Mamre | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Mamre

Item details

Name of item: Mamre
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Farming and Grazing
Category: Farm
Location: Lat: -33.7902625399 Long: 150.7679087950
Primary address: Mamre Road, St. Marys, NSW 2760
Parish: Melville
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Penrith
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT1 DP530579
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Mamre RoadSt. MarysPenrithMelvilleCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Department of Planning and InfrastructureState Government 

Statement of significance:

Mamre is significant for its potential to yield information on the pre-contact Aboriginal occupation of the South Creek catchment. Mamre is historically and socially signficant as an important site in post-contact Aboriginal history, demonstrating Aboriginal survival and adaptation to non-traditional social, economic and political practices.

Mamre is historically significant for its association with the early sheep breeding experiments of the Reverend Samuel Marsden, which contributed to the early development of the wool industry in NSW (and Australia). Mamre has historic and aesthetic significance as a rare, regional example of a fairly intact pre-1860 colonial landscape and homestead on the Cumberland Plain. The farmstead is archaeologically significant for its potential to yield information on early colonial farm landscapes, farmsteads and Georgian architecture. The Mamre farmhouse is an iconic feature in the St. Mary's region and immediate landscape.

Mamre has a strong association with the early owners of the property, the Reverend Samuel Marsden and Richard Rouse, both influential early colonists. Samuel Marsden is an important figure in the early missionary history of New Zealand, with strong ties to settlement and missionary activities in Kerikeri and the Northland district in particular. The property has strong, continuing association with the Sisters of Mercy, Parramatta and the MAMRE PROJECT which has great regional social importance.

The South Creek corridor is significant for its preservation of endangered ecological communities. It has potential to yield valuable information about the river-flat forests, wetlands and riparian habitats which are among the most threatened natural landscapes in Western Sydney (Graham Brooks & Associates, 2003, modified, Read, Stuart, 2004)

Mamre is recognised as a property of State significance, as a substantial Georgian homestead, and the former residence of the Rev. Samuel Marsden during the 1820s and 1830s. It was later the residence of Richard, then Henrietta Rouse and the Hon. Robert Fitzgerald, MLC, from the 1840s. The building is an important example of an early 19th century homestead in the Colonial Georgian style.
Date significance updated: 30 Mar 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

Designer/Maker: Not known
Builder/Maker: Not known
Construction years: 1822-1832
Physical description: The "Mamre" homestead, c.1822-32, is a two storey brick (now rendered) building in the Colonial Georgian style. The house has a hipped corrugated iron roof laid over the original timber shingles. The sandstone flagged timber verandah wrapping around three sides of the building (west, north and east sides) has a bellcast corrugated iron roof. The plan of the house is rectangular, with a central stair hall, eleven rooms and a single storey kitchen wing to the southern side. The windows of the house are timber double hung, with each sash having six panes. Two brick chimneys are located in each end hip.

Some farm outbuildings remain. They are generally timber framed with corrugated iron cladding.
There are also a number of modern rendered brick buildings serving the Mamre project and tourism uses. Some remnant early plantings remain around the house, trees being white cedars, Melia azederach var. australasica to the N and NW, Meditteranean cypress, Cupressus sempervirens, to the W, large Canary Island oak, Quercus canariensis to SW, large English oak, Q.robur to S of house, large kurrajong, Brachychiton populneus, to SE of house. More recent eucalpyt and pine plantings S of the house have been made, along with a small retail plant nursery area. (Stuart Read, pers.comm. 1/8/01).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The house was restored for the bicentennary in 1988, with the property in good condition overall.

Mamre sites of outbuildings (unpublished report on excavations at Mamre, Sydney University Historical Archaeology) excavations revealed extensive evidence of outbuildings and features around the house (s.6.5.6 St. Mary's, of appendix D, Historical Archaeological Component by Wendy Thorp, 8/1986 in Fox & Associates, Heritage Study of the City of Penrith, Volume 2 - appendices).
Date condition updated:25 Feb 99
Modifications and dates: Restored to original form in 1988.
Modern outbuildings c.1988
Current use: Residential; community service; nursery production; market gardening
Former use: Farm homestead, grazing, wool production, grain cropping

History

Historical notes: In 1798 colonial chaplain, magistrate and pastoralist, The Rev. Samuel Marsden purchased 38 acres from a lapsed grantee at South Creek where he commenced experimental wool production activities. The name comes from Genesis 13:18 "Mamre which is in Hebron" (meaning land which is promised).

He established the Mamre farm in 1799 with the purchase of a further 200 acres, also at South Creek.

It was the working farmhouse of a busy rural property (www.hha.net.au/mamre).

By 1802 Marsden's total land holdings at South Creek amounted to 333 acres, primarily devoted to wool production. It was the working farmhouse of a busy rural property, a model farm which comprised orchrads, exotic pasture and other crops (www.mamre.com.au/about-mamre/our-past).

In 1804 Marsden received a 1030 acre grant, again at South Creek and proceeded to plant experimental crops of hemp and flax. Flooding in 1805 destroyed these crops but experimental wool production continued and in 1807 Marsden left for England taking with him the first "weavable" wool from the Colony, produced at Mamre.

Marsden, in his work at Mamre farm, pioneered the Australian wool industry by importing and breeding the famous Merino sheep (www.hha.net.au/mamre).

Between 1822 and 1832 the homestead at Mamre was built and the farm itself became firmly established. The house was not intended as a permanent residence, but rather as a country cottage to provide basic accommodation for the overseers of the farm.

Originally a storage barn for wool, Mamre Homestead was built in the 1820s from brick and was noted for its cultivated rose and cottage gardens. The Rev. James Hassell said of it:
"Mamre, where I spent so many happy days with my uncle, was a farm on the South Creek... The house was a two-storey brick building with a good gravel drive in front. Beyond, several hundred yards, was a splendid orchard of twenty acres. The fruits surpassed any that I have seen these forty years. The grapes, chiefly muscatel, were very fine. Peaches, apples, pears, oranges, apricots and nectarines, were in abundance. Supplies were constantly sent to Sydney, in the season, in waggon-loads and sold well. Large crops of wheat, and oaten hay were produced on the farm. The horses bred at Mamre were very good and sold at high prices. I remember a carriage horse brought a hundred guineas, and few sold under 70 or 80 pounds. The farm and orchard were worked by assigned servants, numbering I should say, from twenty to thirty hands" (www.mamre.com.au/history; accessed 14/10/10).

In 1838 Samuel Marsden died and ownership of the property passed to his only surviving son, Charles, who used the house as a permanent residence. There are believed to have been between 20 and 30 servants employed to work the farm and orchards at this time.

In 1840 the Mamre farm was sold to Richard Rouse, a prominent public servant and grazier and in 1841 Rouse gave the farm to one of his daughters, Elizabeth Henrietta Rouse, as a wedding present upon her marriage to the Hon. Robert Fitzgerland, MLC of Windsor.

It is said that to be fair to his children, Rouse put three pieces of paper in a straw hat, two of them blank and one bearing the name'Mamre'. This was drawn by the youngest Daughter, Elizabeth Henrietta (Robinsons, undated).

The property remained in the ownership of the descendants of Robert and Elizabeth for over a century and apart from rendering the external walls in 1890, no significant changes were made to the building until 1950-1 when Professor E. MacLaurin (a descendent of Elizabeth's) added a garage wing, new chimney, a boiler room and laundry as well as replacing the staircase and many of the windows and shutters.

In 1951 the remaining timber outbuildings (a kitchen and wash house) were demolished.

In 1975, the farm was purchased by the (then) NSW Plannning and Environment Commission who leased the property to Professor McLaurin until his death in 1978.

In 1984 the NSW Department of Planning made Mamre Homestead and surrounding acreage (86ha) available in a 20 year lease to the Sisters of Mercy, Parramatta to be developed as a training centre for the unemployed of the area. The project commenced in 1986 (www.mamre.com.au/about-mamre). Over the years under the direction of Sister Mary-Louise Petro, Founder of the Mamre Project, several programs have been successfully implemented to meet the perceived needs of time. The State Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, together with the Federal Government Department of Family and Community Services and Education, Employment and Workplace Relations now provide funding for continuing development and delivery of training programs. The present training includes skills in office administration, information technology, hospitality and customer service. Programs are taught in a supportive atmosphere where personal development is encouraged and nurtured. The homestead provides job opportunities in the hospitality industry. Mamre Plains Ltd is a non-profit company set up by the Sisters of Mercy in 1985 (www.mamre.com.au/about/; accessed 14/10/10).

Today Mamre is run by CatholicCare Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains (www.hha.net.au/mamre).

Major restoration works on homestead were completed by October 2016. This is part of the investment provided by the Department's Office of Strategic Lands in preserving heritage-listed properties (Chief Planner's report to Heritage Council, 5/10/2016).

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 (none)-
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 Experimenting with new crops and methods-
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 Orcharding-
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 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 Agricultural Society activities - research, experimentation, acclimatisation --
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 Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Developing stock blood lines - merino sheep-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Working for pastoralists-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Woolgrowing-
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. (none)-
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 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. Housing for farm and station hands-
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. Accommodating convicts-
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 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 Resuming private lands for public 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 Granting Crown lands for private farming-
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 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 Vernacular hamlets and settlements-
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-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working on pastoral stations-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
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 - colonial 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. 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. 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. Interior design styles and periods - Colonial-
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 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. Living on the urban fringe-
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 Visiting heritage places-
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 Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Practising Catholicism-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Providing schools and education-
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 Rev. Samuel Marsden, archbishop of colony-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Richard Rouse, Superintendent of government works, Parramatta-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with the Marist Sisters-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Mamre is of high historical significance for its association with both the Rev. Samuel Marsden and the Rouse Family. It has further significance for the production and export of the first "weavable" wool in the colony and for its association with the settlement and development of pastoral/farming activities in the St Marys district.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Mamre is of high aesthetic significance as a fine example of an early Colonial Georgian Residence retaining some elements of its original rural setting.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Mamre is of high social significance for its association with prominent colonial figures and for its association with early employment in the district through the pastoral activities which took place there.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Mamre is of high technical/research significance for its demonstration of early 19th century building techniques and farming practices.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Relatively rare.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Mamre is representative of major colonial homesteads with substantial acreage.
Integrity/Intactness: The main house is relatively intact, with only a few original outbuildings remain.
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:

A Conservation Plan needs to be prepare to draw together all the disparate elements of the existing documentation and to provide ongoing management and maintenance principles. Owing to the considerable existing documentation, this should be seen as an overview document. This CMP should also look at an appropriate curtilage and adjoining land uses to retain the predominantly rural setting and outlook of Mamre, and its visibility from the M4 highway to the N (Stuart Read, pers.comm.1/8/01)

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementConservation Management Plan: Mamre, St Marys (Graham Brooks and Associates Pty Ltd, Nov 2001) Jun 27 2003
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 0026402 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0026426 Oct 84 1505218
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register  11 Feb 99   
Local Environmental Plan 199120 Dec 91 18010648
Heritage study SM-2801 Apr 87   
National Trust of Australia register Classified 01 May 76   
Register of the National Estate  21 Mar 78   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Heritage Study of the City of Penrith1986SM-28Not KnownNot known Yes
s.170 Register DUAP1999 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes
Colonial Landscapes of the Cumberland Plain and Camden, NSW2000 Morris, C., & Britton, G./NSW National Trust (for the Heritage Council of NSW)  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Mamre View detail
WrittenCox Tanner Pty Ltd, Architects, Architectural Research & Restoration1981A Restoration Report on Mamre
WrittenGraham Brooks & Associates2003Mamre St Marys Conservation Management Plan Final draft
WrittenHistoric Houses Association of Australia Mamre House, Orchard Hills View detail
PhotographHoward Tanner & Associates Pty Ltd1989Mamre (Lot 1 Mamre Rd St Marys): A Photographic Record
WrittenJ. Byrnes1986An Historical Archaeological Report on Mamre
WrittenLaura Cree1995Mamre: Place of Promise - the story - pioneers of land and spirit on Marsden's South Creek Farm
WrittenRobinsons, in association with Tucker & Co. P/L - NSW agents for Chateau Tanunda – the brandy of distinction (1962 brochure)1962Map no. 121 - Sydney & Environs - Historic Buildings and Landmarks
TourismTourism NSW2007Mamre Historical Homestead View detail

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

rez rez rez rez rez 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: 5045752
File number: S90/02596; H99/00055 [S170]


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.