Northwood House & Cottage | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Northwood House & Cottage

Item details

Name of item: Northwood House & Cottage
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Mansion
Location: Lat: -33.8281008522 Long: 151.1795045110
Primary address: 1 Private Road, Northwood, NSW 2066
Parish: Willoughby
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Lane Cove
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT2 DP217339
LOT3 DP217339
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
1 Private RoadNorthwoodLane CoveWilloughbyCumberlandPrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private29 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

Constructed in 1878, Northwood House is a fine example of the domestic work of the Colonial Architect Edmund Blacket. Northwood House is the home after which the suburb of Northwood was named. For almost a century it was the most significant home and hub of social life on the peninsula. Northwood House has been the home of many prominent citizens including Mrs. Jane Davy who was a member of the well-known Dawson family of Neutral Bay and played an important part in the life of Lane Cove.
Date significance updated: 18 May 12
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: Edmund Blacket
Builder/Maker: John and James Eaton
Construction years: 1878-1878
Physical description: Northwood House is a two storied residence, constructed of solid sandstone with a tiled roof. It had a separate kitchen, office, stables and dairy.
Modifications and dates: 1985 - Heritage Council approval for three car garage and cellar
1986 - Heritage Council approval for restoration work, alterations and additions and new landscaping
Current use: Residence
Former use: Home for mentally handicapped children


Historical notes: Northwood House was built in 1878 for Mrs Jane Davy. It was designed by the Architect Edmund Blacket and built by the brothers, John and James Eaton.

In 1874 Mrs Davy purchased 34 aces of land (later adding another 11 acres) on the peninsula into the Lane Cove River that is now the suburb of Northwood. The suburb takes its name from Northwood House. The home had its private wharf in Gore Bay and later a ferry wharf was built at Northwood Point for the use of the family and later the community. Mrs Davy donated three acres of land at Northwood Point to Lane Cove Council for a park.

Mrs Davy was a member of the well-known Dawson family of Neutral Bay. She played an important role in the life of Lane COve. Her son William nominated asn Alderman on Lane Cove Council and her son-in-law Joseph James Neave for whom she built adjoining 'Burdoe' was a prominent Quaker. Joseph James Neave interceded with the author Tolstoi and the Tasr of Russia in 1899 to allow members of the persecuted Dukhobor sect to be transferred from Russia to Canada.

After Mrs Davy's death in 1903 the home and estate (divided in 48 block) were put on the market. It was purchased by Mr. Abdul Wade, probably an Afgani and a property owner from Bourke, who used Northwood House as a depot for his camels. Mr Wade last the home in a poker game. By 1919 the shingle roof had been replaced with tiles and the present two-storey stucco and shingle verandah added.

A number of prominent families have owned Northwood House since then. During World War II it was used by the owners as a school for mentally handicapped children.

On the 10 August 1984 an Interim Conservation Order was placed over Northwood House as it was proposed to subdivide part of the grounds and involved demolition of the stables. In view of its heritage significance and to ensure future sympathetic development a Permanent Conservation Order was gazetted over Northwood House on 1 August 1986. It was transferred to the State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

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 famous families-

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act general maintenance & garden 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) Garden maintenance including cultivation, pruning, tree surgery (but not including extensive lopping), weed control and the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls.
Dec 5 1986
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 0044002 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0044001 Aug 86 1263753
Local Environmental Plan  04 Aug 95   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenHeritage Branch files  

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: 5045382
File number: S90/03860 & HC 33129

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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