Kendall School of Arts | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Kendall School of Arts

Item details

Name of item: Kendall School of Arts
Other name/s: now the Kendall Community Centre, known locally as Kendall Hall
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Community Facilities
Category: School of Arts
Location: Lat: -31.6323309488 Long: 152.7031304510
Primary address: Comboyne Street, Kendall, NSW 2439
Parish: Johns River
County: Macquarie
Local govt. area: Port Macquarie-Hastings
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Purfleet/Taree
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT36 DP754418
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Comboyne StreetKendallPort Macquarie-HastingsJohns RiverMacquariePrimary Address
Albert StreetKendallPort Macquarie-HastingsJohns RiverMacquarieAlternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Kendall Community CentreCommunity Group29 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

The Kendall School of Arts is significant as, along with the Kendall Railway Station, it is an important indicator of Kendall's major period of commercial and social activity, which began in 1900. It has been in continuous use as a community venue for almost 100 years, a continuing tradition. It is well built of local timber and therefore indicative of the timber industry, which was the major local industry for approximately 100 years. It has outstanding and widely recognised acoustic properties.
Date significance updated: 14 Sep 06
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: 1908-
Physical description: The symmetrical Kendall School of Arts is built of timber and has a corrugated galvanised iron roof. It occupies a commanding site at the top of the village shopping centre. It is well sited on a sloping triangular piece of land which addresses the Y intersection of Comboyne and Albert Streets. The apex of the triangle is truncated by an unofficial road on the eastern side.

The adjacent 1919 Kendall War memorial and surrounding open space complements the hall site, even though it intersects the view from the shopping centre. the hall is dug into the ground on the northern (Comboyne Road) side and is high off the ground on the southern (Albert Street) side. A supper room is attached on the southern elevation. The rear of the building has lesser additions of stage and dressing rooms.

In 1973 the former one-roomed Batar Creek State School was moved to the rear of the site, for the use of youth of the district. It occupies the site of a former nineteenth century cottage.

The vista from the front of the Hall encompasses the mix of residential, commercial and industrial buildings that is the centre of the village of Kendall. Similarly, the hall dominates the view from the shopping centre. The dwellings on Comboyne and Albert Streets opposite the Hall are predominately turn of the century timber cottages, some with Victorian detailing.

A mature, double trunked Camphor laurel dominates the Comboyne Street boundary and is flanked by two small silky oak trees, which were planted in 1988 to commemorate the bicentenary of European occupation of Australia.

Only one other listed building, an outstanding Federation house, is adjacent to the School of Arts. It is situated approximately a hundred metres away just over the nearby Comboyne Street hill but neither building is visible from the other.

Taken from Van Kempen, Elaine (2004) Heritage Impact Statement.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Based on previous service excavations there is little likelihood of there being any relics. An exception to this may be beneath the relocated Batar Creek State School, placed on the site of a 19th century cottage.
Date condition updated:14 Sep 06


Historical notes: The site was proposed to be set apart as a site for a School of Arts in 1892. The land was excised from Camping Reserve No. 132, which had been notified on 1 August 1881. The Camping Reserve was used to rest horses and bullock teams after logs were brought from the forests to the Kendall timber mills.

In 1908 the existing timber building was erected. It was officially opened in 1910. The name Kendall School of Arts remained in official use until 1984.

The traditional role of Schools of Arts was to provide venues for lectures, classes and libraries for the useful knowledge and mental and moral improvement of the working class. In the early 20th century Schools of Arts had become important social and political meeting places as well as places of entertainment: social evenings, debutante balls and later the showing of moving pictures.

Kendall School of Arts is one of at least seven surviving Schools of Arts within an 80 kilometre radius that was build between Federation and World War 1.

Following the loss during a storm of the supper room roof in 1983, the residents of Kendall met to determine the future of the building. Five options were given ranging from sale, total demolition for a part, demolition and replacement with a new building and essential repairs only to complete restoration. The vote was in favour of restoration.

In 1984 the name School of Arts was changed to Community Centre. However, it is generally called Kendal Hall. Both the Commonwealth Government and the Heritage Office provided funding for the restoration. The building continues to fulfil all the traditional functions of a School of Arts. The Camden Haven Learning Exchange was established there in 1982, to move in 1991 to Laurieton as Camden haven Adult and Community Education. Kendall Community Pre-School was established in 1988 and operated in the Hall for several years.

Currently the side rooms are occupied by the community technology Centre which was established in 2003. Kendall School of Arts is in full time use. Many different community activities and meetings are held there and its superb acoustics are widely admired. It is the home of several major events and festivals and remains the social and cultural hub of the district.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The existing Kendall Hall has been maintained as a community facility since its construction. It is a significant focal point for the community. Its function, for which it was built, has remained constant.
SHR Criteria g)
Representative of Schools of Arts - the purpose of which was to provide facilities for the education, and the mental and moral improvement of the working class.
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 workHeritage Act Record converted from HIS events

Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):
(1) The maintenance of any item on the site where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing materialss.
(2) Any alterations or changes to the interior of the building.
Nov 7 1986
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

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0047902 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0047907 Nov 86 1755473
Regional Environmental Plan  23 Dec 94   

References, internet links & images


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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045048
File number: S90/04713 & HC 33099

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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