Windsor Gardens | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Windsor Gardens

Item details

Name of item: Windsor Gardens
Other name/s: Iroquios
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Mansion
Location: Lat: -33.8019510496 Long: 151.1896240280
Primary address: 258-260 Mowbray Road, Chatswood, NSW 2067
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 LOT100 DP832570
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
258-260 Mowbray RoadChatswoodWilloughbyWilloughbyCumberlandPrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Millstern Health Care Pty LtdPrivate15 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

Windsor Gardens is a good example of a high Victorian gentleman's residence that was localed in the semi-rural, outer suburbs of the late nineteenth century of Sydney. It has retained much of its original detailing, both internally and externally. The house ad gardens as a reception centre played an important role in the lives of many people since the end of the Second World War. It was the home of a prominent early resident, Mr Frank Coffee and was an early centre of worship for the local Catholic community.
Date significance updated: 28 Nov 06
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: 1888-1888
Physical description: A late Victorian, two storeyed rendered brick house with a two storey verandah and a four storey tower. Interiors original finished in cedar and walnut imported from USA. Frank Coffee's initials were incorporated within the elaborate internal plasterwork and staircase joinery, all of which survive. Much of the original garden survives including exotic trees, some of which were imported from Japan and California, partly obscure the house from the street.
Current use: Retirement village.
Former use: Residence, Catholic Church masses, reception home.


Historical notes: Windsor Gardens was built in 1888 by American journalist Frank Coffee, who arrived in Sydney in 1882 as a reportor for the New York Herald. It was originally named Iroquois after an American battleship visiting Sydney at the time.

During the early years Mass was held each month in the drawing room of Iroquois for the local Catholic ommunity by a Priest from Riverview College. This was becasue there was no Catholic Church between North Sydney and Pymble.

The large Coffee family lived in the house until the late 1920s when it was sold to the Burke family.

Frank Coffee passed away in 1929 at Kirribillli. His wife died in 1943. During his lifetime Frank Coffee made some forty to fifty trips around the Pacific and subsequently wrote and publlished his book "Forty Years on the Pacific."

According to anecdotal evidence, Windsor Gardens was owned by John Adrian Burke from 1930 to 1945 (pers comm).

In 1945 it was purchased by Mr Allan Gilbert who renamed it Windsor Gardens and converted it into a venue for wedding receptions.

On 13 May 1986 an Interim Conservation Order was made over Windsor Gardens to ensure that a retirement village development proposal was sympathetic to the significance of Windsor Gardens.

On 28 July 1988 a Permanent Conservation Order was placed over the property.

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. (none)-

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act Building/Garden Mntence & refer to fil

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, garden walls and tree surgery but not extensive lopping;
(3) Any internal alterations to buildings or additions for buildings erected after the year
Jul 29 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 0057102 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0057129 Jul 88 1234025
Local Environmental Plan  17 Nov 95   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Papers on file

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: 5045391
File number: S90/02779 & NHC 860492

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