Berry Railway Station group and movable relics | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Berry Railway Station group and movable relics

Item details

Name of item: Berry Railway Station group and movable relics
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -34.7804686480 Long: 150.6968272500
Primary address: Illawarra railway, Berry, NSW 2535
Local govt. area: Shoalhaven
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Nowra
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT2 DP1001740

Boundary:

North: boundary of RailCorp property (including car park) fronting Station Road (including the site of the station masters residence); East: 5m east of the end of the station platform; South: boundary of RailCorp Property on the southern side of the railway tracks (fronting north boundaries of properties fronting Old Creamery Road); West: 5m west of the per way shed.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Illawarra railwayBerryShoalhaven  Primary Address
Station RoadBerryShoalhaven  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government20 Oct 98

Statement of significance:

Berry Railway Station is of State historical significance as an important country railway station complex built from 1893 to the 1940s, with most of its original 1893 elements intact, including platform buildings, early equipment and the original station masters residence, and for its relationship to the development of the town of Berry.

The Berry Railway Station is of State aesthetic significance as a rare group of simple early weatherboard station buildings including goods shed and Station Master's residence, with later corrugated steel produce shed, located in a picturesque location within the historic Berry township, with the Illawarra escarpment visible beyond. The small weatherboard Out-of-room, signal box and lamp room are typical of small sheds built extensively for these purposes throughout the state. The Station Master's residence is a representative, now rare, early example of a railway residence, which predates the standard railway residence designs of 1899. The Berry Railway Station group is of technical and research significance for its early moveable items including staff instruments, signals, fog signalman's equipment, early timber trolley and timber indicator board.
Date significance updated: 01 Sep 10
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: NSW Government Railways
Builder/Maker: G. J. Featherstone & T. J. Barbel (Station buildings), W. Monie & J. Angus (Railway line)
Construction years: 1893-
Physical description: PRECINCT ELEMENTS:
Station Masters Residence (1893) (Type 6)
Platform building (1893, awning added in 1901) (Type 14)
Platform garden beds and topiary shrubs
Signal box (1912)
Lamp Room (1993)
Out of room aka Parcels Office (1893)
Produce shed (c. 1940s)
Goods shed (1893, 1960)
Platform (1893)
Moveable items - 1923 waiting room and ticket office signs attached to Platform 1 building; timber luggage

CONTEXT
Berry Railway Station is located on Station Road opposite and south of David Berry Park and Memorial Park, and the intersection with Alexandra Street (which leads north onto the Princes Highway). There is a station car park located to the north of the railway station platform. Perimeter fencing for the station is modern powdercoated white aluminium fencing. The Station Master's residence is located northeast of the station platform building, east of the car park.

The railway station is in a picturesque setting with the Illawarra escarpment visible beyond the station buildings, and the single platform and platform buildings are oriented facing south, with the exception of the Out-of-room, which has a door to the north opening into the station car park. The buildings on the platform generally string along the platform east-west. From east to west the buildings are ranged as follows: lamp room; Out-of-room; signal box; platform building; 1979 brick toilet block. The goods and per way sheds are located at the western end of the station, on the southern side of the railway lines.

STATION MASTERS RESIDENCE (1893)
Exterior: The residence is located on an unfenced site (February 2009) with a number of large trees, both native and exotic, with the front faade facing west into the Berry Railway Station car park. A straight concrete path leads to the centre of the front veranda from the station car park. This is a freestanding single storey weatherboard residence on brick piers with a gabled corrugated steel roof, a skillion corrugated steel roofed veranda across the width of the front of the house. The veranda is carried on 4 timber posts (corner post at southeast corner damaged) and has a timber floor. The residence has a rear section with two skillion roofs and a gable roofed rear wing to the north-eastern corner of the house, all roofed in corrugated steel. Part of a rear skillion roofed veranda is extant. The front faade is symmetrical, with a central 4 panel front door (now covered over on the exterior) flanked by timber famed double hung windows, each sash having a single vertical glazing bar. The residence originally had 2 brick chimneys at the apex of the gabled roof, however only the southern of these is extant (note roof is patched in the former location of the northern chimney). There is a simple brick chimney near the north-eastern corner of the building to service the kitchen, where a hearth is extant. Part of the rear sections have fibro asbestos walls. Windows are generally timber framed double hung with vertical glazing bars to sashes. The front and back doors are timber 4-panel doors with fanlights. These doors are blocked up on the outside.

Interior: Walls have been largely removed, leaving only 2 rooms in the main section of the house. There are timber floors and tongue & grooved timber ceilings.

PLATFORM BUILDING (1893)
External: The platform building is a long rectangular weatherboard building with a concrete base and a corrugated steel skillion roof sloping towards the rail lines, with the awning supported on cantilevered timber roof beams braced with curved metal braces. All of the rooms open onto the platform with no interconnection between rooms. The building contains a waiting room, station masters office and staff instruments room. The building has aluminium framed double hung windows, with one extant timber framed double hung window frame (in the waiting room); security screen doors and security screens to windows. There are steel brackets to the platform building awning, which faces south, timber beams and a timber valance to the east and west ends of the awning. There are no chimneys to the roof, however there is an extant chimney breast to the waiting room. There is an air-conditioning unit on the roof.

Internal: The internal layout of the platform building appears to be relatively intact. There are timber tongue & grooved internal wall linings and ceilings, except in the waiting room. There are operable metal vents to the interior near the top of walls. The waiting room has modern floor tiling and fibre cement sheeting to walls and ceilings, and 2 modern aluminium framed windows, one within an original timber window frame. There are "staff instruments" still operating in the room at the eastern end of the platform building. This room has timber tongue & grooved ceiling and walls. The fog signalman's equipment is also located in this room.

Platform Garden Beds and Topiary Shrubs
The topiary shrubs and garden beds form part of the station platform's setting and character (Longworth, 2012, 10). While railway gardens were once fairly common, surviving such elements are becoming rare today (Stuart Read, pers.comm., 30/7/2013).

SIGNAL BOX (1912)
Exterior: The signal box is a small weatherboard building located directly next to the platform building and is raised on a concrete base, the base being attached to the platform building. The signal box has a corrugated Colorbond skillion roof. Originally this building had no wall on the platform side, however a wall with windows and central doorway has been added.

Interior: The original signal lever frame remains within the signal box.

OUT OF SHED (1893)
Exterior: This is a small weatherboard skillion roofed structure, located east of the signal box, with entrances to both platform and car park behind. It has a solid timber tongue & grooved board sliding doors to the centre of the north and south elevations.

Interior: The out of shed has a concrete floor and no wall linings.

LAMP ROOM
Exterior: The lamp room is a diminutive gable roofed building with a corrugated steel roof, and a central timber tongue & grooved board door on the north elevation facing the car park.

Interior: The floor is concrete, and there are no ceilings or wall linings. There is timber shelving installed to the interior of the east wall.

GOODS SHED (1893)
Exterior: This is a corrugated iron side shed 36'x l6' with a small timber platform along the rail side and a wider platform at the northern end with sliding timber doors to both road and rail sides. The building is in intact condition however the tracks have recently been removed in changes to the yard layout.

Interior: not accessed (2009).

PRODUCE SHED (c. 1940s):
Exterior: this is a large corrugated steel shed with a gabled corrugated steel roof located west of the goods shed. Noted on c.1974 plans as being leased by Berry Rural Co-op Society.

Interior: not accessed (2009).

PLATFORM (1893)
The platform face is brick with brick copings and indicates the extension of the platform in 1915 to accommodate longer trains. The centre of the platform has been capped with concrete to raise the height.

LANDSCAPE/NATURAL FEATURES
There are significant plantings on the platform, between the station platform buildings, including topiary shrubs. The Shoalhaven LEP 1985 (as amended) lists - as part of Schedule 7: Heritage Items: the Berry Railway Station Group - the following plantings: Ilex cornuta (Chinese Holly) and Gardenia thunbergia (Gardenia). In addition, the site of the Station Master's residence contains a number of large mature trees, both native and exotic.

MOVEABLE ITEMS
Signals (in signal box); staff instruments (in room at east end of platform building); fog signalman's equipment (in room at east end of platform building); timber trolley (in Out-of-room); timber indicator board (located between the signal box and the Out-of-room).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Station Masters Residence (1893): poor to very poor condition.
Platform building (1893): Good
Signal box (1912): Good
Lamp Room (1993): Moderate
Out of room (1893): Good
Per way shed: (c. 1940s): Good
Goods shed (1893, 1960): Good
Platform (1893): Good
Moveable items: Good to very good
Date condition updated:04 Sep 13
Modifications and dates: 1901: awning added to the originally awningless platform building
1903: between 1901 and 1903 a butter factory was constructed east of the rail lines, and new rear extensions constructed to the Station Master's residence
1907: fernery (no longer extant) built to south-western corner of Station Master's residence
1912: Goods siding constructed to serve the Berry Central Butter Factory; signal box constructed.
1913: Goods siding to Butter Factory extended
c. 1915: Platform lengthened c1915 for racecourse traffic
c.1940: Produce shed constructed
1960: shortening of goods stage and construction of ramp to goods shed
1974: internal alterations to platform building
c. 1974: internal alterations to Station Master's residence (removal of most internal walls)
1979: new brick toilet block
1983: internal alterations to platform building
c. 1980s: most internal walls removed from main front gable roofed section of Station Master's residence
N.d.: Perway shed demolished
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Nil

History

Historical notes: The Illawarra Line was opened as an isolated line as far as Bombo (North Kiama) in 1887 however in 1886 the contract had been awarded to Messrs. Monie and Angus to extend the single line as far as Bomaderry with the intention for the Government to build the Kiama to Jervis Bay Railway. A number of stations were built along the line of which Berry was the largest, reflecting the importance of the town.

It was built as a small but complete station having a crossing loop, stock and goods shed siding and four staff residences, the buildings being timber framed. 1894 plans, signed H. Deane, for the station include cattle yards, 2 platforms (though only one was built), and platform waiting sheds, Station Master's residence, and a fettler's cottage near the level crossing north of the station.

The platform building was originally built as a timber awningless platform building, however an awning was added in 1901. Plans dated 8.8.1901 for "Proposed awning to waiting shed" show the platform building interior containing a ticket office, general waiting room, ladies room, lavatory and water tank. A proposed platform awning is shown on these plans.

"With its vast workforce spread across the state, the NSW Railways was a major landlord with many hundreds of houses for employees at different levels. While accommodation was more likely to be provided for employees in rural locations, the standard of accommodation provided was closely aligned to the position and status of the officer who was to occupy it." (p. 47, McKillop).

By 1888, with a change in railway administration, standard and economic building designs were being introduced for all types of railway buildings including residences. These standard designs were used at various locations throughout NSW and were altered only slightly depending on site specific conditions. The simple designs for Station Masters and Gate Keepers residences were efficiently planned and employed economical materials such as timber and galvanised iron. Sets of standard design drawings for "Station Officer’s Houses" were approved by the Chief Commissioner, Charles Oliver, in 1899. These designs [prepared by Henry Deane] were known as the J1, J2, J3 and J4, and one for a 'Gate Keeper's Cottage' K1. The designs were based on standard designs that were used throughout the network during the early 1890s.

The 1893 Berry Station Master's residence is a relatively early example of the J2 type Station Master's residence design, having been constructed prior to the 1899 issue of the series of standard plans for these buildings. It is also one of a number of railway residences built at Berry, including a gatekeeper’s house at 66 Prince Alfred St. (The other railway residences at Berry are now in private ownership).

The ‘J2’ design is a standard type residence dating from 1885-1920, usually of timber or brick with a high gabled roof with rafters extending to form a veranda across the front of the building, and two chimneys. The buildings featured a simple symmetrical façade with central four-panel front door, front room windows to either side and a rear skillion service wing. While the overall form remained similar to J1 it was 4ft wider, and provided larger rooms. Plans dated 1903 show new rear extensions to the Station Master's residence.

1907 plans show the station with the following structures: on the east side of the railway tracks (south to north): Berry Central Butter Factory, engine boiler house, goods shed, and a Fettler's cottage near the level crossing; west side (south to north): cattle yards, Fettler's cottage, levers, platform with horse dock at southern end, platform building, Station Master's residence with a fern house attached to the south-western corner, and a further Fettler's cottage to the west of the level crossing.

In 1912 the goods siding was extended to serve the Berry Central Butter Factory, it being also extended in 1913 to send milk to the Sydney markets.

Plans annotated in the 1960s note the shortening of the goods stage attached to the south of the goods shed in 1960 and the construction of a ramp to the goods shed and demolition of the cattle yards (by this stage marked as "trucking yards") in 1968.

Plans dated 22.4.1974 show a proposed gang shed and proposed migratory gang camp amenity building on the former site of the cattle yards and fettlers cottage south of the station (west side). These plans also show toilet upgrades to the platform building and the demolition of a separate gents toilet building, the former Station Master's residence being leased to the Boy Scouts, and the former Fettler's house to the west of the level crossing also being leased for private rental accommodation.

Plans dated 17.7.1979 were for construction of a new brick toilet block.

Plans for alterations to station buildings dated 8.1.1982 show the platform building containing (from south to north) a waiting room, parcels & booking office (also containing a Station Master's office), staff amenities, and working staff instruments room (aka signal box).

The Berry Station Master's residence is now disused (2009) but its immediate past use was as a Scout Hall. It is presumably during this period of use as a Scout Hall that most of the internal walls to the front main gable roofed section of the residence were removed.

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 (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Berry Railway Station is of State historical significance as an important country railway station group built from 1893 to 1912, with most of its original elements intact, including early equipment and the original Station Master's residence, and for its relationship to the development of the town of Berry. The Berry Station Master's residence is of historical significance as one of a number of railway residences constructed at Berry which evidence late 19th century railway operational arrangements to accommodate staff on site, and as an early design residence, constructed prior to the issue of a series of standard plans for railway residences in 1899.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The Berry Station Master's residence design has historical association with Henry Deane, Engineer in Chief for Railways Construction 1891-1901.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Berry Railway Station is of State aesthetic significance as a rare group of simple early weatherboard station buildings with later corrugated steel goods and produce sheds, located in a picturesque location within the historic Berry township, with the Illawarra escarpment visible beyond. The small weatherboard Out-of-room, signal box and lamp room are typical of small sheds built extensively for these purposes throughout the state. The Berry Station Master's residence is of aesthetic significance as a small vernacular Victorian Georgian style dwelling, purpose-built for accommodation of railway staff.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The place has the potential to contribute to the local community's sense of place, and can provide a connection to the local community's past.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Berry Railway Station is of research significance for its early moveable items including staff instruments, signals, fog signalman's equipment, and timber indicator board.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
This item is assessed as historically rare. This item is assessed as arch. rare. This item is assessed as socially rare.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The Berry Station Master's residence is a representative example of an early design railway residence, which predates the standard designs of 1899. The small weatherboard Out-of-room, signal box and lamp room are typical of small sheds built extensively for these purposes throughout the state.
Integrity/Intactness: Various structures such as the timber loading stage, perway shed and cattle yards are no longer extant at Berry, however the core group of 1893 platform buildings, goods shed and Station Master's residence are extant, along with an extensive range of early moveable items which remain in context and a c. 1940s produce shed. While interior fitout to the platform building has altered over time, much of the original fabric is extant. The interior of the Station Master's residence has been extensively altered (most internal walls removed), however it is externally relatively intact, though in poor condition. The signal box is of moderate to high integrity, retaining its signalling equipment and associated items in situ, though has undergone some modifications to its external appearance on the rail side.
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.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
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.

FRANK SARTOR
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

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0108402 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenLongworth, Jim2012Conservation Guide: Railway Gardens View detail

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

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5011927
File number: s96/00468


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