Bishopscourt | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Bishopscourt

Item details

Name of item: Bishopscourt
Other name/s: Greenoaks
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Parks, Gardens and Trees
Category: Garden Residential
Location: Lat: -33.8759092523 Long: 151.2377700840
Primary address: 11-21 Greenoaks Avenue, Darling Point, NSW 2027
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Woollahra
Local Aboriginal Land Council: La Perouse
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP123557
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
11-21 Greenoaks AvenueDarling PointWoollahraAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
The Trustee for The Diocesan EndowmentReligious Organisation 

Statement of significance:

The historic core (2.8ha) of a large early villa estate comprising an exceptionally fine mansion and grounds of prime historic interest built for Sydney's leading businessman, entrepreneur, horticulturist, and pioneer of exporting frozen meat, Thomas Sutcliffe Mort. Thomas Sutcliffe Mort pioneered weekly wool auctions and the refrigeration of food, was involved in moves for the first railway in NSW and was also one of the founders of the AMP Society. He was instrumental in construction of Mort's Dock at Balmain in 1854, which gave Sydney a dry dock for repairing ships (Pollon, 1996).

Mort was friend and patron of Edmund Blacket, in the late nineteenth century Sydney's leading architect, and Blacket designed what is probably the best Gothic picturesque house in New South Wales.

Greenoaks retains the core of a once celebrated landscape garden created by Mort and nurseryman and landscape designer Michael Guilfoyle from 1849, which in its heyday became the "leading and model private garden of NSW", and set the tone in this fashionable Sydney resort. The grounds use the steep sloping site to provide a wild, romantic setting for the medieval mansion. A wide variety of plants were used to provide botanical and visual interest, some of which remain today. ort built a mansion designed by Edmund Blacket in academic gothic style. Guilfoyle used the steep sloping site to provide a wild, romantic setting for the medieval mansion, and a wide variety of plants to provide botanical and visual interest, most likely supplied from his "Exotic Nursery" in Double Bay, which adjoined Greenoaks to the south (Tanner & Begg, 1976, p.31)(Morris, 2002)

Since 1911 the renamed Bishopscourt has been the home of Sydney's Anglican Archbishops.

The (then 11 acre) estate and part of the mansion also have associations with Thomas Woolley, a Sydney ironmonger, who built a two storey stone cottage "Percyville" on the site with J.F.Hilly as architect. Most of the front of the present house is the original design. (Lawrence, 1993, modified, Read, S., 10/2006).

The property also has associations with architect Professor Leslie Wilkinson who designed extensive remodelling including an extension over the former stables in 1935. Wilkinson was head of the Architecture Faculty at Sydney University and had a marked effect on Sydney's architecture building over 50 houses in the eastern suburbs.
Date significance updated: 03 Jun 16
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: J.F.Hilly (1846); Edmund Blacket (1859); Leslie Wilkinson (1935)
Builder/Maker: Thomas Woolley (1841); T.S. Mort
Construction years: 1846-1849
Physical description: Developing the site from 1846, Mort built a mansion designed by F J Hilly with later additions by Edmund Blacket in academic gothic style. Very fine domestic Gothic house built 1850s around an already existing cottage considerably enlarged by Hilly, Blacket and others. Built of dressed sandstone with steep pitched slate roof, projecting attics, interesting stepped gable topped by two freestanding chimneys. Windows and doors Victorian Tudor design, finely carved. Blacket added porte cochere in form of Gothic chapel in 1860. Grand stair hall with stained glass window. Elaborate ceilings. Fine Gothic fireplaces (RNE)

The coat of arms of the Mort family are carved on the sandstone walls. Mort had a private gallery which had 200 works of art, suits of English armour, and war weapons collected on a trip to England. The gallery, one of several private galleries in colonial NSW, was opened to the public once a month. The garden was said to be one of the finest in Sydney.

Greenoaks set the tone among the fashionable villas of this choice Sydney resort. Mort employed the newly arrived landscape designer and nurseryman Michael Guilfoyle, and created a celebrated landscape garden from 1849. Guilfoyle used the steep sloping site to provide a wild, romantic setting for the medieval mansion, and a wide variety of plants to provide botanical and visual interest, most likely supplied from his "Exotic Nursery" in Double Bay, which adjoined Greenoaks to the south (Tanner & Begg, 1976, p.31)(Morris, 2002). Mort pursued hybridisation of cacti in Sydney's premier garden. An 1857 engraving of Greenoaks shows the generous expanse of the pleasure garden at one of Sydney's most celebrated villa gardens, and indicates prickly pear bushes (Opuntia spp.) in the foreground, dense shrubberies and trees, and an emergent Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla) near the house.

A number of specimen trees and shrubs have been planted by Archbishops and their wives over the years, presented as gifts etc. Coral trees (Erythrina sp.) on eastern side/bank near house were supposedly planted by one of the then Archbishop's sons, c.1950s.

The house, from Greenoaks Avenue, is still shrouded by trees and there is wild growth among the coral trees and Moreton Bay figs. Golden nasturtiums tumble over the paling fence set on the surrounding stone wall. There is a huge Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla) with sculptural roots stretching to the earth (Lawrence, 1993)
Modifications and dates: 1841 a holding of 11 acres) purchased by Thomas Woolley, who built a two storey stone cottage "Percyville". Most of the front of the present house is the original design.
1845 Thomas Sutcliffe Mort leased the land, purchasing 7 acres (2.8ha) in 1846 and then in the late 1850s/60s commenced work on transforming the original cottage into a two storied Gothic Revival gentleman's residence.
Later additions were made by architect Edmund Blacket to include a covered carriageway, stables, and kitchens.
Michael Guilfoyle created a celebrated landscape garden at Greenoaks from 1849.

1892 sold to a grazier, Michael Campbell Langtree, who then subdivided the estate. Later Langtree agreed to sell part of Greenoaks to the Church of England. The house was renamed Bishopscourt and dedicated as the home of the Anglican Archbishop in 1910. The house was let to various tenants until 1910

1911 major subdivision of the property, when Greenoaks Avenue was put through
1935 Professor Leslie Wilkinson designed a western two storey wing with garages below

c2006: NSW Land & Environment Court approved construction of 10 penthouse style apartments on a subdivision of Bishopscourt directly south of the mansion, fronting Greenoaks Avenue (7/17 Greenoaks Avenue). Stepped up slope, with extensive basement car parking, requiring deep excavation.

2009: 3 Coral trees & European olives removed on eastern side: replaced with 3 Illawarra flame trees & underplanting per Beaver CMP.
Further information: Coral trees (Erythrina sp.) on eastern side/bank near house were supposedly planted by one of the Archbishop's sons, c.1950s.
Current use: residence, Bishop's residence
Former use: residence, manse

History

Historical notes: Darling Point or Yarranabbee:
Originally known by its Aboriginal name Yarranabbee, Darling Point was called Mrs Darling's Point by Governor Ralph Darling (1825-31 Governor) in honour of his wife. At that time the area was heavily timbered, but after New South Head Road was built in 1831 timber cutters felled most of the trees, and the land was subdivided. Most of the plots, covering 9-15 acres in this area, were taken up between 1833 and 1838. The suburb became known as Darling Point.

Several notable people bought land and built homes here, including surveyor-general Sir Thomas Mitchell's "Carthona" and one-time home "Lindesay". Around the middle of the 1800s residents included the Reverend George Fairfowl Macarthur, one time rector at St Mark's church, Darling Point, members of the Tooth family, brewers, at "Swifts", and Samuel Hordern, retail king (Pollen, 1988, 79).

Percyville, later Greenoaks:
The land (of what became Percyville/Greenoaks/Bishopscourt)(then allotment 11) was purchased by Elizabeth Pike and Thomas Smith (Elizabeth Pike's 'grant' passed to Richard Jones and Joseph Hyde Potts in June 1835/July 1836.
By 1835/6 a small residence was built by Richard Jones - presumably s 3 roomed single storey cottage with an entrance porch. c1840 the house was extended - presumably made two storeys - its architect is unknown. A window was removed from teh west facade space G11 and an oriel window was installed (NBRS, 2014, 6).

By 1841, a portion of Jones & Potts' land and of Smith's grant (making up 11 acres) was purchased by Thomas Woolley, ironmonger, who built a two storey stone cottage "Percyville" on the site with J.F.Hilly as architect. (Woollahra History & Heritage Society). Most of the front of the present house is this original Percyville design.

In 1845 Thomas Sutcliffe Mort leased the land, purchasing it in 1846 for 2500 pounds, and then in the late 1850s/60s commenced work on a house he called Greenoaks (Lawrence, 1993). c1853-55 alterations were made by architect J.F.Hilly and Mr Page was the builder. These included stables, bays to the morning room (G11), the drawing room (G9), a staircase (the position of Hilly's staircase is uncertain - it may have been in rooms G6 and F11). The position of a label mould indicates an early stair in that area but its date and origin are unclear), stained glass windows to the stairhall and old study (G14 and G13), and an extension to the south (G5, G4B). In 1853 Hilly called for tenders for a new stables and coach house for premises at Darling Point. Stained glass for Greenoakes was ordered from Hardman's of Birmingham. A further tender notice by Hill which may relate to Greenoaks (11/7/1854) was for 'additions to residence, Darling Point'. Tender notice for plasterers of 1/1855 may relate to Greenoakes. An estimate for papier mache or carton pierre celining ornament was received (12/1858) from George Jackson & Son of London (NBRS, 2014, 6).

Mort, businessman and horticulturist, was born at Bolton, Lancashire, England and worked as a clerk, seizing the chance to migrate to Sydney in 1838 to bolster the family fortunes. In 1843 he set up as an auctioneer, becoming an innovator in wool sales. His pastoral interests included Franklyn Vale, in the Darling Downs, Queensland and Bodalla at the mouth of the Tuross River, South Coast, NSW. By the end of the 1840s his fortune was made, but he restlessly pursued other projects, some ill-starred. In 1841 he married Therese, daughter of Commissary-General James Laidley. Mort pioneered weekly wool auctions and the refrigeration of food, was involved in moves for the first railway in NSW, and a founder of the AMP Society. He was instrumental in construction of Mort's Dock at Balmain in 1854, which gave Sydney a dry dock for repairing ships (Pollen, 1996).

His wealth facilitated his considerable horticultural ambitions. "Greenoaks", his Darling Point property, set the tone among fashionable villas of this choice Sydney resort. Mort used architect F. J. Hilly who transformed the original cottage Percyville (which stood in more than 7 acres (2.8ha) of ground) into a two storied Gothic Revival gentleman's residence. Mort renamed it Greenoaks) and also transformed its grounds from 1846 (Tanner & Begg, 1976, p.31)(Morris, 2002).

Mort enjoyed his wealth and it gave rein to a natural flamboyance which, often hidden in his personal dealings, was epitomized in his house where it flowered in Academic Gothic Revival extravagances. In his 1857-59 visit to England he attended a sale at the earl of Shrewsbury's Alton Towers. Among other acquisitions were Elizabethan armour, old English coats of mail, a cabinet that had belonged to Marie Antoinette, antique oak furniture and about 120 pictures. On his return he engaged architect Edmund Blacket to make additions to the house (ncluding a covered carriageway, stables and kitchens (Lawrence, 1993)) and an art gallery which, with his gardens, were open to the public.
1860 additions and alterations were made by Blacket to the southern wing (possibly incorporating the ground floor kitchen) including construction of a southern basement), a picture gallery (single storey), nursery, second entrance and porte cochere, some applied decoration and embellishment to existing interiors and a new staircase and stair hall (NBRS 2014, 6).

A keen gardener, Mort won many prizes at the flower shows in the 1840s and 1850s. In 1851 he served on the committee of management of the Australasian Botanical and Horticultural Society and in the 1870s became president of the Horticultural Society of New South Wales. He was also a vice-president of the Agricultural Society in 1861-78. He was a commissioner for the 1873 London International Exhibition and in 1876 for the Philadelphia and Melbourne International Exhibitions.

At meetings of the Australasian Botanic and Horticultural Society in Sydney Mort first met newly-arrived Irish/English nurseryman and landscape designer Michael Guilfoyle. Greatly impressed with his knowledge and experience and having heard something of the prowess of the Guilfoyle family in England in such matters, he commissioned him to develop and landscape Greenoaks. The success of this, which occupied Guilfoyle for a period of some 12 months, together with the considerable influence that Mort exerted in the community, ensured that the future of Michael Guilfoyle in the field of landscape design and nursery practice was assured. The garden became famous in its time and was regarded as one of the finest in Sydney (Pescott, 1974, 6).

Mort and Guilfoyle created a celebrated landscape garden from 1849. Guilfoyle used the steep sloping site to provide a wild, romantic setting for the medieval mansion, and a wide variety of plants to provide botanical and visual interest, most likely supplied from his "Exotic Nursery" in Double Bay, which adjoined Greenoaks to the south (Tanner & Begg, 1976, p.31)(Morris, 2002).

When the Duke of Edinburgh first visited Sydney in 1853, he made a special journey "along New South Head Road to visit Mr Mort's garden, and there tasted a rare date plum (probably a Diospyros lotus, date plumfrom America (Read, S., pers. comm.)), grown only by Mr Guilfoyle." (Daily Telegraph, 2007, 30).

Michael Guilfoyle (c1809-1884), nursery proprietor and landscape gardener, received his early training in London and rose to the position of foreman at the Royal Exotic Nursery, King's Road, Chelsea. This nursery, established in 1808 by Joseph Knight (and later owned by the famous Veitch family of nurserymen) specialised in greenhouse and stove plants. Knight had such faith in Guilfoyle's abilities that he sent him to many parts of the Kingdom to lay out or remodel parks and gardens frequently without even inspecting his work. In 1849 Guilfoyle and his family emigrated to Sydney, and established a nursery in Kellick Street, Redfern, which soon failed. He then gained the patronage of T S Mort.

Greenoaks' grounds became the "leading and model private garden of NSW", described at length in the "Horticultural Magazine" 1865. As noted above, Mort was president of the Horticultural Society of NSW, publisher of the magazine, and Guilfoyle was listed in it as one of the 'good and first rate gardeners' formerly employed at Greenoaks.

Mort owned land down the hill from Greenoaks, in Double Bay, where he had his vegetable garden, and offices and Guilfoyle occupied a cottage there (at the corner of South and Ocean Streets). By 1851 Guilfoyle had established a nursery on 3.5 acres (1.4ha) of land belonging to Mort. He developed this site until 1875, still leasing it from Mort. In this nursery Guilfoyle stocked flowering and evergreen trees and a wide selection of conifers, "probably one of the most complete in the colony" (journal entry by exteemed visiting English nurseryman John Gould Veitch in 1864). His 1862 catalogue listed 2500 plants. This nursery was described by esteemed English nurseryman Veitch in 1864, as "if not the largest, one of the best nurseries in the colony." Veitch describes in the same journal entry, Mr Mort's garden of Darling Point as one of "few private gardens in Sydney where gardening is carried on with any spirit. Those of Mr Thomas Mort, of Darling Point, the late Mr William Macleay of Elizabeth Bay and Sir Daniel Cooper of Rose Bay, formerly contained good collections of native and imported plants, but now they are no longer kept up" (Morris, 1994).

Guilfoyle overcame the difficulty in propagating jacarandas (J.mimosifolia) in 1868, enabling the widespread use of this spectacular flowering tree for the first time. He raised new varieties of popular plants such as verbena, camellia, and azalea, and attempted to popularise both in Australia and Britain the plants introduced from the Pacific Islands by Charles Moore, then-Director of the Sydney Botanic Gardens, and his son William Robert Guilfoyle, on a voyage of 1868. He is known to have sought two cases of Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla) from Charles Moore in 1855, (which may have been the source of the specimen depicted in a 1857 engraving of Greenoaks)(Clough, 2002).

In 1860 Mort acquired the Bodalla estate on the South Coast of NSW, where his gardener Michael Bell took up farm management, replaced at Greenoaks by George Mortimore. Both gardeners, like Guilfoyle and Mort, were active members of the Horticultural Society of NSW; Mort became its respected president in the 1862 Morris, 2002). He maintained his enthusiasm for horticulture over 30 years, first as an exhibitor and top prize winner in the Horticultural Society's shows, and later as an administrator. He retained the position of President until 1878 (Parsons/RHS NSW, 2012, 23) and pursued hybridisation of cacti in Sydney's premier garden. An 1857 engraving of Greenoaks shows the generous expanse of the pleasure garden at one of Sydney's most celebrated villa gardens, and indicates prickly pear bushes (Opuntia spp.) in the foreground, dense shrubberies and trees, and an emergent Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla) near the house (Morris, 2002).

Greenoaks Cottage (now at 3a Greenoaks Avenue) is a substantial Gothic Revival house built in the late 1860s by T.S.Mort intending to move into it while leasing "Greenoaks".

A strong High Churchman, Mort was one of the most prominent Anglican laymen in Sydney. He gave the land for St Mark's Church, Darling Point, commissioned Edmund Blacket to design it and contributed generously to its building and upkeep as well as to the building of St Andrew's Cathedral and St Paul's College, University of Sydney. He was a founding fellow of the college and a warden of St Mark's. He was also the founder of Christ Church School in Pitt Street and a friend of Bishop Patteson (Alan Barnard, 'Mort, Thomas Sutcliffe (1816 - 1878)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, Melbourne University Press, 1974, pp 299-301).

Mort's wife Therese died in 1869. Tumbling wool prices forced him to mortgage Greenoaks. However following Theresa's death in 1869 from cancer, he did not make the move. In the front garden of 2D Greenoaks Avenue, next door, is the replica statue of 'The Dying Gladiator', which once graced the garden of Greenoaks. In 1874 he married Marianne Elizabeth Macauley, who ran the St. Mark's Crescent School.

Mort died in 1878 at Bodalla but his second wife lived at Greenoaks until 1892. The trustees of his will agreed to sell the property to a grazier, Michael Campbell Langtree, who then subdivided the estate.

A statue to T.S.Mort was erected in Macquarie Place in 1883. The Governor's unveiling of the statue was witnessed by hundreds of workers who had voluntarily forfeited a day's pay in order that they might be present for this final tribute to their late employer (Parsons/RHS NSW, 2012, 25).

The house was let to various tenants until 1910. It was offered for sale at public auction on 5/7/1910 by Richardson & Wrench and passed in, failing to meet its reserve (NBRS 2014, 7).

Campbell Langtree agreed to subdivide (NBRS 2014, 7) and sell part of Greenoaks to the Church of England (for 6750 pounds, in 1910 (Chancellor, 25_26/9/10) as a residence for the Archbishop of Sydney. Then Archbishop John Wright found his Randwick residence 'too far from the centre of things to be a city dwelling and not far enough out to be a country retreat' (McKenna, 2013). The house was renamed Bishopscourt and was dedicated as the home of the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney on 24 October 1910.

In 1910 Greenoakes Avenue was partly constructed. On 6 & 7/12/1910 the contents of the house were sold at auction. On 8/12/1910 Greenoakes was conveyed by Mort's Trustees to Langtree for (pounds) 15,000 and part by him to the Church of England on the same day for (pounds) 6750 (NBRS 2014, 7).

The major subdivision of the property (the residue of Mort's estate), when Greenoaks Avenue was put through, took place in 1911. The subdivision and sale was at auction on the proviso: 'Any building erected on the land must be of brick or stone with roof of slates, tiles or shingles and most cost and be of a value of not less than (pounds) 750' (NBRS 2014, 7).

A service of dedication was held for Bishopscourt on 26/8/1911 (NBRS 2014, 7). Since 1911 it has been residence of seven Anglican Archbishops including Sir Marcus Loane, Donald Robinson, Harry Goodhew and present occupant Peter Jensen, the 11th Archbishop of Sydney (Chancellor, 2010) and called "Bishopscourt". It is regarded as the finest Gothic Revival residence in New South Wales.

Between 1911-13 renovations were undertaken for the church by architect J.Burcham Clamp: replacing shingle roof with slates, installing electricity, new water and sewer servies, fixing and supplying outside Venetian blinds, fences to boundary lines, entrance gates, stone steps to the lawn, erection of a tennis screen, repairs to the tank over the main laundry, erection of a summer house on the western boundary, converting the small chapel into a library, removing the kitchen (basement to ground floor level), erecting balconies, probably over the northern verandah, removed in 1927), partial sudivision of the picture gallery, construction of a small bathroom extension (G1), replacing some window sashes, general repairs - some internal rearrangement of the Blacket wing, new window to the library (Contractors were Messrs Robert Watt & Sons; contractors for the grounds, gates and walls - Mr. Neal)(NBRS, 2014, 7).

In 1927 additions and alterations designed by HE Ross & Rowe were approved (11/7/1927) for the removal of the timber stair and further subdivision of the picture gallery (a new concrete stair), a new kitchen at ground floor, new stone balcony to the north, alteration of the first floor accommodation, alteration to windows in the kitchen and servery. The southern block was divided into two parts, offered for sale to fund alterations but due to problems of land access the land was withdrawn from sale on 20/10/1927 having failed to reach its anticipated price (NBRS 2014, 7).

In 1935 a chapel was constructed on the western facade by RH Ross & Rowe (supervising architect: R.Lindsay Little), the oriel window was partially removed at this time (NBRS 2014, 7). The house was later (1935) remodelled and extended at a cost of 10,000 pounds by Prof. Leslie Wilkinson, head of the Architecture Faculty at Sydney University. Wilkinson had a marked effect on Sydney's architecture and built over 50 houses in the eastern suburbs.

c.1940 a brick enclosure was built in the basement (B4) and a back screen to the door for use as an air raid shelter (ibid, 2014, 7). Further alterations and additions were made in 1959 by R.Lindsay Little: work on the drainage system, retaining walls, redecoration of the interior (including removal of some original decorative elements int he drawing room and stair hall), a new hot water system, alterations to cloak room and toilet facilities and removal of outdoor fencing (ibid, 2014, 7).

Further alterations and additions were made in 1965 by Fowell Mansfield Maclurcan in conjunction with Professor Wilkinson: removal of the Blacket Porte Cochere and first floor servant accommodiation and construction of private accommodation for the Archbishop, extensive garden remodelling, further subdivision to the nursery to provide separate accommodation, shortening of the stables and coach house, and relocation of windows (ibid, 2014, 7).

Nurseryman and garden designer Claude Crowe (of Berrima Bridge Nurseries) worked on numerous gardens allied to different churches, including Bishopscourt (Webb, 2012, 22).

The Church contemplated selling Bishopscourt in 1963, 1982, 1991 and most recently in 2001 (Chancellor, 2010). A subdivision off Bishopscourt's southern side was approved in 1990 and since then multi-storey terraced apartments have been built in the early 2000s in some proximity to Bishopscourt's southern side.

The property still displays prominently some of the larger trees of the original Guilfoyle planting (Pescott, 1974, 6).

In 1985 an interim conservation order (no. 445) was gazetted over the property. In 1990 the site was subdivided. (ibid, 2014, 8).

In 2006 tree pruning, removal of selected trees and adaptation of the external drainage system was undertaken. In 2007 a master plan was prepared for the grounds and garden by David Beaver, landscape architect and heritage consultant (ibid 2014, 8).

In 2009 conservation of the slate roof, installation of copper roof, conservation of sandstone chimneys was done. In 2010 refurbishment of a shower room in the first floor of the stables building was undertaken (ibid, 2014, 8).

The Church's governing body ended decades of debate by voting to sell the (6216 sp.m) property last year. It goes on the real estate market next week with price expectations of $25m (McKenny, 2013). The estate was listed on the real estate market and sold in December 2015, ending 105 years of ownership by the Anglican Church. A local buyer exchanged on $18 million for the former official residence of Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies. The 6216-square-metre estate was sold by Ray White Double Bay two years after it was first listed. 'Several million dollars would be required in the near future for renovations and as the agreed price is at the upper end of valuations, the Trust acted prudently to conclude a sale,' said the chairman of the Anglican Property Trust, Dr Robert Tong. Buyer feedback has reportedly factored in costs to refurbish the property of more than $10 million (Macken, SMH, 15/12/2016).

The sale returns to private hands one of the great heritage estates of the eastern suburbs, comparable to the nearby, much larger Swifts mansion which was formerly home to the Catholic Archbishop before it was bought by the Moran family. The Anglican church made the decision to sell Bishopscourt at the 2012 Synod, with 452 votes out of 579 in favour, with a five-year window in which to sell the property. Former Archbishop Peter Jensen vacated it when he retired in July 2013 and it was formally listed to expressions of interest two months later. Original hopes of $25 million were revised down after it went to auction in March 2015, at which it was passed in after interest by local buyers stalled at the $20 million level (Macken, SMH, 15/12/2016).

Chinese billionaire Wang Qinghui took posession this week. Mr Wang debuted on the Forbes Rich List of China in 2014 thanks to his early investment in the Beijing Zinwei Telecom Technology Group. This company was designated by five central goverment ministries to be a key software enterprise for state planning (Macken, 26-27/3/2016).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Trading between NSW and New Zealand-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Trading between Australia and other countries-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Trading between Australia and other countries-
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 Science-Activities associated with systematic observations, experiments and processes for the explanation of observable phenomena Horticultural experimentation, hybridising and acclimatisation-
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 the clergy and religious-
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 the prosperous - mansions in town and country-
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 Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Creating landmark structures and places in urban settings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Practising Anglicanism-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Edmund Blacket, Government Architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with John Frederick Hilly, architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Professor Leslie Wilkinson, architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Thomas Woolley, ironmonger-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Claude Crowe, nurseryman and garden designer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, merchant, philanthropist, horticulturist-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Michael Byrne, publican-

Recommended management:

A tree management plan with particular emphasis on replacements (species, location) needs preparation, based on heritage significance and associations with Guilfoyle, Mortimore, Mort and resident Bishops.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
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 0036202 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0036226 Apr 88   
Local Environmental Plan 0003022 Sep 89 0977658
Local Environmental Plan  10 Mar 95   
National Trust of Australia register  6772   
Register of the National Estate  21 Oct 80   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAlexander Mayes Photography P/L2014Bishopscourt, 11A Greenoaks Avenue, Darling Point - Archival Photographic Recording (Archbishop's Apartment), 24/10/14
WrittenBarnard, Alan1974'Mort, Thomas Sutcliffe (1816 - 1878)', in "Australian Dictionary of Biography", Volume 5
WrittenChancellor, Jonathan2010Trophy home in waiting as church debates selling archbishop's mansion
WrittenClive Lucas & Partners P/L1986Conservation Analysis & Guidelines, Bishopscourt, Greenoaks Avenue, Darling Point
WrittenClough, Richard2002'Guilfoyle, Michael' entry in the Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens
WrittenLawrence, Joan1993Exploring the Suburbs - Eastern Suburbs Walks
WrittenMacken, Lucy2016'Chinese billionaire claims Bishopscourt'
WrittenMacken, Lucy2015'Anglican Church sells Darling Point's Bishopscourt for $18m'
WrittenMcKenny, Leesha2013House wanted, with all mod cons, room for visiting bishops
WrittenMorris, Colleen1994Through English Eyes, extracts from the journal of John Gould Veitch during a trip to the Australian colonies
WrittenMorris, Colleen, in Aitken, R., & Looker, M. (ed.s)2002'Mort, Thomas Sutcliffe' entry in "The Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens"
WrittenMORTON HERMAN1995The Blackets
WrittenNoel Bell Ridley Smith & Partners P/L2006Statement of Heritage Impact, Tree Pruning, removal of selected trees & adaptation of drainage system to reduce further damage to significant heritage fabric
WrittenParsons, Ralph & Robyn2012From our Garden - The Royal Horticultural Society of NSW (Inc.) - celebrating 150 years, 1862-2012
WrittenPescott, R.T.M1974W.R.Guilfoyle 1840-1912 - The Master of Landscaping
WrittenPollen, Frances (ed.)1988The Book of Sydney Suburbs, entry on Darling Point
WrittenTanner, H. & Begg, J.1976The Great Gardens of Australia
WrittenThe Daily Telegraph (Troy Lennon, for)2007Darlings of Society made a good point (History page)
WrittenWebb, Chris & Charlotte2012'Claude Crowe & his collections', in Australian Garden History 23(4), 4-6/2012
WrittenWoollahra History & Heritage Society Bishopscourt entry, from Edgecliff Walk

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045448
File number: EF14/5897; 09/2377; S90/5335


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