Harrisford | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Harrisford

Item details

Name of item: Harrisford
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -33.8148138945 Long: 151.0104875960
Primary address: 182 George Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150
Parish: St John
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Parramatta
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT40 DP1115363
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
182 George StreetParramattaParramattaSt JohnCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
The Kings School Old Boys UnionCommunity Group 

Statement of significance:

Harrisford, which is located between George Street and the river, is one of the oldest houses remaining in the township of Parramatta. It is an important element at the head of the river, representing the early years of settlement. Site possesses potential to contribute to an understanding early of urban development in Parramatta.
Date significance updated: 26 Jun 06
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

Construction years: 1823-1829
Physical description: Two storey Old Colonial Georgian house of brick with stone quoins now painted.Joinery and fittings, while in 1830s style, are reproductions.
Archaeological Site: AZP Reference: PC 48
Parramatta River REP 22 Inventory No: 129

National Trust (Parramatta Branch): Fabric: Flemish bond brick walls, with sandstone quoins, foundations, and stringline at first floor level and corrugated iron roof which was originally shingles. Roof Construction: Hip. Verandah Decoration: Window Sill: Sandstone. Window Arch: Soldier brick flat arch painted brick red. Fence: Timber picket Fence: set in timber posts with shaped tops and timber picket gate. Garden: Well kept. Additions: Early kitchen or schoolroom building at rear of cottage.

Archit Style: Colonial Georgian two-storey cottage. Front Door: Georgian red soldier brick elliptical arch above segmented fanlight decorated with leadlight and stained glazing. Late Victorian moulded four panelled door with glazed panels above lock rail. Sidelights flank door with glazed upper panels above timber
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Archaeological zoning 3 (standing structures pre-1844. A conservation plan should be prepared addressing the whole site including standing buildings and underground archaeological remains (Higginbotham, 1991, 3).
Date condition updated:08 Jul 08
Modifications and dates: Leased and opened as the King's School in 1832 (was an existing building before that). 2003 - a high rise apartment building was built only meters from Harrisford's western boundary.

1980 restoration by King's School Old Boys Association (Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners)
Further information: CPS, NTL, PRS
Current use: commercial
Former use: Aboriginal land, residence, private school, peanut factory, industrial

History

Historical notes: Archaeological Site Data Appn. 9495. George St. - item 48.
Pre 1823 lease to Young, 9/6/1809 (LTO. Book 4D, no.41).
Elizabeth Young, 1/1/1810 (LTO Book 3, no.55).
1823 return: William Carter. 1823 Lease: William Carter (LTO Book 25, no.39). Grant: Reverend William Walker; section 23, allotment 68.
The 1823 map has a building on it. The 1844 (Brownrigg) map has the same building on it - masonry (Higginbotham, 1991, 72).

Archaeological Site Data Appn. 9495. George St. Pre 1823 Lease: Young, 9 June 1809 (LTO Book 4D No 41) Elizabeth Young, 1 Jan 1810 (LTO Book 3 No 55) 1823 Return: William Carter, 1823 Lease: William Carter (LTO Book 25, No 39). Grant: Rev. William Walker. Sec 23, Allt 68. Sites of Buildings: 1823 map: building, 1844 map: same building of masonry.

SD 1932: John Wall
SD 1930: Hnry Harris No. at this time was 106
SD 1929: Hnry Harris No. at this time was 106
SD 1925: Percy Harris,
SD 1915: Percy Harris, "Harrisford"
PCC RO 1914: N0.40, Sec 23, lots 68 pt.67. Permanent Trustee of NSW. Tre's will of Sarah Emma White (Estate of Mary Ann Connor).
SD 1912: John Harris, "Harrisford" John Harris bought the house and named it Harrisford.
SD 1910: Miss M.A. Connor
NSW PO 1904: Miss M.A. Connor
SD 1895: Miss M.A. Connor
SD 1889: Miss Ann Evans
PCC RB 1879: N0.172: Eury, Michael owner and occupier.
PCC RB 1872: N0.126: Eury, Michael owner. Griffiths, Mrs (William crossed out in rate book.) occupiers. Brick house, 50 pounds. Wm. Griffith and his wife Susan established a school here named Linden. William died here in 1870 and in 1872, his wife moved the school to larger premises in Macquarie St.

The building in 1870 was painted and had a Georgian fanlight and six panelled door and glazed half sidelights with lattice style decoration. Pickets on fence had round tops with unusual turned spindle gate. | Wm. Eury, Michael Owner.

PCC Assess of Land owners & Occupiers 1865: N0.111: Eury, Michael Owner. Woolls, William brick house ,10 rooms, 65 pounds. 1865. Wm. Griffith and his wife Susan established a school here shortly after called Linden before moving to larger premises in Macquarie St. John Harris bought the house and named it Harrisford. The building in 1870 is painted and has a Georgian fanlight and six panelled door with glass shale sidelights with lattice style decoration. Pickets on fence are round topped with unusual turned spindle gate.

The house Harrisford was built between 1823 and 1829 for the Rev. William Walker when he married Rowland Hassall's daughter.

In 1832, Walker leased it to the Kings School who occupied the building until 1836.

The Kings School was one of four early schools in the colony. January 1830 saw the Sydney College's foundation stone laid. The same month the Commissioners of the Church and School Corporation made public their intentions to establish two schools, one at Sydney and the other at Parramatta, to be known as the King's School and to be modelled on the King's School at Canterbury, England, where (Sydney Anglican) Archdeacon Broughton had been a pupil. Whereas the Sydney College offered no religious instruction, the King's School was unashamedly Anglican. The Sydney College commenced in 1835 and the Parramatta King's School opened its doors at the beginning of 1832. In December 1831 the Australian College admitted its first students. Formed under the guidance of the fiery Presbyterian, Rev. John Dunmore Lang, it came to rival the Sydney College, the foremost school in the colony. The fourth institution was called The Normal Institution, established in 1834, an achievement of the Rev. Henry Carmichael, a Presbyterian school-master who disagreed with Lang's educational ideas. The Normal Institution, like the Sydney College, was to provide a secular education. All four schools offered a higher, and classical, education for the sons of the well-to-do families of the colony (Thompson, 1986, 24-25).

William Woolls was engaged, aged 18, by the headmaster of the King's School, the Rev. Robert Forrest, on the recommendation of his Archdeacon, W.G. Broughton. The school commenced on 13 February 1832, and Woolls was to act as class usher and a master of one of the two houses occupied by boarders. Opening with about a dozen boys, the school by the end of that year had a respectable enrolment of 41 boarders and 12 day boys. Two nearby cottages housed the boarders (Thompson, 1986, 25).

After a short time, Woolls was offered a position as classics master by William Timothy Cape, headmaster of the reinaugurated Sydney College, which had opened at a new premises in College Street, Sydney in 1835. Woolls joined its staff in January 1838, remaining there until October 1839 when he resigned, owing to 'some misunderstanding with the committee' over the 'inadequate amount of his salary'. It was when Woolls opened and conducted his own institution that he really made a name for himself in colonial educational circles. He apparently returned to Parramatta in 1841 and opened his own private academy in 'Harrisford', which the Kings School had vacated some five years earlier (Gilbert, 1985, 31-32). 'Mr Woolls Academy' at Harrisford between 1841 and 1865 was remarkably successful (ibid, 32).

It was here he recorded particulars for the colony's 1841 census that beneath his roof resided 31 persons. This would have included his family, his staff and his boarding pupils. It was also at this address that he was to earn a rare commendation from the colony's governor,. In his annual report for the year ended 30 September 1842, Sir George Gipps that '...of the private schools many serve to be mentioned with commendation, particularly that of the Rev'd. Mr Forrest at Campbelltown, that of Mr Cape in Sydney, and of Mr Woolls in Parramatta.' (Thomson, 1986, 45-46). Gipps especially commended only three of the colony's many private schools (Gilbert, 1985, 32).

A brief description of the activities of a school boy at Woolls' school is the reminiscences of one pupil, Walter Campbell. For two years in the mid-1850s, he was a boarder at Harrisford. In his mature years he was to become involved in agriculture and botany. He would become the NSW Director of Agriculture. Campbell wrote his reminiscences in 1932, painting an idyllic picture of his days at Harrisford. He says of Woolls: 'He was remarkably kind and sympathetic in imparting instruction, ..... The boys, who were nearly all boarders, had their quarters in Harrisford, with a detached one-roomed building between it and the river serving as the school room. This was much the same arrangement that had existed twenty years earlier when Harrisford was used by The Kings School. The Parramatta River, not unexpectedly, provided the pleasures of fishing and swimming, but in 1841 a master had drowned who had gone to the rescue of a boy in difficulties. For the 25 or so pupils, there were rambles and picnics in General Macarthur's Bush, and walks to Baulkham Hills and Beyond. Campbell also provides a glimpse of Woolls' domestic life ,his daughters and Mrs Woolls playing he piano, and Woolls himself playing 'a large old-fashioned amber coloured flute with six finger holes and one key'. The household exhibited some degree of prosperity for there were two housemaids, a cook and a handyman. At one time the cook had been an Aboriginal woman. There was an assistant master to instruct in arithmetic, writing and spelling, leaving Woolls to attend to Latin and other subjects. Some of the pupils from The King's School enrolled at Woolls' school, including George Fairfowl Macarthur. In the early 1840s Woolls also had as pupils Henry and Robert Radford, step-sons of wealthy Sydney wool-merchant A.B. Spark. Spark lived in affluence in his mansion, 'Tempe' on the banks of the Cooks River, about 16km from Sydney (ibid, 1986, 62-63).

In all probability it was in 1840 that William Woolls commenced his own school, after he resigned from the staff of the Sydney College in August or September 1839. In 1840 he was able to lease the building in George Street, Parramatta which had been used as The King's School, an dwhich later became known as 'Harrisford'. It was here he recorded particulars for the colony's 1841 census that beneath his roof resided 31 persons. This would have included his family, his staff and his boarding pupils. It was also at this address that he was to earn a rare commendation from the colony's governor,. In his annual report for the year ended 30 Septmeber 1842, Sir George Gipps that '...of the private schools many serve to be mentioned with commendation, particularly that of the Rev'd Mr Forrest at Campbelltown, that of Mr Cape in Sydney, and of Mr Woolls in Parramatta.' (Thomson, 1986, 45-46).

One of the most popular schools in Parramatta was 'Mr Woolls' Academy': Gilbert, 32) at Harrisford.

A brief description of the activities of a school boy at Woolls' school is the reminiscences of one pupil, Walter Campbell. For two years in the mid-1850s, he was a boarder at Harrisford. In his mature years he was to become involved in agriculture and botany. He would become the NSW Director of Agriculture. Campbell wrote his reminiscences in 1932, painting an idyllic picture of his days at Harrisford. He says of Woolls: 'He was remarkably kind and sympathetic in imparting instruction, ..... The boys, who were nearly all boarders, had their quarters in Harrisford, with a detached one-roomed building between it and the river serving as the school room. This was much the same arrangement that had existed twenty years earlier when Harrisford was used by The Kings School. The Parramatta River, not unexpectedly, provided the pleasures of fishing and swimming, but in 1841 a master had drowned who had gone to the rescue of a boy in difficulties. For the 25 or so pupils, there were rambles and picnics in General Macarthur's Bush, and walks to Baulkham Hills and Beyond. Campbell also provides a glimpse of Woolls' domestic life ,his daughters and Mrs Woolls playing he piano, and Woolls himself playing 'a large old-fashioned amber coloured flute with six finger holes and one key'. The household exhibited some degree of prosperity for there were two housemaids, a cook and a handyman. At one time the cook had been an Aboriginal woman. There was an assistant master to instruct in arithmetic, writing and spelling, leaving Woolls to attend to Latin and other subjects. Some of the pupils from The King's School enrolled at Woolls' school, including George Fairfowl Macarthur. In the early 1840s Woolls also had as pupils Henry and Robert Radford, step-sons of wealthy Sydney wool-merchant A.B. Spark. Spark lived in affluence in his mansion, 'Tempe' on the banks of the Cooks River, about 16km from Sydney (ibid, 1986, 62-63).

Woolls moved to the larger premises of Newlands in 1864 (Gilbert says 'in or about 1865'. Never large, catering for about 30 boys at a time it seems to have been a happy, enlightened and enlightening institution which the boys remembered with gratitude and affection (ibid, 32). Gilbert adds that Woolls remained at Newlands for the last seven years or so of his teaching career (ibid, 36). The school was for local boys as wells as boarders. During Woolls' stay at Newlands, he continued his extensive botanical studies including botany in the school curriculum, taking the boys regularly on field trips around the hills of Parramatta collecting samples of unknown specimens. Woolls was an important early schoolmaster and botanist. He lectured frequently on the botanical landscape and was recognised by the greatest of the British and European botanists and on whose recommendation Woolls was admitted in 1865, as a Fellow of the Linnean Society in London, one of the most respected scientific organisations in Britain. In August 1872 Woolls retired from teaching and was admitted to the Holy Order in 1873, becoming the Rev. William Woolls (ibid).

From 1836 to 1854, it was used by several other schools. In 1840 William Woolls leased the house for a school, operating it here until 1865. Walker sold the property in 1854.

During the 1860s William Woolls' Academy is little recorded. A small fragment of school life is preserved in the records of a cricket match in which Woolls' school participated. It was played on 15/11/1862 between teams from The King's School and one provided by Woolls' pupils and was won by the latter by 13 runs. Shortly after the match the King's School was to close for about six years, resuming in 1869 with the Rev. George Fairfowl Macarthur as its headmasters. Woolls' school continued to survive. Sometime in 1865 he moved his school to a large house called 'Newlands' built on property which had once belonged to the Rev. Samuel Marsden on the northern bank of the Parramatta River (Thomson, 1986, 87).

Later residents included John Harris, nephew of Surgeon Dr John Harris of Harris Park.

A 1932 photograph shows Harrisford with Victorian cast iron balustrading and valances on ground and first-floor verandahs (Gilbert, 1985, 27, based on a photograph c/o Mr Peter Yeend, The Kings School).

The building was later used a peanut butter factory, stationery shop and car workshop.

A November 1979 photograph shows Harrisford bereft of its Victorian verandahs, with signs advertising office supplies (Gilbert, 1985, 27).

Harrisford was restored by King's School Old Boys Union in 1980 to its 1830s configuration, using Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners heritage architects.

A 1982 photograph shows the completed Harrisford with Georgian windows, paint removed from its bricks, quoins picked out, on its reopening day, Saturday 3rd February, 1982 (Gilbert, 1985, 27).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 townsfolk - terraces and cottages-
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 Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Planned towns serving a specific industry-
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 Indicators of early town planning and the disposition of people within the emerging settlement-
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 towns in response to topography-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Private (independent) schooling-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Rev. William Woolls, teacher, botanist and priest-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Rev. William Walker, priest-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with John Harris, nephew of Dr John Harris, surgeon-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Michael Eury, owner-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This item historically significant.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
This item is socially significant.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
This item is representative.
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:

Conservation works undertaken by Clive Lucas in 1980s for Kings School Old Boys Union

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 0024802 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0024806 May 83 682048
Regional Environmental Plan  05 Jun 90   
Local Environmental Plan  21 Jul 89 844633
Local Environmental Plan  27 Feb 97 20 
National Trust of Australia register  7868   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Parramatta Heritage Study1993218Meredith Walker  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenGilbert, Lionel1985William Woolls, 1814-1893: 'a most useful colonist'
WrittenHigginbotham, Edward1991The Future of Parramatta's Past - an archaeological zoning plan 1788-1844
WrittenThomson, M.H.H.1986William Woolls – a man of Parramatta

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

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: 5051407
File number: S90/06019 & HC 32277


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.