Corana and Hygeia | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Corana and Hygeia

Item details

Name of item: Corana and Hygeia
Other name/s: Corana & Hygeia Victorian Terraces, Corona
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Terrace
Location: Lat: -33.9170503160 Long: 151.2415234810
Primary address: 211-215 Avoca Street, Randwick, NSW 2031
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Randwick
Local Aboriginal Land Council: La Perouse
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP854977
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
211-215 Avoca StreetRandwickRandwickAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Waterside Group Pty LtdPrivate25 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

Corana and Hygeia are of State heritage significance as two semi-detached mansions in the late Victorian style and constructed in 1898. They have particular aesthetic significance as a large and picturesque late Victorian two-storey pair of houses with good cast iron work on the verandah valences and columns. It has heavily decorated balustraded roof parapets, classically derived tiled verandah floors and front fences of cast iron and masonry. The building is of excellent streetscape value and provides a significant contribution to the High Cross townscape precinct at Randwick. Their historical significance is derived from its association with the family of Judge Thomas Callaghan, a prominent citizen and member of the judiciary. (Heritage Branch files)
Date significance updated: 19 Sep 11
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.


Construction years: 1893-1894
Physical description: Corona and Hygeia are an attached pair of large semi-detached mansions design in the late Victoria style. Stucco finished with heavily decorated balustered roof parapets and classically derived pediments over the bowed section of the front façade and as decoration over the window lintels. Deep string course mouldings extend around the side elevations. The verandahs at the front and back retain richly decorative iron lace valances and cast iron columns.

Ground floor front verandahs are attractively tiled. Original roof believed to be of slate and now covered in tiles.

Internal joinery to the main rooms mainly intact. Stair halls to both house and balustrades. A distinguishing feature of the houses is the use of native bird motifs in the internal décor. These occur in the coloured leadlight windows at the stair half landings and in the highlights above the front windows. Bird motifs are also found in the keystone of the arch of one of the fire place surrounds and in the hearth tiles. (Heritage Office files)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Archaeological potential is low.
Date condition updated:15 Sep 11
Modifications and dates: 1985 - approval for interior/exterior painting; repair to damaged plaster, architraves, skirting boards and flooring; repair roofing and guttering and tiling to front verandah.
1994 - restoration and adaptive reuse into residential accommodation
Current use: Rental accomodation
Former use: Residence, rental accomodation


Historical notes: Randwick history:
pre-1780s - local Aboriginal people in the area used the site for fishing and cultural activities - rock engravings, grinding grooves and middens remain in evidence.
1789 - Governor Philip referred to 'a long bay', which became known as Long Bay.
Aboriginal people are believed to have inhabited the Sydney region for at least 20,000 years (Turbet, 2001). The population of Aboriginal people between Palm Beach and Botany Bay in 1788 has been estimated to have been 1500. Those living south of Port Jackson to Botany Bay were the Cadigal people who spoke Dharug (Randwick Library webpage, 2003), while the local clan name of Maroubra people was "Muru-ora-dial" (City of Sydney webpage, 2003). By the mid nineteenth century the traditional owners of this land had typically either moved inland in search of food and shelter, or had died as the result of European disease or confrontation with British colonisers (Randwick Library webpage, 2003).

Colonial History:
One of the earliest land grants in this area was made in 1824 to Captain Francis Marsh, who received 12 acres bounded by the present Botany & High Streets, Alison & Belmore Roads. In 1839 William Newcombe acquired the land north-west of the present town hall in Avoca Street.

Randwick takes its name from the town of Randwick, Gloucestershire, England. The name was suggested by Simeon Pearce (1821-86) and his brother James. Simeon was born in the English Randwick and the brothers were responsible for the early development of both Randwick and its neighbour, Coogee. Simeon had come to the colony in 1841as a 21 year old surveyor. He built his Blenheim House on the 4 acres he bought from Marsh, and called his property "Randwick". The brothers bought and sold land profitably in the area and elsewhere. Simeon campaigned for construction of a road from the city to Coogee (achieved in 1853) and promoted the incorporation of the suburb. Pearce sought construction of a church modelled on the church of St. John in his birthplace. In 1857 the first St Jude's stood on the site of the present post office, at the corner of the present Alison Road and Avoca Street (Pollen, 1988, 217-8).

Randwick was...slow to progress. The village was isolated from Sydney by swamps and sandhills, and although a horse-bus was operated by a man named Grice from the late 1850s, the journey was more a test of nerves than a pleasure jaunt. Wind blew sand over the track, and the bus sometimes became bogged, so that passengers had to get out and push it free. From its early days Randwick had a divided society. The wealthy lived elegantly in large houses built when Pearce promoted Randwick and Coogee as a fashionable area. But the market gardens, orchards and piggeries that continued alongside the large estates were the lot of the working class. Even on the later estates that became racing empires, many jockeys and stablehands lived in huts or even under canvas. An even poorer group were the immigrants who existed on the periphery of Randwick in a place called Irishtown, in the area now known as The Spot, around the junction of St.Paul's Street and Perouse Road. Here families lived in makeshift houses, taking on the most menial tasks in their struggle to survive.

In 1858 when the NSW Government passed the Municipalities Act, enabling formation of municipal districts empowered to collect rates and borrow money to improve their suburb, Randwick was the first suburb to apply for the status of a municipality. It was approved in Februrary 1859, and its first Council was elected in March 1859.

Randwick had been the venue for sporting events, as well as duels and illegal sports, from the early days in the colony's history. Its first racecourse, the Sandy Racecourse or Old Sand Track, had been a hazardous track over hills and gullies since 1860. When a move was made in 1863 by John Tait, to establish Randwick Racecourse, Simeon Pearce was furious, expecially when he heard that Tait also intended to move into Byron Lodge. Tait's venture prospered, however and he became the first person in Australia to organise racing as a commercial sport. The racecourse made a big difference to the progress of Randwick. The horse-bus gave way to trams that linked the suburb to Sydney and civilisation. Randwick soon became a prosperous and lively place, and it still retains a busy residential, professional and commercial life.

Today, some of the houses have been replaced by home units. Many European migrants have made their homes in the area, along with students and workers at the nearby University of NSW and the Prince of Wales Hospital. (ibid, 218-9).

Corona and Hygeia:
The site of Corona and Hygeia is part of an original Crown Grant purchased in 1853 by Judge Callaghan, Chairman of the Court of Quarter Sessions, Sydney. Judge Callaghan built and occupied Avoca which stood opposite Nugal Hall at 16-18 Milford Street Randwick. He died in 1863.

His widow, Elizabeth and his daughter Mary Milford Auber Jones, built the two large attached houses at 211-215 Avoca Street, Randwick apparently for rental. According to Randwick Municipal Rate Books the two houses were under construction in 1893 and were completed in 1894.

From 1894 until 1897 only one of the houses was occupied that on the corner of Mears Avenue. From 1895 to 1898 it was used as a house and Post office before the Present Post Office in Randwick was opened. The occupant was J A Kelly the postmaster. In 1898 the post office and Mr Kelly moved and for the first time the other house was occupied. In 188 both houses were occupied and the occupants listed in the Sands Directory was J. Mills, Corona and J. Middleton Hygeia. 1898 was the first year the names Corona and Hygeia appear.

other occupiers listed in the Sands directory include:
1918 Doctors G. Lindeman and G.H Broniowski Corona
1911-1944 A.E. Booth Dentist

After 1919 the names Corona and Hygeia are no longer used.

In 1925 Hygeia was listed as flats.

On 20 November 1984 the property was sold at auction.

In January 1984 the Heritage Branch received representations from the National Trust of Australia (NSW) concerned at the deteriorated state and vacancy of the building. An Interim Conservation Order was placed over the building on 31 August 1984 to provide time to investigate its significance and to determine whether its conservation was warranted.

On 9 April 1986 the Minister gave public notice of an intention to make a Permanent Conservation Order over the property. An objection was subsequently lodged by the owners of the property and a Commission of Inquiry was held on 10 September 1986. Following further discussion with the owner the objection was withdrawn.

A Permanent Conservation Order was made over the property on 22 January 1988. On the 2 April 1999 it was transferred to the State Heritage Register. The building is currently used as rental accomodotion. (Heritage Branch files)

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 townsfolk - terraces and cottages-

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act General Maintenance

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) All horticultural management, including the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls.
Nov 7 1986
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act

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) All horticultural management, including the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls.
Jan 22 1987
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act Record converted from HIS events.

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) All garden and horticultural activities.
Jan 22 1988
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 0045402 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0045422 Jan 88 120370
Local Environmental PlanRandwick Local Environmental Plan 1998 - Sch3 30 Apr 99   
Register of the National Estate  21 Oct 80   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Randwick High Cross Heritage Precinct View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Randwick High Cross Heritage precinct View detail
WrittenPollon, F. & Healy, G.1988Randwick entry, in 'The Book of Sydney Suburbs'

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: 5045332
File number: S90/03862 & HC 33113

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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