Arcola - house, stables, garden, fence | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Arcola - house, stables, garden, fence

Item details

Name of item: Arcola - house, stables, garden, fence
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -29.6879780535 Long: 152.9265146830
Primary address: 150 Victoria Street, Grafton, NSW 2460
Parish: Great Marlow
County: Clarence
Local govt. area: Clarence Valley
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Grafton-Ngerrie
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT2 DP101002
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
150 Victoria StreetGraftonClarence ValleyGreat MarlowClarencePrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
ArcolaPrivate17 May 99

Statement of significance:

Arcola has historic significance:
- at regional level as an excellent example of the type of residence with large garden and outbuildings built by the prosperous middle class in Grafton in 1907. The house and garden have a high degree of integrity and a well documented record of the interiors, fittings and furniture dating from 1918;
- at state level due to the setting overlooking the Clarence River, the streetscape with magnificent street trees planted c.1880s, and the house, outbuildings and garden of Arcola provide an outstanding record, which is largely untouched, of the pioneering city of Grafton in its heyday. It is a rare record of an original subdivision dating from the early colonial military town planning design for Grafton laid out by Surveyor on principles established by Governor Ralph Darling (1825-31) for all new towns in the colony;
- as excellent example of wealthy middle class domestic living in Grafton in the early part of the 20th century;
- at local level for its association with the Strauss brothers and Sault the builders and designers of the house, who conducted business in Grafton from the late 1870s to the late 1930s;
- al local level for its association with Mrs Violet McLachlan who lived in the house from 1918-1989, during which time the early interior decoration and furnishings at 1918 remained intact. The photographic record and remnant samples of the fittings provide a rare record of a fully documented 1918 interior.

Arcola has social significance as it is held in high esteem by the Grafton community as a fine example of a federation house in a garden setting positioned in a pleasant street on the Clarence River;

Arcola has aesthetic significance:
- at a regional level as a beautiful example of Queen Anne revival style house, garden and outbuildings in tropical Australia;
- at a state level as the only known example of a property in Grafton which has a combination of Queen Anne revival style with strong Queensland Federation influence displayed in both the architectural and landscape design;
- as an excellent example and a complete record of the principles and philosophy associated with Queen Anne revival architecture and formal garden design in tropical rural Australia;

Arcola has scientific significance as:
- it provides an excellent example and a complete record of the principles and philosophy associated with Queen Anne revival architecture (in exterior and interior details, building techniques, craftsmanship and materials especially timber cut from very old first growth trees in the Clarence area) and formal garden design (laid out along the formal geometric lines made famous by Andre LeNotre and promoted by Australian architect W.R.Butler and others including garden designer Michael Guilfoyle, Charles Bogue Luffman and English garden designer William Robinson) in tropical rural Australia.

Significant elements include:
- house and internal layout plan;
- external and internal decorative elements and materials;
- design and position of front and side fencing;
- large, formal garden, major trees including mango trees (Mangifera indica) and their relationship to the house and stables;
- original stables outbuilding and inground well;
- streetscape setting of wide grassy verges, magnificent c.1880 street trees, complementary timber residences facing and views over the Clarence River.

Arcola is also significant for its contribution to a group of spacious timber buildings in Victoria Street (the Grafton Conservation Area) recognised by the National Trust of Australia (NSW) as significant. (Jean, 1996, modified Read, S., 2005)
Date significance updated: 25 Feb 04
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

Construction years: 1907-1907
Physical description: 1907 single storey Queen Anne revival style house, garden including mango trees (Mangifera indica) and stables to rear, in a streetscape setting with wide grassy verges, trees and views over the Clarence River. Front fence to Victoria Street/Clarence River and part of side fence to Alice Street is picket, side fences (remainder) are corrugated iron.

House is rendered brick with hipped iron roof, decorative corner gables and impressive central gabled entrance portico. Bull-nosed verandah is supported on turned timber posts with cast iron valances and original timber venetian blinds. Front door has eteched glass panels and sidelights, windows are double hung with stained and etched glass. Internal details are almost all original: etched glass, doorknobs, fireplaces and surrounds, doorbell, rails and dados, pressed metal ceilings, light fittings etc. Room layout is reasonably sophistocated, intended to divide the maid from the family by means of a segmented hallway. In spite of a somewhat narrow verandah the building successfully modifies the climate with ventilated eaves, external venetian blinds and an elevated floor.

Garden layout is generally original with some original plantings, Goodlett & Smith paving bricks and salt glazed edging tiles. Original timber picket fence to front. Mature trees on front corners of garden include a rosewood tree, and jacaranda (J.mimosaefolia), and elsewhere mangoes (Mangifera indica), frangipani (Plumeria sp.) and a Bangalow palm (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana) tree.
Curtilage to be the property boundary. Brick stables to rear.
(National Trust, 1984)

Significant elements include:
- house and internal layout plan;
- external and internal decorative elements and materials;
- design and position of front and side fencing;
- large, formal garden, major trees including mango trees (Mangifera indica) and their relationship to the house and stables;
- original stables outbuilding and inground well;
- streetscape setting of wide grassy verges, magnificent c.1880 street trees, complementary timber residences facing and views over the Clarence River.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
5/1999 pre purchase inspection report on file - number of minor issues raised
7/1999 cracking of brick walls of stables noted - due to drainage/groundwater collection.(8/1999 repair work s.63 granted)
2005 significant cracking to structural and non-structural components of original section of house is occuring in various locations.
Date condition updated:12 May 04
Modifications and dates: 1918 removal of interior fittings (does not diminish the significance of the 1907 building, stable & grounds)
?date removal of certain garden beds, plants and outside toilet (well documented, can be reinstated)
c.1934 sewer installed (accessing house from the north-east corner of the site, and the north-east corner of the house), also by then the rear north-east corner addition of toilet and cupboard was built. Also a portion of the yard rear to the stables was fenced at this time. Cupboard section of additions appears to be infill of eastern end of verandah.

1989-90 new wiring and plumbing, roof repainted by then owners the Wilkins.
1991 underpinning installed to existing footings to prevent subsidence

c1992-4 outside toilet and cactus plant (which had covered most of it)(?possibly Selenicereus sp.) and tamarillo tree (Cyphomandra betacea) alongside it all removed. House exterior and some of interior painted in non-approved/non-heritage colour scheme. Timber venetian blinds off front verandah removed. Timber slat greenhouse/fern house which had adjoined the rear verandah removed. A mandarin tree was severely pruned, a persimmon tree (Diospyros kaki) (mature) cut down, and a large 18-20m tall Bangalow palm (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana) had lost most of its healthy condition/at risk. Contents of stables including chaff bins (very old, pine timber approx. 1.5m x 1m lined with a thin sheet of steel/tin, with the stamp of the Pitt Street, Sydney manufacturer on it) had been removed from the stables.

11/1994 $5000 grant provided for cost of preparing a conservation plan.

6/1995 letter re severe pruning (unapproved) of 2 mature 7-10m high mango trees (Mangifera indica) on the eastern side facing into the garden.
1995-2002: room 9 (former maid's room) altered to become a bathroom - a new door opening made into it from room 5 (bedroom). Original external maid's room door (from rear verandah) was fitted to the new internal door space in 2002. The opening to the rear verandah was closed off using a door (fixed in position) that had been stored in the roof of the stables. Timber frame & sheet clad wall constructed inside external door. Bathroom fittings rearranged, renewed.

6/1996 roof recently painted (not re-clad as claimed in CMP 1996)
2002 roof sheeting, gutters repaired, some downpipes replaced, copies of original gutters and finial ornaments (based on photos of originals) installed.
pre 2002: external timber stairs to rear verandah reconstructed with new stringer and timber square handrail (none existed before). Jean (1996) considered to have original treads.
Further information: c.1989 change of owner (Wilkins)
22/1/1998 change of owner (Bevege)
? '99-2003 change of owner (Graves)
Current use: Bed and Breakfast
Former use: Residence

History

Historical notes: Grafton surveyed & laid out 1829-46: laid out 1847-9: declared a municipality in 1859
Governor Darling directed all Government surveyors to classify towns into 4 types; Sydney, seaports, towns at the head of navigable waters and inland towns. Grafton fitted type 3, and was laid out between 1847-9 by William Wedge Drake in 200 m square blocks on a N/W/S/E grid, over the existing settlement based on a private entrepreneurial establishment. Land grants accelerated from 1857 onwards. The early survey accounts for characteristics that influence the development and urban consolidation of Grafton today, including block size, deep allotments, wide streets and large verges allowing for substantial tree planting, grid layout, with street corners that intersect with the counter curved river banks. Arcola is a rare record of an original subdivision, the site on a typical river junction corner having no dominant street frontage but with the house addressing three frontages.

Arcola's development
Robert Roland Smith a wealthy grazier who owned considerable property in the Coaldale and Glenagle district, builder and architect to design it and H.F.Sault to build it, in 1907. Local press described it as one of the best and most imposing private residences in Grafton. Smith was a prominent citizen, busy in local organisations including the Clarence Pastoral & Agricultural Club and Jockey Club, a noted horseman and founding member of Grafton's Lancers. His wife's family were early settlers. The house remained in the family (their daughter Violet lived there from 1918) until bought by Mrs Wilkins in 1989. She was a foundation member of the Clarence Naturalist's Club and created a magnificent garden. The Wilkins sold Arcola to Mr J Arthur & Ms L. Bevege in 1997, who sold it to Mr & Mrs Coutts-Smith in 1999, who sold it to Ms R. Graves in 2002.

In summary:
House built 1907, designed by architects/builders Strauss brothers and built by HF Sault for original owner Robert Roland Smith.
1918 onwards, RR Smith's daughter Violet McLachlan, ived in the house, she being a foundation member of the Clarence Naturalist's Club, and creating a renowned garden.
Date unknown: Alice Street & Victoria Street closed to traffic by construction of a flood levee to Clarence River, beside Arcola.
1989 Mr J. & Mrs M. Wilkins bought the property. Roof repainted, house rewired and plumbed (pers.comm., 1/1996)
1997 The Wilkins sold Arcola to Mr J Arthur & Ms L. Bevege,
1999 the property was sold to Mr & Mrs Coutts-Smith
2002 the property was sold to Ms R. Graves.

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 of urban amenity-
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-
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 Significant tree(s) providing urban amenity-
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. Federation Style residential development-
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. Gentlemens Mansions-
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-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Mjr-Gen., later Gnl., Sir) Ralph Darling and Eliza Darling, 1826-1830-

Recommended management:

the retention of significant elements does not preclude alterations and additions to the rear of the house and stables, nor garden cultivation (Jean, 1996)

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 building or item on the site where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing material; and
(2) The minor repair of the building where minor repair means the repair of materials by patching, piercing-in, splicing and consolidating existing materials and including minor replacements of minor components such as individual bricks, cutstone, timber sections, tiles and slates where these have been damaged beyond reasonable repair or are missing. The replacement should be of the same material, colour, texture, form and design as the original it replaces.
(3) Garden maintenance including cultivation, pruning, weed control, repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls, and tree surgery, but not extensive lopping.
Feb 16 1990
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 0071402 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0071416 Feb 90 241365
Regional Environmental Plan  23 Dec 94   
Local Environmental PlanSchedule 1 23 Sep 88 1475033

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAccommodation Homepage2007Arcola Bed and Breakfast View detail
WrittenLenton, Scott2005Arcola - background, status & proposed works: a report to accompany a statement of heritage impact for proposed repairs, partial demolition, alterations and repairs
WrittenLenton, Scott2005Statement of Heritage Impact for Arcola (a dwelling house)
WrittenNational Trust of Australia (NSW)1984Classification Sheet Arcoola including stables and garden

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: 5045109
File number: S90/04997 & HC 89 2304


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