House - 1256 Bells Lone of Road, Kurrajong Heights | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


House - 1256 Bells Lone of Road, Kurrajong Heights

Item details

Name of item: House - 1256 Bells Lone of Road, Kurrajong Heights
Other name/s: Allambie Cottages; 1256 Bells Line of Road
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Cottage
Primary address: 1256 Bells Line of Road, Kurrajong Heights, NSW 2758
Local govt. area: Hawkesbury
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
1256 Bells Line of RoadKurrajong HeightsHawkesbury  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Roads and Maritime ServicesState Government 

Statement of significance:

The site of 1256 Bells Line of Road has some limited historical significance because it provides evidence of early landholding and subdivision in Kurrajong Heights during the nineteenth century, and because of its association with a succession of owners connected with orchards. However, the aesthetic significance of the subject buildings have been compromised by the processes of alteration and addition that have taken place and by the deteriorated physical condition of the building.
Date significance updated: 02 Feb 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.


Construction years: 1900-1920
Physical description: The existing property currently accommodates three attached self contained residences and a detached timber framed outhouse at the rear of the structures. The residences have a street address fronting onto Bells Line of Road, a major arterial road in the area and are visible from the road although obscured by a mature pine tree, located near the corner of Douglas Street and Bell's Line of Road. Although the exact date of construction for the cottages is not known, examination of the physical fabric of the buildings and evidence found during documentary research suggests that they were built at some time during the first three decades of the twentieth century, that is, during the time that the land was owned by Thomas Walker or Frank Peck. The consolidation of the two buildings into one connected structure may have been carried out by Kurrajong Heights Hotel Pty Ltd at the end of the 1930s and may have involved relocating a building from another site.

Both the interior and the exterior of the structures were inspected by Rod Howard and Rosemarie Canales. However access into the flat (1) that is near Douglas Street could not be gained, although the room configuration could be assessed visually through the existing windows.


Two single storey dwellings, linked by a third structure, can be clearly discerned in the external configuration of the building... The early cottages are clad with rusticated timber weatherboards. Their roofs are hipped, with gables on the side facing Bells Line of Road, and covered with corrugated iron. The corrugated iron is in relatively good condition, indicating that the roofs were re-roofed. The floor structures of the original two dwellings are supported on hardwood stumps arranged in a regular grid.

There is a long verandah facing Bells Line of Road, which has been enclosed by glazing and glass louvers. The roof of the verandah is not continuous, but is higher at its northern end. The verandah returns around to Douglas Street.

Enough of the early external fabric of the dwellings survives to provide clues to approximate a date of construction. Essentially the buildings contain elements of the Federation Bungalow style and the Inter War California Bungalow style. The former is most evident in the form of the buildings, planned with a projecting front room and a verandah across part of the front and side, and the gabled and hipped roof configuration. Evidence of the latter style is to be found in the detailing of the gables facing Bells Line of Road, while faceted bay windows are common to both styles. There are numerous examples of bungalows combining the architectural details of both styles in a similar fashion to these dwellings, which were built in the years after WW1, throughout New South Wales.

The central section of Allambie cottages is most clearly visible at the rear of the building. It consists of a single storey structure with a gabled roof and walls lined with fibro. There is a narrow light well between it and the early cottage to the north. Elsewhere it is connected to the early dwellings by skillion roofed rooms. This part of the building is supported of a sub structure made up of sandstone piers, timber bearers and joists.

Windows throughout the building are timber framed and most contain double hung sashes, although there are casement sashes in various locations around the building. Generally sashes are divided by glazing bars into several panes. Numbers of windows are protected by bracketed canopies. A small timber framed out house is located between the early dwelling near Douglas Street and the infill structure. The walls are lined externally with rusticated timber weatherboards while the gabled roof is covered with corrugated iron. The little building is in poor condition - the door has come away from the frame, weatherboards have slipped and it is leaning to one side.


The early plan configuration of the early dwellings were arranged along a central corridors with rooms opening off each side. The current plan configuration reflects the alterations and additions made to transform the two dwellings into three self contained flats, each with their own separate entrance. Both cottages have undergone internal modification. However, the dwelling that is sited near Douglas Street has undergone the most change - it has been added to and modified along the rear and external side walls and converted into two residences separated along the original central hallway. The enclosed verandah facing Bells Line of Road forms the principle entrance to flats 2 and 3.

Flat 1

Flat 1 is located closest to Douglas Street, and has two entrances both facing Douglas Street. This flat has been composed in part from the rooms to the south of the hallway belonging to the southernmost cottage near Douglas Street and attached additions to the external fabric contained under an enclosed later verandah. The flat contains six rooms, two of these pertaining to the original cottage and are accessed through the door openings in the external fabric. The remaining rooms are located around the perimeter of the enclosed verandah linked together via doorways.

Flat 2

Flat 2 is the central flat and contains fabric from the early dwelling near Douglas Street and the linking structure. It contains four rooms, a kitchen, bathroom, laundry and store room, as well as the hallway that formed part of the early dwelling. The plan of the flat reflects that changes that were made when the two cottages were linked, most clearly in the rooms that open off the early hallway. As a result of the changes a light well has been created providing additional light and ventilation for the rooms located directly around this space.

The rooms in this flat are generally simple in treatment, and comprise plasterboard ceilings with shallow cavetto profile cornices and flat timber battens dividing the surface into a regular grid, plasterboard lined walls, deep timber skirting boards and regularly spaced vertical battens stretching from the skirting boards to the picture rails to form a dado. The ceiling linings are generally bowed and distorted, providing evidence of water ingress in the past. Elaborate plaster wall vents in the flush sections of wall between picture rails and cornices contrast with the simplicity of the other fabric. The main living rooms are distinguished by rather crude brick fireplaces. Floors are generally lined with timber boards, and are uneven and irregular in level throughout flats 2 and 3, providing evidence of movement within the foundation material.

Flat 3

Flat 3 is contained solely within one of the early dwellings and the layout of the cottage is relatively intact. It contains four rooms on either side of the central hallway, plus a kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities at the rear of the building. Ceilings, walls and floors are similar in finish and detail to those in Flat 2, but there is greater evidence of water penetration through the roof, particularly in rooms at the front of the flat where the ceiling linings have deteriorated. Here the ceiling linings have coming away from the ceiling structure deforming cornices.

Photographs in the report illustrate the existing structures and their conditions.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
See Physical Description
Modifications and dates: See Physical Description


Historical notes: The site identified as 1256 Bell's Line of Road was originally part of 80 acres of land granted to Samuel North on 13 December 1839. Samual North was born in 1791. After an active military career through which he rose to the rank of Lieutenant, he arrived in New South Wales in September 1826, and Governor Darling encouraged him to retire from the service and take on the position of Bonded Storekeeper the following year. In 1830 North became Police magistrate for Windsor following the resignation in 1829 of Archibald Bell Senior, who had arrived in New South Wales in 1807 as a Lieutenant and became military commandant at Windsor before assuming the role of Superintendent of Police. Evidently North was able to acquire more land than that granted to him in 1839, for it has been claimed that he ended up with several hundred acres "adjacent to the Cut Rock and eastward down the slopes from Kurrajong Heights". He served at Windsor until 1843. In 1844 he was transferred as police magistrate to Carcoar, then moved to Sydney in 1851. In 1859 North was appointed the first water police magistrate, a position he held until his death in 1864. He left a family of three sons and six daughters.

On 23 August 1841 North set aside a quantity of land to form the site of the village of Northfield, and by November 1859 had sold off a number of the allotments. Some, if not all, of the unsold allotments were inherited jointly by two of his daughters, Henrietta and Eliza North. In the second half of 1871 they sold 1 acre and 12 perches of land, consisting of allotments 34 and 36 of the Village of Northfield, to James Comrie for 50 pounds. Comrie applied to bring the land under the provisions of the Real Property Act (that is, Torrens Title) on 12 February 1872.

Comrie evidently owned a large amount of the land granted to and acquired by North already, having purchased at least some of it from him in the middle of 1856. Comrie, who had come to NSW from Tasmania and was a member of the Legislative Council, was born around 1816. He was known for his love of books and philanthropic activities and supported many projects and charities in the district. He is said to have established a trust fund which was set up to make interest free loans to those who were experiencing financial difficulties. He named his Kurrajong Heights property, which extended over 500 acres, "Northfield". Comrie died in 1902.

In 1874 Comrie sold allotments 34 and 36 to Dr Andrew Robertson Cameron of Richmond. After Cameron died the land was placed under the jurisdiction of the Perpetual Trustee Company early in 1906 which in turn sold the property a couple of months later to Mary Bowman Lamrock, wife of orchardist John Lamrock of Kurrajong. At the beginning of 1907 the property was sold to Thomas Walker of Kurrajong Heights, who was an orchardist but also served as a postmaster for the district. Walker mortgaged the property to Rowland Hall Tucker of Mosman at the same time as title to it was transferred from him to Mary Lamrock. The mortgage was discharged in June 1921. The land then underwent a quick succession of owners. Firstly, the title to it was transferred from Walker to orchardist William Thomas Walker of Kurrajong Heights at the end of June 1921. He in turn sold the property to another orchardist, Alwin Peck (also of Kurrajong Heights) the next month. By September 1921 Peck had sold allotment 36 to Robert Withers.

In the middle of 1922 Peck sold allotment 34 to another orchardist, Frank Carl Peck, who mortgaged the property in 1931 to John Jackson Paine, a solicitor practicing in Windsor. The mortgage was discharged in 1933 but the property was mortgaged again, in August 1937, to the Commercial Banking Corporation of Sydney Limited for less than a month. Peck then sold the property almost immediately to Kurrajong Heights Hotel Pty Ltd. The company mortgaged the property in January 1938 to the Commercial Banking Corporation of Sydney Limited. Although the mortgage had not yet been discharged, in 1945, Kurrajong Heights Hotel Pty Ltd sold the property (with the consent of the bank) to Perry Freeman, a retiree of Petersham. Freeman proceeded to mortgage the property later that year to Cecilia Lloyd and David Benjamin Bertram. The mortgage was discharged in August 1947, then the land was mortgaged again almost immediately, this time to Cecilia, Gordon, Robert and Arthur Lloyd. In 1951 part of the land was resumed by the Department of Main Roads.

After Freeman's 1947 mortgage was discharged in 1952, he took out yet another (which included the resumed portion of land) to Milicent Walker of Gorden, and this was discharged in 1958. That same month Freeman mortgaged the property again to solicitors Roy and Harold Tebutt and this was discharged at the end of 1960. Freeman sold the property a little earlier that year to Stanley Ernest Gorham of Kurrajong Heights, who was described as a grazier, and his wife Alisa.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
*The site provides some evidence of the development of Kurrajong within the nineteenth century, particularly the subdivision and sale of land associated with the village of Northfield.
*The site has associations with the growth and development of orchards in the area, and was owned by a succession of orchardists during the first third of the twentieth century. Physical and documentary evidence suggests that the early dwellings were constructed in this period of the site's history.
*The buildings are not known to have an association with the course or pattern of NSW cultural or natural history.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
*The site has associations with Samuel North, an early landholder in the area, and also with the locally significant figure of James Comrie. However, these associations are shared with numerous properties throughout the area in and around Kurrajong Heights.
*The existing buildings are not known to have associations with the life or work of a person/s of importance in NSW.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The buildings do not demonstrate important aesthetic characteristics nor a high degree of technical or creative achievement. Although the early dwellings have retained fabric showing the influence of the Federation Bungalow and Inter War California Bungalow styles, the buildings have been compromised and diminished by alterations and additions. At best, those remaining elements of early and intact fabric are representative, and significant at a local rather than at a State level.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The existing buildings are not known to have special associations with any particular community or cultural group.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The buildings are not considered to have the potential to yield information that might contribute to a greater understanding of NSW's cultural or natural history.
SHR Criteria f)
The existing buildings are not considered to possess any uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of the cultural or natural history of NSW. Any aspect of the State's cultural history which it may possess are representative at best, and local rather than at a State level.
SHR Criteria g)
The Allambie Cottages are not considered to demonstrate the principal characteristics of a class of NSW's cultural or natural places, or cultural or natural environments.
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.


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

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Heritage Study of the Shire of Hawkesbury1987 Lester Tropman and Assoc, Helen Proudfoot, Meredith Walker  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Book 45 No. 845; Book 64 No. 216; Book 126 No. 71; Primary Application 3176; Volume 156 Folio 50; Volume 3332 Folio 181; Volume 5493 Folio 84
Written  "The History of Carcoar 1815-1881" - Royal Australian Historical Society Journal and Proceedings
WrittenHA MacLeod Morgan1956"Bells Line of Road" - Royal Australian Historical Society Journal and Proceedings
WrittenRod Howard Heritage Conservation2001Allambie Cottages - 1256 Bells Line of Road Kurrajong Heights
WrittenVivienne Webb1980Kurrajong: An Early History

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4309664

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