Carrington Hotel | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Carrington Hotel

Item details

Name of item: Carrington Hotel
Other name/s: Great Western Hotel
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Hotel
Location: Lat: -33.7129934017 Long: 150.3109218240
Primary address: Katoomba Street, Katoomba, NSW 2780
Parish: Megalong
County: Cook
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP1062855
LOT2 DP1062855
PART LOT1 DP123567

Boundary:

LOT 1 DP 123567, LOT 1 DP 123569, LOT B DP 310663, LOT 5 & 6 DP 3832, LOT 3 & 4 DP 398548, LOTS 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 S 2 DP 692, LOT 2 DP 925024, LOT 1 DP 980215. (old title information)
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Katoomba StreetKatoombaBlue Mountains MegalongCookPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private 
 Private 
 Private 
 Private 
 Private 
Balpar Pty LtdPrivate 

Statement of significance:

The Carrington Hotel is the only 19th century grand resort hotel still in use in NSW. It retains much of the fabric of its major phases of development and continues to occupy the commanding position in Katoomba that it has done since 1882. The buildings and grounds represent a wealth of evidence of attitudes to leisure and hotel operation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They also reflect the history of Katoomba and the work of a succession of notable families, and the lifestyle of the Blue Mountains as a recreation area during its period of greatest activity. (Orwell & Peter Phillips 1987: 35)

The garden and grounds of the Carrington Hotel have high historic, aesthetic, social and technical importance as an integral component - the essential visual and functional setting - of a rare example of a grand late 19th-early 20th century resort hotel of State significance in a town setting, with an early 20th century garden layout containing important surviving elements of its design that is largely intact in its extent. The underlying structure of the garden demonstrates the principal characteristics of an early 20th century design retaining aspects of the earlier garden including 1890s-early 1900s mature plantings of Bunya pine (Araucaria bidwillii), Monterey pine (Pinus radiata), a bull bay (Magnolia grandiflora), plane tree (Platanus x acerifolia), beech (Fagus sylvatica) trees, with additional surviving Interwar additions, the gazebos, rose garden and stone seat.

The location of the Carrington at virtually the highest point in Katoomba and the sweeping approach, drives and lawns and prominent mature plantings have made the hotel an important landmark in the town from the time it was built.

The grounds of the Carrington, particularly the forecourt to Katoomba Street, have significance to the local community as a place for gathering to mark special community events such as the re-enactment in 1951 of the first crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813 (Morris, 2001)

The documentary evidence available for the Carrington Hotel garden fronting Katoomba Street indicates several phases of modification of the grounds. Physical evidence of older features such as terracing/ paths, the site of the croquet lawn and tennis court still survives and is evident in some of the surface contours, especially in the area of the lower terrace where it is proposed to put a new Town Square.

There are also areas of former hard paved surfaces, kerbing and guttering along the driveway loop. Particularly notable are the four remaining, handsome sandstone gatte posts at the northern entry on Katoomba Street. The site and foundations of a fifth post (removed from the drive in the 1970s but with fabric still present within the grounds) may survive archaeologically. The driveway was realigned in 1912, and archaeological evidence relevant to that alteration may also be present.

Landscape archaeology may also be expected to be able to clarify matters such as the presence and extent of sub-surface features such as the edge of the central garden path, and precise position of now-vanished structures such as the timber pergola, tennis court, garden plantings and garden edges. (Source: SHI form prepared by Lavelle, S., for Heritage Study coordinated by Jack, I., 2001; in Lavelle et al, 2002)

(excerpt): The completion of the monitoring work yielded some significant archaeological and structural remains, including surfaces relevant to the former tennis court, site drainage systems and other evidence relevant to earlier entrances/ driveways...The results obtained during monitoring indicate that within the grounds of the Carrington Hotel, the predicted physical evidence survived intact below more modern layers. More primary physical evidence and archaeological material is likely to survive in the Upper Terrace area (not dealt with in the current project) and elsewhere across the site. The predicted high potential of some areas of the site as assessed in prior heritage studies and in the Archaeological Assessment Report has been confirmed by the archaeological work completed. (Lavelle & Fallon, 2003).

The Carrington Power Station is one of few surviving privately owned and established small country power stations. It is particularly significant because it provided the first electricity supply in the Blue Mountains. The station boiler (the second to be used) remains in situ and was operated until recently. The chimney is an integral part of the power station complex and has for many years been a prominent Katoomba landmark (National Trust, 1987).
Date significance updated: 30 Sep 97
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

Designer/Maker: John Kirkpatrick and Bosser; (1882) Edwd.H.Hogben with Goyder Brothers (1911-13)
Builder/Maker: F. Drewett (Lithgow), 1882; Howie, Brown and Moffit (1912-13)
Construction years: 1882-1913
Physical description: Grounds:
The Carrington Hotel is sited on top of a small rise above and adjoining the main shopping street and railway station of Katoomba. The hotel's northern main entrance is landscaped with sweeping drives from Katoomba Street to the portico or colonnade of its front doors, terraced gardens and mature trees including two Bunya pines (Araucaria bidwillii) on the southern upper slope, silver birch (Betula pendula) and Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara) on the upper northern slope.

Broadly the upper terraces and flanks of the hotel car parking areas are shrubberies and the lower terrace is grassed, with direct stairs connecting to the footpath on Katoomba Street (Stuart Read, pers.comm., 24/8/2015).

Power Station:
The power station at the rear of the Carrington Hotel was built in 1910. It provided the first electricity supply not only to the Carrington Hotel but also to Katoomba and other Blue Mountains towns. The building features loadbearing brick walls, in two wings, one of which is rendered. The south wing has the letters KATOOMBA ELECTRIC SUPPLY on the lintels and other decorative brick detailing. The octagonal brick chimney appears to be in good condition, apart from the loss of a few bricks from its top. It is an important Katoomba landmark. A boiler which was in use until recently remains within the power station. An earlier horizontal boiler was removed when the current boiler was installed. The latter, which remains intact, has a name plate: D.H. Berghouse Ultimo. It is reported to have been brought from Sydney by rail, having previously operated in the Arcadia Hotel. It is constructed of revitted steel plates and features six 'spy holes'. Various tools for raking etc remain nearby (National Trust, 1987).

Hotel:
The Carrington Hotel is a four storey architectural conglomeration dating from 1882, with numerous later additions. It is one of the finest resort hotels in the State with several outstanding features.

The facade is richly decorated, its undulating Italianate balcony is set on columns over a paved piazza. A wall of stained glass encloses the former verandah and provides an excellent example of Art Nouveau glazing.

The Central Dining Hall is an impressive interior space, measuring 40 by 60 feet in size, with an enriched panelled plaster ceiling, timber dado, high columns and a row of windows to either side, each a panel of etched glass with stained glass surround.

The Billiard Room and adjoining double lounge area are robustly detailed, with arched brick fireplaces and stained glass windows.

The former Library is panelled and beamed in Edwardian taste and is complete with wide shelves for display of china and lead glazed bookshelves.

The Ballroom was decorated in the twenties after the Adam style.

Present Cocktail Lounge is illuminated by an Art Noveau stained glass dome.

Two bronze torches in the central hall.

The 'wing' Bedroom Suites' of 1927 are impressive, each with its own bathroom, built-in wardrobe and leaded and coloured glass window.

Small Lounges in the bedroom areas are typically furnished with writing desks, long settees and central ottomans.

Bathrooms in the main building have exotic Art Nouveau glazing to their doors.

The hotel also retains many interesting pieces of furniture and fittings, including the intriguing 'needle' showers dating from c1913. (Stapleton 1978).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical condition is good.

The documentary evidence available for the Carrington Hotel garden fronting Katoomba Street indicates several phases of modification of the grounds. Physical evidence of older features such as terracing/ paths, site of the croquet lawn and tennis court still survive and is evident in some of the surface contours, especially in the area of the Lower Terrace.

There are also areas of former hard-paved surfaces, kerbing and guttering along the driveway loop. Particularly notable are the four remaining, handsome stone gate posts at the northern entry on Katoomba Street. The site and foundations of a fifth post (removed from the drive in the 1970s but with fabric still present within the grounds) may survive archaeologically. The driveway was realigned in 1912, and archaeological evidence relevant to that alteration may also be present.

Landscape archaeology may also be expected to be able to clarify matters such as the presence and extent of sub-surface features such as the edge of the central garden path, and precise position of now vanished structures such as the timber pergola, tennis court, garden plantings and garden edges. (Lavelle/Jack, 2001).
Date condition updated:09 Dec 13
Modifications and dates: 1882 - construction commenced
1883 - construction completed
1887-1879 - additional wing, dining hall, two drawing rooms and music rooms
1904-1911 - various alterations, redecorations, including lavatories, baths and water closets on each floor
1911-1912 - new Main Street bar, motor garage at rear and new driveways
1912-1913 - construction of stone and wrought iron gates to Katoomba Street, front terrace, steps and balcony, stained glass to verandah, pine trees removed and garden redesigned
1923-1927 - attic bedrooms enlarged, flat roof terrace built, additional bedrooms at southern end, dining room enlarged, lift installed. Western end of original north wing demolished and new wing added with 23 bedrooms. Walls removed to create cocktail lounge and ballroom.
1970s fifth front gate entry post removed (to widen entry)
1993 - Repainting, lighting, carpet and doors and fireplaces restored.
2002 - front garden redevelopment for Carrington Place town square, lowering of ground levels of old tennis court to provide flat area near street, part demolition of front wall to build new entry steps, new side entries off driveways, new paving and planting of lower front garden, new lighting, new public artworks.
Current use: Hotel, Public Bars, semi-public park (part)
Former use: Aboriginal land, town lot, hotel, spa, power station

History

Historical notes: The original land grant of 50 acres was made to James Henry Neal on 10 October 1877 under the provisions of the Volunteer Force Regulation Act 1867. On 8 January 1881 the land was transferred to Frederick Clissold of Ashfield, who subdivided the entire portion.

Tenders were called for the Western Star Hotel by J. Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick & Bossler, architects in September 1881. On 18 January 1882 Lots 10-15 of Section 2 was transferred to Harry George Rowell. The same year the hotel was constructed by F. Drewett, a builder from Lithgow, opening as the Great Western Hotel. Tenders were called later that year by Kirkpatrick for additions to the hotel, possibly the stone wing. On 24 April 1883 Harry George Rowell purchased Lots 1 & 2 of Section 2 of Deposited Plan 292 from Frederick Clissold.

In 1884 the Great Western Hotel is described as accommodating seventy to eighty persons with nearly sixty rooms.

On 9 September 1886 Thomas Frederick Thompson and Henry Moses, wine and spirit merchants, exercised Power of Sale under their Mortgage of 1 July 1885 and transferred the property to James Hunt and Henry Thorpe, hotelkeepers.

On 6 October 1887 the property was leased to Frederick Charles Goyder of Katoomba. In 1886 Lord Carrington, Governor of NSW visited the hotel and gave permission for Goyder to change its name to The Carrington Hotel.

Between 1887 to 1889 Goyder built an additional wing, dining hall, two drawing rooms and a music room, resulting in 119 bedrooms and seven suites of rooms, two tennis courts and flower and vegetable gardens.

On 30 April 1888 the property was transferred to F.C. Goyder and mortgaged to Hunt and Thorpe. On 10 March 1898 the mortgage was transferred to Henry Thorpe and Sydney Mansfield Rowell. On 24 July 1899 the property was leased to William Frederick Goyder, son of F.C. Goyder.

The mortgage was foreclosed on 19 September 1901 and ownership passed to Thorpe and Rowell. The property was leased to Arthur Lawrence Peacock on 19 September 1901.

Between 1904 to 1911 Peacock carried out various alterations and additions, mostly redecoration and including services of lavatories, baths and water closets on each floor.

In 1908 Edward, Prince of Wales stayed at the Hotel.

The power station at the rear of the Carrington Hotel was built in 1910. It provided the first electricity supply not only to the Carrington Hotel but also to Katoomba and other Blue Mountains towns. The octagonal brick chimney remains an important Katoomba landmark. A boiler which was in use until the 1980s. An earlier horizontal boiler was removed when the current boiler was installed. The latter, had a name plate: D.H. Berghouse Ultimo. It was reported to have been brought from Sydney by rail, having previously operated in the Arcadia Hotel. It was constructed of revitted steel plates and features six 'spy holes'. Various tools for raking etc remain nearby. (National Trust, 1987). This boiler was removed in the 1990s without prior approval (Heritage Division).

On 10th October 1911 the property and remainder of lease was transferred to James Joynton Smith. Between 1911 and 1912 Joynton Smith commissioned local Katoomba architects HR Goyder & Hewlett Hogben for construction of new Main Street Bar and a motor garage at the rear of the Hotel. New driveways were also constructed.

Between 1912 to 1913 the stone and wrought iron gates to Katoomba Street , front terrace, steps and balcony, stained glass screen to verandah, dining room fireplaces and electric power house and chimney, including first floor laundry and servants' quarters were constructed. The kitchen ceiling was raised, floors above replaced with reinforced concrete, new men's bathrooms installed on the second floor and fire hydrants were installed throughout. The architects were Gotder Bros and the builders were Howie, Brown & Moffit of Sydney. At this time the pine trees and garden were also redesigned.

Samuel Timmings worked as the gardener at the Carrington Hotel from 1914-1947. He worked as the gardener at Nellie Melba's house in Rose Bay, Sydney. In 1912 he was employed as gardener at the Hydro Majestic Hotel (Medlow Bath), possibly through the friendship between its owner Mark Foy and Nellie Melba's agent, Hugh Ward. Samuel rode a bike from Katoomba to Medlow Bath each day, but after 18 months got a job closer to home at the Carrington. His wife Mabel said 'I think Joynton pinched him' and this is quite likely, for his new position was around the time Mark Foy transferred the Hydro over to James Joynton-Smith - the owner of the Carrington Hotel. His son Les worked with him in the 1930s and then at Everglades, Leura in the late 1940s. Les said of his father, here: 'mowing with a bloody heavy thing called a Greenge, up and down the slope, one pushing and the other pulling...Dad would get down on his hands and knees to clip the edges using sheep shears...and he planted many trees and plants, including a beautiful circular rose garden...Dad's garden shed was between the Stone Wing and the Boiler House, where he'd boil the billy for his tea.' In recognition of his work, Timmings' name was etched into the stone paving in Carrington Place (street-front park landscaping) in 2002, at the top of the small steps at the southern end (Innes, 2015, 29).

Around 1923 the Hotel was under the control of the Joynton Smith Management Trust and had over 200 bedrooms. Between 1923 and 1927 the attic bedrooms were enlarged by removing dormer windows and the widow's walk and building a flat roofed terrace. Additional bathrooms were added at the southern end. The dining room was enlarged and a lift installed. The western end of the original north wing was demolished and a new wing added with 23 bedrooms and parking and service rooms beneath. Walls were also removed to create a cocktail lounge and ballroom.

Electricity supply to the Blue Mountains area was taken over by local councils in April 1925. The power house equipment was removed, except for the boiler which was converted to supply hot water to the Hotel.

In 1927 the Duke and Duchess of York visited the Carrington. During this same Australian tour they opened Parliament House in Canberra.

On 17 November 1947, following the death of Joynton Smith, an allocation of title was made to William Patrick Donohoe, Francis Patrick Donohoe and Gladys Joynton Smith. On 24 October 1950 Gladys Joynton Smith entered into a Deed of Appointment with Permanent Trustee Company Limited, William Patrick Donohoe and Francis Patrick Donohoe, who are also the executors and trustees of her late husband's will.

Between 1947 and 1953 the tennis court was reconstructed. In 1953 the tennis court was removed and the Starlight Room and a new bar was built.

On 18 December 1967 the property was transferred to six people, one of whom was Theodore Constantine Morris, holds a half share. On 5 May 1969 the entire property was transferred to Morris. In 1968 the swimming pool was constructed and a general redecoration was undertaken. (Orwell & Peter Phillips 1987:7-12).

During the later years of the 20th century elements such as the pergola, trellis and some garden beds were removed and the swimming pool (since filled in) were added to the upper terrace. New trees were planted, some, e.g. the Himalayan cedars (Cedrus deodara) placed with respect for the symmetrical nature of the 1911-13 design and others planted seemingly at random. From the 1960s onwards there was a gradual erosion in the level of garden maintenance, resulting in a loss of detail. The introduction of public bus shelters on Katoomba Street in front of the early 20th century stone wall of the Carrington Hotel obscured and detracted from traditional views to the place.

The hotel was closed in 1986 under then owner Theo Morris for non-compliance with fire regulations. It was boarded up (O'Brien, 1995).

Revival: 1992-8:
In 1992, Geoffrey Leach, a building contractor, began a process of restoration said to have cost rather less than $8m. In December 1998, the ground floor and one floor of guest rooms was re-opened, with other areas following as progress and finances permitted (EJE, 2013, 10)> Mr. Leach would not say what the restoration has cost, but claims it is less than the "6m to 8m' he says is being spent on that other fabulous mountains hotel, the Hydro Majestic.

Lynch's first task was to restore the pub at the driveway's entry on Katoomba Street, which has been generating income for the project for some years now. Inside the hotel, the art nouveau windows to the enclosed verandah have been replicated and the black and white tiled bathrooms - many with original fittings - restored. Uptsairs one large room - the 'treasure room' - was used to stockpile any original items - light fittings, clocks, items of furniture, a pair of genuine Ming vases, the silver plate that now sits in a glass-fronted cupboard in the dining room. Vast Victorian oil paintings went off for cleaning and restoration, chandeliers were cleaned and re-hung, silver polished, clocks returned to working order, and pieces of furniture copied for the guest rooms (the bedheads even have the CH logo)(O'Brien, 1998).

In 2002 a master plan for a new town square was approved and implemented, partly imposing inside the Carrington's lower garden and involving its redesign, relocation of the intrusive bus shelters, ramps, paving and widespread replanting.

In 2004 Leach's interest was purchased by Michael Brischetto and Mark Jarvis, who announced ambitious new plans for a backpackers' hostel, a large number of bedrooms, new retail facilities and a drive-through bottle shop in the former power house. The partners have achieved some of these aims, while also devoting their energies to the conservation of the hotel's original fabric.

In july 2010 a bottle shop was opened in the former boiler room of the power house facing Parke Street. This involved the stabilisation of portions of the internal and external fabric of the structure (EJE, 2013, 10).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Other open space-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Sydney and Australian Landmark-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and gardens of domestic accommodation-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Gardens and landscapes reminiscent of an 'old country'-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes demonstrating styles in landscape design-
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. Accommodating travellers and tourists-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to suburban-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Sub-division of large estates-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Townships-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to tourist-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages 20th Century infrastructure-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages 19th Century Infrastructure-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Supporting women with domestic work-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working in an Inn, Public House, Hotel etc.-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Servants quarters-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working in places of public entertainment-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Building in response to natural landscape features.-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing landscapes in an exemplary style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing in an exemplary architectural style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - 20th century interwar-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Victorian gardenesque style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Architectural styles and periods - Victorian (late)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Federation period-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Adaptation of overseas design for local use-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Architectural styles and periods - Federation Free Classical-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - Victorian-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - Edwardian-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Parks and public gardens-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - Art Nouveau-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1900-1950-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1950-2000-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1850-1900-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Holidaying in hill stations and mountain retreats-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Kitchens and servants-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation musical gatherings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Playing billiards-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Playing tennis-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going to a restaurant-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Activities associated with relaxation and recreation-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting heritage places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going to the pub-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Enjoying public parks and gardens-
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 Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Leisure-Includes tourism, resorts.
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Frederick Charles Goyder, hotelier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Edward, Prince of Wales (1908 visit)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with James Joynton Smith, hotelier, entrepreneur-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Arthur Lawrence Peacock, hotelier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Albert, Duke of York and Elizabeth, Duchess (1927 visit)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Samuel Timmings, Gardener-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Les Timmings, Gardener-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Paul Sorensen, landscape architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Rt.Hon.) Charles Robert, Baron Carrington, PC, GCMG, 1885-90-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The original building was one of the earliest sizeable buildings on Katoomba. The building of this and other large hotels and guest houses acted as a catalyst for the development of the town, which expanded considerably during the 1890s and appointed a municipality in 1899. The hotel has been closely associated with the continuing history of Katoomba and the whole of the Blue Mountains area, from the time it was built until the present day. In its various stages of development it constitutes a physical record of the history of the area, in particular the growth and decline of the Blue Mountains as a fashionable tourist resort. (Orwell & Peter Phillips 1987:36)

The front garden and grounds of the Carrington Hotel are of high significance as essential and integral components of the site, which as a whole is of importance in the cultural history of NSW for its links with key social and historical events and themes.

The significance of the site is considerably enhanced by the extent to which its early layout, features, fabric and relationships have been retained (albeit in somewhat poor condition). The site, in fact retains essential evidence of its important late 19th and early 20th century character. This includes the overall layout, sandstone walling and gateposts, terracing, remnant garden edging and bollards, established by 1911-13 and retaining aspects of the earlier garden including 1890s-early 1900s mature plantings of Araucaria bidwilli, Pinus radiata, a Magnolia grandiflora, the plane and beech tree. Additional elements-gazebos, the stone seat and rose garden were added by the 1920s. The extensive documentary records of the garden area also attest to its past importance and renown while also providing an essential reference point for conservation.

The Hotel complex as a whole is a rare surviving example of large Victorian / Edwardian resort hotel within a small town setting, and more particularly one of the few to retain so significant a garden setting to its main frontage as regards both its size and detailing. Comparing it with similar sites within the local area, only the Hydro Majestic, Medlow Bath and Caves House, Jenolan Caves are of similar vintage, scale and historical importance but neither have the important civic context of the Carrington or the strong design aesthetic - comprising built and landscape elements - of its garden.

The early introduction (1889) of a tennis court as a component of the grounds demonstrates the evolving role of recreation in nineteenth century resorts.

The documentary evidence available for the Carrington Hotel garden fronting Katoomba Street indicates several phases of modification of the grounds. Physical evidence of older features such as terracing/ paths, site of the croquet lawn and tennis court still survive and is evident in some of the surface contours, especially in the area of the Lower Terrace.

There are also areas of former hard-paved surfaces, kerbing and guttering along the driveway loop. Particularly notable are the four remaining, handsome stone gate posts at the northern entry on Katoomba Street. The site and foundations of a fifth post (removed from the drive in the 1970s but with fabric still present within the grounds) may survive archaeologically. The driveway was realigned in 1912, and archaeological evidence relevant to that alteration may also be present.

Landscape archaeology may also be expected to be able to clarify matters such as the presence and extent of sub-surface features such as the edge of the central garden path, and precise position of now vanished structures such as the timber pergola, tennis court, garden plantings and garden edges. (Lavelle/Jack, 2001).
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Carrington Hotel has always occupied a prominent position in the town of Katoomba and, despite the growth of development along Katoomba Street, is still a notable landmark on the top of the plateau on which the town is built. Architecturally, the outstanding features include the Italianate balcony at the front, the richly decorated dining hall, and the impressive Art Nouveau glazing, notably in the enclosed verandah and cocktail dome. Of particular architectural interest is the range of styles to be found throughout the building, corresponding to the prevailing taste of the various buildings of development. (Orwell & Peter Phillips 1987: 36).

The landscaped gardens and grounds of the Carrington Hotel have high aesthetic importance arising from their role as the essential visual and functional setting of a grand late 19th - early 20th century hotel complex of State significance.

The underlying structure of the garden , which was designed from the outset as an integral component of the hotel and evolved to complement the changes to the building, clearly demonstrates the principal characteristics of its early twentieth century layout and character, the period of its primary importance as a garden, as documented in numerous contemporary photographs. The garden was recognised in its own day as a fine example of a semi formal garden with well disposed flowerbeds, borders and shrubberies. Surviving elements from the interwar years - including structures such as the gazebos and stone seat, provide evidence of the later uses of the garden which reinforce, rather than obscure the original character.

Within the context of early resort hotels throughout the state, the grounds of Carrington remain, despite their dilapidated condition, a good representative example of grand gardens designed as an integral component of these sites / places to provide both a decorative setting for buildings and the recreational areas / facilities for patrons. As an early twentieth century example of a grand hotel in a town setting, the Carrington's garden and grounds are now unusual.

The garden and grounds have a more locally based aesthetic significance for their landmark mature plantings - especially the Bunya Bunya Pines (Araucaria bidwilli) - as well as constructed elements particularly the chimney stack, sandstone walling and gates on Katoomba Street, all of which contribute readily recognisable components to the Katoomba town centre / streetscape.

The location of the Carrington Hotel at virtually the highest point in Katoomba and the sweeping approach drives, open lawns and prominent mature plantings have made the hotel an important landmark in the town from the time it was built. This is a pivotal component of the character of an early twentieth century mountain resort for which Katoomba is valued.

(Morris 2001,p.12).
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The present building is a rich physical embodiment of cultural attitudes over the century or so since it was built. The Carrington Hotel is symbolic of the importance of the Blue Mountains as a nationally recognised recreation area over the last century, and highly evocative of the lifestyle of the area during its period of greatest activity. The hotel also contains many items of furniture , fittings and ornaments which reflect the taste and technology of their period. (Orwell & Peter Phillips 1987: 36)

The Carrington Hotel has importance on a local level for its association with the career of prominent landscape gardener Paul Sorenson as the first place he worked in the Blue Mountains and NSW.

The garden and grounds have social significance on a local level for public appreciation of their landmark mature plantings, especially the Bunya Bunya Pines (Araucaria bidwillii) and chimney stack, sandstone walling and gates on Katoomba Street and for the contribution they make to the community appreciation of the Katoomba streetscape. Their size, layout and remnant character are appreciated for the provision of green space and evidence of a grander, more gracious and important role for the hotel - and the town as a whole - in the past.

The grounds of Carrington, particularly the forecourt to Katoomba Street, have significance to the local community as a place for gathering to mark special community events such as the re-enactment in 1951 of the first crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The front garden / grounds of eth Carrington Hotel have considerable potential to provide information on earlier uses, layout and features of the site including key elements such as terracing, paths, croquet lawn and tennis courts, road and kerb detailing, gates and fences.

The documentary evidence available indicates several phases of modification on the grounds. Physical evidence of older features such as terracing / paths, site of the croquet lawn and tennis court still survives and is evident in the surface contours, especially in the area of the grounds between the front of the main hotel and Katoomba Street. There are also areas of former hard-paved surfaces, kerb and guttering along the driveway and features such as the handsome gateposts. Blocks from the removed gate post are also extant. Landscape archaeology may also be expected to be able to clarify matters such as the precise position of now vanished plantings.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The Carrington Hotel is the only 19th century grand resort hotel still in use in NSW and probably Australia. (Orwell & Pater Phillips 1987:35)
Integrity/Intactness: It remains much of the fabric of its major phases of development.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

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): The Demolition of the following items;
(a) The Parke Street cottages;
(b) The illuminated sign and framework on the hotel roof; and
(c) The section of the former power house, garages and servants' bedrooms south of (but not including) the chimney stack).
Oct 9 1987
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementHotel gardens & grounds CMP CMP endorsed by Heritage Council 23 April 2002 for a period of two years only, expires 23 April 2004, with requirement for a single CMP to be prepared before further consideration be given to endorsing a further CMP for the item. Apr 23 2002
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 0028002 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0028020 Mar 87 541475
Local Environmental Plan  27 Dec 91   
National Trust of Australia register Hotel & Power Station classified separately 03 Jul 78   
Register of the National Estate - Interim 018538   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Carrington Hotel View detail
WrittenBates, Geoff1980Centenary of the Carrington Hotel, 1880-1980
WrittenEJE Heritage2013Statement of Heritage Impact - Carrington Hotel, Katoomba NSW - Proposed Boutique Brewery, Restaurant/Bistro and Car Park
WrittenHeritage Division Paper File (former) HC32361
WrittenInnes, Paul2015'Remembering a Gardener' View detail
Archaeological ReportLavelle, S. for Jack, I.2001State Heritage Inventory Form for Carrington Hotel & Grounds # 1170391
WrittenLavelle, S., & Fallon, M. (Integrated Design Associates)2003Carrington Hotel Grounds - Lower Terrace: Report on Archaeological Investigations
WrittenLavelle, S., with Somerville, J., & Fallon, M.2002Carrington Gardens Driveway Loop Archaeological Assessment and Construction Monitoring Report (Draft)
WrittenMaisie Stapleton1978National Trust Classification Card - Carrington Hotel
WrittenOrwell and Peter Phillips Architects1987Conservation Plan for The Carrington Hotel
TourismTourism NSW2007The Carrington Hotel View detail

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: 5045440
File number: EF14/4441; S90/02841, S92/1002


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