Don Bank | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Don Bank

Item details

Name of item: Don Bank
Other name/s: St.Leonard's Cottage
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Cottage
Location: Lat: -33.8376861971 Long: 151.2052332840
Primary address: 6 Napier Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060
Parish: Willoughby
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: North Sydney
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT9 DP4120
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
6 Napier StreetNorth SydneyNorth SydneyWilloughbyCumberlandPrimary Address
6 Napier StreetNorth SydneyNorth SydneyWilloughbyCumberlandDuplicate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
North Sydney CouncilLocal Government25 Mar 99

Description

Builder/Maker: Edward Woolstonecroft (client)
Construction years: 1853-1858
Physical description: Site and setting, front garden:
Don Bank is now surrounded by high rise office buildings. Its primary frontage is (north-east) to Napier Street, with a secondary (rear) entrance from Oak Street to the west. The building sits north of (i.e. its southern boundary abuts) a public garden and pathway which forms a pleasant green setting to it and allows pedestrian access between Npaier Street and Wheeler Lane.

Neighbouring Victorian Georgian Revival style single storey identical houes are arranged in symmetrical pairs directly opposite Don Bank (at 1-7 Napier Street) forming a strong visual and contextual relationship with it. Along with the timber-fenced Victorian garden on the Napier Street frontage, Don Bank forms an oasis amongst high rise commercial buildings. Traffic along Napier Street is directed to the Pacific Highway to its east, a major road on North Sydney central business distrit. Napier Street is a one-way street parallel to the highway.

The area west of Don Bank, along Oak Street displays Victorian Georgian Revival stingle storey houes with skillion verandahs (2-10 Oak Street). This along with the residential character of Oak Street retains the context of Don Bank as a former house (City Plan Services, 2014, 2).

When built in 1853-4 Don Bank would have enjoyed sweeping views across (east) to Neutral Bay (ibid, 3).

Don Bank's front garden is broadly a sweep of grass with various trees and shrubs dotting and edging or framing it. An array of small trees line its front fence and more along with shrubs are nearer the house which is set well back from the fence and up a small slope. An Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) is near the front gate. Two Lord Howe Island palms (Kentia fosteriana) are along the front path uphill.

Other trees are to the house's northern side. Old-fashioned perennials such as flowering sages (Salvia sp./cv.), bushes such as Cape leadwort or plumbago (P.capensis) grow along its front fence. Main trees comprise Californian desert fan palm (Washingtonia robusta), coastal banksia (B.integrifolia) - a large old specimen to the north, crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) and others (Stuart Read, pers.comm., 11/5/2016).

House:
A single storey Victorian Georgian Revival style cottage of vertical fitted slab construction with lath and plaster interior walls and red cedar joinery, a wide front door with French doors opening onto a verandah across the front. The original shingle roof has been replaced with corrugated iron. The verandah has very good timber trelllage work of a type now rare.

The cottage is of vernacular slab construction comprising a double-pile house with gabled ends and a verandah runs the length of its front and another across most of its rear elevation. It displays many features of the Colonial Regency style, including a symmetrical facade, four-room plan with a double pitched roof and a central valley, flat timber posts and decorative fascia boards (ibid, 4).

Its principal elevation is four-rooms wide, two rooms flanking either side of a central hall. Each room has a separate access to the front verandah in the form of French doors with full-height shutters. The detailing is minimal presenting twin post and latticed columns supporting the verandah roof and just above, it is edged with a scalloped fascia board (the bargeboard at the rear and gabled ends is also scalloped). The verandah with timber floorboards extends the full length of the front elevation. The roof has been re-shingled in the recent past with she-oak (Casuarina sp.). It is believed to be the second time the roof has been re-shingled since its post-1980 restoration (ibid, 4).

The interior maintains its original room configuration (two rooms on either side of the central hall) with additional rooms added along the north-south axis and a kitchen wing attached perpendicular to the northern-most Room 6 (Dining Room). The central hall connects front and rear verandahs giving access to Rooms 2-5. It retains an original boarded ceiling, original wall boards along Room 3 and 4 walls. Calico cloth lines walls outside Rooms 2 and 5, which was created and hung as an interpretive element during 1980 restoration (ibid, 4).

It is estimated that Rooms 2-4 in the central core still retain up to 80% of their original fabric and are in good condition. The walls and ceiling of Room 2 date to the 1980s. Room 6 (Dining Room), 1 and 7 (Kitchen) were constructed between 1856 and 1858 and refurbished during the 1980 restoration. This refurbishment included re-plastering of walls (in certain places), installing plumbing and constructing caretakers' quarters (toilet and kitchen at the south-west corner of the cottage)(ibid, 4).

A box gutter runs along the north-south axis of the cottage. Building fabric sitting under this has been stained in several places. Room 2 (Morning Room, now the Guides' room) has the most staining to its calico-lined ceiling and walls. Differing widths and species of timber floorboards in each room reveal something of the age and progression of construction within individual rooms. During the 1980s restorations, new timber floor was laid where deterioration and decay were substantial (ibid, 4).
Date condition updated:12 Jan 15
Modifications and dates: 2014: the building has retained its original central core layout in spite of several additions and post-1980 restoration (City Plan Services, 2014, 4).

A box gutter along the north-south axis has stained building fabric under it in several places.

Room 2 (Morning Room, now the Guides' room) has the most staining to its calico-lined ceiling and walls. Differing widths and species of timber floorboards in each room reveal something of the age and progression of construction within individual rooms. During the 1980s restorations, new timber floor was laid where deterioration and decay were substantial (ibid, 4).

Calico cloth lines walls outside Rooms 2 and 5. This was created and hung as an interpretive element during 1980 restoration (ibid, 4).

Rooms 2-4 in the central core are estimated to retain up to 80% of their original fabric and are in good condition. The walls and ceiling of Room 2 date to the 1980s.

Room 6 (Dining Room), 1 and 7 (Kitchen) were refurbished during the 1980 restoration, which included re-plastering walls (in certain places), installing plumbing and constructing caretakers' quarters (toilet and kitchen at the south-west corner of the cottage)(ibid, 4).
Current use: House Museum
Former use: Residence

History

Historical notes: Built on part of 524 acres (Portion 323) granted on 30th June, 1825 to Edward Wollstonecraft although he had taken up possession soon after his arrival in September, 1819. A pioneer of shipping and whaling rather than a farmer, he built Crows Nest Cottage on his land (nor the site of the present Presbyterian Church in Shirley Road). Don Bank was not built between 1820 and 1830 as was previously assumed but recent research based on survey plans and title investigation conclusively establish that it was built no earlier than July, 1853 and was extended in November 1854 when it is referred to by description in a contemporary newspaper advertisement for the sale of land and property on the North Shore by Mrs. Charlotte Carr.

In 1853 William Carr, Solicitor purchased the site. Before completion of that sale, Don Bank was built as the intended residence of his widow, Charlotte Carr. It was then known as St. Leonard's Cottage and described as a four roomed home in an unsuccessful advertisement offering it for sale in November 1854. In 1853 it was known as St Leonard's Cottage. (City Plan Services, 2014, 1-4).

Room 6 (Dining Room), 1 and 7 (Kitchen) were constructed between 1856 and 1858 (ibid, 4).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Edward Woolstonecraft, pioneer of shipping and whaling-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Charlotte Carr, Solicitor's widow-

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
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for commentUpdated CMP done for the property - endorsed by NSCity Council. Jul 24 2012

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0003102 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0003127 Feb 81 351188
Local Environmental Plan 198903 Nov 89 1079269
Register of the National Estate  21 Mar 78   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Don Bank View detail
WrittenCity Plan Heritage2011Don Bank Conservation Management Plan
WrittenCity Plan Services2014Heritage Impact Statement to accompany a standard exemption notification for internal refurbishment works to Don Bank (SHR no.31)

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: 5045059
File number: EF14/5065; S90/6103; HC 32194


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