Nobbys Lighthouse Cottages | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Nobbys Lighthouse Cottages

Item details

Name of item: Nobbys Lighthouse Cottages
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Water
Category: Light Station
Primary address: Nobbys Road, Newcastle East, NSW 2300
Local govt. area: Newcastle
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PORTION2613Pt R 8872 N57842111
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Nobbys RoadNewcastle EastNewcastle  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Newcastle Port CorporationState Government 

Statement of significance:

The Nobbys Lighthouse cottages are significant as part of a group of buildings associated with the development of Newcastle as a thriving port . These cottages are significant as a record of the defence of Newcastle as accommodation for defence staff during WWII (1942). In addition they are significant in their continued association with the signal station until 2001. The cottages and the surrounding group of buildings, located atop Nobbys Head, form a prominent physical landmark in the city which is valued by the contemporary local Newcastle and regional communities.
Date significance updated: 06 Jan 03
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.


Physical description: Cottages include signal master's cottage and signalmen's cottage duplex, with enclosed verandahs and later garages. Cottages are of brick construction, steel roof sheet, timber floors, fibreboard interior ceiling linings, interior walls rendered, and simple detailing throughout. Bathrooms have original terrazzo floors. Brick fireplaces. Timber double hung windows and double exterior doors. Garages are alternately weatherboard and brick, with steel sheet roofs. Brick shed attached to garage behind duplex cottages appears to be older, possibly a former flag mast store.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Fair to good. Damp damage to cottages. Some anchor bolts rusting. Some evidence of termite activity.
Date condition updated:25 Sep 01
Current use: vacant
Former use: residences for lighthouse workers


Historical notes: Three cottages (two attached) which were built in 1942 to replace earlier residences. During construction, No.1 house was hit by a shell fired from a Japanese submarine but the shell did not explode. The cottages were occupied by the military until January 1945 when civilian keepers resumed occupation of the site. The cottages have been vacated and are now unoccupied.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements The shipping of coal and other goods from the Hunter River and Newcastle Port-
7. Governing-Governing Defence-Activities associated with defending places from hostile takeover and occupation landmark-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Cottages historically significant for association with operation of signal station as housing for defence staff (WWII). Built in 1942 after main period of lighthouse building on the NSW Coast. These cottages replaced the earlier lighthouse keepers cottage. The later cottages were built for the signal master and signalmen's cottages. At various times during their occupation they may have also been associated with the lighthouse.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The cottages form part of an aesthetically significant, landmark group of buildings on Nobbys Head. They were built during the WWII for the signal master and staff. These cottages have none of the earlier configuration, detail and refinement found in the Barnet designed lighthouse keepers cottages and later models. They have few architectural features that are particular to the site, with the exception of the double doors, and are typical of suburban house design of the 1940s.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The cottages are part of a landmark group of buildings which is considered significant to contemporary Novocastrians.
SHR Criteria g)
These cottages are not representative of lighthouse keepers cottages on the NSW Coast.
Integrity/Intactness: The cottages maintain their integrity and appear fully intact.
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:

Conserve in accordance with listing on Newcastle Local Environmental Plan and the Macquarie Pier, Nobbys Head and Southern Breakwater Conservation Management Plan (2000). Commission pest inspection. Investigate adaptive re-use options.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
s170 Heritage & Conservation Register2001 Suters Architectslls Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenSuters Architects2000Macquarie Pier and Nobbys Head 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: 3930007

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