Campbelltown Post Office (former) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Campbelltown Post Office (former)

Item details

Name of item: Campbelltown Post Office (former)
Other name/s: Campbelltown Post Office
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Postal and Telecommunications
Category: Post Office
Location: Lat: -34.0684472286 Long: 150.8122831660
Primary address: 261 Queen Street, Campbelltown, NSW 2560
Parish: St Peter
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Campbelltown
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Tharawal
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT2 DP628679
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
261 Queen StreetCampbelltownCampbelltown St PeterCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Hataco Pty LtdPrivate25 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

Campbelltown Post Office has historical significance as one of the the seven first country postal depots in New South Wales, with postmaster John Scarr appointed in 1828. Design by James Barnet and constructed in 1881 in the Italianate style it is a significant building in the Campbelltown streetscape and is a good example of a small country town post office. (Heritage Office file)
Date significance updated: 07 Jul 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

Designer/Maker: James Barnet
Construction years: 1881-1881
Physical description: The former Post office is a two storied rendered brick classical revival building, with three semi-circular arches in the front bay facade under the front verandah. Victorian Italianate style baclony and clock added 1893 by A R Payten the small two storey building has a three-arch arcade at ground level and verandah above, with a small central pedimented panel containing a clock, reputedly designed by local architect A.R. payten and inserted in 1883. It is adjoined by a small single storey block with a typical 19th century verandah. There is a single storey wing on the north side of the building.
Modifications and dates: 1881 - constructed
1883 - new first floor verandah and clock added
post 1915 - new verandah to single storey
6 April 1987 - Heritage Council approval for enclosure and outdoor eating area subject to conditions.
14 October 1994 - Heritage Council approval for re-fit of restaurant.
11 May 2006 - Heritage Council approval for demolition of existing steel structure and construction of new structure and use of cafe.
Current use: Shops, Office space
Former use: Aboriginal land, town lot, Post Office

History

Historical notes: Permanent European settlement in the Campbelltown area had begun in 1809 as an alternative to the flood-prone Hawkesbury district. Work on a road from Sydney to Liverpool was started in 1811. It was opened in August 1814 and was soon extended further south to Appin. This road, variously known as Campbelltown Road, Appin Road or the Sydney Road, passed through Campbelltown. The section through the town was called the High Street until the last decade of the 19th century when it was renamed Queen Street (Orwell & Peter Phillips, 1995, vol.2, 1-2).

The land on which the Queen Street cottages stand was part of a grant of 140 acres to Joseph Phelps in 1816. He had been working the land for some years before receiving formal title to it. Phelps was one of the farmers of Airds and Appin who subscribed funds for a Sydney courthouse in July 1813. His grant was seized, possibly as soon as it was formally issued, by the Provost Marshal, William Gore in lieu of payment by Phelps of debts totalling 170 pounds. THe land was auctioned in January 1817 to William Bradbury for 100 pounds plus twelve cattle and the grain produced from the crop growing on the land (ibid, 1995).

Immediately north of Phelps' grant, Assistant Surveyor James Meehan had informally reserved 175 acres for a village (AMCG, 1994 say 'in 1815'.) In 1816 most of the land in the area was granted, leaving a portion of 175 acres unalienated, and surrounded by several grants (AMCG, 1994, 9).

The reserved land was formally declared a town by Governor Macquarie in December 1820 and named Campbelltown in honour of his wife (Elizabeth)'s family (ibid, 1995).

William Bradbury (1774-1836) a native of Birmingham, was transported to NSW aboard the 'Guildford' in 1812. His wife Elizabeth remained in England but his daughter, Mary (1797-1852) followed her father to Australia in 1815. Bradbury had no other children in NSW, though he established a relationship with a woman named Alice and in April 1836 married a Campbelltown widow, Catherine Patrick, nee Acres (c.1801-1883). Bradbury died two months later (ibid, 1995, 2).

Governor Macquarie visited Campbelltown in January 1822. He and his party ate a 'hearty' breakfast at 'Bradbury's', indicating that Bradbury had built an inn. This was probably the inn later known as the Royal Oak, on the western side of the High Street. Macquarie noted in his journal that 'Bradbury is building a very good two storey brick house on his own farm and on a very pretty eminence immediately adjoining Campbell-Town as an inn for the accommodation fo the public, and having asked me to give his farm a name, I have called it Bradbury Park. In 1826 Bradbury Park House was considered by William Dumaresq, inspector of roads and bridges, as the best building in Campbelltown when he reported on buildings suitable for military use (ibid, 1995, 2).

As the main street of Campbelltown, High Street or Sydney Road and later Queen Street, was at the edge of town, one side of the street was not within the town boundary while the other was. Canny traders soon realised that either side of the main road was as good as the other and leased or bought land from the grantees bordering the town proper. By the 1840s more than a few shops and hotels occupied the western side of the High Street. The coming of the railway in 1858 also aided in securing the commercial focus of the town on Queen Street (AMCG, 1994, 9).

The Queen Street terraces were identified by Helen Baker (Proudfoot) in the early 1960s as a unique group of two-storey late Georgian vernacular buildings which were considered to form the only surviving late-1840s streetscape within the County of Cumberland. The buildings were acquired by the Cumberland County Council and its successors, the State Planning Authority and Department of Planning, to ensure their preservation (ibid, 1995, 1).

Campbelltown Post Office (fmr.):
The Commercial Banking Company (CBC) of Sydney opened its first (leased) Campbelltown office in 1874, across the other side of Queen Street (Branch Manager's report, 100/85, 26/3/1985). AMCG (1994, 14) states that CBC bought 263 Queen St. from Samuel Parker (not Morris) in 1876 and had the present bank building built in 1881. The bank moved into its new premises in 1881 (Branch Manager's report, 100/85, 26/3/1985).

The bank sold a portion of the land it bought from Parker in 1880. The land was purchased in the name of the Queen for a new post office. That building was completed the same year as the CBC chambers (AMCG, 1994, 14).

Campbellttown was one of the seven first country postal depots in New South Wales, with postmaster John Scarr appointed in 1828. It was constructed in 1881 and designed by James Barnet. A small central pedimented panel containing a clock, designed by local architect A.R. Payten was inserted in 1883.

James Johnstone Barnet (1827-1904) was made acting Colonial Architect in 1862 and appointed Colonial Architect from 1865-90. He was born in Scotland and studied in London under Charles Richardson, RIBA and William Dyce, Professor of Fine Arts at King's College, London. He was strongly influenced by Charles Robert Cockerell, leading classical theorist at the time and by the fine arts, particularly works of painters Claude Lorrain and JRM Turner. He arrived in Sydney in 1854 and worked as a self-employed builder. He served as Edmund Blacket's clerk of works on the foundations of the Randwick (Destitute Childrens') Asylum. Blacket then appointed Barnet as clerk-of-works on the Great Hall at Sydney University. By 1859 he was appointed second clerk of works at the Colonial Architect's Office and in 1861 was Acting Colonial Architect. Thus began a long career. He dominated public architecture in NSW, as the longest-serving Colonial Architect in Australian history. Until he resigned in 1890 his office undertook some 12,000 works, Barnet himself designing almost 1000. They included those edifices so vital to promoting communication, the law and safe sea arrivals in colonial Australia. Altogether there were 169 post and telegraph offices, 130 courthouses, 155 police buildings, 110 lockups and 20 lighthouses, including the present Macquarie Lighthouse on South Head, which replaced the earlier one designed by Francis Greenway. Barnet's vision for Sydney is most clearly seen in the Customs House at Circular Quay, the General Post Office in Martin Place and the Lands Department and Colonial Secretary's Office in Bridge Street. There he applied the classicism he had absorbed in London, with a theatricality which came from his knowledge of art (Le Sueur, 2016, 6).

In 1959 the bank sold off another portion of its 1876 purchase to the Commowealth of Australia, presumably for the creation of a telephone exchange (AMCG, 1994, 14).

Following the sale of the Post Office and as a requirement of the sale, the Commonwealth Government sought the placement of a Permanent Conservation Order over the building. A Permanent Conservation Order was placed over the building on 22 July 1983. It was transferred to the State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Other open space-
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 Communicating by telegraph-
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
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 Beautifying towns and villages-
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-
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 19th Century Infrastructure-
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 suburban settings-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with James Barnet, Colonial (Government) Architect 1862-90-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Post Office makes an important contribution to the streetscape of Queen Street, Campbelltown.
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:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementReview 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 workHeritage Act See File For Schedule



Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):
(1) The maintenance of any building or item on the site where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing material.
(2) Change of use.
(3) Alterations to the interior of the building which would not involve demolition or removal of any original fabric and which would not involve alterations to the external appearance of the building.
Apr 24 1987
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions ORDER UNDER SECTION 57(2) OF THE HERITAGE ACT 1977

Standard exemptions for engaging in or carrying out activities / works otherwise prohibited by section 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977.

I, Donald Harwin, the Special Minister of State 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, effective 1 December 2020:

1. revoke the order made on 11 July 2008 and published on pages 91177 to 9182 of Government Gazette Number 110 of 5 September 2008 and varied by notice published in the Government Gazette on 5 March 2015; and

2. grant the exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977 that are described in the attached Schedule.

Donald Harwin
Special Minister of State
Signed this 9th Day of November 2020.

To view the standard exemptions for engaging in or carrying out activities / works otherwise prohibited by section 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977 click on the link below.
Nov 13 2020

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0026502 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0026522 Jul 83 1033387
Register of the National Estate  21 Mar 78   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Campbelltown Heritage Walk View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Campbelltown Heritage Walk View detail
WrittenGraham Brooks and Associates Pty Ltd2005Heritage Impact Statement - Former Post Office 261 Queen St Campbelltown
WrittenLe Sueur, Angela2016Colonial Architects - part 2
WrittenOrwell & Peter Phillips Architects1995Conservation Management Plan - 288-294 Queen Street, Campbelltown

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 NSW
Database number: 5045301
File number: S90/06042 & HC 32244


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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