St. Ignatius School | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


St. Ignatius School

Item details

Name of item: St. Ignatius School
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Education
Category: School - Private
Location: Lat: -34.1116787193 Long: 141.9159193670
Primary address: 30 Caddell Street, Wentworth, NSW 2648
Local govt. area: Wentworth
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Dareton
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
30 Caddell StreetWentworthWentworth  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated

Statement of significance:

A small, unusual wooden schoolhouse with many original details and featuring an early colour scheme. Building is both architecturally and historically significant to the town of Wentworth and significant in its earliest contribution to the education of children from outlying areas. (R. Howard, 1986)
Date significance updated: 03 Jul 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.


Builder/Maker: Ducan McLean
Construction years: 1911-1912
Physical description: An unusual symmetrical building of weatherboard construction. The single room structure has a centrally located entrance porch on the northern side. The main gambrel roof is clad with corrugated iron sheeting and the little gable over the porch has simple timber decoration. The building is supported on timber posts set in the ground. There is a curved, embossed iron window hood over the northern porch window. The former school room has a boarded ceiling and much of the internal joinery is intact. The large main windows have the appearance of double hung windows however, the sashes operate as casements. The building has been recently restored and repaired. A brick fireplace and chimney on the western side has been replaced with a replica. The original two- tone colour scheme has been rendered. (Howard, 1986)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The property is in excellent condition following the 1988-89 restorations.
Date condition updated:29 Jun 00
Modifications and dates: Restoration work carried out January 1988 to April 1989 for National Trust- R. Howard, Project Architect, Denis J Wynne builder. Roof repair - patching and re-use of old sheets, guttering replaced. Brick fireplace and chimney replaced based on original drawing. Windows and floors Ceilings, front and rear entrance steps repaired/ restored. Exterior and interior repainted in original colour scheme. (Howard, 1988)
Current use: National Trust Branch Office, museum, educational programmes
Former use: School, kindergarten


Historical notes: Situated at confluence of the Murray and Darling Rivers, Wentworth was settled in 1840, town surveyed in 1958 and named in honor of William Charles Wentworth, explorer. At turn of the century, Wentworth was the largest river port in the country, docking up to 100 paddle steamers a month.

St Ignatius High School (described as a 'select' school, was opened by the Sisters of Mercy in 1892 and a boarding school for girls opened at the Convent in 1898. Students traveled, sometimes over many days, by horse and buggy or riverboat, from surrounding areas, and attended St Ignatius School each day.

A new schoolhouse was built in 1911- a tall, wooden structure on the west wide of the convent, where the nuns taught many extra subjects, such as languages, bookkeeping, painting, wax modeling art, needlework, singing, pianoforte, violin, etc.
(National Trust Magazine, June 1989) (A History of Early Catholic Education in Wentworth - St Ignatius School 1911-1989)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
St Ignatius School is an example of 'select' schooling in a town with a significant history as a major trading centre. (National Trust Magazine - June 1989)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
A most unusual and beautifully proportioned symmetrical building of rusticated weatherboard constructed. The intactness of the building also adds to the aesthetic significance of the site. The church like architectural design reinforces the association with religion, the building being the former site of the Catholic School. (Howard, 1986)
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Marked the dedicated service to the parish of Wentworth by the Sisters of Mercy . The long association with schooling in Wentworth has formed a social recognition within the community. (A History of Early Catholic Education in Wentworth - St Ignatius School 1911/ 1989)
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
St Ignatius School is of particular education value in allowing school students experience the type of materials used in euducation in the early nineteenth century. (National Trust Magazine - June 1989)
SHR Criteria f)
The properties rare in the unique design of the small schoolhouse and the development of a unique social and historical background beginning in the early nineteenth century.
Integrity/Intactness: The integrity of the property remains as no significant renovations have changed the original structure from that of the design in the early nineteenth century. The properties intactness adds to its recognition and overall social and historical significance.
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
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 0150701 Mar 02 541452

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenNational Trust of Australia (NSW)1992Classification Card
WrittenNational Trust of Australia (NSW)1989National Trust Magazine - June 1989
WrittenR. Howard1989St Ignatius Schoolhouse
WrittenThe National Trust of Australia (NSW)2000State Heritage Inventory form

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: 5051260
File number: H00/00236/001

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.