Sandgate | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Sandgate
Other name/s: Kilkerran, Felton,
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -33.9159785288 Long: 151.2404108180
Primary address: 128 Belmore Road, Randwick, NSW 2031
Local govt. area: Randwick
Local Aboriginal Land Council: La Perouse
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT33823   
LOT2 DP623630
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
128 Belmore RoadRandwickRandwick  Primary Address
140 Belmore RoadRandwickRandwickAlexandriaCumberlandAlternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Randwick City CouncilLocal Government25 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

Sandgate constructed circa 1879 is a two storey sandstone residence. It is associated with Simeon Pearce and the Pearce family who were prominent in the early society and politics of Randwick Municipality. It was designed as a ‘Gentleman’s residence’ and the house retains its original character. (Heritage Branch files)
Date significance updated: 08 Sep 11
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.


Builder/Maker: Simeon Pearce
Construction years: 1879-1879
Physical description: Sandgate is a substantial two storey residence. It retains its original character and detailing including elaborate wrought iron verandahs and columns, ornate plaster cornices and friezes and full cedar joinery. (Heritage Branch files)
Former use: Residence, Red Cross Returned Veterans Facility, Heritage Centre


Historical notes: Randwick History:
pre-1780s - local Aboriginal people in the area used the site for fishing and cultural activities - rock engravings, grinding grooves and middens remain in evidence.
1789 - Governor Philip referred to 'a long bay', which became known as Long Bay.
Aboriginal people are believed to have inhabited the Sydney region for at least 20,000 years (Turbet, 2001). The population of Aboriginal people between Palm Beach and Botany Bay in 1788 has been estimated to have been 1500. Those living south of Port Jackson to Botany Bay were the Cadigal people who spoke Dharug (Randwick Library webpage, 2003), while the local clan name of Maroubra people was "Muru-ora-dial" (City of Sydney webpage, 2003). By the mid nineteenth century the traditional owners of this land had typically either moved inland in search of food and shelter, or had died as the result of European disease or confrontation with British colonisers (Randwick Library webpage, 2003).

Colonial History:
One of the earliest land grants in this area was made in 1824 to Captain Francis Marsh, who received 12 acres bounded by the present Botany & High Streets, Alison & Belmore Roads. In 1839 William Newcombe acquired the land north-west of the present town hall in Avoca Street.

Randwick takes its name from the town of Randwick, Gloucestershire, England. The name was suggested by Simeon Pearce (1821-86) and his brother James. Simeon was born in the English Randwick and the brothers were responsible for the early development of both Randwick and its neighbour, Coogee. Simeon had come to the colony in 1841as a 21 year old surveyor. He built his Blenheim House on the 4 acres he bought from Marsh, and called his property "Randwick". The brothers bought and sold land profitably in the area and elsewhere. Simeon campaigned for construction of a road from the city to Coogee (achieved in 1853) and promoted the incorporation of the suburb. Pearce sought construction of a church modelled on the church of St. John in his birthplace. In 1857 the first St Jude's stood on the site of the present post office, at the corner of the present Alison Road and Avoca Street (Pollen, 1988, 217-8).

Randwick was...slow to progress. The village was isolated from Sydney by swamps and sandhills, and although a horse-bus was operated by a man named Grice from the late 1850s, the journey was more a test of nerves than a pleasure jaunt. Wind blew sand over the track, and the bus sometimes became bogged, so that passengers had to get out and push it free. From its early days Randwick had a divided society. The wealthy lived elegantly in large houses built when Pearce promoted Randwick and Coogee as a fashionable area. But the market gardens, orchards and piggeries that continued alongside the large estates were the lot of the working class. Even on the later estates that became racing empires, many jockeys and stablehands lived in huts or even under canvas. An even poorer group were the immigrants who existed on the periphery of Randwick in a place called Irishtown, in the area now known as The Spot, around the junction of St.Paul's Street and Perouse Road. Here families lived in makeshift houses, taking on the most menial tasks in their struggle to survive.

In 1858 when the NSW Government passed the Municipalities Act, enabling formation of municipal districts empowered to collect rates and borrow money to improve their suburb, Randwick was the first suburb to apply for the status of a municipality. It was approved in Februrary 1859, and its first Council was elected in March 1859.

Randwick had been the venue for sporting events, as well as duels and illegal sports, from the early days in the colony's history. Its first racecourse, the Sandy Racecourse or Old Sand Track, had been a hazardous track over hills and gullies since 1860. When a move was made in 1863 by John Tait, to establish Randwick Racecourse, Simeon Pearce was furious, expecially when he heard that Tait also intended to move into Byron Lodge. Tait's venture prospered, however and he became the first person in Australia to organise racing as a commercial sport. The racecourse made a big difference to the progress of Randwick. The horse-bus gave way to trams that linked the suburb to Sydney and civilisation. Randwick soon became a prosperous and lively place, and it still retains a busy residential, professional and commercial life.

Today, some of the houses have been replaced by home units. Many European migrants have made their homes in the area, along with students and workers at the nearby University of NSW and the Prince of Wales Hospital. (ibid, 218-9).

Sandgate, at 128 Belmore Road, was built around 1870 by Simeon Pearce as part of a row of investment properties along Belmore Road. The first tenant was Edwin T Penfold, a friend of Pearce.

Simeon Pearce was a prominent Randwick citizen, civil servant and successful land speculator. He was born on 27 January 1821 at Randwick, Gloucestershire, England. He and his cousin Samuel arrived as bounty immigrants in Sydney on Christmas Day 1841 aboard the Lady Clarke. By 1854 he had bought 200 acres (81 ha) of land at both Manly and French's Forest, and over 200 acres (81 ha) in parcels around Randwick and the St George area which were subdivided and sold profitably after the promotion of Randwick as a fashionable residential area. He was a leading campaigner for the incorporation of Randwick and was its Mayor in 1859 and held this position a total of six times.

It was known as 'Kilkerran' when occupied by James Cullen, an importer, in 1885 and later by Henry Hinton, wine merchant who lived there from 1886 to 1890.

In 1903 Timothy Fahey took up residence and renamed the house 'Felton.'

In 1918 it was acquired by the Commonwealth Government and together with the house next door, it became the 'Woodville Red Cross Home', a facility for World War I veterans.

In 1928 Sandgate passed into the hands of Catherine and Harold Tippler. The Tipplers owned the house until September 1966 when it changed ownership three times within a week.

In the late 1970s ownership of Sandgate was transferred to the developers of the neighbouring Coles New World Supermarket.

In October 1978 the Heritage Branch received respresentations from the Randwick and District Historical Society concerned about proposals to develop a shopping centre on land at the corner of Belmore Road and High Street Randwick. The proposal involved the demolition of Sandgate.

As a result a Section 130 order was placed over Sandgate on 3 November 1978. On 8 November the owner Sandgate gave notice of its proposed demolition. Negotiations between the owner and the Heritage Branch resulted in an acceptable re-design of the proposed shopping centre that retained the bilding in situ.

An Interim Heritage Order was placed over Sandgate on 15 December 1978. On 13 March 1981 a Permanent Conservation Order was placed over the property.

As a condition of consent associated with the development of the neighbouring Randwick Plaza, Sandgate was transferred to Randwick Council in 1982.

During the 1980s the building was restored and in September 1987 the then mayor of Randwick, Ald. John Scullion presented the keys of the cottage to Randwick Historical Society's president Mrs Kate Schlink. It was leased to the Randwick and District Historical Society, becoming its museum and heritage centre from 1987 until 1992 when Randwick Council commenced leasing it to commercial interests.

On 2 April 1999 Sandgate was transferred to the State Heritage Register. (Randwick and District Heritage Society) (Heritage Branch files)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. (none)-
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 Developing suburbia-

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0006702 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0006713 Mar 81 411584
Local Environmental PlanRandwick Local Environmental Plan 1998 - Sch3 30 Apr 99   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Sandgate View detail
WrittenPollon, F. & Healy, G.1988Randwick entry, in 'The Book of Sydney Suburbs'

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

rez rez rez rez rez rez
rez rez rez
(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: 5045450
File number: S90/06164 & HC 32109

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.