Rising Sun Inn (former) | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Rising Sun Inn (former)

Item details

Name of item: Rising Sun Inn (former)
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Inn/Tavern
Location: Lat: -32.8892813767 Long: 151.2531319160
Primary address: 95-97 Wollombi Road, Millfield, NSW 2325
Parish: Ellalong
County: Northumberland
Local govt. area: Cessnock
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Awabakal
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT20 DP13226
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
95-97 Wollombi RoadMillfieldCessnockEllalongNorthumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private06 Apr 99

Statement of significance:

A rare example of a vernacular slab built inn, part of which dates from the early nineteenth century, which served travellers on the Great North Road from Wollombi to Maitland. It provides evidence of the importance of the Great North Road and to the opening up of the Hunter Valley. The house dates from c1838 and retains fabric from that date, and from all of its later additions reflecting its varied history as an inn, general store, post office and residence. It has associations with pioneering families in the Wollombi-Maitland area and many of its licensees also held licences for other Inns in the region. It has significant scenic value, being sited on the main road at the top of a rise leading down to Wollombi Brook. One of the most important early buildings in the City of Cessnock. (Parsons 1985) (Statement of Heritage Impact 1997)
Date significance updated: 06 Feb 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.

Description

Designer/Maker: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1832-1838
Physical description: The Rising Sun Inn is a simple vernacular cottage, constructed of vertical ironbark slab walls and doubled gabled roof. A verandah to front and sides on timber posts. A two room eastern addition has been extended to two rooms plus passage. The kitchen, with large brick double fireplace once a sperare building, is now joined to the main building. (Statement of Heritage Impact, 1997).

The original hardwood slab building is said to date from 1832 and the late 19th century weatherboard additions to the rear and eastern side (Bill Jordan & Associcates, 2014).

The building as had various alterations and extensions during its history. The original portion in the north west corner has original vertical slab walls and an original half round log bearer. The western wall was at some stage covered with weatherboards which have recently been removed. Internal walls in this section have been removed and the ceiling posts repositioned. Some floor boards in the original section have been replaced using boards from elsewhere in the building. The two room eastern addition was later extended to become two rooms plus passage between. The kitchen was a separate building, now joined to the main building. It has a large brick double fireplace, originally rendered.

A laundry and bathroom of vertical slab construction was added 1980s by the present owner. High pitched iron roof. Original shinges and battens, if any, no longer exist.
Curtilage to be the boundary of the present owner's property plus the intervening portion of First Avenue.
The building is currently being restored. It has considerable tourist potential.

Architectural Style: Vernacular slab. Building Material: Timber (LEP)
Date condition updated:22 Dec 97
Modifications and dates: Various alterations and additions. In the original sections the internal walls have been removed and ceiling posts of original sections repositioned.
1980 - replaced all windows and doors, water and power. Floor levelled. 1980s - laundry and bathroom of vertical slabs added.]

866 used as a General Store. In March of the same year the postal service was transferred to the Inn.
C1895 to 1980 it was a residence

The building was rundown and due to be demolished prior to its restoration which began in 1980. It was necessary to replace all windows and doors, water and power and to level the floor, which in part had sunk 18 inches. The western wall was at some stage covered with weatherboards which have recently been removed. Internal walls in this section have been removed and the ceiling posts repositioned. Some floor boards in the original section have been replaced using boards from elsewhere in the building.

The Rising Sun Inn is now used as a museum, gallery and craft shop. (Parsons 1985) (Branch Managers Report 1985)

Two room eastern addition was later extended to become two rooms plus passage between.

The kitchen was a separate building, now joined to the main building. It has a large brick double fireplace, originally rendcered.

A laundry and bathroom of vertical slab construction was added 1980s by the present owner.
Current use: Museum, gallery, craft shop.
Former use: Inn, general store, post office, residence.

History

Historical notes: On 24th May 1826, about 300 convicts in groups of 50 to 60 were used to construct the Great North Road from Castle Hill via Wiseman's Ferry to Maitland. During this time many Inns were established along the route. Pat Dowlan's Inn was recorded as early as 1832 in the postal directory. Of about 12 inns between Wollombi and Millfield, at least 5 were within 1.3 miles of Millfield.

Millfield began as a cluster of buildings on the Great North Road and was named for the large flour mill of which only a few posts remain, but it is better known today for its sawmills.

The Rising Sun Inn was built c1838 on land granted to William Smith in 1828. The earliest licence No. 214 was given to John McDougall on 27.6.1838. John McDougall was famed for his floggings of convicts whilst overseer of the Great Northern Road.

It is believed several convicts sought revenge on the former overseer by staging bushranger-style attacks on the Inn. The second publican was Thomas Pendergast, another colourful character. In December 1840 McDougall was visiting Pendergast at the inn, where they were held up by Edward (Jew Boy) Davis and his gang of bushrangers. Pendergast was robbed of 13 pounds and McDougall given a dozen strokes with a bullock whip in revenge for his treatment of convicts as overseer.

The Maitland Mercury (28.4.1857 and 30.4.1857) claimed the inn was destroyed by fire. Others claim the report is incorrect, that it was the house next door, owned by another publican, which was destroyed. If the inn was destroyed it was quickly rebuilt, since again the Maitland Mercury referred to a theft from The Rising Sun Inn on 11.6.1857.

The building remained an Inn until about 1866, when Charles Beany bought it and used it as a General Store. In March of the same year the postal service was transferred to the inn. From about 1895 to 1980 it was a residence owned by some of the early pioneering families in the district.

The building was rundown and due to be demolished prior to its restoration which began in 1980. It was necessary to replace all windows and doors, water and power and to level the floor, which in part had sunk 18 inches.

The Rising Sun Inn is now used as a museum, gallery and craft shop (Parsons 1985)(Branch Managers Report, 1985).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Exacting revenge on authority (persons and places)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Operating a tourism venture-
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)-
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 Building and maintaining public roads-
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 travellers and tourists-
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 Vernacular hamlets and settlements-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - administering public roads and bridges-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Engaging in bushranging and banditry-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
A rare example of a vernacular slab built Inn, part of which dates from the early nineteenth century, on the Great North Road from Wollombi to Maitland. It provides evidence of the importance of the Great North Road and to the opening up of the Hunter Valley. The house dated from c1838 and its later additions reflect its varied hisotry as an Inn, general store, post office and residence. It has associations with pioneering families in the Wollombi-Maitland area and many of its licencees also held licences for other Inns in the region. (Parsons 1985) (Statement of Heritage Impact 1997)
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
It has significant scenic value, being sited on the main road at the top of a rise leading down to Wollombi Brook. (Parsons 1985)
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
A rare example of a vernacular slab built Inn. (Parsons 1985)
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 maintenance


Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):
(1) The maintenance of any item on the site meaning the continuous protective care of existing material.
Aug 7 1987
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 0052902 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0052907 Aug 87 129 
Regional Environmental Plan  03 Nov 89 1079346
Local Environmental PlanRising Sun Inn 03 Nov 89 107 
National Trust of Australia register Rising Sun Inn (Former)359025 Mar 85   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1997Statement of Heritage Impact
WrittenAndrew McKinnon Termite Inspections & Pest Control, 25 March 20152015Visual Termite Inspection Report in accordance with AS 3660.,2-2000
WrittenBill Jordan & Associates2014Vibration vulnerability: Rising Sun Inn, Millfield (letter)
WrittenBranch Manager1985Branch Managers Report
WrittenHeritage Division Hard Copy file HC33282 Rising Sun Inn (former), Millfield
WrittenK Parsons1985National Trust Classification Card - Rising Sun Inn
WrittenOEH Heritage Division2014Electronic File EF14/4557 (discontinued file - contents now in EF10/20031)
WrittenParkes, W.S.1968Village on the Wollombi - Millfield 1825-1968

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: 5045088
File number: EF10/20031;S90/5525,HAP90/328


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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