured glass panels. In short, the station building at Grenfell represents the epitome of pioneer station design in NSW in the early 20th century. (This is an abridged, updated and otherwise altered statement based on information obtained from the 2001 Conservation Management Plan for Grenfell Railway Station). SHR Criteria d)[Social significance] The railway station and yard at Grenfell, although no longer used for their original purpose, played an important role in Grenfell’s development and contributed to the prosperity of the town and district for much of the 20th century, most notably for its role in the transportation of wheat. The station building has historically been a place of social interaction (particularly in the first half of the 20th century) and remains an important community resource today. (This is an abridged, updated and otherwise altered statement based on information obtained from the 2001 Conservation Management Plan for Grenfell Railway Station). SHR Criteria e)[Research potential] The railway precinct may have archaeological potential. SHR Criteria f)[Rarity] Grenfell is one of only two extant railway complexes in the Lachlan Valley branch line system (the other being Canowindra) and is the only extant modified pioneer station building of its type in NSW that remains within its original context. The arrangement of the station and yard at Grenfell is also unusual, with the loco servicing area separated from the station and goods yard. (This is an abridged, updated and otherwise altered statement based on information obtained from the 2001 Conservation Management Plan for Grenfell Railway Station). SHR Criteria g)[Representativeness] Grenfell is a good representative example of the modified pioneer station design. Integrity/Intactness: The station building at Grenfell retains a high level of intactness with only minor changes to the building since its construction in 1901.
Current use: Station building is currently vacant
Former use: Grenfell station was used as a railway station until 1975 and for community use after 1975. At one stage it was the home of the Grenfell neighbourhood centre.

History

Historical notes: Early development of road and rail infrastructure in the Grenfell district was slow, despite the town’s rapid growth as a goldfield centre in the 1860s and 1870s. An 1875 journey between Sydney and Grenfell involved catching a train from Sydney to Raglan, a horse drawn omnibus from Raglan to Bathurst and a mail coach to Grenfell via Carcoar. The southern route via Murrumburrah (Harden) and Young gained favour but by 1885 the coach journey between Grenfell and Young still took five hours to complete (Ryan, 2001).The main southern railway line reached Murrumburrah (Harden) in 1877 and it was around this time that lobbying began from Grenfell residents for train services to extend to Grenfell. In August 1879, a meeting was held at the Oddfellows Hall at Grenfell to discuss the need for rail services to the district and at this meeting the Grenfell Railway League was formed (Ryan, 2001).During the 1880s, the rail line from Murrumburrah extended north with a new section of line between Murrumburrah and Young completed in 1885. The branch line reached Cowra in 1886 and Blayney in 1888. In 1890, the Grenfell Railway League met and resolved to seek construction of a line to Grenfell, a dream that would take another decade to eventuate, but by 1897 two main options were explored: a line between Young and Grenfell or between Koorawatha and Grenfell. Eventually the decision was made to construct the line between Koorawatha and Grenfell with a motion to construct the line carried in the NSW Legislative Assembly in November 1898 and the Koorawatha to Grenfell Railway Act No. 41 passed by the Parliament in December 1898. Work commenced in November 1899 with the line reaching Grenfell in January 1901 and limited freight services commencing as early as January 1901. Two official opening dates are mentioned in the Conservation Management Plan for Grenfell, with the official opening of the line for traffic given as 7 May 1901. An opening ceremony for the Grenfell line is also reported as taking place on Saturday 26 October 1901, with the earlier date presumably the official commencement of services on the line and the later date (October 1901) reserved for a ceremonial occasion (Ryan, 2001).Grenfell station was built on the Up side of the line with the original arrangement consisting of a parcels office, Station Master’s office, general waiting room, ladies’ waiting room, and three toilets (including two ladies’ toilets). A notable feature of the station building was the extensive use of coloured glass panels in most windows and the use of ornate timber seating in the waiting room. Few changes were made to the station building during its 73 years of operation with minor changes including connection of electricity to the station in 1927 and connection to the sewerage system in 1953. The garden that surrounded the station and Station Master’s residence is reputed to have been a notable feature of the site in the 1960s and early 1970s (Ryan, 2001).In addition to the 1901 station building, other original items at Grenfell included a men’s ablution block, goods shed with platform (on Up side of the No.1 goods siding), loading banks on both the No.1 and No.2 goods sidings and a stock siding as an extension of the Down siding. Locomotive servicing facilities included a 50' turntable, ashpit, water tank and 8" jib (Ryan, 2001).Changes to the Grenfell railway precinct in the late 20th century included shortening the platform to 68 metres in c1973 with the turntable placed out of use in the same year. Grenfell station was officially closed in April 1975 and rationalisation of the yard took place in 1985. The station building was used as a neighbourhood centre for some time but the Station Master's residence, male toilet block and lamp room were demolished in c1989 and the renowned gardens fell into disrepair in the late 20th century (Ryan, 2001).Official passenger services to Grenfell ceased in 1974 although heritage train services operated on the line until April 1987. The last freight train at Grenfell was in August 1991 although other records show that the line was closed to freight traffic as early as 1987. The line reopened for freight services for a short time in 1993 but services ceased soon after. Other records show that services were suspended on the Grenfell line as late as March 1992 (Ryan, 2001; SRA, 1993).References:Ryan, Lawrance, ‘Historical outline of Grenfell and the railway’ in Grenfell railway station: conservation management plan, prepared for State Railway Authority of NSW by Simpson Dawbin Associates, (Simpson Dawbin Associates: St. Leonards, NSW, 2001);State Rail Authority of NSW, How and why of station names (SRA: Sydney, 1993).

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The extant railway structures at Grenfell remain as physical evidence of the development of a small but significant 20th century terminus station and yard in country NSW. The railway station and yard played an important role in the economic development of Grenfell and surrounding districts for much of the 20th century.(This is an abridged, updated and otherwise altered statement based on information obtained from the 2001 Conservation Management Plan for Grenfell Railway Station).
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The railway station at Grenfell is a distinctive and aesthetically significant building which is complemented by the nearby goods shed and other railway structures, forming a highly visible railway precinct located within an attractive landscape setting. The station building is a fine example of early 20th century railway architecture, designed in the Victorian period but stylistically Edwardian in its expression and detail. The gable and roof form balanced by the decorative cantilever awning is unusual as is the extensive use of coloured glass panels. In short, the station building at Grenfell represents the epitome of pioneer station design in NSW in the early 20th century. (This is an abridged, updated and otherwise altered statement based on information obtained from the 2001 Conservation Management Plan for Grenfell Railway Station).
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The railway station and yard at Grenfell, although no longer used for their original purpose, played an important role in Grenfell’s development and contributed to the prosperity of the town and district for much of the 20th century, most notably for its role in the transportation of wheat. The station building has historically been a place of social interaction (particularly in the first half of the 20th century) and remains an important community resource today. (This is an abridged, updated and otherwise altered statement based on information obtained from the 2001 Conservation Management Plan for Grenfell Railway Station).
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The railway precinct may have archaeological potential.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Grenfell is one of only two extant railway complexes in the Lachlan Valley branch line system (the other being Canowindra) and is the only extant modified pioneer station building of its type in NSW that remains within its original context. The arrangement of the station and yard at Grenfell is also unusual, with the loco servicing area separated from the station and goods yard.(This is an abridged, updated and otherwise altered statement based on information obtained from the 2001 Conservation Management Plan for Grenfell Railway Station).
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Grenfell is a good representative example of the modified pioneer station design.
Integrity/Intactness: The station building at Grenfell retains a high level of intactness with only minor changes to the building since its construction in 1901.
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
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenPip Giovanelli2005Statement of heritage impact for Grenfell railway station
WrittenState Rail Authority of NSW1993How and why of station names
WrittenState Railway Authority of NSW and Simpson Dawbin Associates2001Grenfell railway station: conservation management 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: State Government
Database number: 3150058


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