Camelot | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Camelot

Item details

Name of item: Camelot
Other name/s: Kirkham
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Mansion
Location: Lat: -34.0375802393 Long: 150.7068807110
Primary address: Kirkham Lane, Narellan, NSW 2567
Parish: Narellan
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Camden
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Tharawal
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT32 DP785487
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Kirkham LaneNarellanCamdenNarellanCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private 
 Private 

Statement of significance:

Camelot is one of the finest country houses with associated buildings designed by architect John Horbury Hunt, remaining in excellent condition and virtually unaltered. It is surrounded by a large late 19th century garden with early 20th century alterations. The landscape value of its mature planting, the completeness of its layout and the association with one of the most exceptional late 19th century houses in Australia is also significant. (Survey of Gardens in New South Wales - National Trust, 1981)
Date significance updated: 22 Jun 16
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: John Horbury Hunt
Construction years: 1881-1888
Physical description: Garden:
A large late 19th century garden with early 20th century alterations surrounding an important country house designed by the architect Horbury Hunt.

The garden, consisting of shrubberies, flower garden, drive and vegetable gardens is enclosed within a large olive hedged rectangle. A subtly curving drive leads from the entrance gates (originally from Yaralla, Concord, re-erected at Camelot) along the northern boundary of the garden along the northern front of the house where it widens into a forecourt, then continues to the stables at the south-west corner.

The eastern, garden front, of the house overlooks a gently sloping lawn and terra-cotta edged flower and rose beds, separated from the drive by a hedge and picket fence. Beyond this garden, to the east, are the remains of further lawns and shrubberies (the 'Duck Pond' and 'the Pleasance') now completely overgrown. Beyond the house are the remains of the orchard and vegetable gardens. (Survey of Gardens in New South Wales - National Trust, 1981)

Building complex:
Stables 1816 (Oxley)
Cottage 1881 (Horbury Hunt for James White) Race Horse breeder (plus Kirkham stables to north)
C1881 Stables & Smoke House (brick domed structure) (Horbury Hunt for White)
c 1881 Cottage (Horbury Hunt, 2 storey)
c1888 House/Mansion (Horbury Hunt for White)
c1900 Faithfull-Anderson family bought the property.

Camelot is a complex consisting of a cottage, "rural seat", stables and a smoke house. The stables are a remnant related to the earlier homestead built by Surveyor-General John Oxley. The homestead itself has been demolished.

After James White purchased the property a two-storey brick cottage, attributed to John Horbury Hunt, was constructed by 1881. The picturesque cottage is a simple affair with three rooms on the ground floor and two bedrooms above. A two-storey kitchen block, with verandah, was added later (ibid, 2002, 136).

In 1888 White employed Hunt to design him a "rural seat". Reynolds and Hughes describe it as a "highly individual two-storey house facing north-east". It was constructed on the site of the old Oxley Mill, reusing stone in the basement kitchen and service areas. The roof line is exceedingly complex, with numerous shapes and gables, "including a faceted wing, a curved Hipped bay and a collection of tall chimney stacks". This collection is augmented by multiple chimneys, including an industrial sized kitchen stack unique to Camelot. A smaller coned tower was added by the Faithfull Anderson family after they purchased the property in 1900 (ibid, 3003, 138).

Internally, a small vestibule opens into a large entrance hall, leading to the dining room and faceted drawing room - both with verandahs. Opposite, the morning room features a faceted bay, again unique to Hunt's other designs. The rear of the ground floor is single storey, with a lantern roof, under which is the ballroom, complete with musicians' alcove (ibid, 138).

Another usual feature of Camelot is the main staircase. The landing projects beyond the external wall and forms the base of a semicircular tower, terminating in a candle-snuffer roof, complete with finial (ibid, 2002, 138).

New stables were also constructed, located between Camelot and the cottage. These are the largest designed by Hunt. The stables feature a "majestic church-like roof" and a timber planked floor, to allow for more efficient cleaning. The beehive smokehouse located nearby was probably Hunts work also (ibid, 2002, 138).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Apart from the lawns and flower beds directly around the house and drive, the garden is extremely overgrown and almost impossible to plot.
Date condition updated:21 Jan 15
Modifications and dates: Stables 1816 (Oxley)
Cottage 1881 (Horbury Hunt for James White) Race Horse breeder (plus Kirkham stables to north)
C1881 Stables & Smoke House (brick domed structure)(Horbury Hunt for White)
c1888 House/Mansion (Horbury Hunt for White)
c1900 Faithfull-Anderson family buy property.

Servants' Quarters:
have been recently restored and had their joinery repaired and reinstated (Powell, pers.comm., 6/10/2015).
Current use: residence
Former use: Aboriginal land, rural estate and residence; race horse stud

History

Historical notes: The land on which Camelot is now situated was originally granted to John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley, the first Surveyor-General. Oxley had a homestead and stables built in 1816 (today this is in separate ownership, across Kirkham Lane) and, probably sometime later, a Mill. Oxley died in 1828 in straightened economic circumstances, his widow and children were granted 5000 acres (2024 hectares) by the Executive Council, although she was refused a pension.

The Hon. James White of Cranbrook (Rose Bay) and Denman (Hunter Valley)((Reynolds, Muir & Hughes, 2002, 136) bought the property in the mid 1870s and it became his primary race horse-stud. White was a highly successful breeder, his horses won five A.J.C. Derbys, five A.J.C. Sires' Produce Stakes, five V.R.C. St Legers and six V.R.C. Derbys between 1877 and 1890. The attention paid to the design and construction of the stables by White and Hunt reflects the important part horse racing played in the White family. His wife, Emily Elizabeth, whom he married in 1856, shared his passion for racing.

Prior to moving to Kirkham, as it was then known, White was educated at the King's School, Parramatta. On his father's death, James managed Edinglassie, Timor and Boorooma in the Hunter Valley. In 1848 James leased Belltrees, in partnership with brothers Francis and George. Management of the property was so successful that they purchased Belltrees in 1853. The partnership continued to buy properties in the Upper Hunter region. In around 1860 James White bought Martindale, near Muswellbrook, where he lived for a number of years. By 1864 he was a magistrate and in December of the same year was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the Upper Hunter. His main political interests were railway expansion, taxes on luxuries and an interest in free selection.

In 1868 White resigned from parliament to tour England and the United States. While he was away his brothers, on behalf of the partnership, continued to buy properties. On his return he ran for the seat of Upper Hunter again, but was defeated.

His first association with architect John Horbury Hunt was in about 1873 when Horbury Hunt carried out large scale extensions to newly purchased Cranbrook, Rose Bay. In the following year James White entered the Legislative Council and took on a range of committee positions, including the Royal Society and was a founding member of the natural history Linnean Society of NSW, the Agricultural Society of NSW, the Horticultural Society of NSW, the Union Club, the Animals' Protection Society of NSW, the Warrigal Club and a director/chairman of the Mercantile Bank of Sydney. In light of his passion for racing, he was a long-time member of the Australian Jockey Club and became chairman in 1880 and then again between 1883 and 1890.

C1881 Stables & Smoke House (brick domed structure) (Horbury Hunt for White)
c 1881 Cottage (Horbury Hunt, 2 storey)(attributed to White, built near Oxley's old windmill. A two storeyed verandahed kitchen block is a later addition (Reynolds, Muir & Hughes, 2002, 136).

White must have been impressed by Hunt's extensions to Cranbrook as he engaged Hunt in 1888 to build him a "rural seat" at Kirkham. Allegedly, the finances for Kirkham came from the prize money of one of White's most successful horses, Chester.

In early 1890 White began selling his race horses and retiring from committees. He died at Cranbrook on 13 July 1890, perhaps never having lived in Hunt's creation at Kirkham. The property was left to his wife, who sold it about ten years later to the Faithfull Anderson family. Their interest may have been the success White had achieved with his horse stud, given they also had interests in horse racing.

c1900 Faithfull-Anderson family bought the property.

The youngest daughter of William Pitt Faithfull, Mrs. Frances Lillian, lived there for much of her life and died there in 1948. Before the Great Depression Mrs. Faithfull Anderson frequently hosted large parties, but her inability to keep a large staff during the Depression saw the end of these gatherings. She was remembered for the energy, enthusiasm and generosity she brought to the large number of local causes she was involved in, including the Camden Branch of the Red Cross, the Women's Voluntary Services and the Country Women's Association. In the lead-up to World War II Mrs. Faithfull Anderson realised that aircraft would be needed to adequately defend Australia. With this purpose in mind, she offered the Government a donation to buy several aircraft and, as a result, a training facility was established nearby.

The mansion was bought in 1999 by the current owners, Camden businessman Brendan Powers and his wife Rachel (Sun Herald, 24/12/2006).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 Ancillary structures - wells, cisterns-
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 - windmills-
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 Agricultural Society activities - research, experimentation, acclimatisation --
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-
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 Gardens and landscapes reminiscent of an 'old country'-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Agisting and fattening stock for slaughter-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Country Homes-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Country mansion-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Eccentric residence-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Adapted heritage building or structure-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Farm homestead-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing famous families-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Gentlemens Mansions-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing farming families-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing the prosperous - mansions in town and country-
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 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 Sub-division of large estates-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to suburban-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities 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 Expressing lines of early grant allotments-
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 Rural orchards-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working independently on the land-
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. Designing landscapes in an exemplary style-
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 Queen Anne-
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 (late)-
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. Vernacular structures and building techniques-
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. Designing in an exemplary architectural style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Federation period-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - Edwardian-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Victorian period-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Victorian gardenesque style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - Victorian-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1850-1900-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Country estates - visiting, enjoying-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1900-1950-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1950-2000-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Wealthy pastoralists homes in the city-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living on the urban fringe-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ornamental Garden-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in a rural homestead-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Kitchens and servants-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Horse racing-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gathering at landmark places to socialise-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going dancing-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gardening-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Activities associated with relaxation and recreation-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting heritage places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Places of informal community gatherings-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with John Horbury Hunt, architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with the Hon. James White, grazier, horse breeder and racer, MLC-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Joseph W.M.Oxley, first Surveyor-General of NSW-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Frances Lilian Faithfull-Anderson, grazier, society lady and philanthropist-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Camelot is of State significance through its association with race horse breeding. James White used Camelot as his primary stud and raised several Derby winners, including Nordenfeldt, Trident, Ensign, Dreadnought and Singapore. White built his stud on colts sired by Martini Henry, breed in New Zealand and Chester from E.K. Cox.

White did much to advance horse racing in Australia, the culmnation of this being his election as chairman of the Australian Jockey Club in 1880 and again between 1883 and 1890. On the track White's horses, between 1877 and 1890, won five A.J.C. Derbys, five A.J.C. Sires' Produce Stakes, five V.R.C. St Legers and six V.R.C. Derbys.

The Anderson Faithfull family also had intersts in race horses and may have continued to use Camelot as a stud.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Camelot is of State significance through its associations with James White. White had substantial influence in New South Wales through his positions in the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly, as a magistrate, and as a member of numerous committees, including the Australian Jockey Club. White did much to promote horse racing and was a highly successful breeder.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Camelot is a distinctive and unusual house, described as a 'fairy castle', designed by John Horbury Hunt. It features a complex roof-line of gables and turrets, as well as unique internal elements, including the main staircase. The interior also features stained glass by Lyons, Wells, Cottier & Co. The stables are highly ornate, for their function, and yet were designed along the most practical lines.
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:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 

Procedures /Exemptions

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

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

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

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

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

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

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0038502 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0038530 Aug 85 122 
Local Environmental Plan 004821 Feb 92 261143
Register of the National Estate  21 Mar 78   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenCuming, Angela & Sams, Christine2006'Hollywood comes to town but leaves locals in the dark'
WrittenNational Trust of Australia (NSW)1981Survey of Gardens in New South Wales
WrittenReynolds, P., Muir, L. & Hughes, J.2002John Horbury Hunt, Radical Architect 1838-1904
WrittenSydney Living Museums2016'From the collection' (ex-Camelot curtain fabric, from the nursery)

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

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

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045721
File number: EF14/4508; S90/4816; HC33043


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