Iolanthe | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Iolanthe
Other name/s: Gordon Post Office
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -33.7596420869 Long: 151.1550094230
Primary address: 691 Pacific Highway, Gordon, NSW 2072
Parish: Gordon
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Ku-Ring-Gai
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT100 DP776508
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
691 Pacific HighwayGordonKu-Ring-GaiGordonCumberlandPrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Uniting Church in Australia, TheReligious Organisation19 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

The cottage is one of the earliest dwellings in the district. As a post office from 1860 to 1894 it played an important part in the everyday lives of early settlers of the North Shore. The use of the cottage as a post office between 1860 and 1894 allocates its place in the historical geography of New South Wales. The cottage's is directly associated with the Pymble and Edwards families whose members were prominent pioneers in the development of the North Shore. Along the Pacific Highway between Pearce's Corner and North Sydney it is one of the very few remaining original dwellings which once lined the main road north. (Heritage Branch files)
Date significance updated: 09 Aug 13
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: 1870-1870
Physical description: Modest single story brick building with iron roof. Verandah at front and simple chamfered wood posts.
Former use: Residence, Post Office


Historical notes: In 1860 residents of Lane Cove, (present Gordon area), petitioned the Postal Department successfully for a local Post Office, Previously letters, papers etc were carried from Sydney and later from St. Leonards, by residents travelling along the road.

The dwelling chosen was the cottage of Mrs Eliza Edwards (grand-daughter of Robert Pymble).

The Edwards family has strong associations with the development of the North Shore. The grandfather, Robert Pymble was a pioneer of the North Shore and recipient of a grant of 600 acres in 1823 in the area known as Pymble. He supplied timber to Sydney and was the pioneer orchardist of the area. he was instrumental in having the railway constructed to Old Hornsby (Pearce's Corenr) and particularly in having a rail station established at what came to be called Killara. The name Killara was Edwards' choice.

Miss Eliza (who preferred Elizabeth) Edwards was appointed Post Mistress, salary 12 pounds per year. Her sureties were neighbours Robert and George MacIntosh, orchardists. The post office business was conducted in a bedroom at the rear of the cottage.

The mail came once a week, later on, twice, the mail carrier was first Michael Fagan, later Foley and Porter names were given. It was customary to leave Sydney at 7am and deliver mail at Gordon, camp there and the next day continue with the mail to Hornsby and Gosford, first by road and after 1890 by train.

In 1879 the name of the Post Office name was changed to Gordon Post Office.

Miss Edwards report in the 1880's says 'from Chatswood to Pearce's Corner (Wahroonga) people rode or walked or sent for their mail."

In 1885 two brick rooms were added to the front of the original cottage and most probably the existing verandah structure giving the cottage its present appearance.

On 10 January 1890 Miss Edwards advised the General Post Office that she considered the best way to serve the interests of Upper Gordon would be to establish a 'receiving office' at Mr Filley's store on the corner of Gordon and Irish Town Roads. Later a bag could be made up at Sydney or St. Leonards and left Pymble platform.

In 1887 as the construction of the railway from St. Leonards to Pearce's Corner, Miss Edwards made an application to the General Post Office to include the sale of money orders in view of changes to come with the population increase, since they were situated near the approved site of Gordon Station.

In 1894 Miss Edwards' resigned because of ill-health. In the same year the Post Office was moved to Gordon Railway Station.

Miss Edwards continued to live in the dwelling with her children until her death in 1902. The cottage continued to be occupied by Miss Edwards family until 1952.

Ravenswood Girls' School purchased the property between 1952 and 1955. In 1980 proposals to demolish the cottage for tennis courts were considered.

On 11 July 1980 an Interim Conservation Order was placed over the property.

On 2 April 1999 it was transferred to the State Heritage Register.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Communication-Activities relating to the creation and conveyance of information (none)-

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

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0022702 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0022701 Jul 83 933058

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: 5045073
File number: S90/05719, HC 32584, 13/04220

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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