Building | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Building
Type of item: Built
Location: Lat: -33.8569155024 Long: 151.2071603430
Primary address: 24 Lower Fort Street, Millers Point, NSW 2000
Parish: St Philip
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Sydney
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT4 DP1221025
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
24 Lower Fort StreetMillers PointSydneySt PhilipCumberlandPrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated

Statement of significance:

No. 28 Lower Fort Street
The terrace at number 28 was constructed c. 1860 and has heritage significance on both a local and state level. It has historic, aesthetic, social and representative significance as an example of a characteristic mid-Victorian terrace, demonstrating the early development of Lower Fort Street as a residential neighbourhood in the mid to late nineteenth century, and more broadly, the growth of Sydney and the maritime industry in the Millers Point and Dawes Point precinct.
The terrace retains its principal faade with cast iron balustrade on the ground floor; however the terrace has been substantially modified internally, and only the front principal rooms and hallway sections remain, with significance being limited to these areas. Overall significance has been eroded due to extensive
modification and removal of fabric.
It is considered that there is a medium level of potential for No. 28 to contain archaeological deposits to the rear yard, although there has been extensive modification to the topography, including for the construction of No. 26 and extensive rear additions to No. 28. The sub floor of the original section of No. 28 was extensively excavated including during the 1991 remodelling work and has low to no potential of containing under floor deposits. Based on the anticipated nature of the archaeological deposit, it is considered likely that, if present, archaeological material would be of local significance. This may vary depending on the nature and condition of the deposit.

No. 26 Lower FOrt Street
Number 26 was constructed by the NSW Department of Housing 1991 and reflects government provision of social housing. As an individual item, No. 26 is not considered to meet any of the seven criteria for heritage significance.
Being of contemporary construction (1991), No. 26 was designed in a referential style that sympathetic to
the original terrace at No. 28. Internally, it has been integrated with No. 28 to form a single building with two individual faades that present as individual terrace properties to the street. No. 26 is typical of public housing properties of the late 20th century, both within the Millers Point and Dawes Point precinct and wider Sydney. It is not, however, considered to be a particularly fine example of late 20th century public housing, and does not possess any particular features or design elements that are aesthetically distinctive or exemplifies a particular style or period.
The subject site was constructed around the same time that the Millers Point and Dawes Point precinct public housing stock was transferred from the MSB to the Housing Commission of NSW. This commenced a new phase of public ownership in the local area, and the introduction of a new community base of DoH/Housing Commission of NSW tenants. The subject site is therefore representative of a loss of cultural continuity with what had historically been a predominantly working class community of maritime workers, which was established in the early 1900s and closely associated with the MSB. As a contemporary development, the subject site does not have any substantial links to the historical (pre-
1980s, longer-term) the Millers Point and Dawes Point precinct community, or the area's maritime heritage. Number 26 was constructed in 1991 and has low to no potential to contain remnants of previous timber outbuilding structures due to the extent to which the site is likely to have been disturbed by construction works. Extensive modification to the topography for the construction of No. 26 and extensive rear additions to No. 28 have likely resulted in a high degree of sub-surface disturbance. Based on the anticipated nature of the archaeological deposit, it is considered likely that, if present, archaeological material would be of local significance. This may vary depending on the nature and
condition of the deposit.
Date significance updated: 23 Nov 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.


Physical description: No. 26 & 28 Lower Fort Street are unusual and unique as they were constructed in two separate stages c.1860 and 1991. No. 28 was constructed c1860 and later extensively modified in conjunction with the construction of No. 26 in 1991 to create a single building with central access via the front door at No. 28 and shared central stair access across the two buildings containing seven one bedroom apartments.
The buildings aesthetically from Lower Fort Street read as two individual terraces. No. 26 is a mid- Victorian (c1860) two storey terrace with traditional pitched roof and two storey timber verandah with decorative cast iron lace balustrades and corrugated galvanised roof, sandstone flags are present to the ground floor verandah under a concrete screed. The masonry faade is a stucco finish with imitation ashlar coursing (grooves struck into the stucco simulating stone joint lines) and sandstone sub floor to the external walls. The font faade consists of a four panelled timber door with highlight;
timber double hung window to the ground floor and French doors with highlights to the first floor leading onto the verandah. The rear of the building is entirely 1991 construction with the only original fabric surviving is the hallway and walls of the principal front rooms to both levels the majority of joinery to the front faade however floors and ceilings have been replaced.
No. 28 is a three storey modern infill building constructed in 1991 in referential style to the conservation area, access to the property is via the front door of No. 28 via a central hall and stairwell.
Its faade is painted brick in stretcher bond with timber French doors and double hung windows. The timber veranda has a contemporary steel balustrade to the ground floor and decorative replica lace balustrade to the first floor. The third floor has semi dormer style windows grounded in half height walls and a pitched roof with corrugated galvanised steel roofing.
Both of the properties rear boundaries are a modified cliff face adjoining the Sydney Harbour Bridge curtilage for the south approach. The internal features of the subject property have been summarised below.
Ground Floor - The ground floor of the property contains a central hallway which is accessible via the principal entry door of No. 28. Accessible via this hallway are three separate self-contained units (Unit 1, 2 and 3), each of which contains a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom. External access to the rear yard of the property is provided within each unit.
The principal room to Unit 1, being Room 8, and the front portion of the hallway represent the original layout of No. 28.
Stairs to the upper levels are located on the northern side of the hallway.
First Floor - The layout of the first floor of the property is similar to that of the ground floor. It also contains a central hallway via which three separate self-contained units (Units 4, 5 and 6) are accessible. Each unit contains a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom. Access to the first floor verandahs is provided via French doors to the living rooms of Units 4 and 5.
The principal room to Unit 5, being Room 28 represent the original layout of No. 28. Stairs to the attic are located on the northern side of the hallway.
Attic/Second Floor - The attic level is present to No. 26 only. It contains a single self-contained unit (Unit 7), which contains a kitchen,
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The physical condition of the buildings is generally good. The buildings shows normal signs of use for
their respective ages and been maintained appropriately throughout their life. The buildings have had
extensive renovation and conservation work completed in 1990 -1991 (No. 26, 1991 construction).
Modifications and dates: 28 Lower Fort Street Constructed 1860.
Major modifications to the building in 1990-91
26 Lower Fort Street constructed in 1990-91
Current use: Residence
Former use: Residence


Historical notes: The subject site comprises two conjoined terraces. The southern terrace (No. 28) is a traditional mid-
Victorian terrace constructed c.1860, while the northernmost terrace (26 Lower Fort Street) is an
attached infill extension, constructed in 1991 on the formerly vacant lot, to match the traditional form
and scale of its Victorian neighbours. Access from the street to the two terraces is via number 28. Until
1991 when the infill building was constructed at 26 Lower Fort Street, the two properties had been
separate allotments under different ownership.
No. 26
Within months of being granted the land in Fort Street in 1834-5, Lyons had subdivided it and sold all
or part of it to the merchant Henry Moore. In 1838 Moore sold Lot 15, an allotment including 24 and 26
Lower Fort Street (26 forms part of the subject site) to William Ranken Scott, a well-known businessman and partner in the merchant company Lyall, Scott & Co (later Scott, Henderson & Co). Scott arrived in the colony in c1830, received his first land grant in 1831 and was living in Fort Street by 1832.
The terrace at 24 Lower Fort Street was built for William Ranken Scott in the late 1830s, with the subject site forming part of the yard. The two storey early Victorian townhouse of Georgian appearance with attic roof was one of the first on the east side of Lower Fort Street. In 1841, Ranken Scott acquired a small part of Lot 14, to the north of number 24 and in 1849 he acquired additional land to the south, part of Lot 16 from Frederick Unwin (now occupied by the subject terrace at 26
Lower Fort Street). William Wallis is believed to have built the pair of townhouses to the north at No. 20-22 Lower Fort Street in 1841-43. Ranken Scott lived at 24 Lower Fort Street until 1873 and progressively developed his various properties. The land at 26 & 28 Lower Fort Street remained vacant until approximately 1860 when construction began on 28 Lower Fort Street. 26 Lower Fort Street was occupied by ancillary shed buildings in the 19th century plans which were associated with the house at 24 Lower Fort Street.
In 1873 Scott sold the property at 24 Lower Fort Street, later known as 'Claremont', to Thomas Hely. The purchase included Claremont and the yard (vacant land) at Number 26. Hely owned and constructed other properties in Millers Point and lived in the house for a few years before selling to prominent Millers Point landholder James Merriman in 1876. After Merriman's death the house at number 24 reverted to his daughter Fanny Delgardo and her estate still owned the property when it was resumed in 1902 under the Rocks Resumption. At the time of the resumption, the vacant No.26 is
recorded as being owned by Blanche Louise, with the extent of the lot being noted as the foot of the cliffs.
The Department of Housing lodged a Development Application (DA44/87/1769) to erect a new three story infill building at No. 26 Lower Fort Street in conjunction with alterations and additions to 28 Lower Fort Street to provide seven one bedroom Units. Consent was granted in 1988. However, by the late 1980s 20% of the housing stock in the Millers Point and Dawes Point precinct was vacant and Housing NSW proposed a number of properties in Millers Point for sale in 1989 including 26 & 28 Lower Fort Street. The Hero of Waterloo was sold, but some of the others passed in at Auction due to lack of interest and all remaining properties were withdrawn from sale. Construction began on the infill terrace
in 1990 along with alterations to the adjoining number 28. Works were completed the following year. Other than incorporating some ancillary shed buildings, 26 Lower Fort Street had remained vacant until this time. The commercial boarding house lease expired in in 2009.
No. 28
A subdivision plan from 1836 shows that Ranken Scott owned lot 16 (24 Lower Fort Street) on which the corner of a building appears on the plan. He appears to have purchased the additional lot to the south (26 Lower Fort Street) from Fredrick Unwin. Unwin owned numerous properties in The Rocks and the Millers Point and Dawes Point precinct including Kent and Argyle Streets. 28 Lower Fort Street was purchased by Thomas Buckland who also owned the nine other allotments to the south. The property was again surveyed in 1849 presumably for sale, but the owner is not listed on the plan. In 1860 Captain Hay owned 28 Lower Fort Street and constructed the current building, Billyard owned two allotments to the south and Ranken Scott retained the two allotments to the north.
The building is recorded in the 1861 Assessment Book as being owned by Captain William Hay and occupied by Henry Moon. Thereafter it is primarily described in the Assessment books as having two storeys, constructed in brick, with a shingled roof, seven good sized rooms in good repair and a varied rated annual value of between (Pounds)65 and (Pounds)120. Unlike the buildings on the western side of Lower Fort Street, that were designed to take advantage of the slope, the buildings on the eastern side had their kitchen facilities in separate buildings to the rear, at the base of the small cliff. Both 24 and 28 Lower Fort Street were built in the terrace style as individual houses with the vacant 26 in between. A 10 foot wide road was present between the rear yards of the properties and the boundary wall of Scott's property providing a rear lane access.
The house at 28 Lower Fort Street changed hands only three times before it was resumed by the NSW Government in 1902. Captain Hay sold the property in 1867 to William Billiard and by 1880 William Olliffe was the owner. The house remained in the ownership of Olliffe's Estate at the time of resumption. None of the owners lived in the property and variously rented it out to a number of long and short term residents.
In 1987 a development plan was proposed to erect a new three story infill building at 26 Lower Fort Street and alterations and additions to 28 Lower Fort Street to provide 1 bedroom units.
Photographs taken for the Central Sydney Heritage Inventory in 1989 shows 26 Lower Fort Street as still vacant. The development of the property was undertaken in 1990-1991 which included penetrations into the existing 28 Lower Fort Street to provide access to the new infill building next door. The building is now described as a seven room boarding house, including a substantial rear addition and new adjoining building Access to both properties is from 28 Lower Fort Street.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementCMP received for 26-28 Lower Fort Street, Millers Point Apr 15 2016

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0085202 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Local Environmental PlanCSH LEP 4 07 Apr 00   
Register of the National Estate  21 Oct 80   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenURBIS201626 & 28 Lower Fort Street, Millers Point - 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: Heritage Office
Database number: 5000874

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