Oakleigh | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Oakleigh

Item details

Name of item: Oakleigh
Other name/s: Goderich Lodge (part of its estate)
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -33.8747633151 Long: 151.2249614890
Primary address: 18 Ward Avenue, Potts Point, NSW 2011
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Sydney
Local Aboriginal Land Council: La Perouse
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP917103
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
18 Ward AvenuePotts PointSydneyAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private30 Mar 99

Description

Construction years: 1839-1880
Physical description: Garden:
Little is currently known of the original landscape (garden) plan at Oakleigh, however from the size of existing mature trees on site it is assumed the following in the front garden were part of the original planting:
- mature Stenocarpus sinuatus (Qld. firewheel tree), c.20m near front fence on north side of path;
- mature Magnolia grandiflora x 2 (Southern/evergreen magnolia), c.15m each, one on northern boundary, the other towards the southern boundary, both in the front garden.

A mature Trachycarpus fortunei (Chinese fan/windmill /Chusan palm) c10m high, trunk girth c.30cm may have been part of a later planting connected with the house's Federation era extension.

Other remnants of the original garden include terracotta edging tiles and remnant plantings of flowering Clivia spp. (kaffir lilies). Until the early 1980s a mature (3m tall) tree fern (Cyathea sp.) grew next to the front gate (Coucke, 2015).

House:
Two storey Victorian Italianate style villa dating from c.1880, with five well-proportioned rooms and four smaller utility rooms / bathrooms over three storeys, and a belvedere or tower room (ibid, 2015).

In the early 20th century the building was converted into a boarding house, with a rear 'L' shaped three storey addition, comprising 12 more rooms with kitchenettes connected by a timber verandah. On a block next to the house were servants' quarters and stables, however these were demolished in the 1960s to make way for flats (ibid, 2015).
Date condition updated:19 Nov 15
Current use: residence
Former use: gentleman's town house, residence, boarding house

History

Historical notes: Aboriginal history:
The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora. There is no written record of the name of the language spoken and currently there are debates as whether the coastal peoples spoke a separate language "Eora" or whether this was actually a dialect of the Dharug language. Remnant bushland in places like Blackwattle Bay retain elements of traditional plant, bird and animal life, including fish and rock oysters.

With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today. All cities include many immigrants in their population. Aboriginal people from across the state have been attracted to suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe and Redfern since the 1930s. Changes in government legislation in the 1960s provided freedom of movement enabling more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney.

(Information sourced from Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani )

Darlinghurst Ridge /Woolloomooloo Hill:
Europeans first moved into the outskirts of the future Kings Cross from 1810, when Thomas West was granted land to build a water mill. West named his land, measuring approximately 40 acres (16.2 hectares), Barcom Glen and used his mill to supply flour to the colonial bakers and community. Although West's mill stood to the south of Kings Cross, in Darlinghurst, it was one of the first permanent European structures erected in the area. By the 1820s, West's mill had been joined by a number of windmills, built on the ridge line that extended from the South Head Road (now Oxford Street) north towards the harbour. The most prominent mills were those belonging to Thomas Barker and the one built adjacent to Thomas Mitchell's property, Craigend (http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/kings_cross).

This industrial development occurred in conjunction with the first grand residential vision for the area, Governor Darling's Darlinghurst (http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/kings_cross).

In the 1830s the whole area from Potts Point to Kings Cross and up to Oxford Street was known as Darlinghurst- probably named in honour of Governor Ralph Darling (1824-31)'s wife, Eliza. The rocky ridge that extended inland from Potts Point was called Eastern or Woolloomooloo Hill from the early days of white settlement. The earliest grant of land on Woolloomooloo Hill was made to Judge-Advocate John Wylde in 1822. In 1830 Wylde sold six of his 11 acres on the Point to Joseph Hyde Potts, accountant to the Bank of NSW, after whom Potts Point is named.

By the late 1820s Sydney was a crowded, disorderly and unsanitary town closely settled around the Rocks and Sydney Cove, with a European population of around 12000. Governor Darling was receiving applications from prominent Sydney citizens for better living conditions. The ridge of Woolloomooloo Hill beckoned, offering proximity to town and incomparable views from the Blue Mountains to the heads of Sydney Harbour.

In 1828 Darling ordered the subdivision of Woolloomooloo Hill into suitable 'town allotments' for large residences and extensive gardens. He then issued 'deeds of grant' to select members of colonial society (in particular, his senior civil servants). The first 7 grants were issued in 1828, with the other allotments formally granted in 1831.

The private residences that were built on the grants were required to meet Darling's so-called 'villa conditions' which were possibly determined and overseen by his wife, who had architectural skills. These ensured that only one residence was built on each grant to an approved standard and design, that they were each set within a generous amount of landscaped land and that, in most cases, they faced the town. By the mid-1830s the parade of 'white' villas down the spine of Woolloomooloo Hill presented a picturesque sight, and was visible from the harbour and town of Sydney (State Library, 2002).

Of the 17 villa estates laid out by Darling on the ridge line, six fell within the area now referred to as Kings Cross: James Dowling's Brougham Lodge, Alexander Baxter's Springfield Lodge, Augustus Perry's Buona Vista, Thomas Macquoid's Goderich Lodge, Thomas Barker's Roslyn Hall estate with its windmills, and Edward Hallen's nine-acre (3.6-hectare) grant on which he did not build. The villas and properties were reached by Darlinghurst Road, running north from South Head Road. The owners were required to landscape their properties and the villas, when completed, were prominent features on the eastern skyline, although they did not necessarily represent any taming of the colonial landscape.

In February 1833 a fire in the bush on Woolloomooloo Hill burnt for three nights, no doubt causing some concern among the newly installed residents. The Sydney Gazette noted that it had a most splendid appearance from a distance, commenting that 'It seemed like an illuminated garden in which the trees were laden with innumerable brilliant lamps'.
Darling's original plan for these estates was that they would serve as an example to the wider population of what could be achieved in Sydney, and as a showcase of the growing prosperity of the colony. However, by the late 1830s the first subdivisions were being prepared. In 1837 Thomas Mitchell was first to subdivide, breaking up his Craigend Estate (http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/kings_cross).

Oakleigh:
Oakleigh stands on (part of the formerly more-than four acres of) land granted to the High Sheriff of NSW, Thomas Macquoid by Crown grant in 1839. His residence, 'Goderich Lodge' was designed by architect John Verge and sited at the top of William Street, at the crossing of Darlinghurst Road and Victoria Street, where the famous 'Coca Cola' billboard sign is today (Coucke, 2015). Goderich Lodge was designed by architect John Verge for Macquoid and situated near what is now the corner of Bayswater Road and Penny Lane. Born in Ireland, Macquoid came to Australia in 1829, following a period in Java, where he produced coffee crops for the East India Company, as well as a tenure as Sheriff of India. The 1832 mansion house was named after Lord Goderich (Frederick John Robinson), the then Secretary of State for the colonies, who was also the British Prime Minister for a brief period (http://mydarlingdarlinghurst.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/darlinghurst-blog-villas-of.html).

Macquoid arrived in Australia full of optimism for his new role in a new colony, but very soon had slunk into depression.
His first major issue was with his new job, which he believed did not have the appropriate status for such an important position. His office was also understaffed and overwhelmed with work. Litigation and bankruptcy proceedings were rife and there were over 700 summonses to be served. To worsen things, Macquoid was also suffering financially after investing in a large farming property in the Tuggeranong Valley, near Canberra, which he named Waniassa. The country had been hit by drought, while the colony was also in financial collapse. Unable to cope, Macquoid committed suicide in October, 1841, leaving his son Thomas Hyam to deal with his mounting debts (http://mydarlingdarlinghurst.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/darlinghurst-blog-villas-of.html).

Goderich Lodge was sold at auction two months after Macquoid's death and in the years that followed was rented by the First Bishop of Australia, Dr William Grant Broughton, whose wife died at the house in 1849. The next tenant was Surveyor General Samuel Augustus Perry and then in the 1850s, it was purchased in 1850 by wealthy wine and beer merchant, Frederick Tooth, of Tooth's Brewery. Tooth's brother Edwin lived at the other end of the Macquoid estate in the villa 'Waratah'. Tooth later sold it to shipping merchant Captain Charles Smith (which was when the illustration at the top of this post was created). Captain Smith died at Goderich Lodge from an embolism in June 1897 and his widow Marjorie stayed on at the home until at least 1904 when her daughter, Marjorie, married. By then, the original four-acre land grant had been subdivided and there were a number of properties on Macquoid's original estate (http://mydarlingdarlinghurst.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/darlinghurst-blog-villas-of.html).

Goderich Lodge was demolished in 1915, the house having been located where the Hampton Court Hotel sits today (on Darlinghurst Road, west of the site of Oakleigh). The name Goderich remains in the laneway that runs along the back of the old Hampton Court Hotel, Goderich Lane (http://mydarlingdarlinghurst.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/darlinghurst-blog-villas-of.html).

Oakleigh is a Victorian era villa dating from c.1880 in Italianate style, built as a gentleman's town house, with five well-proportioned rooms and four smaller utility rooms / bathrooms over three storeys, and a belvedere or tower room (Coucke, 2015).

In the early 20th century the building was converted into a boarding house, with a rear 'L' shaped three storey addition, comprising 12 more rooms with kitchenettes connected by a timber verandah. On a block next to the house were servants' quarters and stables, however these were demolished in the 1960s to make way for flats.

Oakleigh operated for most of the 20th century as a boarding house, owned by the Boucher/Williams family who also owned properties in Kellett Street, nearby. Florimond, Beatrice and Cecelia Coucke moved into Oakleigh when they arrived from Europe in 1949 and in 1963 they bought the house. Cecelia continued living at Oakleigh with her parents, in turn her children grew up there (ibid, 2015).

In the late 1970s-early 1980s Oakleigh was threatened by developers keen to demolish it and make way for a multi-storey hotel. The Coucke fmaily successfully fought to save their home. In 1985 the Minister for Planning and the Environment, The Hon. Bob Carr, placed Oakleigh under a permanent conservation order (ibid, 2015).

Little is currently known of the original landscape (garden) plan at Oakleigh, however from the size of existing mature trees on site it is assumed the following were part of the original planting:
- mature Stenocarpus sinuatus (Qld. firewheel tree), c.20m;
- mature Magnolia grandiflora x 2 (Southern/evergreen magnolia), c.15m each (ibid, 2015).

A mature Trachycarpus fortunei (Chinese fan/windmill /Chusan palm) c10m high, trunk girth c.30cm may have been part of a later planting connected with the house's Federation era extension (ibid, 2015).

Other remnants of the original garden include terracotta edging tiles and remnant plantings of flowering Clivia spp. (kaffir lilies). Until the early 1980s a mature (3m tall) tree fern (Cyathea sp.) grew next to the front gate (Ibid, 2015).

The garden is a significant asset to the streetscape of Ward Avenue. In the early 1980s, inspired by Oakleigh's two mature Magnolia grandiflora trees in this front garden, Sydney City COuncil planted the same magnolia trees in a street planting along Ward Avenue (ibid, 2015) and also along Ithaca Road, Elizabeth Bay (Stuart Read, pers.comm., 19/11/2015).

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. Boarding Houses-
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. Town Houses-
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. gentlemen's residences-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Sub-division of large estates-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to suburban-
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-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Architectural styles and periods - Victorian Italianate-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 2000-2050-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1900-1950-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1850-1900-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Thomas Macquoid, High Sheriff of NSW-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Samuel Augustus Perry, Surveyor-General-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Frederick Tooth, wine and beer merchant, brewer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Bishop William Grant Broughton, Anglican bishop of Australia-
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 building should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement, or a Conservation Management Plan, should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. There shall be no vertical additions to the building and no alterations to the façade of the building other than to reinstate original features. The principal room layout and planning configuration as well as significant internal original features including ceilings, cornices, joinery, flooring and fireplaces should be retained and conserved. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, should not be visibly prominent and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls (LEP, 2012)

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

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

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0042502 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0042522 Nov 85 1576114
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012 - including garden and interiorsI140414 Dec 12   
National Trust of Australia register Nat.Trust (NSW) Suburban Register914301 Jan 86   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenCoucke, Celeste2015Landscape Maintenance at 'Oakleigh' - 18 Ward Avenue, Potts Point, SHR 425
WrittenDunn, Mark, in The Dictionary of Sydney2011'Kings Cross' entry, in View detail

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: 5045163
File number: EF14/5494; S90/04393; HC 33116


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