Old Darlington School | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Old Darlington School

Item details

Name of item: Old Darlington School
Other name/s: Darlington Public School
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Education
Category: University
Primary address: Maze Crescent, The University of Sydney, Darlington, NSW 2006
Local govt. area: Sydney


The University of Sydney: Darlington Campus
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Maze Crescent, The University of SydneyDarlingtonSydney  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
University of SydneyUniversity 

Statement of significance:

An important public building of the former suburb of Darlington, the smallest municipality in Sydney
An example of the work of the well known architect George Allen Mansfield.
A fine example of a single storey Gothic Revival style suburban schools designed by the Architect to the Council of Education: George Allen Mansfield.
Indicating the process of expansion of the University of Sydney into Darlington.
Date significance updated: 17 Aug 00
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.


Designer/Maker: George Allan Mansfield c1878
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1878-1878
Physical description: Old Darlington School is a two storey Gothic Revival style building constructed of polychromatic brickwork with sandstone sills, kneelers, broaches and string courses. The picturesque composition includes a spire at the south-west corner, a chimney almost in the centre of the verandah (to the west elevation) and gables to the south and west. Blond brick is used for the body of the walls and red brick is used to accentuate arches and the quatrefoil window to the main gable. Red bricks have been recessed to form a cross motif, based on brick modules. This motif occurs on the spire and below the sill to the main gable. The timber bargeboards are very fine. The roof is slate, with the exception of the verandah (which appears to be a later addition).

The curtilage of the building has been substantially altered and it is now set in a park like setting. All of the outbuildings, weather sheds &c that would have been associated with the school have been removed.

The original layout of the plan has not been confirmed. Many of the smaller schools also contained a residence. The central portion may have been intended as accommodation however it is likely that both of the larger rooms, with gables and lancet windows, were intended as classrooms.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Refer to the 1999 University of Sydney Heritage Fabric Survey. Interiors not assessed.
Date condition updated:17 Aug 00
Modifications and dates: No date - Spire re-clad
1976 - Outbuildings demolished
Further information: A study of the Mansfield school buildings as a group would help identify the detail missing from individual buildings. The decorative elements such as finials contributed to the overall character of the composition and consideration should be given to their re-instatement.
Current use: University Facility
Former use: School


Historical notes: Darlington School was designed c1877 and was one of a number of single storey suburban schools designed by the architect to the Council of Education, George Allen Mansfield. The School was opened in April 1878.
At the end of 1975 the school, which was in a poor state of repair, was transferred to the University. Several buildings were demolished and the site cleared in 1976. It was originally intended that the area be used for the construction of a new building for Biological Sciences, to be relocated to Darlington from Science Road. This plan was cancelled with the ending of the Australian University's Commission triennial funding in 1975.
The building was renovated for use by the Department of Music and as a theatre workshop and completed in 1978.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
A major public building in Darlington, the smallest Sydney Municipality.

Indicating the process of expansion of the University of Sydney into Darlington.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Darlington School is a fine example of the single storey Gothic Revival style suburban schools designed by the Architect to the Council of Education: George Allen Mansfield.

Its high standard of design and detailing indicating the attention paid to the design of Schools by the Council of Education.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
For its continuity as an educational facility
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Limited technical research potential except in relation to the development of the Gothic Revival Style in Australia.
SHR Criteria f)
One of a series of single storey suburban schools designed by George Allan Mansfield between c. 1868 and c.1880, all in the Gothic Revival style. Although the buildings survive many of their original decorative elements have been removed.
Integrity/Intactness: Substantially intact externally, however decorative elements such as finials have been removed. The spire has been re-clad. Interior not assessed.
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:

Refer to the 1999 University of Sydney Heritage Fabric Survey, Ensure that the impact on any proposal on the heritage significance of the buildings, and their setting, is assessed when planning new works. The preparation of a detailed Conservation Management Plan for this building, and its curtilage is recommended.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerUniversity of Sydney    

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1985Completion dates and architects of various University buildings. Complied by Jeremy Steele 27 October 1985. Typescript
Written 1978The University of Sydney Annual Report
Written 1976Report of the University of Sydney for the year ended 31 December 1976
GraphicG. L. Fischer1975The University of Sydney 1850-1975

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: 4726033

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