St. Clair | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

St. Clair

Item details

Name of item: St. Clair
Other name/s: St Clair Cottage, St Clair Museum
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Villa
Location: Lat: -34.7510243678 Long: 149.7239008980
Primary address: 318 Sloane Street, Goulburn, NSW 2580
Parish: Goulburn
County: Argyle
Local govt. area: Goulburn Mulwaree
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Pejar
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT2 DP533720
LOT1 DP995832
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
318 Sloane StreetGoulburnGoulburn MulwareeGoulburnArgylePrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Goulburn Mulwaree CouncilLocal Government19 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

St Clair is a typical example of the early provincial colonial villa of its period. Built in three stages between 1843 and 1849, it has not been structurally altered or interfered with over the ensuing years. St Clair is within the Goulburn CBD and is one of the city's oldest residences.
Date significance updated: 19 Dec 05
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: James Sinclair
Builder/Maker: James Sinclair
Construction years: 1840-1840
Physical description: House:
St Clair is a split-level 18 room colonial villa. It is of solid brick construction, rendered, with internal plaster lining in all ground floor rooms. Ceilings and first floor internal walls are of lath and plaster. Internal doors architraves and skirting boards are red cedar. Verandah columns are fluted sandstone, while shutters and veranda linings are red cedar.

The first stage of the house consists of four rooms at entrance level, over two downstairs rooms, two cellar rooms and an unusual larder. A second and possibly third stage added two wings containing eight more rooms, a kitchen and scullery. These wings were enclosed to form a courtyard.

St Clair is a typical example of the early provincial colonial villa of the 1840s. In many respects it is unique as in particular it has never at any period been structurally interfered with.

In common with the majority of country homes of the period the elegance and grandeur depreciates as one moves towards the back of the building and the downstairs areas. What at first sight appears to be perhaps a reasonably sized cottage is, in fact, almost duplicated in size at the lower level. The house is of the 'split level' variety with three district floor levels and comprises about 18 rooms in all. The centre and almost square hall accommodates the rather narrow and uninviting staircase. The layout downstairs would not appear to permit the most accommodating domestic arrangement and would certainly have kept the housewife and maids constantly occupied.

St Clair also shows many examples of colonial architecture and building methods. These include the fluted sandstone columns, lathe and plaster ceilings and walls, wooden shingle roof in stage one (later covered by iron in stage two) and shingle soundproofing in the upstairs floors.

Outbuildings/Site:
Historic photos indicate that the site had the odd bush and tree but was quite disturbed by early 20th century (Jennifer Lambert-Tracey, pers.comm., 10/8/2009).

A small front garden lies between the front facade of St.Clair and Sloane Street. The site slopes away and down from the street, meaning the house is two storied at the rear. Behind the house is a stable, carriage store and servants quarters set in a windless arrangement. The stable and quarters are currently used as flats.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
St Clair has not seen significant physical alteration over the past 150years. While the building is suffering from the effects of rising damp and salt damage, some structural cracks and timber decay, it has only minor modern intrusions. These include some cement render, 1980s, and some fibro sheeting over deteriorating plaster walls, 1960s. Out buildings, stables etc, warrant further archaeological investigation.

An original brick well/tank in the wagon shed has been filled in and may contain early artefacts.

The brick paving in front of the stables has been covered with aggregate and since grown over with grass.
Modifications and dates: St Clair grew in stages between 1843 and 1849. During this time the stage one shingle roof was covered with iron.
1926 Two concrete lions couchant, concrete path and the veranda sandstone flagging was covered with concrete.

1950s-60s some fibro internal wall cladding was added.

1980s the cottage was restored at which time some lathe and plaster ceilings were lined over and some cement render was used to replace missing plaster.
Further information: St Clair, while in relatively original condition and largely structurally sound, it has suffered from many years of rising damp, partly due to its semi buried walls, but mostly due to early cladding of down stairs and cellar walls. This had the effect of hiding the decaying bricks and plaster from view until damage was well advanced.
Current use: Historic building, folk museum, tearoom/kitchen and two residential flats
Former use: Residence; private school, medical consulting rooms, guest house

History

Historical notes: One of Goulburn's earliest houses, St Clair was both designed and constructed by Goulburn's prominent early builder and first architect, James Sinclair. The land was purchased in 1843 and the house was built in two or three stages with completion before 1849. The first stage of the house consists of four rooms at entrance level, over two downstairs rooms, two cellar rooms and an unusual larder. A second and possibly third stage added two wings containing eight more rooms, a kitchen and scullery. These wings were enclosed to form a courtyard.

Sinclair lived at St Clair until 1851 when, in financial difficulties, he left for the Victorian goldfields and was never heard of again.

Sinclair almost certainly owned John Claudius (J.C.) Loudon's 'Cottage Architecture' (sic) first edition in the late 1830s. Sinclair also designed a similar Goulburn cottage for his friend and business acquaintance John James Woodward. This cottage also had a more utilitarian Greek Revival verandah fronting a relatively straight forward Georgian cottage. it It was designed late 1840s prior to Sinclair's disappearance, but not built until the late 1850s (Freeman, Peter, pers.comm., 16/8/2016).

In 1852 St Clair was purchased by storekeeper, Joseph Bull, for 600 pounds and Bull lived in the house until his death in 1871.

The stables, coach house and hay loft were built c.1870 for Joseph Bull (Cooper, 2015).

His widow Elizabeth continued to reside there until 1876 when Edward J Ball, twice Mayor of Goulburn and MLA for Argyle, bought the residence. Ball, it seems, lived in a portion of the house and leased a section. A Dr. Carroll had a consulting room there prior to 1882.

In 1883 a school for girls was being run at St Clair by Mrs Emric and her two daughters the Misses Crackenthrope. In the late 1880s a Miss Sharp taught music, piano, organ, harmonium, harp, French and drawing at the house. After the death of E J Ball Senior in 1894 St Clair was passed on to his son Edward Joseph Ball Junior, who subsequently died in 1990.

In 1900 St Clair was bought by Bridget Bruton, wife of J J Bruton, of the Royal Hotel, who lived there for some years. From this period onwards St Clair was run as a guesthouse. In the period 1908 to 1910 St Clair was rented by Mr Boissier, the local Government Architect of the day. On Mrs Bruton's death it passed to her daughter Mrs Ruby Egar, who rented the large house.

Historic photos indicate that the site had the odd bush and tree but was quite disturbed by early 20th century (Jennifer Lambert-Tracey, pers.comm., 10/8/2009).

The McCarthy family ran it as a guesthouse from around 1912 until 1922 when it was purchased from Mrs Egar by Horace Oliver Pursehouse. The Pursehouse family continued to run it as a guesthouse, their daughter, Mrs Thirlby McDonell continued the business after her parents death and eventually set up the house as bedsitters or flatettes until her death in 1966. Her two sons then sold the property.

In 1970, to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Governor Macquarie's visit to Goulburn in 1820, a grant of $10,000 was made by the Premier's Department of NSW to the Goulburn City Council, to be used for an historical purpose within the city. St. Clair at this time was facing demolition. The Goulburn and District Historical Society persuaded Council to purchase St Clair, using the Premier's Department funds and to devote the balance of any moneys towards its restoration. The title is vested in the City Council.

Soon after St Clair became the headquarters for the Goulburn and District Historical Society. They are now joined by the Friends of the St Clair in preserving the significant collection and archival research centre.

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 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 townsfolk - terraces and cottages-
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 politicians-
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 professional people-
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. Guesthouses-
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 Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing suburbia-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working in health care-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Private (independent) schooling-
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 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. Interior design styles and periods - Colonial-
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. Architectural styles and periods - colonial homestead-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in a new house-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in suburbia-
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 Visiting heritage places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Developing local clubs and meeting places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Belonging to an historical society or heritage organisation-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with James Sinclair, Goulburn architect, prominent builder-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Edward J. Ball, twice Goulburn Mayor, MLA for Argyle-

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 0011702 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0011713 Mar 81 411585
National Trust of Australia register  242905 Apr 76   
Register of the National Estate 109721 Mar 78   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAttraction Homepage2007St Clair View detail
WrittenCooper, Linda2015'St.Clair, 318 Sloane Street, Goulburn', in "Calling all Experts"
WrittenGoulburn Mulwaree Council2007draft Conservation Management Plan: St.Clair
TourismTazewell, S.J.1988A History of St. Clair, 318 Sloane Street, Goulburn, NSW, Australia View detail
WrittenTazewell, SJ.1988A History of St.Clair, 318 Sloane Street, Goulburn, NSW, Australia

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

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045517
File number: S90/06081 & HC 32209


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