Essington | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Essington

Item details

Name of item: Essington
Other name/s: Essington Christian Centre; Essington Christian Academy
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -33.8166001019 Long: 150.9805689510
Primary address: 2,4,6,8 Bridge Road, Westmead, NSW 2145
Parish: St John
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Holroyd
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT58 DP33085
LOT1 DP34635
LOT57B DP357142
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
2,4,6,8 Bridge RoadWestmeadHolroydSt JohnCumberlandPrimary Address
Great Western HighwayWestmeadHolroyd  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Church of the Foursquare Gospel (Aust) LtdReligious Organisation19 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

Essington has historic significance primarily through its association with the Fullagers who were one of the prominent families in the early settlement of Holroyd. The site comprises part of the former government domain purchased by William Fullager c .1860 and the residence built by another Family member Willard John Fullager sometime later.

The residence and grounds also provide evidence of the presence and character of the relatively substantial gentlemens residences erected in the Holroyd area during the 19th and early 20th Centuary period though its aesthetic significance as a representive example of a particular period and style has been somewhat compromised by later additions and alterations. (Holroyd Heritage Study 1992)
Date significance updated: 26 Aug 08
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: 1860-1890
Physical description: Garden:
The house is surrounded to the east and south by lawns and mature plantings of trees. A limited number of trees including a large remnant Bunya pine (Araucaria bidwillii), hoop pine (A.cunninghamii) and vestiges of its original garden remain on the property, principally on its southern side facing the Great Western Highway, and on the eastern side facing Bridge Street. To the north is principally car parking areas over former grounds, and rear extensions for class rooms/ administration.

To the north the site is predominantly bitumen car parking area, accessed off Bridge Road. To the west additions to the house have been made to provide for school classrooms (Read, S., pers. comm., 2006, updated 17/1/2008).

Buildings:
House:
Essington is a large 2 storey historic house now run as a school, by the Church of the Foursquare Gospel. It is located on the north-western corner of Bridge Road and the Great Western Highway, with its principal facades facing these roads. Its site is elevated and in combination with the house's high ceilings and steep roof, this gives it prominence in the local area.

The house's original block - a late Victorian/Federation building with 'Italianate' and 'Gothic' elements - was L shoaped with gabled roofs finished with timber bargeboards and turned finials. Walls are polychrome brick and the building has a slate roof. A projecting bay window on the front (east) elevation features 2x2 pane double hung sash windows with sandstone sills and heads; first floor windows on the bay feature 'four-centred' arch heads.

The original verandah was replaced by later (probably inter-war period) two storey verandah to the front and side (south) elevations with brickwork columns, first floor balustrade and paired 'stump' columns. Various additions including single storey block of rendered masonry and a recent 2 storey wing of face brickwork with metal framed sliding windows. (Holroyd LEP).

A 1990 classroom extension was made on the house's western side. This is accessed by a carpark entered off Bridge Road (MCA Architects, 2016).

An auditorium is located at the far-northern end of the site, set low and away from the house (MCA Architects, 2016).
Modifications and dates: interwar period - The original verandah was replaced by later (probably inter-war period) two storey verandah to the front and side (south) elevations with brickwork columns, first floor balustrade and paired 'stump' columns. Various additions including single storey block of rendered masonry and a recent 2 storey wing of face brickwork with metal framed sliding windows. (Holroyd LEP).

1982: major restoration works including installation of balustrades and railings on staircase, replacing all original timber window sash cords, glass replacement in front door entry replaced with leadlight, sandstone sills replaced in new brick walls on old building, marble fire places restored, painting, landscaping.

1982: new picket fence on Bridge Rd. & Great Western Highway, replacing 1920s 2 rail Arris fence.

1990 - Build 4 new classrooms west of house.
2003 - dead large Eucalyptus sp. removed from northern side of house.
2005 - slate roof conservation work funded by HO.
Current use: Private school
Former use: Gentleman's residence, farm estate

History

Historical notes: Essington was built for one of Holroyd's important pioneers, William Fullagar as his second, residence, opposite his first, (The Wattles or Wattle Cottage,) as a gentleman's villa on the northern side of the Great Western Highway in a prominent position. Reportedly it was designed and decorated with no expense spared.

Fullagar was the son of convicts John Fulligar and Esther Leadham, and he demonstrates the upward mobility of descendents of many individuals transported to NSW. Fullagar was a butcher and publican turned stock agent who was in the process of buying large tracts of neighbouring properties and making his way up in the world. From his base at The Wattles or Wattle Cottage, he bought sufficient land to make him one of Holroyd's important pioneers whose estates covered much of Wentworthville.

William Fullagar purchased the 30 acre James grant (a convict grant) (to the south of the present Essington) in 1849, and 'soon after he purchased it, he fenced it and built his residence upon it and went there to live, and lived there continuously from that time until within a few years of his death'. When he bought James's 30 acres, Fullagar was the lessee of the neighbouring Burder Park estate (later Finlayson's Estate) a 95 acre property immediately west of James's grant belonging to descendents of Rowland Hassall, William Davis and John Bolger - these are all marked on a 1908 map of the Parish of St. John. He then purchased land from the Burder Park estate in 2 lots of 67 1/4 acres in 1851 and 1854, the last section of 33 acres on the south-west corner was not acquired until 1866. He used the property as part of his business for cattle grazing and in later years, agistment as well as growing hay and other feed crops, timber cutting, making bricks and cultivating part of it as an orchard.

All statements agreed that once he moved to Willow Cottage, Fullagar never lived anywhere else until he built his new residence opposite the 201 acre property 'some few years before he died in 1894.

By the 1870s Fullagar was one of the major landholders in the Parramatta district. The lots he acquired in 1859-61 were during the sale of an extensive portion of the Government Domain (by the 1850s 'Parramatta Park'). In fact Fullagar owned much of present day Wentworthville.

Although continuing his stock auction activities, Fullagar aspired to the status of a gentleman. He had time to pursue the hounds in fox hunts organised apparently under his patronage. He was reputedly a crack rider whose long riding stick is clearly visible in a portrait. He was also, for a time, one of the trustees of Parramatta Park. Fullagar's Paddock was occasionally used by others, e.g.: cadets from Sydney Grammar and The King's School combined for an encampment there on the Queen's Birthday, 22 May 1875.

The date he moved over the road to his new house Essington is vague from the existing records. This move appears to have occurred in the late 1880s as his wife, Sarah Fullagar, died at Essington on 24 March 1889. At the time of the 1891 census there were 2 males and 5 females at Essington. William Fullagar died there on 8 August 1894, a week after signing his last will and testament. The will offers a convenient summary of his property: it required the sale of 3 parcels of land - the 201 acre site of his former residence, Willow Cottage; 40 acres adjoining Bailey's Orchard near Parramatta north of the railway line; and the site of Essington together with neighbouring allotments, the extensive holdings purchased from Parramatta Park. After costs the money was to be distributed, first in defined bequests - to William Fullagar the younger, to married daughters Hannah Barnes and Sarah Houison, to his grandson Thomas Barnes and to Adah Rebecca Harrex, (Sarah's cousin and possibly the family retainer). Any balance of the sale was to be divided equally between the 8 surviving children from his second marriage - 5 daughters and 3 sons.

The first attempt to sell any land from the estate occurred shortly after probate was granted when Fullagar's Paddocks were subdivided and auctioned on 9/2/1895. It appears this auction was unsuccessful. Another was held on 25/9/1897, again without provoking much interest, for the only buyer was a family member, Amy Adah Hughes, so the trustees decided to apply for Torrens Title, possibly to encourage sales. (Broomham & Hughes, 1997, 11).

Holroyd Heritage Study 1993 notes that Essington was built by a family member, William John Fullagar and sold by him in 1912. Surrounding land 'the Fullagar Estate' was further subdivided from c.1920 (Holroyd Heritage Study, 1993).

In c. the 1920s the verandah on the house was replaced.

The Four Square Gospel Church, Parramatta bought the property c.1980 and erected the subject picket fence in 1982. From 1983 the Church has run a primary school on site. The church has acquired neighbouring houses with a view to expansion (Stuart Read, from Rev.B.Banton, pers.comm, 14/1/2008).

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 Innkeeping-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Keeping a butchery-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Developing real estate-
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 Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
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 Places: How are significant places marked in the landscape of Parramatta by, or for, different groups?-Monuments and Sites
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-
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 Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Processing meat-
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)-
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. Country Villa-
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. Housing the prosperous - mansions in town and country-
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. Owning and occupying a house-
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 Villas-
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 Expressing lines of early grant allotments-
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 Creating landmark structures and places in urban settings-
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. Building in response to natural landscape features.-
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 (late)-
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. Landscaping - Victorian period-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in a new house-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gardening-

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 0020402 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0020418 Jun 82 832753
Local Environmental PlanEssington - Residence, garden setting and trees 15 Nov 91 159 
National Trust of Australia register  7446   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Holroyd Heritage Study1993 Neustein & Associates  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenBroomham, Rosemary & Hughes, Joy (preliminary assessment of contents)1997'The Wattles': a history
WrittenMCA Architects2016Statement of Heritage Impact for Essington Christian Academy - proposed repair works to 1990 classroom extension due to storm and water damage

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: 5045170
File number: S90/05696 & HC 32605


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