Davisville | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Davisville

Item details

Name of item: Davisville
Other name/s: Rennie House
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -33.7140082228 Long: 150.3718824000
Primary address: 63-67 Falls Road, Wentworth Falls, NSW 2782
Parish: Jamison
County: Cook
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT3 DP702964
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
63-67 Falls RoadWentworth FallsBlue Mountains JamisonCookPrimary Address

Description

Builder/Maker: David Davis, Sydney builder
Construction years: 1888-1920
Physical description: Garden:
Mature Monterey pines (Pinus radiata) along the northern Falls Road boundary of the property (approx. 80 years old, over 30m high) are remnants of shelter belts around the property (mainly to the north, one tree to the south (since removed) and one beside the tennis court on the north lawn.

The general layout of the 1920s garden remains discernable today. The tennis court netting is gone but the flat area north of the house remains, as do surrounding windbreak trees, mainly (as noted above) Monterey pines. Large shrubs in the garden are likely to remain from the 1920s including a large mature Rhododendron sp./cv. near the front verandah, camellias etc. Dry stone walls also contribute to the mature landscape setting. The garden itself contributes to the leafy setting of Falls Road as a precinct.

The site contains a small gazebo to the west of the rear court, with a sandstone pond, both of these are said to be modern, c.1950 additions. There is also a garage added c.1985 in the northwest corner.

The frontage trees (east) sitting to the north and south of the house enframe it in a mature landscape setting, along with the northern windbreak treesa long the boundary. The northern windbreak tree closest to the garage is leaning over that.

Windbreak trees to the western boundary form a backdrop to the house. These consist of c1980s Leyland false cypresses added during the 1980s subdivision of the rear of the property, to provide privacy.

A double width driveway leads from Falls Road to the garage (Integrated Design Associates, 2010, slightly abridged by Stuart Read, 1/12/2010).

House:
The original cottage (1888) was front four rooms only with an attached service wing to the rear with two fireplaces (only one survives). Now it is a 3 bay gabled cottage on north-south axis facing east to Falls Road, extended south c.1912/1913-20 with a dining room (with decorative pressed metal walls and ceiling), to 5 bays.

Corrugated galvanised steel roof with fretwork barge boards in clubs and diamonds pattern and finials and exposed collar tie to gables
3 no. brick-corbelled chimneys.
Wrap-around bull-nosed verandah with corrugated galvanised steel roof, no rafters.
Timber verandah posts with iron lace valance
Rusticated weatherboard cladding.

6 panel front door with toplight centred on original cottage.
2 pairs french doors either side of front door, double hung window and 3 panel half glazed door to southern extension (east facade).

Entry stair with decorative glazed tiles and slate treads with rendered spandrel and piers.
Rear (west) wing at southern end with bullnosed verandah infilled at west end with rusticated weatherboards (LEP).
The house bears substantial general visual appeareance to, and is detailed similarly to a nearby house, Hastings, at 85 Falls Road, also built in 1888 (Integrated Design Associates, 2010).

Kitchen block:
detached block to rear (south) of house in courtyard - demolished 1987.

(recent) Garage:
c.1985 single storey weatherboard building, corrugated
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
good (BCC)
Date condition updated:16 Nov 10
Modifications and dates: c.1913 extension
c.1920 modification for YWCA home use

c1950+ gazebo and sandstone pool added in rear garden

c.1975 likely modification for change of owner

c.1984/5 subdivision of rear of block.
1985 alterations to verandah; demolished rear outbuldings, re-roofed iron roofs including bull-nosed verandah; rewiring all electrics including all pull-cords for lights; converted central room along north verandah to bathroom (since removed by current owners); added current single storey double garage at rear.

1998 internal alterations - placement of a number of ensuites and divisions for conversion into bed-and-breakfast.

2006 (as exemptions) Removed some of 1998 ensuites and alterations to north-facing rooms, reinstating earlier room layouts, repaired surrounding verandahs to allow the use of the house again as a private residence.

2010: removal of 13 mature Monterey pine trees approved.

c2016: iron lace work on verandah fabricated and reinstated (Ross, pers.comm., 2/2016).
Current use: bed-and-breakfast, residence
Former use: residence, YWCA womens' home, commune

History

Historical notes: The first land grant in the area of Wentworth Falls was of 61 acres (24 ha) to Edward Dougherty in 1857. The property on which Davisville was built was originally part of Dougherty's grant.

In 1858 the land was bought by Archibald Campbell who owned it while the subdivision of Brasfort was formed. His daughters sold the Davisville subdivision to David Davis in 1888. Davis was an early purchasor of land along Falls Road (then Boonara Street). He appears to have built/ developed or owned a number of houses along Falls Road including no. 69, 74, 85 and 63 (Integrated Design Associates, 2010).

David Davis, a Sydney builder, erected his eponymous holiday home in 1888 just north of the laid-out village of Brasfort, later Wentworth Falls. Davis clearly used materials from older houses in the building of Davisville, which has confused interpretation of the interior. There seem to have been additions made to the footprint of the house after 1913, if a rough sketch of that date can be trusted.

A c.1920 photo of Davisville indicates the presence of the current footprint of the house including the verandah enclosures to the south, the Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) plantings along the northern boundary (large by this time), the tennis court on the north lawn and the Monterey pine tree adjacent to the tennis court. The Monterey pine on the southern side of the garden is not present in this photo (Integrated Design Associates, 2010).

Davis finally sold the house in 1920 to the Young Women's Christian Association, which used it as a holiday home under the name Rennie House. Miss M. Stephens was resident at the house on behalf first of the YWCA and then their successors, the Christian Alliance of Women and Girls, from 1920 until after 1947.

In 1974 the Anglican church was using Rennie House and considered building a retirement village on the site. This project was abandoned and Robert Bunda, the antique dealer of Springwood (cf. SP 030), bought the property around 1975. Alterations were made to the house about 1976 and it was soon sold to Mr and Mrs Seymour who leased it to a young commune around 1979. It is currently being conserved by new owners in preparation for the opening of a bed and breakfast establishment.

An interim conservation order was placed on Davisville in 1984 after community concern was raised over its fate and the adjacent 'Mon Repos' in relation to a proposed development on the adjacent land. This resulted in subdivision of the rear of Davisville to its current layout which was established as the curtilage for the house at this time. A permanent conservation order was placed on the house in 1985. Mon Repos was not saved and has been replaced by a new house (ibid).

Significant alterations to the house occurred in 1985 under the ownership of Mrs G. Rawles which included alterations to the verandah, the demolition of rear outbuildings, replacement of all corrugated roofs including the bull-nosed verandah, the rewiring of all electrics and removal of pull cords, conversion of the central room along the north verandah to a bathroom (removed by the current owners). The garage was an addition under the ownership of the Westgarths in 1985.

In 1998 the house was altered internally with the placement of a number of ensuites and room divisions for conversion of the house into a bed and breakfast.

In 2006, under standard exemptions from the Heritage Council, Davisville underwent alterations to remove some of the 1998 Ensuites and alterations, and repair the surrounding verandah, in order to allow for the continued usage of the house as a private (IIntegrated Design Associates, 2010).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and gardens of domestic accommodation-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes demonstrating styles in landscape design-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Accommodating workers in holiday housing-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Naming places (toponymy)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to suburban-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Sub-division of large estates-
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 Role of transport in settlement-
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 Developing suburbia-
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 Developing towns in response to topography-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Architectural styles and periods - Federation Queen Anne-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Building in response to climate - verandahs-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Building in response to natural landscape features.-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Federation period-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - 20th century interwar-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - Edwardian-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Holidaying in hill stations and mountain retreats-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in, adapting and renovating homes for changing conditions-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting lookouts and places of natural beauty-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gardening-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gardening-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Playing tennis-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Activities associated with relaxation and recreation-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Belonging to a commune-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Community organisations-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Participating in women's organisations-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Sport-Activities associated with organised recreational and health promotional activities croquet-

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 0040102 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0040125 Oct 85 1455616
Local Environmental Plan WF04107 Oct 05 122 

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blue Mountains Heritage Study1983WF041Croft & Associates Ltd  No
Heritage Study Review, Blue Mountains1992WF041Tropman & Tropman Architects  No
Blue Mountains Heritage Study Review1999Blue Mountains Heritage Study ReviewJack, I.R., for University of Sydney; Hubert, P. et alIRJ and PH Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenHeritage Division Paper file: Davisville - HC32628
WrittenIntegrated Design Associates2010Application for Standard Exemption for Conversion of c.1985 garage to a combined studio and garage at Davisville... Heritage Impact Statement
WrittenOultram, John1988Davisville: Heritage Study

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: 5045054
File number: EF14.4443; 10/4362; S90/5670


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