Toomevara Lane Chinese Market Gardens | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Toomevara Lane Chinese Market Gardens

Item details

Name of item: Toomevara Lane Chinese Market Gardens
Other name/s: Rockdale Market gardens, Chinese Market Gardens
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Farming and Grazing
Category: Market Garden
Location: Lat: -33.9710886642 Long: 151.1421550760
Primary address: Toomevara Lane, Kogarah, NSW 2216
Parish: St George
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Rockdale
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT5 DP568192
LOT1 DP723897
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Toomevara LaneKogarahRockdaleSt GeorgeCumberlandPrimary Address
Scott LaneKogarahRockdaleSt GeorgeCumberlandAlternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Department of Planning and InfrastructureState Government 
Department of Planning and InfrastructureState Government 

Statement of significance:

The three market garden properties are of State significance for a number of reasons, but their primary importance is their continuous use for market gardening since at least the 1850s. This has resulted in the creation of a landscape that bears evidence of continuous work and the marketing of the changes that have taken place in the market gardening industry in that time. Evidence of this is present in built fabric, changes in ethnicity of occupants and the complexity of infrastructure. Their rarity has been further enhanced by ongoing changes to surrounding environments including urban re-development that absorbed the majority of surviving market gardens in the mid and late 20th century. They are rare survivors of the mid 19th century use of the area for market gardening.

Outwardly the market gardens are a timeless scene with little intrusion by modern technology, which creates a semblance of their former appearance. They are representative of market gardens throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Their appearance and contribution to their settings is significant as a reminder of the area's long use for market gardening. The landscapes are strongly patterned, aesthetically pleasing and provide a transition between urban development and the renaturalised areas of the Botany lowlands.

The West Botany Street Market Gardens are of State significance as one of only few surviving 19th century market gardens, in largely their original form and still employing traditional cultivation practices, in the Sydney metropolitan region. The site is of significance for its association with the Chinese, German, Irish and Cornish communities and for its demonstration of a continuing pattern of land usage since the mid-19th century. The site is of further significance as containing the only surviving 19th century market gardener's packing shed in the Sydney metropolitan region.

The Toomevara Lane Market Gardens are of State significance as one of only few surviving 19th century market gardens, in largely their original form and still employing traditional cultivation practices, in the Sydney metropolitan region. The site is of significance for its association with the Chinese, German, Irish and Cornish communities and for its demonstration of a continuing pattern of land usage since the mid-19th century. The site is of further significance as containing one of five surviving 19th century market gardener's cottages in the Sydney metropolitan region and one of only four such cottages still attached to operating market gardens.

The Occupation Road Market Gardens are of State significance as one of only few surviving 19th century market gardens, in largely their original form and still employing traditional cultivation practices, in the Sydney metropolitan region. The site is of significance for its association with the Chinese, German, Irish and Cornish communities and for its demonstration of a continuing pattern of land usage since the mid-19th century. The site is of further significance as containing three of five surviving 19th century market gardener's cottages in the Sydney metropolitan region and the only such cottages still attached to working market gardens.

Toomevara Lane:

The Toomevara Lane Market Gardens are of State significance as one of only five surviving market gardens in the Sydney metropolitan region in largely their original form and still employing traditional cultivation practices. The site is of significance for its association with the Chinese, German, Irish and Cornish communities and for its demonstration of a continuing pattern of land usage since the mid-19th century market gardener's cottages in the Sydney metropolitan region and one of only four such cottages still attached to operating market gardens.

The property is of State significance for its continuous use as a market garden since the land was first alienated for that purpose in the 1860s. It retains a strongly functional landscape reflecting both the long history of market gardening and operation that is typical of modern farming methods.

The current use of the place is consistent with its significance and contributing to the continuity of use of the property. The scale of the property, the working largely by hand, the 'making do' and recycling of fabric and general air of under-resourced functionality are essential aspects of the property's significance. Modern intrusions, notably motor cars and electricity, are acceptable changes that have been adopted as opportunity has risen.

The Toomevara Lane Market Garden has some local significance for its associations, notably
- Peter Herrmann and his family, who were prominent market gardeners in Sydney in the mid to late 19th century and amongst the first German immigrants to take up market gardening of Sydney
- Peter Henry Wright, who operated the market garden from 1875-1890, one of the longest single ownership tenures in market gardening at the time.
- James O'Meara and the O'Meara family who owned the site from 1899 to 1960, the longest period of ownership in the site's history
- John Wilson (the original grantee) and John Hart, his solicitor, who started the market garden in 1866.

Bordering wetland is of local significance as fish and bird breeding habitat.

Immediate surrounding development and parkland diminishes the aesthetic and evocative landscape character that the other properties retain. The neighbouring land uses provide management challenges through trespass and noise that compromise the sensory experience.

Occupation Road:

The Occupation Road Market Gardens are of State significance as one of only five surviving market gardens in the Sydney metropolitan region, in largely their original form and still employing traditional cultivation practices. The site is of significance for its association with the Chinese, German, Irish and Cornish communities and for its demonstration of a continuing pattern of land usage since the mid-19th century. The site is of further significance as containing three of five surviving 19th century market gardener's cottages in the Sydney metropolitan region and the only such cottages still attached to working market gardens.

The Occupation Road market gardens are of sufficient scale and bordered by undeveloped lands to provide vistas of market gardening activity of high integrity with few visual intrusions to compromise a picture that has existed for 150 years. The effect is heightened by other sensory stimulation such as the aroma of fresh cut herbs, fertiliser and farm noises.

The patterning of four lots, with major plots, and subsidiary beds divided by a hierarchy of drainage channels provides a strong visual landscape. The patterning at various scales and the mosaic of alternating crops results in both a pleasing effect and demonstration of the process of market gardening.

The current use of the place is consistent with its significance and contributing to the continuity of use of the property. The scale of the property, the working largely by hand, the 'making do' and recycling of fabric and general air of under-resourced functionality are essential aspects of the property's significance. Modern intrusions, notably motor cars and electricity, are acceptable changes that have been adopted as opportunity has risen.

The Occupation Road Market Garden has some local significance for its associations, notably
- Irish and Cornish market gardeners in the mid-19th century
- William Goode, the first owner to also work as a market gardener and reside on the site. Goode is likely to have been responsible for erecting at least the cottages on the site
- Hop Lee, Sun On Lee and Sun Shing Wah Chinese market gardeners of the early 20th century
- the Tasker family, who owned and operated Lots 2,3 & 4 from 1932 until 1968. The Tasker family were amongst the last German immigrants to take up market gardening in the Rockdale area
- John Stirling, who purchased the gardens in 1846 and continued to operate them until 1851
- The Metropolitan Sewerage, Drainage Board, who continued to operate the gardens throughout the 1930s and 1940s, as part of the final stages of operation of the Botany-Rockdale sewage farm

West Botany Street:

The West Botany Street Market Gardens are of State significance as one of only five surviving market gardens in the Sydney metropolitan region, in largely their original form and still employing traditional cultivation practices. The site is of significance for its association with the Chinese, German, Irish and Cornish communities and for its demonstration of a continuing pattern of land usage since the mid-19th century. The site is of further significance as containing the only surviving 19th century market gardener's packing shed in the Sydney metropolitan region.

The property is of State significance for its continuous use as a market garden since the land was first alienated for that purpose in 1840. It retains a strongly functional landscape reflecting both the long history of market gardening and operation that is typical of modern farming methods. There are few visual intrusions that detract from the sense of an authentically earlier setting. The effect is heightened by other sensory stimulation such as the aroma of fresh cut herbs, fertiliser and farm noises.

The West Botany Street Market Garden has particular significance for its 19th century timber packing shed. This building is considered to be extremely rare and of exceptionally high significance within NSW.

The current use of the place is consistent with its significance and contributing to the continuity of use of the property. The scale of the property, the working largely by hand, the 'making do' and recycling of fabric and general air of under-resourced functionality are essential aspects of the property's significance. Modern intrusions, notably motor cars and electricity, are acceptable changes that have been adopted as opportunity has arisen.

The property has some local significance for its associations, notably
- the Chinese community and particularly Chinese immigrants from the late 19th century
- William Beehag, one of the first to take up large scale market gardening in the Botany district and an early pioneer of the district, who operated the gardens from 1849 to 1894
- the McKern family, who continued to own and operate the market gardens from 1894 to 1962.

The regenerated wetland is part of a larger coastal estuary swamp forest complex, and a bird breeding habitat, that is recognised through statutory determination as a threatened ecological community. However, it has resulted in the loss of evidence of former market garden beds, and may be seen to reduce the significance of the property as an intact cultural landscape.
Date significance updated: 27 Oct 08
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: A remnant market garden with associated asbestos cement building and corrugated iron outbuildings. The building sits on brick piers and has a gabled corrugated iron roof. The associated corrugated iron sheds are in a reasonable condition. The garden is divided into small strips, each of which has a different type of produce under cultivation.

The site is surrounded by housing and open space/playing fields.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The site consists of a market garden, under production, and an associated asbestos cement building, in reasonable repair. The site has some archaeological potential associated with its use as a market garden.
Date condition updated:26 Mar 99
Further information: Very little historical data is available on the site, making any assessment of its significance difficult. Further investigation of this site, along with the Kyeemagh and Arncliffe Market Gardens, is recommended prior to any future work taking place on the site.
Current use: Market Garden
Former use: Market Garden

History

Historical notes: The site demonstrates prolonged and continuous use as a market garden. Market gardens such as this played an important role in food production for the local and regional community, particularly during the Great Depression and Post and Inter-War periods. For much of the Great Depression, Chinese market gardens were the only source of fresh vegetables for urban dwelling Australians.

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)-
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)-

Assessment of significance

Integrity/Intactness: In the context of an area which has been under cultivation for a century, the landscape appears to be intact. The associated buildings also appear to be intact but are generally in poor condition.
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:

Continue use as market gardens. This site, along with the Kyeemagh Market Garden site needs a Conservation and Management Plan to assist with guiding future changes. The Conservation Plan should address both built and landscape elements and should incorporate all associated structures.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementRockdale Market Gardens Conservation Management Plan (Architectural History Services, Dec 2001) CMP endorsed by Heritage Council 25 July 2002 for a period of five years, expires 25 July 2007. Jul 25 2002
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 0139402 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register  11 Feb 99   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
s.170 Register DUAP1999 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes
Kogarah Heritage Study Review - Stage 11999 Musecape, John Matthias, Lisa Murray  Yes

References, internet links & images

None

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: 5045754
File number: H00/00357; H99/00055 [S170]


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