Morpeth House, Closebourne House, Adjoining Chapels and Diocesan Registry Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Morpeth House, Closebourne House, Adjoining Chapels and Diocesan Registry Group

Item details

Name of item: Morpeth House, Closebourne House, Adjoining Chapels and Diocesan Registry Group
Other name/s: Morpeth House, Closebourne House, Adjoining Chapels and Diocesan Registry Group, Bishopscourt, Broughton Boys Grammar School
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Landscape - Cultural
Category: Historic Landscape
Location: Lat: -32.7284905361 Long: 151.6198120880
Primary address: Morpeth Road, Morpeth, NSW 2321
Parish: Maitland
County: Northumberland
Local govt. area: Maitland
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Mindaribba
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT23 DP1163382
LOT1 DP270740
LOT2 DP270740
LOT3 DP270740
LOT4 DP270740
LOT5 DP270740
LOT6 DP270740
LOT1 DP280039
LOT10 DP280039
LOT11 DP280039
LOT12 DP280039
LOT13 DP280039
LOT14 DP280039
LOT15 DP280039
LOT16 DP280039
LOT17 DP280039
LOT19 DP280039
LOT2 DP280039
LOT20 DP280039
LOT21 DP280039
LOT22 DP280039
LOT3 DP280039
LOT5 DP280039
LOT6 DP280039
LOT7 DP280039
LOT8 DP280039
LOT9 DP280039
LOT1 DP280040
LOT10 DP280040
LOT11 DP280040
LOT12 DP280040
LOT13 DP280040
LOT2 DP280040
LOT3 DP280040
LOT4 DP280040
LOT5 DP280040
LOT6 DP280040
LOT7 DP280040
LOT8 DP280040
LOT9 DP280040
LOT1 DP583348
PART LOT1 DP841759
PART LOT3 DP841759
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Morpeth RoadMorpethMaitlandMaitlandNorthumberlandPrimary Address
Tank StreetMorpethMaitlandMaitlandNorthumberlandAlternate Address
Metford RoadMorpethMaitland  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Malborough (Investments) Pty LtdPrivate29 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

The Morpeth House and St John's College site retains in its context, setting, landscape, buildings, fabric and archaeology, tangible evidence of its central role in the establishment of European settlement in the Hunter Valley and in the founding and evolution of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, its ongoing role in the training of clergy as well as in education in the region.

This prominent site immediately adjacent to the first landing point by Europeans is highly likely to have an observation point or gathering ground for the Aboriginal people of the area, its green ridges being a prominent oasis in a heavily vegetated river floor plain.

EC Close chose this dominating site to establish his 'manor estate' of Closebourne and laid out his private township and port of Morpeth on the lower ridge adjacent. The location of Closebourne House (1829) and the later Morpeth House (1849-56) and their associated carefully-planned landscape continue to reflect his vision for this relationship as well as his personal status.

The use of Closebourne House as 'Bishopscourt', official residence of the first four bishops of Newcastle from 1849-1912, commencing with Bishop Tyrrell, played a central role in the establishment of the Anglican Church in the region. Each bishop has made a significant contribution to the landscape and structures on the site.

The relocation of St John's College from Armidale to the Morpeth House site in 1925 and its continued role in the training of Anglican clergy has been highly significant in the church. It is one of only two Anglican Theological Colleges in New South Wales and the only one in a rural context. Together with the continued use of the whole site for education and as a conference/retreat venue, the place has a unique identity both within the region as well as in NSW.

The links and associations between this site with its Arcadian landscape and the adjacent Morpeth township, both established by EC Close, have evolved and in many ways strengthened. The context, setting and fabric which tangibly express these links and associations survive with remarkable clarity and integrity.

The significance of this site cannot be separated from that of the township and former port of Morpeth as they were established as completely interdependent components of one man's vision. The continued role of each in the setting, character and definition of the other, provides a unique and tangible insight into the early European colonisation of the area.

The township of Morpeth is unique in the Hunter region and possibly also in New South Wales as the least altered 19th century 'company town' and retains its character and setting as a village in an open rural setting.

The principal buildings on the site by EC Close and St John's College are very fine and unusual examples of their period. They retain a significant amount of original fabric and high integrity. All retain their landscape, context and setting or in the case of Morpeth House, retain the potential for aspects of this significant setting to be restored.

The site retains in its archaeological resources, evidence of the early European establishment, use and occupation of the area.


Conservation Management Plan
Morpeth House and St John's College Morpeth
Author: Design 5 - Architects Pty Ltd
Publisher: Dobler Consulting and the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle
Year: 2005
Page: 137
Date significance updated: 11 Nov 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

Construction years: 1829-1849
Physical description: The Morpeth House and St John's College site is situated at the west end of the township of Morpeth, its open space juxtaposed with the regular grid subdivision and built structures of the town. The site overlooks Morpeth Road and the Hunter River to the north, and Tank Street, the southern edge of Morpeth and the river flood plain to the east. It occupies a prominent ridge which follows the river and which continues into the town. The highest point on this ridge is occupied by the Morpeth House group while the Closebourne House group is situated a short distance to the east on a slightly lower but more prominent section of the same ridge.

The character of the site is varied comprising open rural zones, water catchment areas, wooded zones, structured and unstructured landscaped areas and built up areas surrounding Closebourne House and Morpeth House.

For the purposes of this study, the site can be divided into a number of precincts each with definable characteristics, boundaries and relationships. This approach is useful in analysing a complex site in order to arrive at an understanding of individual parts or precincts and their relationship to each other and to the whole.

The site has been divided into eight precincts. The precincts can be described as follows:

PRECINCT A - MORPETH ROAD PADDOCK
General Description:
Open Grassland and landscaped buffer between road and historic precincts of Closebourne House Group and Morpeth House Groups.

Relationship to other precincts:
Open landscaped area as foreground/setting to historic complex (Precincts B&D) situated along ridge.

Defined by:
Morpeth Road to north; Tank Street to east; Brush box avenue along ridge to southeast; Edges of Precincts B, C, D to south (as defined elsewhere); Tree lined entrance drive to Morpeth House Group to west.

Consists of:
Single sweep of open landscaped area as seen from Morpeth Road.

Characteristics:
Drops down to roadway verge emphasising significance of historic precincts along ridge above.
No fences to Morpeth and Tank Streets. Curtilage between historic precincts and public roads.

PRECINCT B - CLOSEBOURNE HOUSE GROUP
General Description:
Cluster of buildings in close proximity (range in age from 1827-1982).

Relationship to other precincts:
Strong link to St James' Church to east.
Views to south east across precincts E & F to rural landscape and cemetery beyond.

Defined by:
Park rail fence to north; Oval to west; Tree lined avenue to east; Embankment along contour line to south.

Consists of following zones:
Front and entry garden to north. Closebourne complex including spaces/courtyards between buildings. Open field to south.

Characteristics:
Visual presence from Morpeth Road to north. Situated along ridge line.

PRECINCT C - OVAL AREA
General Description:
Level open ground (unique on site which is sloping).

Relationship to other precincts:
Separates Closebourne House Group and Morpeth Group (Precincts B & D). Embankment/west edge in view shadow from A, B, D & E.

Defined by:
Embankment to north/north east/southeast;
Tree belt to west/northwest; Road to south/southeast.

Consists of following zones:
Open level area of oval itself. Buffer area within tree belt to west of oval.

Characteristics:
Addresses Morpeth Road to north/northeast. Situated along ridge line. Open ground of oval not visible from east or north.

PRECINCT D - MORPETH HOUSE GROUP
General Description:
Group buildings arranged around central space (range in age from 1849-1977).

Relationship to other precincts:
Visual links/glimpses from within precinct across Precinct F, to rural landscape and cemetery to southeast.

Defined by:
Driveway and vegetation to west/northwest; Shallow embankment o rural cartilage along Morpeth Road to north and view shadow from Closebourne entry drive; Tree belt and fence line at edge of ridge line to south; Fence line and oval planting to east.

Consists of following zones:
Area containing original driveway to north (has since been deviated). Open landscaped area either side of east/west roadway.
Central open space surrounded by buildings west of Morpeth House. Morpeth complex arranged around central open space and adjacent walled courtyards. Vice Principal's residence and associated landscaping. South east landscaped area.

Characteristics:
As a result of extensive late 20th century screen planting and topography, does not have strong visual presence from Morpeth Road to north. Situated at highest part of the site along ridge line. Inward looking self contained. Broader views from precinct periphery on east/southeast.

PRECINCT E - CLOSEBOURNE HOUSE, TANK STREET PADDOCK
General Description:
Open grassed foreground to Closebourne House Group on ridge above.

Relationship to other precincts:
View corridor for Precincts B & C to rural landscape beyond.

Defined by:
Tank Street to east; Closebourne House Group and Brush box avenue to north; Valley and soak to south; Open ground of oval precinct at high point to west.

Consists of following zones:
Open area defined by contours and the valley form.

Characteristics:
Maintains continuity between rural landscape to east and west of Tank Street and character of ridge based development.
Lowest part of site subject to flooding protected within this precinct.
Significant visual links to rural landscape and cemetery beyond along valley.

PRECINCT F - MORPETH HOUSE, TANK STREET PADDOCK
General Description:
Open grassed ridge rising from Tank Street to Morpeth House Group.

Relationship to other precincts:
Eastern part reads as part of open foreground to Closebourne House Group (Precinct B) and also as continuation of rural landscape along the edge of Morpeth township.

Defined by:
Valley to north; Tank Street to east; Boundary to south; Planting and fence line to west.

Consists of following zones:
Open area defined by contours sloping down to Tank Street.

Characteristics:
Expansive views to and from flood plain area east of Tank Street. Views to and from cemetery. Upper areas not easily visible from Tank Street except from along north edge/valley.

PRECINCT G - WOODED BUFFER ZONE
General Description:
Heavily planted area (within last 20 years) providing visual protection from adjacent development.

Relationship to other precincts:
Wraps around southern and western edges of Morpeth House Group (Precinct D).

Defined by:
Tree belt to north; Roadway and edge of Morpeth House Group in an arc to northeast; Property boundaries to south and west;
Continuation of line of north/south fence line to east.

Consists of following zones:
Arm west of Morpeth House Group. Arm south of Morpeth House Group.

Characteristics:
Eastern edge of south arm addresses open rural zone in foreground with views to flood plain beyond. Majority of precinct screened from rest of site and from Morpeth Road. Visual connection from Tank Street.

PRECINCT H - MORPETH ROAD WEST PADDOCK
General Description:
Open landscaped area addressing Morpeth. Road with rural vistas to northwest.

Relationship to other precincts:
Visual links to Morpeth House Group (Precinct D) to southeast.

Defined by:
Morpeth Road to north; Morpeth House driveway to east and southeast; Tree belt to south; Site boundary to west.

Consists of following zones:
Single area sloping down toward Morpeth Road to north.

Characteristics:
Area is screened from all other precincts (apart from Morpeth House Group) by heavy planting. Well oriented sloping site.

SETTING
The setting of the place is diverse whilst at the same time reflecting the unique character of the Hunter Region which is dominated by the Hunter River and its flood plains. The historic complex of the site, comprising the Closebourne House Group and Morpeth House Group situated on the ridge, is oriented toward the river and rural landscape to the north.

The historic town of Morpeth provides a low scale urban setting to the east of the site in contrast to the rural setting to the north and southeast. There is also a strong connection between the site and St James Church and Rectory to the south west of the town and the cemetery to the south, both of which will be discussed elsewhere.

The site is bounded to the east and south east by an open rural landscape with floodplains beyond. This setting is punctuated by views of the cemetery in the distance. The openness of the rural landscape changes abruptly to the south where modern residential development extends along most of the southern and all of the western boundaries of the site.

RELATIONSHIP OF THE PLACE TO ITS SETTING
The open landscaped area to the north of the site (Precinct A) forms the setting for the historic Closebourne and Morpeth House complex situated on the ridge line above, overlooking the river and flood plain below. This cartilage serves to formalise the relationship between these historic complexes and the river, which was historically the principal form of access, supply and commerce for Morpeth. Access to the place today is still from the north along Morpeth Road which flanks the river.

The open landscaped area to the north east of the site along Tank Street (Precinct A) forms a rural edge, which contrasts with the low scale urban edge of the town of Morpeth adjacent. This serves to make a distinction between the site as a place of theological learning, and the town as a place of commerce. The strong connection between the site and St James Church as represented by the avenue of brush box trees (Lophostemon confertus) further emphasises this relationship.

In the 19th century, this contrast reinforced the relationship between the park-like estate setting of Close's mansion and the town ship of Morpeth which he planned and oversaw.

The open grassed area to the east and south east of the site extending from the ridge line and dropping down to Tank Street (Precincts E & F) establishes a continuity between the site and the rural landscape beyond. This is further emphasised by the small valley and soak at the eastern edge of the site which connects it to the flood plain beyond.

Perimeter planting along the south boundary screens the modern residential development to the south. Similarly dense planting in the west and south west areas of the site (Precinct G in particular) acts as a buffer to the suburban residential development to the west.

VIEWS TO AND FROM THE SITE

The site is most easily viewed from Morpeth Road to the north, Morpeth town to the northeast, Tank Street to the east and approaching roads from the southeast.

Principle views to the site can be summarised as follows:

- Views along Morpeth Road to the site:
Sweeping view across open grassland and landscaped area as foreground to historic precincts.
Grand setting for Closebourne House viewed clearly on the ridge.
Potential glimpses of Morpeth House if 1970s brick residences removed.
Memorial entry gates significant market for entry to site.

- Views from town of Morpeth (James Street) to the site:
Sweeping view of open grassed hillside sloping down to Tank Street (Precincts E & F) flanked by residential development to the south and landscaped/wooded area to the north.
Closebourne House and Morpeth House Groups obscured by trees.

- Views from Tank Street to the site:
View of open grassed hillside and valley (Precincts E & F) with sweep of ridge line beyond.
Glimpsed views of Morpeth House Group through trees with Kauri pine and Camphor Laurels as landmarks.
Glimpsed view of south side of Closebourne House Group with Araucaria pines (Cook's pines (A. columnaris) and Bunya pines (A.bidwillii) as landmark.

- Views to the site from the Cemetery to Southeast:
View of open grassed area to Tank Street and southeast boundaries.
Glimpsed views of Closebourne House Group with water tower and Araucaria pines as landmarks.
Brush box tree Avenue defines horizon.
Mature trees around Morpeth House visible above Morpeth Manor development.

Principle views from the site are to the north, east and southeast and can be defined as follows:

- Views to river and agricultural land beyond:
Sweeping views directly to and up (northwards) along the Hunter River from Closebourne House Group.
Potential views to river from Morpeth House framed by entrance drive to west and oval planting to east if 1970s residences removed.

- Views to rural landscape to east and southeast:
Key view southeast along gulley from oval to rural landscape and flood plain beyond.
Key view through site to east along south edge of oval (Precinct C) between Closebourne House Group and Morpeth House Group.
Framed views from Closebourne House Group to rural landscape and cemetery to southeast.
Framed views from Morpeth House Group to rural landscape and flood plain to east and southeast.

- Views to rural landscape to northwest:
Glimpsed views from Morpeth House to northwest toward Morpeth Road and rural landscape beyond.

VIEWS TO AND FROM MORPETH HOUSE GROUP (PRECINCT D)
The Morpeth House group is not readily visible from outside the site and offers only glimpsed views from other precincts within the site despite its location on the ridge. Buildings and structures are arranged around a central space which is open to the north.

Views to and from, and within the precinct can be described as follows:

- Views to the north:
Morpeth House was originally sited with views to the river to the north. These are currently obscured by Storrs and Davies Residences.

- Views to the east:
Key view looking east along axis of roadway beside Storrs and Davies residences across gulley to south edge of Morpeth township and rural landscape.

- Views to the southeast:
Framed views through trees southeast of Morpeth House toward valley and cemetery beyond. South edge of Morpeth township also visible.

- Views to the south and southwest:
Views obscured by dense tree planting.

- Views to the northwest:
Glimpsed views through trees to rural landscape beyond.
Glimpsed views to and from open landscaped area to northwest of Principle's Residence and Robinson House.

- Views within precinct:
Views across central open area to and from principal building groups situated around perimeter. Strong visual connection between western group (Robinson House, Principle's Residence, Temporary Dining Hall), eastern group (Morpeth House, St John's Chapel, Library) and southern group (Burgmann House, ancillary structures).

VIEWS TO AND FROM CLOSEBOURNE HOUSE GROUP (PRECINCT B)
The Closebourne House group is highly visible from Morpeth Road to the north and is the most accessible and readily identified part of the site's historic precinct situated along the ridgeline. Buildings and structures are clustered around Closebourne House extending east along the southern edge of the tree lined avenue which forms a strong axial connection between the precinct and St James Church on the other side of Tank Street.

Views to and from, and within the precinct can be described as follows:

- Views to the north:
Broad panoramic views from Closebourne House to the northeast, north and northwest across the landscaped area in the foreground (Precinct A) and Morpeth Road, to the river and rural landscape beyond.

- Views to the east:
Glimpsed/framed views across to the low scale urban environment of Morpeth village.
Direct axial vista from driveway running east/west behind the Tank Street cottages along High Street opposite in Morpeth village.
Connecting axial view east/west along the avenue of trees between Closebourne House Group and St James Church on the other side of Tank Street.

- Views to the south/southeast:
Glimpsed views between buildings to the east/southeast to the rural landscape and flood plain beyond.
Sweeping panoramic view along the southern edge of the precinct across the immediate gulley and hillside to the south and extending to the cemetery, rural landscape and flood plains as the view opens out to the southeast and east.
Key view east down gulley to flood plain from edge of oval south of Bishop Tyrrell Lodge.

- Views to the west:
Views to the west from Closebourne House are closed off by the tree lined driveway leading from Morpeth Road to the Morpeth House Group.
Views to the west from the rear of the precinct are blocked by an embankment which forms the edge of the higher open oval area.

- Views within precinct:
East west link views across the Dining Hall colonnade and rear of Closebourne House.
East west link views through the site across the front of Bishop Tyrrell Lodge and along the driveway immediately to the east.
Connecting views from the western edge of the oval back to Closebourne House.
Connecting view between Morpeth House and Closebourne House groups from southwest.

THE HISTORICAL LANDSCAPE
The following is an historical overview of the site's landscape development. It predominantly draws information from the site history prepared by Cynthia Hunter but it also takes into consideration, the results of an archaeological survey of the site undertaken by Wendy Thorp and further historical research and site investigations.

EARLY SETTLEMENT AND CLOSEBOURNE HOUSE
- Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the hilly areas were covered in forest with some areas more open than others.

- Land close to the river substantially cleared for grazing at time of early settlement but remnant forest trees remained on southern part of site for some time and gradually cleared toward the south.

- Major trees planted when Closebourne House was constructed in 1829 included the Moreton Bay figs (Ficus macrophylla) flanking both garden entrances and a single Cook's pine (Araucaria columnaris), and later the Araucaria pines in the 1840s.

- Kitchen garden and house paddocks established 1830s-1840s.

- Both Lieut Close and subsequent Bishops were interested in using landmark trees to identify important sites.

- From the time of Bishop Tyrrell's occupation of Closebourne (1849) until the diocesan base moved to Newcastle (1912), the gardens were further developed by the various Bishops who occupied the house. Bishops Tyrrell and Stanton were known as keen gardeners.

- Brushbox Avenue planted by Bishop Stanton c.1890s.

- During the time of St Albans Boys' Home (19221942) and Broughton boys' Home (1942-1959), tree-planting was not based on any themes and with little regard for earlier plantings. The first Araucaria was removed and sporting facilities were provided during this time.

- Aerial photograph from 1958 shows very sparse tree planting with majority of site with no trees.

- The landscape was further modified to accommodate the needs of the Diocesan Conference Centre (from c.1960).

- The most major change to the Closebourne House grounds occurred with the reworking of the front gardens, following a conservation management plan prepared by Tropman and Tropman (July 1994).

MORPETH HOUSE

- The sitting of Morpeth House is similar to Closebourne House with the exception that it is less dominating in the landscape but retains visual links back to the town and the river.

- When Lieut close took up residence at Morpeth House, he commenced planting and establishment of gardens around the house, but nowhere near the scale of Closebourne House. Trees planted around this time included the Camphor Laurels and the Kauri Pine intended to be a landmark tree.

- During its use as St John's College, planting and landscape works were not given much consideration, except for small projects including the tennis courts, Calvary Garden and the small pin plantation.

- The most significant change was the removal in the late 1920s of the carriage loop and construction of tennis courts in front of Morpeth House.

- The area containing Morpeth House and the College buildings was fenced as a single space, its garden treated in an institutional manner.

- Dividing fence constructed between Morpeth House and Closebourne properties c.1849. Removed early 1980s.

- Tree planting established in 1960s around oval and along driveways.

- The dense native plantings (undertaken 1980s by the local community) running on both sides of Bishop Batty Drive, block openness intended for the front paddocks and now obscure the house from views both in and out.

- The 1990s native planting buffer along the south and west boundary obscure the view of neighbouring development from within the site.

FABRIC SURVEY

The following fabric survey assesses the extant built elements on the site. It is based on a preliminary site survey undertaken on 6 & 7 April 2004. Access was limited and not all interiors of buildings were inspected. Sufficient information was gathered to understand the general history, integrity and significance of each structure. Further detail studies will be required in order to understand the history and integrity of each component of the fabric as well as to prepare schedules for repair and conservation works.

Reference numbers given to buildings/items are based on those previously established in the Conservation Management Plan for the site, January 1999, prepared by EJE Town Planning. Buildings/items are numbered according to historical sequence not location, beginning with Closebourne House - the oldest building on the site, as No.1. Note that No.2 in that sequence was used for St James' Church which is outside the area of the present study but strongly associated with it.

MORPETH HOUSE GROUP - PRECINCT D

Building/Item: MORPETH HOUSE

Date of Construction/Brief History:

1849-1856: Building commenced 1849 as new home for Close family who vacated Closebourne House and moved into Morpeth House in 1856.

1869-1925: House and land leased as farm/residence.

1925: Purchased by St John's College Council.
Front garden altered and carriage loop removed in late 1920s when tennis courts constructed.
Large east room (New Testament Room) used as chapel until 1941 when St John's Chapel built.
Rooms used for teaching and offices 1925 to present.

Brief Description:
Single storey Victorian Regency residence with north facing verandah to main house and east and west wings forming courtyard to rear. Evidence of a central underground water storage cistern in rear courtyard.

Walls:
Sandstone walls.

Roof:
Slate roof, each wing roofed separately.

Internal finishes:
Timber floors; lime plastered walls; some original plastered ceilings but most replaced in metal sheeting; painted and polished cedar joinery; polished cedar and later marble chimney pieces. Further investigation needed.
Architectural features: Timber verandah columns with french doors opening onto verandah. Unusual french door cases with external architraves and panelled reveals.

Uses:
Original use - Close family residence.
Current use - Administration centre and teaching spaces for St John's College.

Relationship to Group:
Earliest building in group. Arrival point for visitors to St John's College. Originally sited with views towards river with carriage circle in front.

Alterations to Building/Item:
North verandah partially enclosed (now removed but shown in 1926 photograph). Significant alterations to east wing for library extension 1958. Demolition of south wing c.1960's. Further detailed investigation needed to establish extent of alterations to main house. North and west wings appear to retain their original configurations with some fabric altered.

Integrity/Condition:
Further investigation needed to establish condition. Evidence of falling and rising damp. High degree of integrity.

Level of Significance:
1 - Exceptional significance.

Building/Item: ST JOHN'S CHAPEL

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Constructed 1941from recycled sandstone originally in Campbell and Company's Stores building, Morpeth which was constructed in the 1830's and demolished in 1939.

Brief Description:
Simple rectangular stone building with hipped gable roof and curved vents. Chapel oriented along north/south axis.

Walls:
Sandstone walls.

Roof:
Asbestos cement shingles in diagonal pattern.

Internal finishes:
Sandstone walls with cedar panelling behind pews, carpet on concrete floor, ceiling lined in masonite with timber battens and exposed timber purlins over timber trusses.

Architectural features:
Raised organ and gallery above entry at southern end. Leadlight windows in timber frames throughout. Exposed timber trusses. Polished cedar church pews and matching wall panelling.

Uses:
Original use - College Chapel.
Current use - as above.

Relationship to Group:
Adjacent to Morpeth House. Close connection with Garden of Calvary.

Alterations to Building/Item:
No obvious alterations following construction.

Integrity/Condition:
Good condition. Very high degree of integrity.

Level of Significance:
2-3 - High to moderate level of significance.

Building/Item: THE CALVARY GARDEN

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Established in 1954 as a garden chapel adjoining St John's Chapel. Work progressed on stones walls of chapel over a number of years, carried out by college students under the direction of vice warden Dr Smythe. Constructed from recycled sandstone originally in the Illalaung Hotel, Morpeth, which was built in the early 1830's and demolished c.1953.

Brief Description:
Rectangular walled garden with cross axial plan arrangement - principal axis running east west with chapel building at west end and alter at east end. Access to garden is via gates centred in north and south walls and doorway from chapel at western end. East wall has three vertical openings each side of alter.

Walls:
Dry sandstone walling

Internal finishes:
Garden contains stone alter and benches arranged around perimeter walls. Stepping stones mark out principal axes.

Architectural features:
Large stone cross on alter originally from Book Depot or Diocesan Registry building with metal (bronze?) crucifix made by the late Sr Angela (who headed a community at Stroud). Decorative Iron gates in north and south walls.

Uses:
Original use - Garden chapel and place for meditation.
Current use - as above.

Relationship to Group:
Extension of St John's Chapel.

Alterations to Building/Item:
Height of south wall raised in 1967.

Integrity/Condition:
Good condition. High degree of integrity.

Level of Significance:
2 - High level of significance.

Building/Item: LIBRARY

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Construction 1957-1958 following partial demolition of east wing of Morpeth House. Designed by architect Ian Pender. Built as part of renovations and capital works program carried out mid to late 1950's.

Brief Description:
The building is in the Post War American Colonial Style with small paned windows and a simple rectangular form.

Walls:
West faade entry porch/gallery sandstone facing.
North, south & east facades face brick with sandstone lintels over windows.

Roof:
Entrance lobby - slate.
Main Roof - terracotta tile.

Internal finishes:
Main space: Walls - face brick. Floor - cork tile on concrete. Cornice/ceiling - coved plaster with acoustic tiles set flush. Timber frame casement windows with fanlights in polished finish/dark stain. Built in shelves around perimeter walls.

Architectural features:
Aluminium awnings over windows to east and south facades. Stained glass window in entrance lobby originally brought from College in Armidale in 1926 and then placed in Temporary Dining Hall until 1980s. Buttresses to south faade for planned future extension.

Uses:
Original use - College library.
Current use - as above.

Relationship to Group:
Close association with Morpeth House also forms part of group which includes St John's Chapel and the Calvary Garden.

Alterations to Building/Item:
No obvious alterations. Further investigation needed.

Integrity/Condition:
Evidence of early movement in east wall halted by insertion of steel tension rods. Excellent condition. Very high degree of integrity.

Level of Significance:
2 - High level of significance.

Building/Item: THE PRINCIPAL'S RESIDENCE (THE WARDENS' LODGE)

Date of Construction/Brief History:
1925-1926. Designed by architect Louis R Williams. Constructed as part of stage 1 works for new theological college.

Brief Description:
Two storey Inter-War Old English residence.

Walls:
Light coloured face brick walls with concrete lintels to windows.

Roof:
Terracotta tile roof.

Internal finishes:
Leadlight panel and sidelight to front doors. Painted joinery except for staircase in polished Queensland Maple. Panelled ceilings with splayed cornice an exposed concrete beams to ground floor. Painted plaster walls with rendered skirtings and timber picture rails. Fireplaces in face brick with painted timber mantel.

Architectural features:
Two storey portico on western faade.

Uses:
Original use - Warden's residence.
Current use - St John's College Manager's residence.

Relationship to Group:
Part of group including Kitchen Block, Temporary Dining Hall, Robinson House Block constructed as stage 1 of theological college.

Alterations to Building/Item:
Very little alteration. Upgrading of upstairs bathrooms. Alterations to servants quarters at southern end of house.

Integrity/Condition:
Exterior and interior in excellent condition. Very high degree of integrity (altered room at south end of house has low integrity)

Level of Significance:
1 - Exceptional significance.

Building/Item: ROBINSON HOUSE (HOUSE BLOCK)

Date of Construction/Brief History:
1925-1926. Designed by architect Louis R Williams. Constructed as part of stage 1 works for new theological college.

Brief Description:
Two storey Inter-War Old English accommodation block.

Walls:
Light coloured face brick.

Roof:
Terracotta tile roof.

Floors:
Concrete floors to first floor.

Internal finishes:
Interior detailing of original building (where unaltered) similar to that of Principal's Residence. Alterations to interiors generally, especially at north end where new extension built. Further investigation needed.

Architectural features:
Building altered when north end extended. Original building had central breakfront at main entry on east faade with open two storey verandahs on north side of entry has been completely altered obscuring original symmetry. Breakfront and symmetrical arrangement of west faade appears to be original. Building has decorative bracketed eaves.

Uses:
Original use - Student accommodation.
Current use - as above.

Relationship to Group:
Part of group including Kitchen Block, Temporary Dining Hall, Warden's Lodge constructed as stage 1 of theological college.

Alterations to Building/Item:
East faade altered when new extension at north end added in 1956. Two storey verandahs retained but enclosed south side of entry and demolished and rebuilt as part of new brick extension on north side of entry. Some interiors altered when new extension added and again recently. First floor exposed beam ceilings concealed/removed (?) behind plasterboard. Internal doors with glazed upper panels (same as Principal's Residence) removed and stored on site.

Integrity/Condition:
Excellent condition. Medium degree of integrity due to 1956 and later alterations.

Level of Significance:
2 - High level of significance.

Building/Item: ROBINSON HOUSE EXTENSION

Date of Construction/Brief History:
1956 extension to House Block (renamed Robinson House when extensions completed). Designed by architect Ian Pender. Built as part of renovations and capital works program carried out mid to late 1950's.

Brief Description:
Two storey post war accommodation block designed to match scale, materials and proportions of original House Block.

Walls:
Light coloured face brick.

Roof:
Terracotta tile roof.

Internal finishes:
Interior detailing plainer than original house block. Plaster walls, painted timber skirting, timber frame casement windows. Further investigation needed. Timber framed floors to first floor.

Architectural features:
Distinction between new and old most evident in west faade where fenestration of extension is different to original building - windows in banks of three in former and in banks of four in latter. Distinction between new and old blurred in east faade as original verandahs north of entry demolished and rebuilt in style of new extension.

Uses:
Original use - Student accommodation, sick room and library/lecture/meeting room.
Current use - Student accommodation.

Relationship to Group:
Part of capital works program carried out mid to late 1950's which also included new library. Extension of 1925 House Block accommodation (Robinson House).

Alterations to Building/Item:
Some internal alterations carried out. Further investigation needed.

Integrity/Condition:
Excellent condition. Medium degree of integrity.

Level of Significance:
3 - Moderate level of significance.

Building/Item: TEMPORARY DINING HALL (& ACCOMMODATION BLOCK)

Date of Construction/Brief History:
1925-1926. Constructed as part of stage 1 works for new for new theological college.

Brief Description:
Single storey Inter-War timber frame building with accommodation wing on south side.

Walls:
Timber weatherboard on lower half of wall with asbestos cement sheet lining above.

Roof:
Corrugated steel sheet with vented ridge over dining hall.

Internal finishes:
Timber dado of vertical boards with battened masonite lining above in main dining halls. Timber frame double hung windows and glazed timber frame doors to north. Timber skirtings.

Architectural features:
Exposed timber trusses with curved struts are a distinctive feature of the dining halls. Passive ventilation system consisting of latticed ceiling panels and vented ridge worthy of note. External brick fireplace and chimney to kitchen highly visible from a distance.

Uses:
Original use - Dining hall with kitchen facilities and staff accommodation wing at rear.
Current use - self catering conference accommodation.

Relationship to Group:
Part of group including Kitchen Block, Warden's Lodge, Robinson House Block constructed as stage 1 of theological college.

Alterations to Building/Item:
Lean to extension in south east corner between accommodation wing and dining hall (date unknown) is in very poor condition. Brick steps and pipe rail added at south end of accommodation wing.

Integrity/Condition:
Dining Hall : Fair condition - extensive termite damage to areas of internal wall linings and some water damage to external weatherboards.
Accommodation Wing : Poor condition - extensive damage to floors and floor framing probably due to termite attack.

Level of Significance:
2 - High level of significance.

Building/Item: BURGMANN HOUSE

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Built in 1961 by W Smurthwaite and designed by architect IW Pender as student accommodation for the college.

Brief Description:
Two storey late 20th century Stripped Classical style building. Simple rectangular form with gable ends and north facing two storey verandah full length of building.

Walls:
Face brick

Roof:
Terracotta tile roof.

Internal finishes:
Floors - ground floor concrete, upper floor timber frame, with carpet finish.
Walls - painted render.
Ceiling - plasterboard with plaster cornice
Skirting - plain painted timber.
Windows - aluminium with fly screens.
Main lobby has concrete stair with painted steel handrail and timber frame glazed doors.

Architectural features:
Colonnaded two storey verandah along north faade with concrete columns/floors and painted steel handrails.

Uses:
Original use - Student accommodation (for up to 24 students).
Current use - As above.

Relationship to Group:
Part of Morpeth House Group but stands alone. Provides well scaled visual enclosure to south side of open space. Service buildings to south closely associated with Burgmann House.

Alterations to Building/Item:
Internal alterations carried out to form 6 units.

Integrity/Condition:
Generally in good condition (eaves guttering and corroded aluminium windows need attention). High degree of integrity.

Level of Significance:
3 - Moderate significance.

Building/Item: PATHS

Original carriage loop:
This is no longer visible but evidence for it, in the form of paving, edge and gutter details and plantings, may survive beneath later elements. The exact location is not known.

Existing gravel entry path:
This configuration and its edge details date from the 1920s. The path is intact and in good condition, however, it obscures the original 1850s entry configuration.

Narrow stone and brick path between Morpeth House and Robinson House:
Path dates from 1920s and possibly uses material from earlier paving elsewhere. Good condition.

Narrow concrete path from St John's Chapel to Robinson House
Constructed c.1940s when chapel built. Good condition.

Building/Item: FENCES AND WALLS

Stone walling (low) south and east of chapel:
Walling made of dressed stone fragments salvaged from buildings. The date of these walls are unknown but they appear to be part of landscaping works undertaken as part of the chapel construction in the 1940s. Walls are part of the extensive use of salvaged material on the site and reinforced the isolated rural character of the College.

Timber posts and fence remains around original camphor laurels:
These fence elements are the only surviving remains of the original fence subdividing Close's 1850s property from Bishopscourt (Closebourne). Condition fair. They are of high significance.

Building/Item: TENNIS COURTS

Constructed 1920s as recreation facility for St John's College. Originally 2 courts. Poor condition. Western court now unfenced and ruined. Intrusive elements, as they obscure principal front and entry to Morpeth House.

CLOSEBOURNE HOUSE GROUP - PRINCINCT B

Building/Item: CLOSEBOURNE HOUSE (BISHOPSCOURT)

Date of Construction/Brief History:
c.1829 - Building completed when first occupied by Close family.
c.1849-1879 - Bishop Tyrrell in residence. Known as 'Bishopscourt'.
1891-1905 - Bishop Stanton in residence (some alterations carried out).
c.1912 - Bishop Stretch Room constructed at rear of building.
c.1922 - Conversion to St Alban's Boys Home (associated alterations).
c.1925 - Construction of enclosed upper verandah to provide more accommodation for boys.
1942-1959 - Newcastle Boys Grammar School moved into Closebourne buildings.
c.1960 - First conference held in new conference centre located in Closebourne buildings.
1980-1988 - Conservation works undertaken under direction of Geoffrey Danks (NSW Heritage Council) included: removal of enclosed upper verandah, reconstruction of original verandah, demolition of Bishop Stretch Room, opening up of cellar, internal conservation works.
1993 - Further conservation works undertaken including restoration of rear verandah & stone repairs & alterations to east wing.

Brief Description:
Two storey Colonial Georgian residence with north facing verandah to main house, and east and west wings forming courtyard to rear. Evidence of a water storage cistern/well in rear courtyard.

Walls:
Sandstone walls.

Roof:
Shingle roof to main house, corrugated steel roof to rear wings.

Internal finishes:
Timber floors; plaster walls; some original plaster ceilings but most replaced; painted and polished cedar joinery some original elements missing; no original skirting; some original timber and later chimney pieces; late Victorian style stair. Further investigation needed.

Architectural features:
Mouldings on original door panels are run in with rail, stiles and muntins. This is an 18th century technique and unusual in this period of building.

Uses:
Original use - Close family residence.
Current use - Administration for Conference centre and teaching spaces.

Relationship to Group:
Earliest building in group and earliest extant building on site. Arrival point for visitors to Conference Centre. Visually prominent when viewed from north, northeast to northwest across open landscaped area (Precinct A).

Alterations to Building/Item:
Alterations associated with major changes of ownership and use as set out in brief history above. Front verandah considerably altered: original verandah with open parapet & timber posts demolished; new verandah with eaves and cast iron columns built (c. lat 1800's? shown in 1912 photo); enclosed upper storey verandah added (c.1925 shown in 1937 photo); two storey verandah demolished and reconstruction of original built with enclosed parapet (1980-1988). Some inconsistency in detailing between original verandah and reconstruction.

Integrity/Condition:
Fair condition - further investigation needed. High degree of integrity.

Level of Significance:
1 - Exceptional significance.

Building/Item: CLOSEBOURNE LAUNDRY

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Built in the late 1800's as a simple service building associated with Closebourne House adjacent. Evidence of early covered way connecting it with west wing of Closebourne House. Building was extended to south with construction of gymnasium (c.1930?) and eastern verandah (date unknown).

Brief Description:
Single storey brick structure with stone sills.

Walls:
Painted brick.

Roof:
Corrugated steel.

Internal finishes:
Interior not inspected.

Architectural features:
Original 12 pane double hung windows and bead flush panelled door in east wall.

Uses:
Original use - Service building.
Current use - Single bedroom flat.

Relationship to Group:
Close association with Closebourne House as service building. Defines western edge of garden at rear of Closebourne House.

Alterations to Building/Item:
Doorway in north wall blocked up and covered way to west wing of Closebourne House demolished (date unknown). Gymnasium and verandah extension as set out in brief history above.

Integrity/Condition:
Good condition (potential damp problems due to concrete slabs adjacent to walls). Low degree of integrity.

Level of Significance:
3 - Moderate significance.

Building/Item: CLOSEBOURNE CHAPEL (GYMNASIUM)

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Built c.1930 as recreation room/gymnasium for boys when St Alban's Boys Home located in Closebourne House. Converted to Closebourne Chapel in 1983.

Brief Description:
Single storey brick structure as extension to laundry building later modified to pen up to the verandah and garden to the east.

Walls:
Painted brick.

Roof:
Corrugated steel.

Internal finishes:
Interior not inspected.

Architectural features:
Eastern verandah as unifying element connecting Laundry Building, Chapel and garden.

Uses:
Original use - Recreation room for boys.
Current use - Closebourne Chapel.

Relationship to Group:
Close association with Closebourne House. Defines western edge of open space at rear of Closebourne House. Direct connection to Nanette Lois Fowell Memorial Garden to the east.

Alterations to Building/Item:
Alterations undertaken when converted to a chapel in 1983 including opening up of east wall and installation of new glazed doors and windows to accommodate outdoor services.

Integrity/Condition:
Good condition. Medium degree of integrity due to 1983 alteration.

Level of Significance:
3 - Moderate level of significance.

Building/Item: THE REGISTRY (CANON WILSON MEMORIAL BUILDING)

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Constructed 1946 from recycled materials originally in the Book Depot Building located north of St James Church, Tank Street (near the Parish Hall), which was built in 1853 as a book depository, became the Diocese Registry and was demolished in 1946. Used as library and art room in 1948 when known as Canon Wilson Memorial Building.

Brief Description:
Twin gable single storey brick building with decorative stone sills, window and door surrounds.

Walls:
1940s face brick with 1850s stone sills and reveals to openings.

Roof:
Corrugated steel with east west box gutter.

Internal finishes:
Bagged and painted brick walls; plain timber skirting; battened masonite ceiling with timber scotia; recycled 1850s timber frame casement windows; some recycled 1850s timber doors.

Architectural features:
Reuse of recycled stone quoins around openings as decorative feature. Pointed arched doorways in east wall. Original building configuration altered when relocated.

Uses:
Original use - Library and art room.
Current use - Archival storage and meeting rooms?

Relationship to Group:
Defines eastern edge of landscaped courtyard with Closebourne House at western edge and dining hall to south.

Alterations to Building/Item:
Possible internal alterations.

Integrity/Condition:
Fair condition. Low degree of integrity (recycled elements crudely incorporated e.g. stone lintels missing).

Level of Significance:
3 - Moderate level of significance.

Building/Item: DINING HALL/KITCHEN

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Built 1955 as part of stage 1 of master plan prepared by Ian Pender for expansion of Newcastle Boys Grammar School. Intended as dual purpose space - Assembly Hall, Dining Hall and Kitchen Block.

Brief Description:
Post War Ecclesiastical face brick building with north facing colonnade and service wing and enclosed yard at rear. Glazed doors and sidelights open onto colonnade.

Walls:
Face brick with some weatherboard infill on eastern elevation.

Roof:
Corrugated steel.

Internal finishes:
Dining Hall - face brick walls; polished timber floor; plasterboard ceiling? Painted timber frame doors and windows; raised stage at eastern end. Kitchen area not inspected.

Architectural features:
Colonnade at front of building with Shallow inverted 'V' arches in painted concrete or render and parapet above.

Uses:
Original use - Assembly/Dining Hall and Kitchen Block for Grammar School.
Current use - Assembly/Dining Hall and Kitchen Block for St John's College and conference.

Relationship to Group:
Considered to be focal point for Grammar School and its community activities at time of construction. Located at southern end of landscaped courtyard between Closebourne House and Registry Building.

Alterations to Building/Item:
No obvious alterations, further investigation needed.

Integrity/Condition:
Good condition. High degree of integrity.

Level of Significance:
3 - Moderate level of significance.

Building/Item: BISHOP TYRRELL LODGE

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Built in 1992 as part of comprehensive development plan for expansion of Conference Centre. Designed by Woodhouse and Danks as accommodation for people attending conferences.

Brief Description:
Single storey late 20th century brick 'U' shaped building with timber framed verandah to north. Building emphasises horizontality and is set low in the landscape.

Walls:
Light coloured face brick, some weatherboard cladding on south side.

Roof:
Corrugated steel.

Internal finishes:
Timber frame windows and doors. Interior not inspected.

Architectural features:
Vaulted roof over entry porch centred in north facing verandah. Clerestory windows situated along ridgeline.

Uses:
Original use - Accommodation for conference centre.
Current use - As above.

Relationship to Group:
Defines southern edge of open landscaped space bordered by Closebourne House to the north, Dining Hall/Kitchen Block to the east and Closebourne Laundry/Chapel to the west.

Alterations to Building/Item:
Non apparent. Interiors not inspected.

Integrity/Condition:
Excellent condition. High integrity.

Level of Significance:
3 - Moderate level of significance.

Building/Item: ASSEMBLY HALL

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Built in 1946 as an assembly hall for the Broughton (Newcastle) Boys Grammar School which moved into the Closebourne buildings 1942-1959.

Brief Description:
Single storey timber frame weatherboard building on brick piers with wings at either side of gable at eastern end and enclosed north facing verandah.

Walls:
Painted weatherboard.

Roof:
Corrugated asbestos cement.

Internal finishes:
Carpet on timber floor; butt jointed masonite wall linings with timber dado some plasterboard; battened masonite ceiling with exposed trusses; timber frame windows and doors with later aluminium windows north side. Fireplace sheeted over.

Architectural features:
Exposed steel trusses over main space.

Uses:
Original use - Assembly hall.
Current use - Meeting hall and seminar rooms.

Relationship to Group:
Separated from Closebourne House and associated buildings. Faces toward open landscaped area (Precinct A) to north. Part of group which also includes Cintra House, Toilet Block, Workshop, Belle Vue House and Tillimby House.

Alterations to Building/Item:
Enclosed verandah along north facade added and wider door and sidelight installed in south wall (date unknown). Exposed duct air conditioning introduced with bulkhead at eastern end of hall. External ducting and plant for air conditioning at west end of hall intrusive element.

Integrity/Condition:
Good condition. Medium integrity due to AC plant and north verandah extension.

Level of Significance:
3 - Moderate level of significance.

MORPETH HOUSE AND ST JOHN'S COLLEGE SITE - PRECINCTS A, E & H

Building/Item: BRUSH BOX TREE AVENUE (PRECINCT A) SANDSTONE STEPS

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Avenue of Brushbox trees between Closebourne House and St James Church planted c.1891 under the direction of Bishop Stanton whilst in residence at Bishopscourt. Sandstone steps and retaining wall at end of tree lined avenue on Tank Street may be earlier c.1840 following construction of St James Church. Further investigation required.

Brief Description:
Mature trees provide shaded walk between Closebourne House and St James Church and frame direct axial vista to and from entry to church. Sandstone steps and retaining wall at Tank Street give access and define edge of site.

Uses:
Original use - Pedestrian and visual connection between Closebourne House and St James Church.
Current use - As above.

Relationship to Group:
Strong physical and symbolic connection between Closebourne House and St John's College site and St James Church.

Integrity/Condition:
Brushbox Avenue - Good condition. Very high integrity.
Stone steps & wall - Fair condition (some subsidence evident). High degree of integrity.

Level of Significance:
Brushbox Avenue : 1 - Exceptional significance.
Sandstone steps & wall: 2 - High significance.

Building/Item: THE WATER TOWER (PRECINCT E)

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Erected between 1967 and 1975 in response to long standing problems with water pressure on the site and in Morpeth (?).

Brief Description:
Painted steel tower in shape of inverted cone situation south of Brushbox Avenue of trees. Proximity to trees and dark colour reduce its visual impact within the site. Acts as landmark element when viewed from southern approaches to the site.

Uses:
Original use - Water storage tower.
Current use - As above.

Relationship to Group:
Stands apart to east of Closebourne House Group adjacent to Brushbox Aevnue of trees.

Level of Significance:
3 - Moderate level of significance.

Building/Item: MEMORIAL GATES (PRECINCT H)

Date of Construction/Brief History:
Built 1962-1963 as a memorial to Bishop Batty and designed by IW Pender.

Brief Description:
Sandstone gate piers and flanking stone walls at entrance to Morpeth House group from Morpeth Road.

Uses:
Entrance gateway.

Relationship to Group:
Gateway marking entry to the St John's College grounds.

Integrity/Condition:
Fair condition. High degree of integrity.

Level of Significance:
3 - Moderate level of significance.

Building/Item: PATHS

Many of the paths to the north of Closebourne are in their original location, although those to the northeast no longer extend to Morpeth Road. Cut edge and gravel surface details may be original but this will require further research. Details should be checked against good copies of earlier images as well as archaeology. The main paths exited the fenced garden area between large Moreton Bay figs, which survive. Good condition.

Gravel paths around Closebourne, sides and rear may or may not be in original locations. Further research is required. Good condition.

Building/Item: FENCES

Timber rail fence around garden is a 1980s reconstruction of an earlier configuration. Good condition.

Building/Item: TRELLIS/PERGOLA

Pergola made from cast iron columns from 1890s Closebourne verandah. All columns survive and are important element which were removed in 1980s to reconstruct earlier verandah configuration. Columns now support a timber pergola structure adjacent to Closebourne. Sound condition but vulnerable to weather.

Conservation Management Plan
Morpeth House and St John's College Morpeth
Author: Design 5 - Architects Pty Ltd
Publisher: Dobler Consulting and the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle
Year: 2005
Page: 11-30 (Description, Context & Setting)
Page: 42-89 (Fabric Survey)
Current use: private housing estate
Former use: Aboriginal land, private farm estate, Bishop's home and Diocesan Administrative & Training Centre

History

Historical notes: ABORIGINAL - PRE AND POST EUROPEAN OCCUPATION

The following has been researched and written for this report by Len Roberts, Aboriginal consultant.

According to Horton (1994), the band that would be of interest to this area, would be the family groupings of the Wonnaruah, although early accounts mention the Gringai who it appears may have been a family grouping of the Wonnaruah. They probably had various base camps along tributaries of the Hunter River. The camps would have been near reliable watercourses. The pathways to other bands or to food, shelter or ceremonial resources were generally along creeks and associated watercourses or ridgelines. The Wonnaruah had extensive relationships with the Awabakal, Gringai, Darkinjung and Worimi.

The section of the Hunter River at Morpeth was called Coonanbarra. The landing place for the first European contact at Morpeth was immediately west of the subject site. The landing place would have been chosen as it was probably the landing place and access to the river by the Aboriginal people. The Hunter River was known as Coquon.

The site under study would have been ideally located for a camp, being close to the river, flood plains and swamps as food sources, but removed far enough to give some protection from mosquitoes, with commanding surveillance of surrounding areas.

EUROPEAN OCCUPATION-
Summary history of Morpeth House and St John's College, Morpeth

The information for this summary history is taken from the historical and archaeological reports prepared by Cynthia Hunter and Wendy Thorp respectively for the EJE Conservation management Plan, January 1999. Reference should be made to these reports, which are included unedited as Appendices C and E.

The place that now contains Morpeth House and St John's College Morpeth was part of a grant of 2600 acres given by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in about 1821 to Lieutenant Edward Close who had been appointed Engineer of Public Works in Newcastle.

The site was originally a single piece of land and was home to the Close family from 1821 to 1849. It was subdivided in 1849 to provide a home for the first Bishop of Newcastle, housed in Closebourne House which was later renamed Bishopscourt. Morpeth House was built by the Close family as their own residence. Thereafter, the two houses and their grounds have had separate existences.

This summary history of the place since European occupation is therefore divided into three sections dealing with:

Early occupation by the Close family
Closebourne House
Morpeth House

Early occupation by the Close family:
Lieutenant Close came to NSW with the 48th Regiment of Foot in 1817. After three years of service, he resigned his commission and was appointed Engineer of Public Works to Newcastle by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. As a retired officer, he was entitled to a land grant and he received just over 2600 acres in 3 lots (1030, 1020 and later 560 acres). Part of this grant was at the end of the navigable section of the Hunter River, a grant that was later regretted by the Government of the day.

Close expended some effort and expense to clear the land which included the building of his first house. It has been suggested in the archaeological report (by Wendy Thorp) that this might still exist in the town of Morpeth on the south-western corner of Berkeley and Close Streets. The report states:

The first principal work was to reshape the environment to his particular needs and to do so he had the labour of the assigned convicts. The open grassy meadows which now characterise the area derive from this initial clearance and reflect Close's needs for agriculture and animal husbandry and, by example, the European need to introduce familiar staples to an alien landscape. The assigned labour also was used to quarry stone from the estate to be used in the main house.

Close commenced work during the early to mid 1820s on a second and more imposing two storeyed Georgian-style house. Located on a rise with commanding views of the river, his choice of this site is illustrative of his concerns and perceptions. At the most basic, it afforded protection from floods. At the same time it provided panoramic views of the river. The choice of the site, the way in which the land was cleared and a wide sweep of lawn formed before the house with landmark plants (such as towering fastigiate Cook's pine tree, Araucaria columnaris: Stuart Read, pers.comm., 9/12/2016) to either side of the house and the broad semi-circular carriage drive (which had one entrance at or near the intersection of Tank Street and Morpeth Road and the other in its present location to the west along Morpeth Road) reflect Close's tastes, sophistication and conformity to the then highly fashionable arcadian aesthetic expressed at other contemporary estates such as Captain John Piper's Henrietta Villa at Darling Point, Sydney.

(It should be noted that the path for the drive shown on the 1838 plan must be regarded as broadly indicative only. The purpose of this plan was to show the village and the western end of the drive is far away from this. No evidence has been found to indicate the drive to be anywhere other than its present location).

The choice, either consciously or otherwise, was also a political one. It made a clear statement of the superiority of Close's position with respect to the ongoing conflict with the Government over his ownership of this strategic site. It established EC Close as the most important person in the district.
Furthermore, the position of the house, in relation to the village that was surveyed next to the river and below the level of the house, is a clear statement of the social hierarchy which had Edward Close at the apex in a manner not dissimilar to a feudal fief.

In a similar vein, Close provided a number of civic amenities from his land grant, not least of which were the building of St James's Church, hall and rectory, land for the cemetery and a parish school house.

Close subdivided his landing the 1840s during a severe depression in the colony. In 1840, some 20 of the lots were put up for sale. In 1841, another 35 went under the hammer and another 9 in 1849. In 1849, he sold his house, Closebourne, to the new Anglican Bishop of Newcastle for the sum of 1,600 pounds.

CLOSEBOURNE HOUSE
Upon its purchase by Bishop William Tyrrell in 1849, Closebourne House became known as Bishopscourt, a common colonial name for the home of the Bishop.

Tyrrell was the first Anglican Bishop of Newcastle, consecrated in 1847 in England. On his arrival, he lived in St James's Rectory for two years until the Diocese bought Closebourne from Edward Close. There is no known record of alterations to the house during his tenure. He is known to have been a keen gardener and may have been responsible for the introduction of many fruit trees, flowers and other exotic garden flora.

The occupation of Closebourne as Bishopscourt and Diocesan administration of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle was as follows:

1849-1879
Bishop William Tyrrell.

1880-1886
Bishop Josiah Pearson. Tenders were called for work at the house but the extent of these works is not known.

1887-1891
Diocesan administration by Canon Selwyn as Administrator of the Diocese during Bishop Pearson's illness and return to England. Pearson resigned his office in 1889 and died in England.

1891-1905
Bishop George Stanton. In preparation for his arrival, the house was re-roofed, floors repaired, painting and other works were carried out, suggesting that the place may have fallen into some disrepair. Bishop Stanton is credited with planting the avenue of brush box trees (Lophostemon confertus) from the house to St James Church.

1906-1912
Bishop John Stretch. He had a room built behind the house which was demolished in 1984 and the site is known as the 'Bishop Stretch Room'.

In 1912, the residence of the Bishops of Newcastle was moved to the city itself. There is no clear picture of what happened to the house for the next ten years.

During the First World War, the Diocese became active in the provision of schools and homes for children. The Children's Home Committee was established in 1918 under the direction of Bishop Reginald Stephen (Bishop 1919-1928). It was decided at some point to put Bishopscourt to use as a home for disadvantaged children and 3,370 pounds was spent in alterations. By 1922, 31 boys and 4-10 were living at Bishopscourt, which had been renamed St Alban's Boys' Home, under the charge of two Sisters of the Community of the Holy Name. As the years went by, demand for places climbed and in 1925 a contract was let to enclose the balcony to provide further accommodation. Other minor repairs were made and electricity was installed. Later in 1929, a large room was built as a recreation space or gymnasium.

The Second World War brought with it other concerns, among them that the city was not a safe place for children. The Boys and Girls Grammar Schools were moved out of the city. The Boys Grammar School was moved into Bishopscourt and named the Broughton Boys Grammar School. A new property was found in Murrurundi for the St Alban's Boys' Home.

The Broughton Boys Grammar School remained at Bishopscourt from 1942 until 1959. During this time many changes were made to the premises, including the provision of sports facilities - most noticeably the Oval, and also tennis courts which have been replaced by the swimming pool. In 1946, the Registry was built using materials from the Old Book Depot which had been built next to St James Church in the 19th century. Six classrooms and an Assembly Hall were also erected to the east of the Canon Wilson block, as well as a dining room extension. A large number of trees and shrubs were also planted at this time. Other new buildings included a new dormitory, hobbies shed and general storage used.

During the early 1950s, a full agricultural course was introduced into the curriculum. An aerial photograph from about 1950 shows a large ploughed field and other paddocks to the east and west of the house.

A new bicycle shed was added in 1952 and a domestic staff block, sick bay and garage were added a year later. A new dormitory opened in 1955 and the foundation stone for a new dining hall was laid. However, as the 1950s wore on, expenses increased and it was decided in 1959 to close the school.

This gave the Diocese the opportunity to do something else and the Diocesan Conference Centre was opened here. The 1946 school hall was enlarged and three new buildings were erected on the site: Belle Vue House, Cintra House and Tillimby House (Wendy Thorp in her archaeological report states that Belle Vue may have come from another site; however, it is now known that it has been moved from the Bishop Tyrrell Lodge site). The two cottages on Tank Street were converted for overflow accommodation.

Landscaping was undertaken later to provide for the thousands of visitors who now came through the place each year. Trees and bushes were planted and picnic tables were placed along the roadside verge, and near the new pool on the site of the earlier tennis court.

The 1980s saw many changes to the site. A five-stage programme of works was planned to turn the centre into one of the foremost Christian communities in Australia. All the additions and secondary structures added to Closebourne, including the verandah enclosures and the Bishop Stretch Room, were removed. The house was re-roofed and the cellar was dug out - it had been filled with earth at some unknown point in time.

In 1982, Bishop Tyrrell Lodge was erected at the back of Closebourne House to provide accommodation for 52 people. At the same time, the forme gymnasium was converted to a chapel and was dedicated in 1983. The garden next to it was created in 1990.

MORPETH HOUSE
When Edward Close sold Closebourne to Bishop Tyrrell in 1849, he moved back into his original house in town. Meanwhile, he started building his third home on the hill above Closebourne to the south-west. The house was a single storey stone-built residence and was originally set in about 100 acres which the family moved into in 1856. Wendy Thorp in her archaeological report describes the house thus:

Morpeth House was designed in a Regency style on a plan said to have been influenced by the experience of Edward Close in Spain. It was described as having a front which had a verandah across it on the northern elevation, two wings to the east and west and a detached kitchen and offices extending the entire width along the southern side. The land within the square enclosed by these wings was planted as a flower garden. It is likely that a formal drive was built from Morpeth Road, probably in the area of College Drive, to provide access to the new home. The form of the house is shown on a aerial photograph of about 1950 which clearly defines the four wings. The fourth, or southern service wing, appears to be L-shaped with the short foot at the eastern end. It also appears that the wing did not at that time extend across the full southern side of the quadrangle of Morpeth House.

Edward Close died in 1866, ten years after his wife who died in the year they moved into Morpeth House. The Close estate remained in the hands of Close's three sons. The eldest, Edward, lived there for a short time after which the house and grounds were let. At this point the link between Morpeth and Closebourne Houses were severed.

Occupation and ownership of the house were as follows:
1869 House and 101 acres let to MW Christian.
1874 House let to Benjamin Lee (Jnr) MLA.
1874 House put up for auction. It did not sell.
1878 House offered for auction again. The result is not known
1880s House now owned by John Eales. Thereafter, it was let to a variety of tenant.
1925 Purchased from the estate of John Eales as the site for St John's Theological College.

In the years prior to this purchase, much of the original Close Estate land was sold. Subdivision posters of the time display the extent of this land. Following the sales of the subdivided allotments, the present day boundary of the two properties of Closebourne and Morpeth Houses was formed.

St John's Theological College was formed to provide training for ordination for candidates from the Dioceses of Newcastle, Grafton, Armidale, Riverina, Goulburn and Bathurst. It was decided to site the college here because of its proximity to rail transport and possibly because Newcastle's plan was for the college to be built as three sets of double house blocks three-floors high with an administration block, all arranged around a quadrangle. This large and impressive plan would have caused the demolition of Morpeth House but as the scheme was not carried out, the house was saved and converted to college use providing a temporary chapel, library, lecture room, printing room and dormitory. The parts that were built of the grand 1925 scheme were Robinson House, Dining Room and the Principal's Residence.

The college was opened in 1926 on a much smaller scale than originally planned. A new chapel constructed of salvaged material from the town, was opened in 1941. During the Second World War, the theological college in Morpeth and the Newcastle Church of England Grammar School for Girls swapped premises in 1942 and 1943. The theological college resumed its Morpeth home in 1943.

A house on the western side of the site, immediately outside the present boundary, was used as a Vice Principal's residence until 1960 when a purpose-built structure was constructed north-east of Morpeth House.

Building work progressed in a piece-meal fashion. Accommodation for married men became necessary after the war; so a war-surplus prefabricated hut was purchased and erected in the quadrangle behind the house block and in 1946 moved behind the Burgmann Lodge. In 1949, trustees of church property of the Diocese purchased the Morpeth Hotel with the intention of converting it to flats to house teachers of the Broughton Boys Grammar School. The plan did not eventuate but some of the stone was used in 1954 to build Calvary Garden.

In 1955, the ownership of the college was taken over by the Diocese of Newcastle amid fears for the financial situation of the college. With this act, Morpeth and Closebourne Houses came under the same ownership again after a separation of 106 years. 112,000 pounds was spent on renovations and new building which included repairs to Morpeth House and the demolition of the south and parts of the east wing. Robinson House was extended in 1956, and in 1958 a library added to the east wing of Morpeth House. In 1960, a new house was built for the Vice Principal, and in the following year Burgmann House was erected as a new dormitory block. This enabled all 76 students to be accommodated on site.

Shortly after this, in 1963, memorial gates were erected to the drive entrance in memory of Francis Batty, seventh Bishop of Newcastle.

The last buildings to be erected on the Morpeth House site were two blocks of accommodation for married students in the Storrs and Davies buildings, erected between 1970 and 1977.

Apart from these projects the only other significant changes to the site appear to have been the planting of trees as screens along most of the college drive during the 1970s and 1980s.

St John's College has recently entered into a collaborative agreement with Charles Sturt University and is now the main focus for the newly-formed School of Theology. It continues its role as an Anglican theological college.

(Source, Design 5 Architects, Conservation Management Plan - Morpeth House and St John's College Morpeth, Dobler Consulting and the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, 2005, 89-94).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. Guringai Nation - welcoming visitors-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. Wonnarua Nation - sites evidencing creation stories-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Demonstrating convicts' experiences and activities-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Creating a gentleman's estate-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Working on private assignment-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Working on private assignment-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Private farming-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Ancillary structures fencing-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Arboretums - collections of trees for ornament or forestry-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Farming by detainees and prisoners-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Clearing land for farming-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Improving agricultural production-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Attempting to transplant European farming practices to Australian environments-
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 Significant Places How are significant places marked in the landscape by, or for, different groups-Monuments and Sites
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 Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
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 countryside of rural charm-
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 1820s-1850s land grants-
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 avenue of trees-
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 Selecting land for pastoral or agricultural purposes-
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 Illustrates early ownership and occupancy of land within the Hunter Region-
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 Townships-
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 Early farming (Cattle grazing)-
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 Naming places (toponymy)-
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 tourist-
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 Expressing lines of early grant allotments-
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 Subdivision of rural 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 Subdivision of rural 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 19th century suburban developments-
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 the social life of a rural community-
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 the social life of a rural community-
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 19th Century Infrastructure-
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 ports-
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 A Picturesque Residential District-
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 A quiet Rural District-
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 Country Villa-
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 Cultural Social and religious life-
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 regional settings-
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-
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 Country Estate-
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 'display villages' in new urban subdivisions-
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 Beautifying towns and villages-
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 private towns-
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 towns in response to topography-
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 and operating manorial villages-
7. Governing-Governing Defence-Activities associated with defending places from hostile takeover and occupation Involvement with the Second World War-
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. Developing cultural institutions and ways of life-National Theme 8
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 - Interwar Stripped Classical-
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. Building in response to climate - verandahs-
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 - late 20th Century Sydney Regional-
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 - Federation Arts and Crafts-
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. Adaptation of overseas design for local use-
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 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. Building and using prefabricated structures-
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 Georgian-
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 - Victorian bungalow-
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 - Victorian (mid)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Religious worship-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Adaptive new use-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Gentlemen's Villas-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Seminary-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship religion (in the country)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Church-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Providing training for clergy and laity-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Practising Anglicanism-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Providing halls and other community facilities-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Lt. Edward Close, founder of Morpeth-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Bishop William Tyrell, Anglican bishop of the Hunter Valley-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (later Maj-Gen.) Lachlan Macquarie, 1810-1821-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Closebourne House and Morpeth House were both built and occupied by EC Close, the founder and builder of Morpeth - the first and most important early settlement in the Hunter region. Closebourne House, as Bishopscourt from 1849 to 1912, was the first seat of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle. (Conservation Management Plan, Design 5 - Architects Pty Ltd 2005)
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Associations with EC Close, Bishop Tyrrell and the first four Bishops of Newcastle. (Conservation Management Plan, Design 5 - Architects Pty Ltd, 2005)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Unique surviving expression of the architectural and landscape ideal of the manorial estate commanding its domain, in this case the town and post of Morpeth. (Conservation Management Plan, Design 5 - Architects Pty Ltd, 2005)
Page: 128
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Closebourne House as Bishopscourt and later as an Anglican Conference Centre for the Diocese of Newcastle. Morpeth House/St John's College as the centre of Anglican theological training for rural NSW. (Conservation Management Plan, Design 5 - Architects Pty Ltd, 2005)
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
As an archaeological resource, potential to enhance existing understanding of the place and its use and occupation. (Conservation Management Plan, Design 5 - Architects Pty Ltd, 2005)
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Unique relationship of Closebourne House to landscape setting and town of Morpeth. (Conservation Management Plan, Design 5 - Architects Pty Ltd
Year, 2005)
Page: 128
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Rare surviving expression of early 19th century mansion and landscaped setting characteristic of early, substantially intact town with intact manor house with intact additional layers of significant Anglican occupation. (Conservation Management Plan, Design 5 - Architects Pty Ltd
Year, 2005)
Integrity/Intactness:
High degree of original fabric. Demonstrates a key element of the item's significance. Alterations do not detract from significance.

Criteria (b), (c), (d) & (f): EXCEPTIONAL
Rare or outstanding element directly contributing to an item's local or State significance.

Criteria (e): MODERATE
Altered or modified elements. Elements with little heritage value, but which contribute to the overall significance of the item.


Conservation Management Plan
Morpeth House and St John's College Morpeth
Author: Design 5 - Architects Pty Ltd
Publisher: Dobler Consulting and the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle
Year: 2005
Page: 129
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

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):
(1) The maintenance of any building or item on the site where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing material;
(2) Garden maintenance including cultivation, pruning and weed control, repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls and tree surgery, but not extensive lopping; and
(3) maintenance and repairs to existing roads.
Nov 4 1988
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementMorpeth House & St John's College Site CMP, prepared by Design 5 for Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, dated August 2005. CMP endorsed by Heritage Council 5 October 2005 for a period of five years, expires 5 October 2010. Oct 5 2005
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
39Minister makes heritage agreementHeritage Agreement signed by Minister relating to Seniors Living development Mar 23 2010

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0037502 Apr 99 27 
Heritage Act - Icons Project Nomination for SHR listing  13 Jul 04   
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0037516 Aug 85 1174324
Local Environmental Plan  03 Sep 93   
National Trust of Australia register NTA (NSW) Country Register383831 May 76   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Management Plan (HC endorsed)Design 5 - Architects Pty Ltd2005Morpeth House & St John's College Morpeth : Conservation management plan
WrittenDiocese of Newcastle Closebourne Anglican Conference Centre1996Report on the conservation of the Garden of Closebourne House Morpeth - stage 3
WrittenEJE Town Planning1999Statement of Environmental Effects - St.John's Centre of Ministry, Morpeth Rd., Morpeth
WrittenEJE Town Planning1998Conservation Management Plan and draft Development Control Plan, St John's Centre of Ministry, Morpeth
WrittenH.O. Woodhouse and Danks Pty. Ltd. Closebourne House: historical report and conservation plan
WrittenJackson Teece Chesterman Willis & Partners1983Report on the impacts of the Morpeth curtilage on development of Church lands at Morpeth, NSW

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: 5045646
File number: H04/00091/7 (ICONS), S90/02392


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