Uniting Church and Hall | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Uniting Church and Hall

Item details

Name of item: Uniting Church and Hall
Other name/s: Uniting Church Group
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Location: Lat: -33.6073536259 Long: 150.8208924590
Primary address: Macquarie Street, Windsor, NSW 2756
Parish: St Matthew
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Hawkesbury
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
Lot1 DP34642
LOT2 DP580289
LOT15 DP809182
LOT16 DP809182
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Macquarie StreetWindsorHawkesburySt MatthewCumberlandPrimary Address
Fitzgerald StreetWindsorHawkesburySt MatthewCumberlandAlternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
UCA - Windsor CongregationReligious Organisation 

Statement of significance:

The group is considered to be an important item of the State's environmental heritage because of its historic and social associations with the development of the town of Windsor. Its architectural value as examples of various architectural styles with curious stylistic idiosyncrasies. Its cultural significance as a group of buildings associated with the history of the Methodist Church in Windsor. Its aesthetic and landmark value as a group of buildings of great importance to the streetscape of Windsor, located in a prominent location on a major road. (Power, 1989)
Date significance updated: 07 Aug 06
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: 1861-1876
Physical description: Church Yard
The church yard comprises land fronting Fitzgerald and Macquarie Streets, and O'Briens Lane to the south. A retaining wall faces Macquarie Street, with lawn on its raised surface, on which the site's built elements sit.

Some trees are arrayed on the site, including a jacaranda at the south-west near the hall (Jacaranda mimosifolia), two crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica: one west of the church, the other to its north-east near the corner of Fitzgerald & Macquarie Streets) and two others: one in the site's south-east corner near the Church Hall's eastern wall, the other north and slightly west of the church's porch entry (Stuart Read, pers.comm., from 5/2017 photographs).

Church (1875-6)
The church was built in 1875-76 as a result of the fire which destroyed almost a whole block of the town on 23rd December 1874. The original Methodist church (1838-39) was destroyed but the schoolhouse (1861) miraculously survived. The church is a fine example of Victorian non-conformist Gothic revival architecture. It is built of rendered brick with Gothic detailing, consists of nave, vestry and porch, and has a steep slate roof. Most of the fittings are original and there is a marble memorial to the pioneer Wesleyan missionary, the Rev. Peter Turner (1803-73), who was associated with Windsor for the last twenty years of his life.
Forms part of the Uniting Church Precinct (Tanner & Associates, 1983)

Church Hall (1861)
The hall is a small, simple, rendered brick hall built in 1861 as a Methodist Schoolhouse. It is designed in the Colonial Georgian tradition, with a gabled corrugated iron roof, 12 pane windows, stone cills, doors with transom lights and simple heavy pilasters at the corners of the front elevation topped by curious conical decorations (Tanner & Associates, 1983)

This is one of only a small number of Windsor's early 19th century buildings being the former Wesleyan Methodist Church Halls c1861, being a remnant of the great fire that wiped out many of the buildings within Windsor township, including the former Church building (Graham Edds, letter supporting grant application, 2011).

House (Chantons Chambers)(1870s)
A two-storey, symmetrical three bay rendered brick house having steep gabled iron roof with a tall rendered chimney at each end. Large windows paired on either side of a four-panelled front door with transome and side lights set within and arch. Two storey verandah with cast iron balustrade and friezed columns paired on either side of the front door. French windows upstairs and typical timber picket fence.
Built in the 1870s, this was built in the same period as the second (present) church and ceased use as a parsonage in 1982. It forms part of the Uniting Church Precinct (Tanner & Associates, 1983).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Roof and foundation have suffered some damage by the 25 year old pine trees within three metres of the church building.
The condition of the slate roof has been deteriorating for the last 10 years.
The exterior of the church building is also suffering from age and weather damage to painted surfaces and spires etc.

Deteriorated condition of the church fabric, its roof stormwater drainage system, rising damp and falling damp deterioration, breaking down of the external paint particularly on the exposed parapets (Graham Edds, letter supporting grant application, 2011).
Current use: Church
Former use: Church


The lower Hawkesbury was home to the Dharug people. The proximity to the Nepean River and South Creek qualifies it as a key area for food resources for indigenous groups (Proudfoot, 1987).
The Dharug and Darkinjung people called the river Deerubbin and it was a vital source of food and transport (Nichols, 2010).

Governor Arthur Phillip explored the local area in search of suitable agricultural land in 1789 and discovered and named the Hawkesbury River after Baron Hawkesbury. This region played a significant role in the early development of the colony with European settlers established here by 1794. Situated on fertile floodplains and well known for its abundant agriculture, Green Hills (as it was originally called) supported the colony through desperate times. However, frequent flooding meant that the farmers along the riverbanks were often ruined.

1794: The study area covering allotments at 23 through to 39 North Street, Windsor, is located on land first alienated for European purposes in a grant made by Francis Grose of thirty acres to Samuel Wilcox, who named it Wilcox Farm. It is likely that land clearance and agricultural activities as well as some building works took place during this period and during the subsequent of occupation;

early 19th century: Former Wilcox Farm was incorporated into a larger holding of 1500 acres known as Peninsula Farm.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie replaced Governor Bligh, taking up duty on 1/1/1810. Under his influence the colony propsered. His vision was for a free community, working in conjunction with the penal colony. He implemented an unrivalled public works program, completing 265 public buildings, establishing new public amenities and improving existing services such as roads. Under his leadership Hawkesbury district thrived. He visited the district on his first tour and recorded in his journal on 6/12/1810: 'After dinner I chrestened the new townships...I gave the name of Windsor to the town intended to be erected in the district of the Green Hills...the township in the Richmond district I have named Richmond...' the district reminded Macquarie of those towns in England, whilst Castlereagh, Pitt Town and Wilberforce were named after English statesmen. These are often referred to as Macquarie's Five Towns. Their localities, chiefly Windsor and Richmond, became more permanent with streets, town square and public buildings.

Macquarie also appointed local men in positions of authority. In 1810 a group of settlers sent a letter to him congratulating him on his leadership and improvements. It was published in the Sydney Gazette with his reply. He was 'much pleased with the sentiments' of the letter and assured them that the Haweksbury would 'always be an object of the greatest interest' to him (Nichols, 2010).

In marking out the towns of Windsor and Richmond in 1810, Governor Macquarie was acting on instructions from London. All of the Governors who held office between 1789 and 1822, from Phillip to Brisbane, recieved the same Letter of Instruction regarding the disposal of the 'waste lands of the Crown' that Britain claimed as her own. This included directives for the formation of towns and thus the extension of British civilisation to its Antipodean outpost (Proudfoot 1987, 7-9).

Windsor, being the most successful and prosperous of Governor Macquarie's towns, was modelled on Macquarie's policy to establish schools in all principal districts in the colony. He agreed with contemporary European thought that literacy would help the poorer classes to benefit in an economic way and enable them to read the scriptures for moral benefit.

Wherever possible Macquarie had the schoolhouse/chapel funded by local subscription. Where this was not achievable entirely, he provided some government funds to encourage the enterprise.

The Macquarie schoolhouses continued to be used for religious purposes in the Hawkesbury towns until between 1821 and the 1850s when well designed churches were constructed.
(Barkley & Nichols, 1994)

The present site on the corner of Macquarie and Fitzgerald Streets comprises the Uniting Church, the church hall, the former parsonage (on the opposite side of Fitzgerald Street) and a house at No.29 Fitzgerald Street.

An earlier Methodist Church on the site, built in 1838-39, was destroyed by a disastrous fire which ravaged this part of the town in 1894. The current church was built inn 1875-76, and is considered to be one of the finest examples extant of this type of Victorian non-conformist church (Power, 1989)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Practising Presbyterianism-

Recommended management:


Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementCarry out an Archaeological Assessment 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 

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):
* change of use;
* maintenance of any items (buildings, works, relics or places) where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing fabric.
* minor repairs where minor repair means the repair of materials and includes replacement of minor components such as individual bricks where these have been damaged beyond reasonable repair or are missing. Replacements should be of the same materials, colour, texture, form and design as the original it replaces.
* alterations to the interior of a building which are of a minor nature and will not adversely affect the significance of the building as an item of the environmental heritage.
Jun 8 1990
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 0073502 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0073508 Jun 90 744679
Heritage Act - s.130 Order - Lapsed  09 Oct 81 150 
Heritage Act - s.130 Order - Revoked  30 Mar 90 44 
Local Environmental Plan 198918 Dec 89   
National Trust of Australia register  10622,4,5   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismHeritage NSW2013Windsor Uniting Church
WrittenNichols, Michelle (Local Studies Librarian)2010Macquarie and the Hawkesbury District

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: 5045614
File number: S90/03365 & HC 890475

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