Ardsilla | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Ardsilla
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -30.0929612930 Long: 145.9367713140
Primary address: 5 Richard Street, Bourke, NSW 2840
Parish: Bourke
County: Cowper
Local govt. area: Bourke
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Nulla Nulla
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT31 DP609722
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
5 Richard StreetBourkeBourkeBourkeCowperPrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Bernie WilderPrivate 

Statement of significance:

'Ardsilla' is a particularly intact example of an ornate late nineteenth century home built on an unusual plan and displaying fine craftsmanship. It has strong links with the general story of Bourke having been built for a prominent businessman and hotel-owner, William Gale (1846-1917) It was at that time called 'Brigalow', and became 'Brigalow' Private Hospital under Matron Winifred Stone in 1938, Before and after this it was the home and sometimes surgery of a number of Bourke doctors (LEP, 1998).
Date significance updated: 05 Jan 11
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.


Physical description: Site:
The rear yard swimming pool and surrounding structures are recent additions.
A flat roofed carport erected immediately west of the filled-in section of the verandah is not regarded as significant.
The garden contains a number of traditional plantings which may be remnant: oleander (Nerium oleander), frangipani (Plumeria rubra) and fig (Ficus sp.).

Ardsilla is a single storey Victorian timber residence with weatherboards gooved to simulate ashlar masonry. Eaves feature elegant timber brackets with pendants. The roof is corrugated iron and is hipped. Two rendered masonry chimneys feature mouldings at the cappings. The ogee gutters have acrorterion corner ornaments. The verandah which runs along the north, south and east sides of the house features a curved convex corrugated iron roof. The verandah posts are chamfered timber with collar. From the verandah, large French doors with timber architraves, moulded transom and fanlight lead into the house. Parts of the verandah have been infilled to create an ensuite, storage room and laundry at the rear.

The house sits on gidgee stumps (2011 grant application, letter)

- the front door (east side) is flanked by a pair of french doors, each half-glazed and with bolection mouldings below, fanlight above and moulded architraves. The front door itself has a six panel bolection moulding, a bold, semi-circular fanlight above with coloured and etched glass, and two sidelights of single-panelled etched glass. The door leads to an unusually small lobby 1.5m long, from which a double door also with bolection moulded panels below and etched glass, leads to the main hall. this door also has sidelights and fanlight with the coloured etched glass, matching the front door.

The front hall features an unusual timber lining, split into two panels with opposing diagonal 'V'-jointed panelling and a horizontal rail mid-way, with vertical boarding above.Corbelled brackets support a central arch in the hall which has boarded work on its underside.

From the hall, matching pairs of four-panelled doors lead north and south to the front rooms which feature marble fireplaces, original skirtings, vertical wood beading, flush panelling, timber cornices and wood panelled ceilings. Timber vents in these rooms are apparently connected by metal piping to a central collection point under the house.

The master bedroom features a fine white marble firepalce with tiled panels of sepia birds and floral floor tiles.

The study fireplace is in red marble also with sepia tiled panels. the two central bedrooms feature similar skirting and vertical beaded panelling, a combination repeated throughout the house.

On the western side there is a large living area, virtually an arcade, leading to small rooms on either side (LEP, 1998)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Generally Good condition. Some verandah sections presently in need of repair. (1999).

Repairs to stumps and levelling. It is proposed to reinstate the existing Gidgee stumps to proper levels and replace damaged stumps with ones of same material in an adjacent location. The floor will be chocked as required to reinstate level and stable conditions.
Verandah restoration at North West corner by removal of inappropriate infill and relocate laundry to bathroom. Retaining original verandah posts, replace missing post and capital detail to all posts (12) per photo evidence and floor (level as required) and replace guttering with ogee profile to match main roof and paint per scrapes. Demolish carport and replace (carport replacement works not part of funding application)
Replace existing chain wire fence and gates with timber picket fence to original detail per historic photos.
Restore internal woodwork and fittings to original detail. Strip paint and apply original finish.
Repair and replace locks and fittings with original detail (grant application, 2011 - heritage adviser's letter).
Date condition updated:05 Jan 11
Modifications and dates: Verandah at some stage infilled and a laundry installed in it. Carport added. Chain wire fence replaced original picket.

2010 - part of the verandah has been restored using local heritage fund-ing.


Historical notes: Built in the 1890s by the first owner of the Central Australian Hotel Mr William Gale.William had come from Penrith as a teamster and built a sawmill and timber yard at the corner of Anson and Richard Streets, nearby in Bourke. He was also the first owner and licensee of the first Central Australian Hotel also in Anson Street. He donated land for the Port Bourke Stckade Reserve . His son William Charles Gale remained in Bourke and was later a businessman and alderman there. Ardsilla was then bought by William Glover along with other items of the business interests from the Gale family. In 1932 Dr. Levings bought the house. It was the 'Brigalow' Private Hospital started by Matron Winifred Stowe together with Henrietta Letitia Glover, wife of William Glover above, (nee McCullach), in 1938. In 1939 the house was bought by Dr. Vincent Malcolm Putland (Captain Putland), who was an army Medical officer, then Dr. Coolican (snr) who practiced there from 1940 to 1948. Then to Dr. R.F.E. (Ted) Collican, who left Bourke in 1970 and died in 1978. The property was then in poor condition and the Council proposed its demolition however it was purchased by Dr. David & Jenny Sutherland in the early 1980's who restored the building and were insturmental in having a P.C.O. placed on it. The Sutherlands then also left town and the building was purchased by a businesswoman in town and it remains a private residence (LEP, 1998).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Health-Activities associated with preparing and providing medical assistance and/or promoting or maintaining the well being of humans (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. (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups (none)-

Recommended management:

A management plan is to be devised. A covenant is proposed to compel future maintenance in accordance with appropriate guidelines contained in a future CMP (grant application, 2011).

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 0019802 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0019812 Feb 82 230615
Local Environmental PlanArdsilla 18 Dec 98 003 
National Trust of Australia register Country Register102510 Oct 91   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Bourke Heritage Inventory Study1999003/1220003Prof.Ian Jack & Arch.Barbara HicksonB.Hickson Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenBourke Historical Society1992History of Bourke Vol XII
WrittenHeritage & Conservation Branch: Heriatge Council1981Branch Manager's Report: 263/81
WrittenMackay & Lennard1986National Trust of Australia (NSW) Report
WrittenNational Trust of Australia (NSW)1986National Trust of Australia (NSW) Country Register

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

(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: 5045122
File number: S90/05967 & HC 32331

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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