Laurelbank | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Laurelbank

Item details

Name of item: Laurelbank
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -33.8006828706 Long: 151.1990869790
Primary address: 85-87 Penshurst Street, Willoughby, NSW 2068
Parish: Willoughby
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Willoughby
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT1 DP977087
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Laurel StreetWilloughbyWilloughby   
85-87 Penshurst StreetWilloughbyWilloughbyWilloughbyCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Laurelbank Masonic Centre Pty LtdCommunity Group 

Description

Construction years: 1850-1884
Physical description: Garden:
Laurelbank's villa is situated on a large flat site which retains much of the early garden and original picket fence to Penshurst Street. The garden has a number of significant original plantings including a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), camellias (Camellia japonica cv.s), Magnolia sp. and jacaranda (J.mimosifolia) trees. The original paving, edging and layout are still distinguishable through the overgrowth. Oleander (Nerium oleander cv.) shrubs and Mediterranean cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) line the front fence on Penshurst Road. This fence is sandstone base with cast iron palisade pickets.

House:
Laurelbank is a single storey Victorian villa in the Italianate style. Most of the original external features of the building are still intact.

A large verandah with cast-iron columns and intricately decorated cast-iron valances extends laid out in a fine bordered chequerboard pattern. The entrance doorway and surrounding fan lights and side-lights are emphasised by a gable feature which carried over the bullnose verandah roof, and is framed by twin decorated columns. The verandah gable is decorated with an ornate timber barge.

Externally the building is finished in cement render and has extensive Italianate detailing. It has retained its original slate roof and is generally in good condition.

The interior has been almost completely altered in the 1960s to permit its use as a meeting and function venue. Original skirting boards, most original windows and some original doors still exist. A false ceiling has been added, the original possibly existing above.

Stables:
The original stables exist at the rear of the house. This is a two storey rendered brick building with original windows and one original timber sliding door with details matching that of the house (RNI, undated).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Site retains much of the early garden and original iron picket fence. The garden has a number of significant original plantings including a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), camellias (Camellia japonica cv.s), Magnolia sp. and jacaranda (J.mimosifolia) trees. The original paving, edging and layout are still distinguishable through the overgrowth.

House: most of the original external features of the building are still intact. Its original slate roof is generally in good condition.

The interior has been almost completely altered in the 1960s to permit its use as a meeting and function venue. Original skirting boards, most original windows and some original doors still exist. A false ceiling has been added, the original possibly existing above.

Stables:
The original stables exist at the rear of the house (RNI).
Modifications and dates: 1980s internal modifications for change of use.
Current use: Function Centre
Former use: Residence

History

Historical notes: Willoughby:
There is much conjecture as to the origin of this suburb's name. Some historians cliam it was after a parish of that title; others that Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Mitchell decided to commemorate Sir James Willoughby Gordon, under whom he had served in the (Iberian) Peninsular War and who was the quartermaster-general in England when the First Fleet sailed for Botany Bay.

The municipality of Willoughby was incorporated in 1865, when the area was still rural. An early Council concern was construction of roads and bridges. By the 1890s the population of the area had increased rapidly because of improvement in public transport, particularly when the North Shore railway line opened in 1890. The suburb was soon outstripped by Chatswood, however, as it was nearer the line and other new facilities (Pollen/Healy, 1996, 271).

Laurelbank:
Laurelbank presently stands on just over one acre of land, the remaining portion of the original grant of six hundred acres made to Archbold James Sterling in 1850. Mr William Lithgow, a former Auditor General for the State of New South Wales, acquired the site thereafter and in the mid 1800s (said to be 1884)(1890, HIS, 2012) "Laurelbank" was built for Mr and Mrs Joseph Griffiths. It included a villa, stables and garden.

Laurelbank was acquired by Doctor and Mrs FC Florance in 1924. It was acquired from the Florances in 1966 by the Ku-ring-gai Lodge P/L (for use as a Masonic Centre)(RNI, undated).

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-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gathering at landmark places to socialise-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Places of informal community gatherings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Developing clubs for social improvement-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Masonic activities-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Belonging to an institution for self improvement-

Recommended management:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce 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 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; and
(2) Garden maintenance including cultivation, pruning, weed control, the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls, tree surgery but not extensive lopping.
(3)The alteration of any part of the interior of the building.
Sep 12 1986
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act Garden & Blding Maintce & Alt Of Int

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, weed control, the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls, tree surgery but not extensive lopping; and
(3) The alteration of any part of the interior of the building.
Aug 5 1988
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 where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing material;
(2) Garden maintenance including cultivation, pruning, weed control, the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls and tree surgery but not extensive lopping;
(3) The alteration of any part of the interior of the building.
May 12 1989
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
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.

FRANK SARTOR
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

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0065702 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0065712 May 89 0592931
Local Environmental Plan  17 Nov 95   
National Trust of Australia register Laurelbank8724   
Register of the National Estate - InterimLaurelbank101328   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
National Trust Suburban Register19868274National Trust of Australia (NSW)  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Laurelbank View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Laurelbank View detail
WrittenPollon, F. & Healy, G. (editors/contributors)1996"Willoughby", in The Book of Sydney Suburbs

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(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: 5045389
File number: S91/02167 & KHC 86/0806


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