House | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: House
Other name/s: sandstock brick cottage
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -33.6044949411 Long: 150.8262769150
Primary address: 31-33 North Street, Windsor, NSW 2756
Parish: St Matthew
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Hawkesbury
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT19 DP745851


The study area encompasses an easement that crosses the property boundaries of cottages at 23 to 39 North Street, Windsor. These properties are located within the Parish of St Matthew, County of Cumberland, and are within the Local Government Area of Hawkesbury City Council.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
31-33 North StreetWindsorHawkesburySt MatthewCumberlandPrimary Address


Physical description: The study area is located on the northern side of North Street between the intersection of this street with Arndell and Palmer Streets. The buildings follow the topography of North Street, which drops from the highest point at the western end (37-39 North Street) to the lowest level in the study area at the east (23 North Street). There is also a slope from north to south.

The facades of the nineteenth century buildings are in a similar alignment along North Street and are sited close to the present street separated from it only by a narrow grassed footpath. All of the properties have substantial trees behind them and all have landscaped gardens in the immediate environs of the houses.

31-33 North Street is built from sandstock brick. The walls rest on stone foundations. There is also a stone-paved verandah that is edged with a picket fence. The house has a hipped iron roof. There are twelve-pane windows and glazed French doors.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
"The archaeological resource is likely to encompass evidence that could relate to secondary buildings, yard and garden improvements, services and/or domestic wastes of approximately the mid-nineteenth century onwards. It is unlikely, though possible, that evidence earlier than that date will be found during the work.

"Because of the very limited primary archival evidence that is available for the study area and the lack of visible surface indicators it is almost impossible to define any specific archaeological feature and the small area that will be physically impacted upon by the excavation required for drainage compounds this problem. For these reasons the archaeological profile for the study area must be expressed in the most general terms as follows:

" - Evidence of the pre-settlement environment may be preserved as micro-flora in relict top-soils but these are likely to have been substantially disturbed through agricultural and construction activities.

" - Some evidence of Aboriginal occupation might be found within the excavation area (the proximity of the study area to the fertile areas around the Nepean River and South Creek suggests that it is likely to have been attractive to indigenous peoples). This association would be identified through remnant artefacts.

" - Evidence of environmental change including deforestation and flooding may be seen through alluvial soil strata and possibly charcoal and other deposits associated with fire clearance.

" - Evidence of early nineteenth century agricultural activity could be preserved as micro-flora in soil profiles.

" - Possible evidence of structural development associated with Peninsula Farm's agricultural area, . . .

" - The potential for structural evidence of out-buildings, particularly privys, associated with the . . . Buildings at 33-35 North Street. The potential also for services, yard improvements and relics of the inn dating from the 1840s-1860s.

" - The potential for structural evidence of out-buildings, particularly privys, . . . (dating) . . . to the early twentieth century.

" - The potential for disused services for all of the buildings including drainage, sewerage, gas, electricity.

" - The potential for domestic wastes from all buildings in the form of discarded artefacts." (Thorp 2004a: 3).

The archaeological assessment also reports that the occupants of the houses in the study area have found considerable quantities of small artefacts, broken ceramics and glass in the gardens (Thorp 2004a:26).
Current use: Residence
Former use: Residence


The lower Hawkesbury was home to the Dharug people. The proximity to the Nepean River and South Creek qualifies it as a key area for food resources for indigenous groups (Proudfoot, 1987).
The Dharug and Darkinjung people called the river Deerubbin and it was a vital source of food and transport (Nichols, 2010).

Governor Arthur Phillip explored the local area in search of suitable agricultural land in 1789 and discovered and named the Hawkesbury River after Baron Hawkesbury. This region played a significant role in the early development of the colony with European settlers established here by 1794. Situated on fertile floodplains and well known for its abundant agriculture, Green Hills (as it was originally called) supported the colony through desperate times. However, frequent flooding meant that the farmers along the riverbanks were often ruined.

1794: The study area covering allotments at 23 through to 39 North Street, Windsor, is located on land first alienated for European purposes in a grant made by Francis Grose of thirty acres to Samuel Wilcox, who named it Wilcox Farm. It is likely that land clearance and agricultural activities as well as some building works took place during this period and during the subsequent of occupation;

early 19th century: Former Wilcox Farm was incorporated into a larger holding of 1500 acres known as Peninsula Farm.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie replaced Governor Bligh, taking up duty on 1/1/1810. Under his influence the colony propsered. His vision was for a free community, working in conjunction with the penal colony. He implemented an unrivalled public works program, completing 265 public buildings, establishing new public amenities and improving existing services such as roads. Under his leadership Hawkesbury district thrived. He visited the district on his first tour and recorded in his journal on 6/12/1810: 'After dinner I chrestened the new townships...I gave the name of Windsor to the town intended to be erected in the district of the Green Hills...the township in the Richmond district I have named Richmond...' the district reminded Macquarie of those towns in England, whilst Castlereagh, Pitt Town and Wilberforce were named after English statesmen. These are often referred to as Macquarie's Five Towns. Their localities, chiefly Windsor and Richmond, became more permanent with streets, town square and public buildings.

Macquarie also appointed local men in positions of authority. In 1810 a group of settlers sent a letter to him congratulating him on his leadership and improvements. It was published in the Sydney Gazette with his reply. He was 'much pleased with the sentiments' of the letter and assured them that the Haweksbury would 'always be an object of the greatest interest' to him (Nichols, 2010).

In marking out the towns of Windsor and Richmond in 1810, Governor Macquarie was acting on instructions from London. All of the Governors who held office between 1789 and 1822, from Phillip to Brisbane, recieved the same Letter of Instruction regarding the disposal of the 'waste lands of the Crown' that Britain claimed as her own. This included directives for the formation of towns and thus the extension of British civilisation to its Antipodean outpost (Proudfoot 1987, 7-9).

27-39 North Street:
1794: The study area covering allotments at 23 through to 39 North Street, Windsor, is located on land first alienated for European purposes in a grant made by Francis Grose of thirty acres to Samuel Wilcox, who named it Wilcox Farm. It is likely that land clearance and agricultural activities as well as some building works took place during this period and during the subsequent of occupation;

early 19th century: Former Wilcox Farm was incorporated into a larger holding of 1500 acres known as Peninsula Farm;

1840s: Peninsula Farm was subdivided, with lots along North Street, Windsor, being developed throughout the nineteenth century (North Street named for Lieutenant Samuel North). It is likely this development was primarily residential in nature. 31-33 North Street was Allotment 19 of the Peninsula Farm Subdivision;

1843: Allotment 19 purchased by John Shearing (who purchased lots at 35-39 North Street in 1842)

1840s: Building constructed (possibly as an Inn, but more likely as an adjunct to the Court House Inn , given that the Court House Inn was in operation one door away). The property remained in the Shearing family until 1862.

1862: 31-33 North Street was sold to Richard Seymour, a saddle and harness maker /tanner of Windsor. At the same time Seymour purchased 35 North Street.

1870: Both properties at 31-33 North Street and 35 North Street were sold to John Dunstan, a farmer in Wilberforce. 31-33 North Street remained in the Dunstan extended family until 1900.

1900: Site sold to Thomas Barter. The property remained in the extended Barter family until 1964, when it was sold to John Molloy

1976: The National Trust of Australia (NSW) classified the property.

Present: 31-33 North Street is in private ownership, after it was sold again in 1981.

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. Housing ordinary families-

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 0014202 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0014206 Apr 81 522016
Local Environmental Plan  18 Dec 89   
Register of the National EstateNorth Street Group, 23-39, 28 North St, Windsor00315621 Mar 78   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Windsor Heritage Walk View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Windsor Heritage Walk View detail
WrittenNichols, Michelle (Local Studies Librarian)2010Macquarie and the Hawkesbury District

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: 5045182
File number: S90/05930 & HC 32377

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