Carthona | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Carthona
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -33.9087253156 Long: 151.2179915110
Primary address: 85 Todman Avenue, Kensington, NSW 2033
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Randwick
Local Aboriginal Land Council: La Perouse
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT8 DP5081
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
85 Todman AvenueKensingtonRandwickAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private29 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

Carthona is a fine example of the Federation style of architecture. Built c.1910 for a tradesman plasterer, the house retains almost all its original detail including slate roof with terracotta ridge capping, roughcast and cement chimneys, leaded glass and etched coloured glass windows, ornamental plaster ceilings with Australian flora and fauna motifs and interior joinery with grained timber finish. (Heritage Branch files)
Date significance updated: 22 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.


Construction years: 1910-1910
Physical description: Carthona is a single-story brick dwelling on a sandstone base. Soundly built the house features dichromatic and tuckpointed brickwork to the front elevation and decorative timber setailing to the verandah and gable end in the Queen Anne manner.

The house features a hipped slate roof with terracotta ridge capping and a gable over the front bedroom. The tall chimneys have all survived and feature roughcast and cement detailing with terracotta chimney pots. The front door, with sidelights and fanlight feature leaded glass. Timber-framed windows are double-hung sash and those in the front elevation feature coloured glass and etched decoration in a star pattern.

The interior of the house retains almost all of its original detailing including fine ornamental plaster ceilings with Australia flora and fauna motifs. Doors, architecture and skirtings are finished in original wood graining. Fireplaces are fine marble (drawing room) and timber with tiled surrounds (bedrooms and dining room). (Heritage Branch files)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical condition is good.
Date condition updated:15 Sep 11
Modifications and dates: 1986 - removal of early kitchen and bathroom fixtures, extension and enclosure of rear verandah, consutruction of garage.
2009 - extension at rear, addition of rear deck, internal modifications.
Current use: Residence
Former use: Residence


Historical notes: Randwick's 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).

Carthona was constructed in c.1910 by Mr Frank Gallagher. Up until 1986 the property was in the one family ownership.

In January 1986 the Heritage Branch received representations from the National Trust of Australia (MSW) regarding the sale of Carthona at 85 Todman Avenue, Randwick. On 21 February 1986 an Interim Conservation Order was placed over the property to provide time to investigate its significance and to provide heritage management at the time.

A Permanent Conservation Order was placed over the property on 19 February 1988. On 2 April 1999 it was transferred to the State Heritage Register.

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)-

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 0055502 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0055519 Feb 88 331026
Local Environmental PlanRandwick Local Environmental Plan 1998 - Sch3 30 Apr 99   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Carthona View detail
Written 2012.
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Carthona View detail
WrittenLawrence, Joan1993Exploring the Suburbs - Eastern Suburbs Walks
WrittenPollon, F. & Healy, G.1988Randwick entry, in 'The Book of Sydney Suburbs'
WrittenPollon, F. & Healy, G. (ed.s)1988'Randwick' entry, in "The Book of Sydney Suburbs"

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: 5045607
File number: S91/01922 & KHC 860142

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.

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