Corowa Flour Mill and site | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Corowa Flour Mill and site

Item details

Name of item: Corowa Flour Mill and site
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Manufacturing and Processing
Category: Flour Mill
Location: Lat: -35.9906581974 Long: 146.3914088880
Primary address: Steel Street, Corowa, NSW 2646
Parish: Corowa
County: Hume
Local govt. area: Corowa
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Albury And District
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT12 DP1022737
LOT1 DP1181808
PART LOT2 DP1181808
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Steel StreetCorowaCorowaCorowaHumePrimary Address
Gitchell StreetCorowaCorowaCorowaHumeAlternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
former Corowa Shire CouncilLocal Government 

Statement of significance:

The former Corowa Flour Mill is acknowledged as a landmark in the district. The main building is of considerable architectural and industrial significance although not the only example of such a mill still extant, it is nevertheless considered to be of state heritage significance.
Date significance updated: 01 Jul 04
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

Physical description: The complex of mill buildings of heritage significance occupies the southern corner of a very large site. Steel Street runs along the south-west boundary and the railway along the south-east boundary of the site. There is an area of vacant land across the front of Steel Street, along the railway side and to the rear. there is a space of at least ten metres between the mill and the concrete silos to the north-west. All the other buildings on the site are to the north and east.
The mill is constructed in the local apricot coloured brick. The modern additions for grain storage are well away from the old buildings and two relatively modern extensions are in a reasonably sympathetic style. One is a gable roofed, galvanised iron clad building attached to the side of the skillion, probably used a s a workshop or bagging floor. The other is a hip roofed extension to the small gable roofed brick office building next to the skillion.

The small office building is on the west corner of the complex. (Branch Manager 1988: 2-3)
Modifications and dates: 1940s or 50s - Addition of 2 buildings for grain storage
1970 the mill closed.
In the years after the closure the machinery was removed.
Late 1980s the site was purchased by Bunges, a South American based company of millers who operate the flour mill in Albury with the intention of extending their stock and grain milling operations to the Corowa Mill building.

2001 Council bought the mill off Goodman Fielder as part of a land acquisition project related to a new water works.
2002 Council considered proposals for a national flour museum and bakery on the site, with pre-1930s machinery to be installed. Nothing came of this proposal.

7/2009 proposal for Second Hand Market and Arts Center. Possible chocolate factory (depending on whom the Council sells the site to - the matter is yet to be resolved (Jones, in Border Mail 10/8/09).
Current use: Tourist attraction
Former use: Flour Mill

History

Historical notes: First explored by Charles Sturt in 1838, the Corowa-Wahgunyah area was rapidly taken up as squatting runs. The most influential settler was John Foord, son of a well-known Parramatta coach-builder, who was attracted by the district when he was overlanding cattle from the Monaro to Victoria in 1839 and immediately returned to take up 12000 hectares, straddling the Murray.

Agriculture, with wheat and tobacco, developed and the gold rushes of the 1850s (including one at Corowa) created a new, significant market. Foord was encouraged in 1856 to lay out a private town on the Victorian side of the river, called Wahgunyah, and in 1857 he bought Henry Hopwood's Echuca punt when Hopwood built his pontoon bridge there. The punt was installed at Wahgunyah but was replaced in 1863 by a privately owned wooden toll-bridge operated by a company headed by John Foord.

The bridge was decisive in encouraging urban development on the New South Wales side, where North Wahgunyah, Foord's second private town, became Corowa. The customs houses at the Corowa bridge handled large amounts of wool and the wheat and oats crops were very substantial in the last quarter of the nineteenth century (Burton, 1973).

Corowa has been an important centre for grain growing since the 1870s. In 1887 a Roller Flour Milling company was formed in Corowa. This mill, subsequently known as the Netherby Roller Flour Mills, was burnt down in 1920. It was replaced by the current structures.The new four storey brick mill building housed fourteen stands of double steel roller mills, with six silo bins providing storage capacity of 15 000 bushels in the adjoining skillion roof section. Other new buildings were a brick office and boiler house.

The architect of the mill is unknown. However, it is remarkably similar in detail to the mill building in Albury and was probably executed by the same designer and builder.

The old boiler house was replaced after the fire with a similar brick building said to have housed a 180h.p. gas engine instead of steam boilers and pumps. Although the motive power had changed, it is evident that the mechanical power transfer system of line-shafting with flat belt drives continued to be in use up until the mill closed in 1970.

The milling company exported flour to the U.K. Malaya, Borneo, Indonesia, the Middle East and North Africa through Aden. It also supplied a large domestic market. In the 1950s the mill was processing three tons of flour per hour and a block of concrete silos were built to provide grain storage for this large output.

In the years after the closure of the mill in 1970 the milling machinery was removed. In the late 1980s the site was purchased by Bunges, a South American based company of millers who operate the flour mill in Albury with the intention of extending their stock and grain milling operations to the Corowa Mill building.(Branch Manager 1988: 1-3)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Milling flour, corn and other grains-

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
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) Necessary repair of any item on the site, where such repairs will not affect or alter the heritage significance of the item.
(3) Change of use.
May 6 1986
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act See File For Schedule Conditions.
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) Change of use
(3) Making of driveways, open air car parking spaces, landscaping, garden development and tree plantings.
(4) Necessary repair of any item on the site where such repairs will not affect or alter the heritage significance of the item.
(5) Garden maintenance including cultivation, pruning, weed control, the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates, garden walls and tree surgery but not extensive lopping;
(6) Alterations to the interior of the buildings except where activities would alter the exterior appearance of the buildings.
Aug 5 1988
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 0056602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0056605 Aug 88 1264169

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenBranch Manager1988Heritage Council of NSW. Branch Manager's Report No 144
WrittenBurton B.1973Flow gently past: the story of the Corowa district
TourismCorowa Whisky2013Corowa Whisky Home Page View detail
WrittenJones, Howard Chocolate tops menu for old Mill

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: 5045431
File number: S91/02155 & KHC 86.0771


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