Denbigh | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Denbigh

Item details

Name of item: Denbigh
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Farming and Grazing
Category: Farm
Location: Lat: -33.9944722991 Long: 150.7104271400
Primary address: 421 The Northern Road, Cobbitty, NSW 2570
Parish: Cook
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Camden
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Tharawal
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT2001 DP1139483

Boundary:

Refer to Plan No. 1924
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
421 The Northern RoadCobbittyCamdenCookCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private 

Statement of significance:

Denbigh is of State significance as an intact example of a continuously functioning early farm complex (1817-1820s) on its original 1812 land grant. It contains a rare and remarkable group of homestead, early farm buildings and associated plantings with characteristics of the Loudon model of homestead siting within an intact rural landscape setting fundamental to its interpretation. The large collection of early farm buildings is perhaps the most extensive and intact within the Cumberland/Camden region.

It has historic associations with pioneering Anglican minister Thomas Hassall and its relationship with the early Heber Chapel and the township of Cobbitty. The estate is significant as an early contact point between Aboriginal and European culture and is of social significance for the descendants of the Hassall and Macintosh families. It retains its historic views across the valley to Cobbitty in the west.

The place is of scientific significance for its potential to reveal, through archaeology, evidence of both early European farming practices and aboriginal occupation. The significance of Denbigh is considerably enhanced by the extent to which it has retained its form, character, fabric and rural setting (Heritage Office).

The Denbigh estate is of exceptional cultural significance for its historical, aesthetic, social and technical values.

The homestead and attendant farm buildings are an exceptionally rare and intact group of structures dating from the very early 19th century. They demonstrate the aspirations of, and continuous occupation by only 3 families as well as the continuous evolution of their farming and grazing practices over this period. The extant structures, intact pastoral landscape, associated family and public records archives, all combine to make this a very rare and important place in the history and evolution of NSW. This is strengthened by the survival of significant physical and historic links with the surrounding early roads and settlements as well as significant buildings and structures built by the Hassall family, the second family to own the estate. It is one of several important colonial estates in the local area including Maryland, Wivenhoe, Brownlow Hill and Raby.

The establishment of the Denbigh farm by Charles Hook (1809-1826), its subsequent ownership and development by the famous 'galloping parson' Thomas Hassall (1826-1886), and then by the MacIntosh family to the present time, connects the place with very important figures in the development of this area of NSW.

The physical evidence of Aboriginal occupation of the estate, both prior to and after European arrival backed up by documented evidence of this including ceremonial use, strengthens the integrity and rarity of the continuous physical record of the place. Important named historical Aboriginal figures such as Cannbaygal, a visiting chief from the mountains, are associated with the Denbigh farm, and possibly also Cogy (Cogrewoy) a leader of the 'Cowpastures' Tribe who also acted as guide through the district to Macquarie and Barrallier.

The fact that the landscape remains as undeveloped agricultural /pastoral land, retains the sense, both physically and visually of this connection with all of these periods and occupations.

The Denbigh farm estate retains a curtilage and setting of exceptional historic and aesthetic significance. Unlike most of its early colonial contemporaries in the Cumberland Plain, it retains this curtilage and setting in a largely uncompromised state, and thus its integrity, from the time of early European occupation.

The landscape and setting of the homestead and outbuildings and the views to and from these, provide a very rare and intact early colonial landscape of great beauty and integrity and of exceptional cultural significance to the state of NSW.

The Denbigh estate contains areas of varying significance in relation to their role in the curtilage of the place (Design 5, 2004, 37).
Date significance updated: 29 Jul 03
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: unknown
Builder/Maker: Charles Hook c 1818. Thomas and Samual Hassall, Daniel Roberts c1828
Construction years: 1818-1818
Physical description: Farm (c.250ha area (SHR curtilage) of a 500 ha property)
The original land grant remains intact with substantial 19th century built fabric remaining. The (original Hook) entry gates to Denbigh are simple by design and the unsurfaced estate road leads through paddocks and groves of eucalypts.

Many of the cultural and historic plantings remain on the property such as remnant mature eucalypts. Older plantings include an avenue of forest red gums (Eucalyptus tereticornis) to the north-east of the homestead garden along an earlier farm access path, reputedly planted by Charles Hassall.

Two other cottages exist on the farm: Bangor closer to The Northern Road and the main entrance driveway, to the east of the Denbigh homestead complex, and Cluny, on Cluny Hill south-west of the homestead group. Cluny cottage was originally located to the north-east of the homestead complex on 'Plantation Hill' - then known as Roberts' Cottage, before it was moved to its current location.

A former quarry remains on the farm.

An older driveway access from the Hassall era led south to Cobbitty Road and towards the village of Cobbitty.

Garden:
A curving driveway leads through a second set of gates and an unkempt wilderness area of predominantly olive trees, shrubs and vines where it terminates in front of the house which has a highly maintained and formal garden (a common element of a 19th century landscape design). This grove of olives was planted pre-1826 on the western side of the homestead for shade and shelter. Here the Hassall ladies walked in the afternoons. As well as the old carob tree (in 2009 a large dead stump but with a vigorous young shoot maturing)(pers.comm., Stuart Read) there is a kurrajong (Brachychiton populneum), Bunya Bunya pine (Araucaria bidwillii) and peppercorn trees (Schinus molle var.areira) in this area.

Denbigh retains its cottage garden, simple in design with plants fashionable in the 19th century complementing its colonial atmosphere.

Older plantings include roses, carob (Ceratonia siliqua), century plant (Agave americana) and its variegated form 'Variegata', a Bunya Bunya pine (Araucaria bidwillii). Between the homestead and outbuildings stands a candelabra /cactus tree (Cereus peruvianus) a curious botanical specimen with large white trumpet flowers originated from South America and the only known example of its kind in the Camden Municipality. Many other species of trees remain on the property and are typical of 19th century plantings in the district. These include African and fruiting olives (Olea europaea var.Africana and O.europaea), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), Cocos Island/Queen palm (Syragus romanzoffianum), ash (Fraxinus excelsior).

A tennis court north-west of the homestead is almost hidden from view by lush climbers such as cat's claw creeper (Doxantha unguis-cati).

A Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) north-east of the house was planted in 1948 to commerate a marriage in the owners' family.

The garden in summer is filled with the scent of old-fashioned roses - gallicas, bourbons, banksias, damasks, musks and rugosas and scented pelargoniums. Bushes of Rosa chinensis 'Old Blush', a China rose are scattered through the garden. These were the first species of rose to be grown in the colony.

The Mediterannean cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) on the eastern side of the garden was reputedly planted by Hassall and the Hassall girls once played croquet in this part of the garden.

In the homestead's rear (kitchen) courtyard beside the old well and pump are bushes of Hibiscus mutabilis 'Plena' (double, white-pink) and H.moschatus (single, white-pink). Sandstone gutters drain this paved courtyard towards the outbuildings to its south. A gate at the far northern end leads through the western wing of outbuildings to the shrubbery / wilderness to the west(Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, 2001 with additions from Stuart Read, visit of 29/9/2001).

Homestead Complex:
The homestead is sited in contrast with the surrounding open agricultural land and is complimented by the half circle of hills which define Denbigh's landscape character. In terms of elevation and character, the buildings and trees have been sited in a manner influenced by John Claudius Loudon, the Scottish writer on landscape taste.

The house looks across the fields to the north to a line of hills where a small vineyard was established ('Plantation Hill'). It is here that, after a trip to Wollongong where he had been given seeds, Hassall planted some cabbage tree palms (Livistona australis) and others which he described as those of a 'silver tree'. The palms are gone today and were unusual in the district (Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, 2001). NB: In 2001 Plantation Hill is bushy now - the cabbage palms are gone, although a 'silver tree' does remain, suckering from its base). To the north-west and above an area of African olives was a clearing planted with a 'native vineyard' of native vines, a botanical collection, which is of interest to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. (Ian McIntosh to Stuart Read, pers.comm., 29/9/2001).

The house consists of timber framing, filled with brick or rubble nogging and covered in weatherboard. The hipped roof extends over the house and the brick paved verandah is supported on square timber posts with chamfered edges. The chimneys have a simple brick cornice with a distinct colonial character. Renovations can be evidenced by joinery typical of the 1830's. The whole structure is now rendered.

Outbuildings:
In the Hassall days, Denbigh existed as a small scattered village with its own school master, blacksmith, carpenter, brickmaker and many others.

Twelve to twenty assigned servants maintained the 5 acre garden of orchards, vegetables, the vineyard and orange grove on the side of the hill ((Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, 2001).

The present farm buildings are located conveniently near the house which include slab built sheds and an old barn with thick rubblestone walls. The barn still bears the engraved initials of Thomas Hassall cut into the timber architrave.

A huge forest red gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) is the centre piece to the farm buildings, coach house and stables block.

Further east and uphill are a range of outbuildings, slab huts and sheds.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The Denbigh property is of archaeological potential to reveal evidence of both early European farming practices and Aboriginal occupation. A number of mud huts were clustered around the main homestead, surrounded by a 7-8 foot paling fence (all now vanished).
Date condition updated:14 Jan 02
Modifications and dates: Charles Hook's original grant was 1200 acres. In 1826 he had 60 acres of wheat and 23 acres of maize here, a 'large dwelling house and other convenient out-houses on the farm'. A small vineyard was established on a hill to the north of the house pre-1826. A number of mud huts were clustered around the main homestead, surrounded by a 7-8 foot paling fence (all now vanished).

1827-31: The original one storey house and outbuildings had major renovations undertaken by Rev. Hassall, adding a bedroom storey in 1827. Hassall added a southern entry drive connecting the property to Cobbitty Road (and the Heber Chapel and church).

Other service and farm buildings were built during renovations soon after the purchase of the property by Thomas Hassall, the number of which were reduced in the 1840s.

A former quarry remains on the farm. The former Roberts Cottage site and associated fences is to the homestead's north-east. This cottage was (date unknown) relocated to Cluny hill south-west of the homestead group and remains in use as a residence.
Another cottage, Bangor lies to the east of the homestead group close to the estate road to The Northern Road.

1866+ use of farm to breed Clydesdale horses.

1910+ use as a dairy farm and Ayrshire cattle stud.

2009: use as a Hereford cattle stud.
Current use: working farm & Hereford stud
Former use: working farm & Clydesdal horse stud, dairy farm, vineyards, Ayrshire cattle stud

History

Historical notes: The original owner of Denbigh was Charles Hook, who had been imprisoned by the rebel government for supporting Governor Bligh's attempt to control the military in New South Wales. Hook had suffered greatly over the previous events and was in his fifties when he received his grant in 1812 by Governor Macquarie (Bligh's successor). The grant consisted of 1100 acres in the Parish of Cook, located at Cobbitty between the Cowpasture Road and Bringelly Road (later Northern Road). During 1818, Hook and his wife stayed at nearby Macquarie Grove while their own house was being built. The construction of Denbigh house was completed c1822 and Hook began clearing the surrounding land for agricultural use. He died in 1826.

In 1826 the property was growing wheat (60 acres) and maize (23 acres). It was described as including 'a large dwelling house and other convenient out-houses on the farm'. Aborigines held 'tribal rites' in the adjacent paddocks after the house was constructed. A dense grove of olives was planted west of the house pre-1826. A small vineyard was established on a hill to the north of the house pre-1826. A number of mud huts clustered around the main building, surrounded by a 7-8 foot paling fence (all now vanished)(Godden Mackay Logan, 2007, 27).

The property was then purchased by parson Thomas Hassall who began extending the homestead in 1827. It took four and a half years to complete major renovations on the house and service buildings. After its completion, Hassall was joined by his wife and children (Helen Baker, 'Denbigh - Historic Homesteads', Australian Council of National Trusts,1982).

Hassall came to Australia from Otaheite (Tahiti) in 1797 and later married Anne Marsden, daughter of Bishop Samuel Marsden (Robinsons, 1962).

Denbigh homestead resembled a scattered village surrounded mostly by an enclosed landscape with a half circle of hills, five acres of gardens consisting of an abundance of fruit trees, a vineyard and an orange grove with magnificent views from the hills. Together with a wide extent of country, churches were clearly seen at nearby Camden, Narellan and Cobbitty (Hassall, Rev, James S. in 'Old Australia, Records and Reminiscences from 1784', Brisbane, 1902) .

Convict labour was used on the property and Hassall had in his employment, 'twelve to twenty men' managed by a Scottish overseer. In the Hassall days, Denbigh existed as a small scattered village with its own school master, blacksmith, carpenter, brickmaker and many others (Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, 2001).

Hassall also employed local Aboriginal people to help burn off excess timber on the property to clear land for extensive farming activities. During this period, a corroboree was held on the Denbigh Estate in which 400 Aboriginals took part (Godden Mackay Logan, 2007, 27).

Hassall recalled witnessing numerous corroborrees on the property overlooking Cobbitty Creek (Godden Mackay Logan, 2012, 20).

In 1828, Hassall financed the construction of Heber Chapel in Cobbitty which he built on his nearby grant in which Cobbitty Road ran through. Fifteen years earlier, Hassall had established the first Sunday School for children in Australia, which he ran from his parents' house in Parramatta.

After 1826 when Hassall was the owner, the property was used to grow wheat and wool, and included vineyards and orchards. From the early 19th century a bakehouse, meat-room and cellar, laundry and store room were located on one side of the courtyard. Denbigh under Hassall included a resident school master, a carpenter, brick maker, blacksmith, shoemaker, dairyman, three gardeners, butler and coachman (including coach house). Denbigh under Hassall had between a dozen and 20 convicts assigned to the household. Denbigh later in the Hassall period was set in a garden of five acres, including an abundance of fruit trees (Godden Mackay Logan, 2007, 27).

By 1845, tenant farmers were purchasing their own land. With fewer servants being employed at the property, combined with the lack of available labour, Denbigh homestead contracted back to a nucleus of farm buildings much like it was during 1820.

In 1866 Charles McIntosh, a Scottish farmer, leased land at Denbigh which he purchased the following year (the year Thomas Hassall died). The property was used to breed Clydesdale horses.

From 1910, Denbigh became a dairy farm and an Ayrshire cattle stud.

Today, Denbigh is still owned by the McIntosh family and is used as a Hereford stud.

Sources compiled from:
Morris, C. & Britton, G., Colonial Landscapes of the Cumberland Plain and Camden, 2000, National Trust of Australia (NSW), pp59-60;
Hassall, In Old Australia, Records and Reminiscences from 1784, 1902;
Helen Baker, 'Denbigh' in "Historic Homesteads", Australian Council of National Trusts.1982;
Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Denbigh garden - Cobbitty (visit notes, 29/9/01 visit).
Stuart Read, pers.comm.

Following a landscape assessment and curtilage study completed for the McIntosh family in 2006 by a team of consultants including Geoffrey Britton, Rosemary Annable and Design 5 - Architects, areas of the property that were assessed as being outside the core curtilaeg of the property were subdivided off to provide funds for the ongoing conservation and maintenance of the hightly-significant main farm, its landscape, structures and buildings. The core curtilage area was listed on the State Heritage Register in 2006. Since then a conservation management plan has been prepared for the homestead group of buildings, including their garden and landscape setting, by the same team. This has guided subsequent conservation, repair and adaptation works to the homestead and outbuildings (HHA, 2018, 10).

Recent works include extensive stabilisation and repair of the outbuildings, adaptation of the stables and coach house for use as a pottery studio, adaptation of the hay shed for functions (primarily fund-raising for charities), repair of the homestead and adjacent buildings (particularly damaged joinery and flooring), replacement of the bungalow roof, refurbishment of the kitchen and bathrooms in the homestead and adaptation of an earlier verandah infill as an informal dining area (ibid, 2018, 10).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. (none)-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Working on private assignment-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Experiencing life opportunities after emancipation-
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 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 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 Dairy 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 Farming with convict labour-
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 (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use (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. (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 working animals-
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 the clergy and religious-
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. 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. Gentlemens Mansions-
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 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 Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal (none)-
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 Post and rail fencing-
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 Fencing boundaries - wooden post and rail-
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 Granting Crown lands for private farming-
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 Expressing lines of early grant allotments-
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 Country Estate-
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 Rural orchards-
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 Planning manorial villages and systems-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour (none)-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working on pastoral stations-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Private (religious) schooling-
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. Building in response to natural landscape features.-
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. Building in response to climate - verandahs-
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. Designing in an exemplary architectural style-
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. Landscaping - Federation 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. Designing landscapes in an exemplary style-
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 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. Landscaping - 20th century interwar-
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 gardenesque style-
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, adapting and renovating homes for changing conditions-
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 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. Kitchens and servants-
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 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 Gardening-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Practising Anglicanism-
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 Commemorating war losses-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Aaron Muron Bolot, architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Rev. Thomas Hassall, the galloping parson-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Denbigh is of historical significance on a state level as an intact example of continuously functioning early farm complex on its original 1812 land grant. (Heritage Office draft)
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Denbigh has significance for its association with pioneering Anglican minister Thomas Hassall and its relationship with the early Heber Chapel and township of Cobbitty. (Heritage Office draft)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Denbigh has aesthetic significance as a remarkable group of early farm buildings with associated plantings including the avenue of forest red gums (Eucalyptus tereticornis) established by Thomas Hassall. The large collection of early farm buildings retains its scattered village atmosphere and is an extensively intact farm estate on the Cumberland Plain. Adjoining landscapes continue the sense of historic rural character. Denbigh's landscape is identified in the Camden Significant Tree and Vegetated Landscape Study and the Colonial Landscapes of the Cumberland Plain and Camden study for the National Trust of Australia. (Heritage Office draft)
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Denbigh has social significance as an early contact point between Aboriginal people and European's. It also has social significance for the descendants of the Hassall and Macintosh families and has demonstrated its popularity as a venue for select tourist groups. (Heritage Office draft)
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Denbigh has scientific significance in regards to Aboriginal occupation and can demonstrate the theory and practice of colonial landscape design and farming practices. (Heritage Office draft)
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Denbigh is a rare example of an intact colonial farm complex and homestead. The property has continuously functioned as a farm since 1817 and is located on its original grant area. Denbigh is rare as a farming estate with characteristics of the Loudon model of homestead siting. (Heritage Office draft)
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Denbigh is representitive of early farming practices and an example of typical 19th century landscape design. (Heritage Office draft)
Integrity/Intactness: Denbigh is an intact farm estate within the Cumberland Plain and Camden region. The original 1812 land grant and the relationship of the homestead to important views also remains intact. (Heritage Office draft)
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:

The whole estate should be conserved as an evolving cultural landscape including its historic fabric, layout and views across the valley to the escarpment in the west. Retain the existing Rural 1(a) zoning (Camden LEP No.48) for the estate as well as that for adjoining properties in the same valley. Consider drafting section 57(2) exemptions to ensure continual agricultural use of the land and provide appropriate incentives to assist in the responsible ongoing custodial management of the estate (Morris & Britton, 2000). Design 5, Conservation Management Plan, 2004, section 5 - discussion and recommendations (policies) should guide development of the estate, particularly development on its outer edges and adjoining lands. Design 5, Curtilage Study, 7/2006, section 5.5 - further research and work: As and when the opportunity arises a full CMP should be prepared for the property including the structures. Any archaeological or other findings or changes on site should be recorded and kept with the information in this report for later reference. All further work on subdivision or developments at Denbih should be guided by this Curtilage Study. This includes Master Plans and Development Plans. For all areas considered for development a Heritage Impact Assessment should be prepared and submitted with applications for approval. Included in these assessments should be an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Assessment which contains consideration of management options.

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementReview a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

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
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for commentConservation Management Plan - Final Draft report (August 2008) Aug 26 2009
39Minister makes heritage agreementHeritage Agreement signed by Minister Dec 15 2010

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0169122 Dec 06 19111952
Regional Environmental Plan 48   
Local Environmental Plan  21 Feb 92   
Cumberland County Council list of Historic Buildings 1961-67     
National Trust of Australia register  7311   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Colonial Landscapes of the Cumberland Plain and Camden, NSW20004.13Morris, C., & Britton, G./NSW National Trust (for the Heritage Council of NSW)National Trust of Australia Yes
Camden Significant Trees and Vegetated Landscape Study1993 Landarc Landscape ArchitectsCamden Municpal Council Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenColleen Morris and Geoffrey Britton2000Colonial Landscapes of the Cumberland Plain and Camden, NSW
WrittenDesign 5 Architects (Alan Croker), in Historic Houses Association of Australia (HHA)2018'Denbigh' (Tour Notes, Sunday 7 April 2018, Inaugural conference of the HHA - Post-Conference Optional Day Tour' View detail
WrittenDesign 5 Architects.2008Denbigh 421 The Northern Road, Cobbitty, NSW 2570: conservation management plan and curtilage study
WrittenDesign 5 Architects; Britton, Geoffrey2004Denbigh Estate, Cobbitty - Detailed Curtilage Study
WrittenFriends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney2001Denbigh garden - Cobbitty (notes, prepared for a visit by)
WrittenGodden Mackay Logan2012East Leppington Rezoning Assessment - Heritage Management Strategy, draft report
WrittenGodden Mackay Logan2007GCC Oran Park Precinct Heritage Assessment (Denbigh, in Appendix I)
WrittenLandarc Landscape Architects1993Camden Significant Trees and Vegetated Landscape Study
WrittenPhilp, Anne2015'Caroline's diary: a woman's world in colonial Australia'
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

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

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(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: 5051541
File number: EF14/4509; H02/00066


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.

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