St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Rectory, Stables & Cemetery | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Rectory, Stables & Cemetery

Item details

Name of item: St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Rectory, Stables & Cemetery
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Location: Lat: -33.6084651146 Long: 150.8123685480
Primary address: Moses Street, Windsor, NSW 2756
Parish: St Matthew
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Hawkesbury
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP1034515
LOT17 DP37952
LOT161 DP716680
LOT162 DP716680
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Moses StreetWindsorHawkesburySt MatthewCumberlandPrimary Address
Moses StreetWindsorHawkesburySt MatthewCumberlandAlternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Anglican Church Property TrustReligious Organisation26 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

One of the finest works of early Colonial architecture remaining in Australia. (Sheedy 1974)
The rectory stables have rare and state significance because of their association with William Cox the builder, Francis Greenway or Standish Harris as the Government Architect responsible for the design and because they complete the St Matthew's Anglican Church precinct (all buildings completed between 1810 - 1825). The stables are a reminder of the indispensability of the horses for nineteenth century clergy.
The rectory stables dominate the landscape above the Hawkesbury flood plain, they form a highly visible landmark precinct. In the past the community has resisted attempts to demolish the stables and in recent times have formed a committee to conserve the stables.
The brickwork and roof of the stables are evidence of early technical knowledge and construction techniques of the colony. If attributed to Standish Harris it is the only structure remaining from his period as Government Architect, other than a wall.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
Date significance updated: 04 May 00
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.


Designer/Maker: Francis Greenway
Builder/Maker: Convict labour
Construction years: 1817-
Physical description: St Matthew's Church:
A fine Georgian Church, constructed entirely by convict labour using sandstock bricks and sandstone. The dominant element is a sculptural square tower with octagonal cupola, axially arranged with a rectangular nave and semi circular apse. The interior contains much fine cedar joinery, including a coffered ceiling and gallery. Its siting is magnificent, on a hill above the town, and this reveals Greenway's sensitive appreciation of a building's relationship to the landscape (Edds & Co., ).

Mrs William McQuade (of Fairfield, Windsor)'s monument is the imposing, and largest at the front entrance of St.Matthew's Anglican Church, Windsor (HMAS Kuttabul, 1986).

St Matthew's Rectory:
An exceptional two storey sandstock brick house of symmetrical design with central front door and elegant fanlight surmounted by a carved timber cornice. An unusual feature for a building of this type in Australia is the central brick pediment breaking the simple line of the hipped roof. Sandstone is used for narrow string courses and flagging at the front porch. The internal joinery pieces are of cedar, as are interior folding window shutters and an elegant semi circular staircase. (Sheedy 1974)

The cemetery is older than the Church and contains many tombstones commemorating the early settlers of the Windsor District. The oldest tombstone (1810) was laid in memory of Andrew Thompson.

The Stables:
These are a rectangular two storey sand stock brick building with a hipped roof covered with corrugated iron. A loft divided into tow rooms is located above the current four room form below. The footings are sandstone, the walls solid brick of Flemish bond externally and English internally. The openings on the Eastern side comprise a mixture of windows, doors and two loft openings. The western side contains an original window including remnant joinery pieces and two doors. There are circular sandstone ventilation opening in these walls. There are no openings in the southern and northern walls. A chimney abuts the south wall.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical condition is excellent. Archaeological potential is good (Edds & Co., 1999)
Date condition updated:14 Nov 17
Modifications and dates: 1817 - construction of Church commenced
1820 - Church completed
1822 - Rectory built

Stables: c. 1840s Change one of the carriage houses to living quarters by installing a brick partition wall changing a former window to a door and filling in the original double doors to the carriage house with a conventional door and window. A fireplace was also added to the front room.
C. 1950s - removal of the timber clad brick partition wall in the carriage house to create room for a car to be garaged in the former stables.
C. 1970s timber propping of the external walls to prevent further collapse.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
Current use: Church and graveyard; stables: unoccupied
Former use: Church and graveyard; stables: stables and subsequently a garage/storage area


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

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

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

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

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

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

In marking out the towns of Windsor and Richmond in 1810, Governor Macquarie was acting on instructions from London. All of the Governors who held office between 1789 and 1822, from Phillip to Brisbane, received the same Letter of Instruction regarding the disposal of the 'waste lands of the Crown' that Britain claimed as her own. This included directives for the formation of towns and thus the extension of British civilisation to its Antipodean outpost (Proudfoot 1987, 7-9). St Matthew's Church was one of these buildings and its site was chosen by Macquarie when he formally established the town in 1810.

Tenders had been called in August 1816, plans had been drawn up, bricks had been made and material supplied. Henry Kitchen, builder, was paid a total of 800 pounds in the next two years for his work. But reports on the building's progress were disturbing, and finally, Macquarie requested Greenway to investigate the situation. To Greenway's mind, his plan was being ruined by poor materials and bad workmanship. He condemned the structure and recommended that it should be removed and the building commenced anew. A specially appointed committee also reached the same conclusion.

Greenway had appointed John Jones of Windsor as his building superintendent for St. Matthew's. Jones allowed for upward of 200,000 bricks to be made on his land and in return received 202ha of land beyond the Blue Mountains, just south of Kelso.

Governor Macquarie's prompt action in ordering the church to be pulled down and a fresh start must have spurred Greenway on to produce a new and grander design (Proudfoot, 1987).

Macquarie's leadership was investigated by an enquiry into the colony's affairs and the Bigg Report concluded that a free and penal society could co-exist but with tighter controls on convict management. Governor Macquarie resigned and retuned to England in 1822. Prior to departing the colony he visited the Hawkesbury with his successor Sir Thomas Brisbane. They inspected Francis Greenway's new St. Matthew's Church as well as other public buildings in Windsor. The Hawkesbury inhabitants presented Macquarie with a public address which commended him on his administration. The residents requested Macquarie sit for a portrait and flattered by the request, he agreed. The painting was completed in England and returned to Windsor and has hung in the Windsor Court House since the 1820s, in the district where he was so highly esteemed (Nichols, 2010).

The Rev. Samuel Marsden, principal Chaplain of the Colony, consecrated the Church on 8 December 1822 and the Hawkesbury settlers attended the service in large numbers.

The porch was added to the southern side of the Church in 1857, temporarily obscuring Macquarie's large commemorative stone which was later discovered and placed on the outer wall of the porch (Proudfoot 1987)

The Stables: The tenders for the 'office-house' attached to the Rectory was advertised on 7th and 14th October 1824 respectively. Built by William Cox, local builder and developer, the stables were completed during 1825 from plans prepared by either Francis Greenway or Standish Harris. From church records it is conclusive that by the 1890, the stables were in a dilapidated state as outlined by complaints by the then rector, D'Arcy Irvine. It appears that repairs were undertaken during the 1890s and involved possibly the changing of the roof from shingles to iron. In 1891 an additional expenditure to paint seven doors and windows and coat the building with 'Lime and Copperas' was incurred.

By 1936 the stables were again in a state of disrepair and there was a recommendation made to demolish them. The church Synod involved the then Professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney, Prof Leslie Wilkinson. It was decided not to demolish the stables, and the only works undertaken was the removal of a partition wall.

Verbal advice has dated as c1950, the removal of an internal brick wall of the coach-house to allow a car to be garaged and confirmed that in the 1970s the timber props were installed in an attempt to prevent further deterioration of the brick wall by Mrs Rawson from a personal legacy.

In 1960 Cherry Jackaman joined Dame Helen Blaxland on the Women's Committee of the National Trust of Australia (NSW). Jackaman chaired this committee from 1964-67 and by 1968 had raised more than $100,000, which was directed to Experiment Farm Cottage, Lindesay and the St. Matthews Anglican Church at Windsor Appeal (McGuiness, 23-24/9/11).

2002/3 Federal Heritage CHPP grant of $99,985 awarded for Stained Glass Window Restoration (Edds & Co., 1999).

In 2016 the Anglican Parish of St. Matthews, Windsor has launched a restoration appeal for proposed works which include a new columbarium wall, restoring the Church tower and Rectory windows. The first stage aims to raise $400,000 (National Trust of Australia (NSW), National Trust NSW News, Spring edition, August-September 2016, 4). Also in 2016 to celebrate 200 years since Governor Macquarie laid its foundation stone, the parish council commissioned a book on the Church, written by Ian Jack and Jan Barkley-Jack. The book was officially launched on 12 November 2016 by Professor The Hon.Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 for the Crown-
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 Burying convicts-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Practising Anglicanism-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Aaron Muron Bolot, architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Francis Greenway, emancipist architect-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Evidence of early settlement on the Cumberland Plain and of planning by Governor Macquarie. Consecrated by Samuel Marsden in 1822.
The rectory stables has rare significance because of those involved in their design and erection. William Cox, the builder, was one of the principal building contractors and road makers in rural New South Wales in the Macquarie period and the 1820s. The design of the stables was the work of either Francis Greenway or of his successor as government architect, Standish Harris.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
A fine Georgian Church considered to be Francis Greenway's architectural masterpiece. It is one of the finest works of early Colonial architecture remaining in Australia. (Sheedy 1974) Rectory also a fine domestic work.

Stables: On a dominating site above the floodplain of the Hawkesbury, with the Blue Mountains to the west, the sand stock brick stables, next to the celebrated rectory and near St Matthew's Anglican Church, forms a highly significant landmark element in the cultural landscape to the whole group, the stables shares the high state significance of the church and rectory.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Strong association with pioneer families and the history of the area.
The Stables: as a domestic utility, barely visible from the roadway, for many years unlike the church or rectory, did not attract particular local esteem. In recent times however, concern among parishioners about the condition of the stables has let to the formation of a community committee specifically to be a task force for their conservation.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Cemetery has research potential.
Stables: The construction, both from brickwork and roof, is significant evidence of William Cox's style and also of the specifications drawn up by the government architect, whether Greenway or Harris. If the building is by Harris, it assumes still higher research significances the only structure, other than a wall, which can be attributed to this much maligned architect.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
SHR Criteria f)
Rare example of very fine work by Greenway.
The stables are the final essential element in the superb Anglican church complex at Windsor (cemetery, glebe, St Matthew's church, rectory and stables) completed between 1810 and 1825.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
SHR Criteria g)
Demonstrates early colonial settlement and its associated infrastructure.
The stables are a physical reminder of the indispensability of the horse for a nineteenth century country clergyman performing parochial rounds and servicing outlying churches.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
Integrity/Intactness: Undergone less alteration than any other Greenway building. Restored by NSW Government and National Trust in 1965. (Sheedy 1974)
The Stables: much of the original fabric is still intact. This includes the sandstone flagging, most of the Flemish bond brick walls, one lathe and plaster ceiling, the entire roof structure except the shingles, one stall, one window and the majority of the doors, particularly the frames. Evidence of missing elements is clearly read from the remnant structure.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
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.

Recommended management:


Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

Procedures /Exemptions

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

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

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

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

Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

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

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0001502 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0001520 Jul 79 0963518
Local Environmental Plan  18 Dec 89   
Cumberland County Council list of Historic Buildings 1961-67     
National Trust of Australia register   11 Feb 74   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAttraction Homepage2007St Matthew's Anglican Church View detail
WrittenCarol Edds in conjunction with Graham Edds and Ian Jack1999NSW State Heritage Inventory Form - the Stables
WrittenConcept Arbor Consulting (CAC) P/L2014Arboricultural Assessment - St.Matthew's Anglican Church, 1 Moses St., Windsor 2756
WrittenDavid Sheedy1974National Trust Classification Card - St Matthew's Church of England Group
WrittenGraham Edds & Associates2018St. Matthew's Anglican Church Precinct, Windsor, NSW - Conservation Management Plan Review
WrittenHelen Proudfoot1987The Historic Buildings of Windsor and Richmond
WrittenHeritage Branch File HC32040
WrittenHMAS Kuttabul1986Notes from Open Day - Heritage Week, 20/4/1986
TourismHomepage St Matthew's Anglican Church View detail
WrittenJack, Ian & Barkley-Jack, Jan, in conjunction with St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Windsor2016St. Matthew's Windsor - an Anglican Landmark celebrating 200 years
WrittenLake Macquarie Family History Group Inc.2004St.Matthew's Church of England Windsor NSW Parish Registers 1810 to 1856
WrittenMcGuiness, Mark2011Love and duty shaped long life - Cherry Jackaman, 1910-2011 (obituary)
WrittenNichols, Michelle (Local Studies Librarian)2010Macquarie and the Hawkesbury District

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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045677
File number: 14/4726; S90/2647, 09/1468

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

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