Seppelts Warehouse | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Seppelts Warehouse

Item details

Name of item: Seppelts Warehouse
Other name/s: Bond and Free Store
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Warehouse/storage area
Location: Lat: -31.9611636562 Long: 141.4625802610
Primary address: 160 Crystal Street, Broken Hill, NSW 2880
Parish: Picton
County: Yancowinna
Local govt. area: Broken Hill
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Broken Hill
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1142DP759092
LOT2 DP937339
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
160 Crystal StreetBroken HillBroken HillPictonYancowinnaPrimary Address
Bromide StreetBroken HillBroken HillPictonYancowinnaAlternate Address
160 Crystal StreetBroken HillBroken HillPictonYancowinnaDuplicate Address
CNR Bromide StreetBroken HillBroken Hill  Duplicate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Broken Hill City CouncilLocal Government19 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

Broken Hill was first established in 1883 and this building was one of the first warehouse to be erected within the area. This Bond and Free Store is an excellent example of the fine and decorative brickwork carried out by tradesman of that period erecting warehouses and work stores throughout Australia, and it is suggested that this building is the only surviving unaltered warehouse in Broken Hill today. The industrial character of the building, fenestration method of construction and the contribution to streetscape, blend together to give a culturally significant building reflecting the attitudes and needs of the Broken Hill mining community during the initial development years. (Tropman, Conservation Plan Report, 27 June 1984)
Date significance updated: 04 Oct 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.

Description

Physical description: Seppelts Warehouse is a tall single storey building plus basement. It is constructed of brick and rubble stone masonry walls with a galvanised corrugated iron roof and a timber ground floor. The basement floor is of earth.

The masonry walls and especially the parapets and gables are an excellent example of decorative brickwork for that period.

It appears that the bricks were made locally and the stone - gneiss - was gathered from the local area.
Modifications and dates: 1984 - Heritage Council approval for securing roof, cleaning regrouting walls, repair of windows, fire-rating underside of timber floor.
Former use: Store

History

Historical notes: The Wiljakali people who occupied the area when Charles Sturt arrived in 1845 (and first referred to it as 'broken hill') faced less immediate settler agression than tribal groups who lived on the rivers, including the Darling (Spearitt, 2018, 73).

In 1883, when boundary rider Charles Rasp formed a small syndicate to mine a great ironstone outcrop in the far west of NSW, they thought they would find tin. Instead, they ended up having leases over some of the world's richest silver, lead and zinc deposits. Unlike gold, these metals were not simply there for the taking. BHP (Broken Hill Proprietory Ltd.), formed in 1885, faced technical and logistical challenges in mining and processing ore bodies (ibid, 2018, 73).

Broken Hill grew quickly. A population of 17,000 in 1889 had more than doubled to 35,000 in 1914, putting it on the map as the then third-largest city in NSW. In today's terms, it could be described as Australia's most multicultural city of the time (ibid, 2018, 73).

Trade Unions quickly formed around the mine and extraction processing industries. The Trades Hall, built between 1891 and 1905, became the first building in Australia owned by unions, who also purchased the local newspaper 'The Barrier Times' in 1908. This strong union tradition permeated all aspects of life in Broken Hill. The city's unionists won a 35-hour week in 1920, the first to do so in Australia (ibid, 2018, 74).

The city is full of surprises, including a mosque, founded by Afghan cameleers in the early 1890s, and a synagogue built in 1910. The cameleers flourished in the later decades of the 19th century, transporting wool as well as construction materials for the Overland telegraph line from Darwin to Port Augusta. The Jewish population mainly came from Eastern Europe. While the synagogue closed in 1962, the mosque is still used for worship. BHP ceased operations in Broken Hill in the late 1930s, by which time other mining companies had formed, leaving behind an open-cut mine that writer George Farwell described in 1948 as, 'forlorn as a dead planet. It has the air of a crater on the moon... Massive boulders and abandoned machinery sprawl down its flanks as though flung down the sheer sides of a mountain gorge. Upon the crest old iron lies everywhere' (ibid, 2018, 74).

In 1893 the Bond and Free Store was constructed for the South Australian Brewery Company. The store probably supplying miners and service industries with tools, commodities and ale. The building remained in the possession of the South Australian Brewery Company until 1923 when Seppelt's & Son took over the building for a Wine Vinegar manufacture, storage and bottling store. (Tropman, Conservation Plan Report, 27 June 1984)

In 1850 Joseph Ernest Seppelt, his wife and three children, a group of skilled and semi-skilled employees and thirteen families arrived from Wustewaltersdorf in Silesia where Seppelt had had a family business distilling and compounding various liquers and cordials and making snuff.

The near famine conditions of the 'Hungry Forties' in many parts of Europe had led to a great deal of unrest and migration and with the decline of his business Seppelt and his sizeable staff migrated to South Australia.

Seppelt ultimatley moved to the township of Tanunda along with the women and children of the Silesian migrants. The men themselves went to Seppletsfield four miles away in the country and returned to Tanunda for weekends. After experimenting with tobacco Seppelt planted corn and a small vineyard and constructed a storage cellar for wine. In 1924 Seppelt purchased the Bond and Free Store from the South Australian Brewery Company. Seppelt died in 1868 and his son Benno took up the work left unfinished by his father. By the 1960s the Seppelt Company owned 5,500 acres of land in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

The Bond and Free Store was sold by the Seppelts in 1979.

In 1979 representations were made to the Heritage Council by the Broken Hill Historical Society expressing concern that the building was in danger of demolition and requesting protection under the Heritage Act. After discussions with the owner an Interim Conservation Order was placed over the building on 16 November 1979.

In 1981 Broken Hill Council wrote to the Heritage Council expressing concern for the future of the building as it was receiving no maintenance. On account of its heritage significance and the opportunity for sympathetic re-use, the Heritage Council recommended to the Minister that a Permanent Conservation Order be made.

As the Interim Conservation Order had expired another Interim Conservation Order was placed on 8 April 1982.

An objection to the Order was made by the owner of the property. Subsequently under section 41 of the Heritage Act a Commission of Inquiry was held. The Commissioner in 1982 recommended that the Permanent Conservation Order be made and to consider the provision of funding to the owner to enable essential repairs.

A Permanent Conservation Order was placed over the property on 30 July 1982.

In 1984 Broken Hill Council purchased the property. In 1984 through the Heritage Assistance Program a grant was made available for the use of conservation architects. A further grant was made available for the restoration of the building.

It was transferred to the State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Ethnic influences-Activities associated with common cultural traditions and peoples of shared descent, and with exchanges between such traditions and peoples. (none)-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Ethnic influences-Activities associated with common cultural traditions and peoples of shared descent, and with exchanges between such traditions and peoples. German wine making practices-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Ethnic influences-Activities associated with common cultural traditions and peoples of shared descent, and with exchanges between such traditions and peoples. German migrants-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Brewing-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Innkeeping-
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
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. Building settlements, towns and cities-National Theme 4
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-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going to the pub-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Activities associated with relaxation and recreation-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Joseph Ernest Seppelt, German migrant, wine maker, brewer, businessman-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Benno Seppelt, winemaker, businessman-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Broken Hill was first established in 1883 and this building was one of the first warehouse to be erected within the area. (Tropman, Conservation Plan Report, 27 June 1984)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This Bond and Free Store is an excellent example of the fine and decorative brickwork carried out by tradesman of that period erecting warehouses and work stores throughout Australia. (Tropman, Conservation Plan Report, 27 June 1984)
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The industrial character of the building, fenestration method of construction and the contribution to streetscape, blend together to give a culturally significant building reflecting the attitudes and needs of the Broken Hill mining community during the initial development years. (Tropman, Conservation Plan Report, 27 June 1984)
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
It is suggested that this building is the only surviving unaltered warehouse in Broken Hill today. (Tropman, Conservation Plan Report, 27 June 1984)
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 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 0008202 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0008230 Jul 82 1013475

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenSpearitt, Peter2018'Where History Happened'
WrittenTropman and Tropman1984Conservation Plan Report - 27 June 1984

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

rez rez 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: 5045724
File number: S90/05942 & HC 32363


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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.