Mudgee Post Office & Quarters | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Mudgee Post Office & Quarters

Item details

Name of item: Mudgee Post Office & Quarters
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Postal and Telecommunications
Category: Post Office
Location: Lat: -32.5904134521 Long: 149.5857687390
Primary address: 80 Market Street, Mudgee, NSW 2850
Local govt. area: Mid-Western Regional
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Mudgee
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT11 DP786618
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
80 Market StreetMudgeeMid-Western Regional  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Australia PostFederal Government 

Statement of significance:

The Mudgee Post Office and Quarters is significant as one of the first major country post offices built in the state. It is a fine civic building skilfully remodelled from its original c1860 Palladian form to the Victorian Free Classical style seen today. The form of the building is unusual in post office design and is expressive of the building’s early date.

The building is a key streetscape element within the western precinct of Market Street and forms part of an important group which includes the Police Station, former Cudgegong Chambers and Court House to the west.
Date significance updated: 01 Dec 99
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.


Designer/Maker: NSW Colonial Architect's Office under Alexander Dawson. 1902 addition - Walter Liberty Vernon.
Construction years: 1862-
Physical description: A symmetrical, single-storey stuccoed brick composition in the Victorian Free Classical style. The arched colonnade has both doric and ionic derived columns and is flanked by projecting single bays in the Palladian manner. The end bays have moulded rectangular windows enhanced with quoining in rendered brick. Arched windows and doorways are located within the colonnade.

A classically-styled rendered balustrade extends across the parapet. The three central bays of the colonnade have a classical pediment and parapet surmounted by a small central belltower.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical condition is good. Integrity is good, although tower is defaced by telecommunications apparatus.
Date condition updated:01 Dec 99
Modifications and dates: Modifications in 1875, 1886, 1902.
Further information: Some confusion exists as to the extent of the original building, which examination of the contract drawings may help to clarify.
Current use: Post Office
Former use: Aboriginal land, town lot


Historical notes: Early postal services operated from a number of local stores and other premises until mid-1861 when the Colonial Architect Alexander Dawson designed a telegraph office and residence on the northwest corner of Market and Perry Streets. The Post Office operated for a period from the rear of this building and in May 1875 a separate post office building was built adjacent to the Telegraph Office in probably a reverse image of the original building.

Alterations occurred in 1886 but in 1902 major remodelling and alterations were carried out by the Public Works Department, which included the design and construction of the colonnade and clocktower. The 1902 works appear to be the work of Government Architect WL Vernon. A proposal to install a weight-operated clock did not proceed and in 1914 another effort was made to install a clock without success.
(From 1996 Heritage Study prepared in association with Dept of Urban Affairs & Planning, Christo Aitken Architect & Heritage Consultant.

Walter Liberty Vernon (1846-1914) was both architect and soldier. Born in England, he ran successful practices in Hastings and London and had estimable connections in artistic and architectural circles. In 1883 he had a recurrence of bronchitic asthma and was advised to leave the damp of England. He and his wife sailed to New South Wales. Before leaving, he gained a commission to build new premesis for Merrrs David Jones and Co., in Sydney's George Street. In 1890 he was appointed Government Architect - the first to hold that title - in the newly reorganised branch of the Public Works Department. He saw his role as building 'monuments to art'. His major buildings, such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales (1904-6) are large in scale, finely wrought in sandstone, and maintaining the classical tradition. Among others are the Mitchell Wing of the State Library, Fisher Library at the University of Sydney and Central Railway Station. He also added to a number of buildings designed by his predecessors, including Customs House, the GPO and Chief Secretary's Building - with changes which did not meet with the approval of his immediate precedessor, James Barnet who, nine years after his resignation, denounced Vernon's additions in an essay and documentation of his own works. In England, Vernon had delighted his clients with buildings in the fashionable Queen Anne style. In NSW, a number of British trained architects whow were proponents of hte Arts and Crafts style joined his office and under their influence, Vernon changed his approach to suburban projects. Buildings such as the Darlinghurst First Station (Federation Free style, 1910) took on the sacale and character of their surroundings. Under Vernon's leadership, an impressive array of buildings was produced which were distinguished by interesting brickwork and careful climatic considerations, by shady verandahs, sheltered courtyards and provision for cross-flow ventilation. Examples are courthouses in Parkes (1904), Wellington (1912) and Bourke, Lands Offices in Dubbo (1897) and Orange (1904) and the Post Office in Wellington (1904)(Le Sueur, 2016, 7).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Communication-Activities relating to the creation and conveyance of information Communicating by mail-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Communication-Activities relating to the creation and conveyance of information Post Office-
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 public servants and officials-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Alexander Dawson, NSW Colonial Architect 1856-62-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Walter Liberty Vernon, Government Architect 1890-1911, private architect-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Mudgee Post Office and Quarters building is one of the first major, country post offices built in the State. It is associated with Colonial Architect Dawson and Government Architect Vernon.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This Victorian Free Classical styled building with its Palladian pavilions is unusual in post office design in New South Wales.

The building is a key streetscape element within the western precinct of Market Street and forms part of an important group which includes the Police Station, former Cudgegong Chambers and Court House to the west.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
As a prominent civic building, the Mudgee Post Office is considered to be significant to the Mudgee community’s sense of place.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The site has the potential to contain an archaeological resource, which may provide information relating to the previous use of the site, and to use by the Post Office.
SHR Criteria f)
A rare style of post office buiding in New South Wales.
SHR Criteria g)
Part of the group of post offices in NSW. Representative of the work of Dawson and Vernon.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Preparation of a Conservation Management Plan

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 0131417 Dec 99 14112048
Local Environmental PlanMid-Western Regional Local Environmental Plan 2012I13310 Aug 12   
Local Environmental Plan - Lapsed  15 Dec 89   
Register of the National Estate  21 Mar 78   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Significant Landscapes List  Australian Institute of Landscape Archictects (NSW)  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenLe Sueur, Angela2016Government Architects - part 2
WrittenMudgee Shire Council in assoc. w Dept of Urban Affairs & Planning, C Aitken1996Mudgee Heritage Study

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: 5045269

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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