St Johns Anglican Church Precinct | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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St Johns Anglican Church Precinct

Item details

Name of item: St Johns Anglican Church Precinct
Other name/s: St John's the Evangelist Anglican Church
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Location: Lat: -34.056745 Long: 150.696910
Primary address: 6-22 Menangle Road, Camden, NSW 2570
Parish: Camden
County: Camden
Local govt. area: Camden
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP1024949
LOT56 DP239467
LOT550 DP737448
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
6-22 Menangle RoadCamdenCamdenCamdenCamdenPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Anglican Church Property Trust Diocese of SydneyReligious Organisation 

Statement of significance:

St John's Anglican Church Precinct is of state heritage significance as a group of ecclesiastical buildings set in a beautiful landscape setting comprised of mature and exotic tree plantings and open grassed slopes. The precinct's centre and focal point is St John's the Evangelist Anglican Church which is of state heritage significance as the first Gothic Revival church constructed in NSW that was correct in its medieval detail ('archaeologically correct'). This status, along with its strong connection to the 1836 Church Act, renders it an important early forerunner of the Gothic Revival movement which was to dominate ecclesiastical architecture in the Colony throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century. The church, and especially its tower and spire, is aesthetically significant to NSW as part of the regional Camden landscape created by the Macarthur family. St John's as an important regional landmark is a significant element in the picturesque landscape planning used to create the Camden Park Estate, the seat of the Macarthur family. As part of a triumvirate of significant points in the landscape, along with Camden Park House and the township of Camden, it also expresses the power structures the Macarthur family wished to instil in the local community they were creating in the early nineteenth century. This regional landscape design is of state heritage significance as an important example of early-mid nineteenth century landscape planning.

The entire church precinct has an important historical association with the Macarthur family of Camden. Each of the precinct allotments was donated to the Anglican Church by the Macarthurs and the family funded the construction of most of the buildings and patronised the operation of the church throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Ultimately, St John's Anglican church precinct is a remarkable, picturesquely located, and historic place of Anglican worship in a state context.
Date significance updated: 06 Nov 07
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: John Cunningham, Sir George Gilbert Scott, Edmund Blacket
Builder/Maker: Richard Basden, John Le Fevre (brick spire and framing), Organ: J Bates & Son, London
Construction years: 1840-1849
Physical description: The following description has been sourced and summarised primarily from the Conservation Management Plan prepared for St John's Anglican Church Precinct (Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners 2004), which provides a comprehensive physical description of the precinct's major elements and its wider landscape context.

St John's Anglican Church Precinct

The St John's Anglican Church Precinct comprises the church, rectory, cemetery, two church halls and grounds that provide a rural landscaped environment to the group. The precinct is situated on St John's Hill, which is 134 metres above sea level and overlooks the township of Camden. St John's Anglican Church and its precinct was created to be the picturesque focus of the Camden region and today, it is one of the most complete parish church groups in NSW.

The precinct comprises three modern lots: the church lot comprising the remainder of the original 1841 land grant from the Macarthur family; the rectory lot comprising the remainder of the land donated to the parish from the Camden Park Estate in 1906; and the horse paddock lot that was donated to the parish from the Camden Park Estate in 1911. It is borded on its east side by Menangle Road, by Broughton Street on its north side, Forrest Crescent on its south side, and the Alpha Road (Warner Estate) residential development on its west side.

The church lot features St Johns, the two church halls, the cemetery, and churchyard. The rectory lot comprises the rectory, its associated stables, and grounds. The horse paddock lot between them is a rolling grassed open space that was formerly glebe land for the rector. It forms an important setting that accentuates the rural and nineteenth century characters of the church and churchyard and rectory and grounds.

St John's Anglican Church

St John's Anglican Church is a town church featuring a large nave, chancel (extended in 1872-1874), vestry (added 1872-1874), and west tower with brick spire. It is considered to be the first archaeologically correct Gothic Revival church constructed in the Colony of NSW since it was mostly complete by 1843. It considerably differs from earlier churches in its competent and authentic decorated gothic design and its internal layout with the pulpit and prayer desk in the east end and the table in the chancel. This was considerably different from the previous centralised plans used in the colony (box-like). The hammer beam roof trusses with their carved tracery and mullioned windows with their stone tracery were authentic English decorated style detailing that were new to the Colony at the time. The spire and its features, engaged buttresses, correct moulding, and finial, were correct to new Victorian Gothic Revival and likewise new features to the Colony. At the time of its completion the building was of a superior quality with a high standard of craftsmanship in its fittings. Its font communion rail, windows, and the enormous stone flagged floor of the nave are all of particularly fine craftsmanship.

Today the church remains complete with its tower, spire, stained glass, and all its furniture all being in a good condition. The bare brick finish of the building imparts it with a rustic charm that, to the modern eye, intensifies its romantic qualities.

Church Exterior

Roof: Terracotta shingles (c.1929); copper gutters and downpipes (1972).

The roof was originally split timber shingles which were replaced in 1872 and again in 1901. The present terracotta shingle roof was installed in 1929. A series of four gablets (two per side of the gable) were also constructed, likely during one of these re-roofing exercises. There was originally a stone cross atop of the channel arch gable which was dislodged in a severe storm in 1972.

Spire: Render on brick (1973).

The spire was rendered from the time of the completion of the church. This render was removed in 1973 and a new render applied. A ventilation opening to the south was made near the top of the spire in 1995.

Tower: Brick, buttressed with brick copings, stone coping at top - original.

The brick tower has never been rendered. Historical photographs show wooden louvres fitted to the upper windows of the tower.

Clock
Early photographs indicate that the openings for insertion of a clock face in the tower were part of the original building. The extant turret clock and peal of eight ringing bells were erected in June 1897 (Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee). They were ordered from England in 1896 by Mrs Elizabeth Macarthur-Onslow. The clock is by Gillett and Johnson of Croydon, London, and the bells are by Meares and Stainbanks of Whitechapel, London. Installation of the clock was undertaken by F.W. Syer of North Sydney, and the bells were hung by J.D. Rankin of Camden, all under the supervision of Sulman and Power, architects. The clock was officially started by J.K. Chisholm on 21 June 1897. In c.1950, electric motors replaced the manual winding mechanism for the striking of the bells. The original church bell was installed in 1859. It was relocated to St James' Menangle at the time of the installation of the present peal of bells.

The clock mechanism consists of three chains of wheels (one drives the clock, the others the striking and chiming apparatus) driven by three weights. The three dials are 6ft in diameter. The chimes are of the 'Westminster' pattern. Of the eight bells, six are inscribed with the names of members of Mrs Elizabeth Macarthur-Onslow's family in the ascending order of weight:
1. John and Elizabeth Macarthur
2. Children of John and Elizabeth Macarthur
3. James and Emily Macarthur
4. Arthur Pooley and Rosa Onslow
5. Arthur Onslow
6. Children of Arthur and Elizabeth Onslow
The tenor bell is inscribed with the doxology.

The clock and striking mechanism, bell hammers and clappers were restored c2004. They have been regularly serviced over the recent past, but are today in need of minor works as they are off time.

Walls: Brick, presented as face

The bricks were burnt locally and a quality in the Camden clay resulted in a multiplicity of colours (National Trust visit, 23/10/01 - notes by Lucas, C.).

The lower courses of the brick walls are currently suffering from rising damp which will require maintenance works in the near future.

Sills: Cement, re-rendered to approximately original detail (c.1995).

Windows: Stone frames and mullions - original. Rendered reveals (c.1973).

The sandstone for the frames and mullions was procured locally and is greyer, closer in grain and softer in cutting than Sydney sandstone (National Trust visit, 23/10/01 - notes by Lucas, C.).

Early photographs indicate that the window reveals were rendered. This render was removed in 1973 and new render applied. To improve ventilation through the church, strips were cut in the base of the timber window frames in 1899.

Base: Brick - original.

Doors: Timber Gothic style, original cedar; finish: painted external; wood grained oak painted internal.

Church - Interior

Nave

Ceiling: Original beaded sarking boards, beaded rafters, timber hammer beam truss and truss purlins and timber work to four roof vents in a quatrefoil pattern.

Cornice: Original moulded timber.

Walls: Original lime plaster, painted and grained paintwork to window mullions. Existing colour scheme in plain cream dates from the 1970s. The church interior was painted in 2010.

Skirting:
N - No skirting except for 4 m approx. at east end
E - Rendered skirting 410 mm high
S - At the east end approx. 4 m, 410 mm high, rendered
W - 300 mm rendered, original

Floor: Stone 460 x 460 mm slabs laid on the diagonal. Margin of 305 mm at the east end. Three stone steps with chamfered nosings lead into the chancel. The diagonal paving gives way to two squared areas on either side of a central aisle, possibly related to the font. Fixing points are evident for fixtures at the east end. William Buchan laid the original floor flagging (and similarly the window tracery and font).

Nave fittings

Pews and choir stalls: The polished cedar pews and stalls are of three generations. The first pews were provided by Bishop Broughton. The replacement (extant) seats were obtained at various times. Removable seat and back upholstery added to the main central block of pews in 2000.

Pulpit: Cedar pulpit, raised on five steps - original. The pulpit was a bequest from Dr Anderson in 1858. It was made by Mr Poulton, to a design by W. Voss.

Prayer desk: Cedar - Edwardian. The prayer or reader's desk was presented in 1905 by the ladies of the parish.

Lectern: Carved Burmese teak wood, date of manufacture unknown. The eagle bible lectern was purchased in London in 1894 by Mrs Macarthur-Onslow.

Font: Stone - original; timber front cover - 'In memory of Amy Pinkerton' (c1973). The font was completed by William Buchan by the time of the consecration. The stone was quarried at the Rev. Thomas Hassall's Denbigh estate. The location of the font has changed over time, being placed centrally under the organ gallery in 1895 and in 2003 placed next to the Chancel arch.

Windows:

South side, first (and second) windows: Examples of the original coloured glass windows (another is in the tower), specially ordered in 1846 by James Macarthur who had sent zinc templates to England.

South side, third window: A memorial to the fifth rector of the church, Rev C.J. King, and his twin brother, and noted pioneer New Guinea missionary, Rev. Copeland King. The windows were installed in c.1930 and were made by Alfred Handel of Sydney. The windows depict Jesus and the disciples and Jesus with children of all nations.

South side, fourth window: This is a memorial commemorating the Great War of 1914-1918 given by the local parishioners. Alfred Handel of Sydney made the window, which depicts St Mark and St George.

South side, fifth window: Situated near the pulpit, this is a memorial by public subscription to the third rector of the church, Rev. Henry Tingcombe (d.1879). The English-made window depicts St James (the traveller) and St John (the healer).

North side, sixth window: This is a memorial by public subscription to the Hon. Captain Arthur Onslow, R.N. MLC (d.1882). The Whitefriars London-made window depicts Jesus with his disciples on the sea of Galilee.

North side, seventh window: This is a memorial to Elizabeth Macarthur-Onslow (d. 1911) given in 1912 by her family. The English-made window depicts Jesus with his disciples and mothers with their children.

North side, eighth window: This is a memorial to Brigadier-General George Macleay Macarthur-Onslow, given in 1931 by his family. The window depicts a soldier dedicating his life to Jesus and spiritual triumphs.

North side, ninth window: This is a memorial to John William and Alice Wilson Clinton given c.1970 and made by Stephen Moor of Sydney. The window depicts the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand.

North side, tenth window: This is a memorial to Bertha Victoria Brien, an organist and Sunday school teacher with 30 years' service to the church, given in 1961 by her husband and made by Stephen Little of Sydney. The window depicts St Cecilia with an organ and St Mary with the infant Jesus.

Organ: A three manual Johannus electric organ was installed in 1987 at the north side of the channel/nave with loud speakers located high at gable level on each side of the chancel arch.

Artificial lighting: Eight large pendant light fittings at the hammer beam (c.1932).

The original interior lighting of the church was by candles placed along the top rail of the pew backs. In 1859, 34 kerosene lamps were installed. In c.1910 an acetylene gas system was installed, which was subsequently connected to a town gas supply. In 1932 mains supply electricity was installed in the town with connections made to the church.

Other: Eight wall mounted infrared electric radiators (1990).

Chancel - Interior
Ceiling: Original timber beaded sarking boards; chamfered purlins, raised knee trusses supported on sandstone bosses.
Walls: Render, unset, lined out in ashlar c.1870s. The church interior was painted in 2010.
Skirting: Rendered - original
Floor: Cement, lined out in 500 sq. diagonal lines with margin, date unknown. Two steps to the table, both covered by carpet. A marble margin can be seen on the north and south side.

Chancel - fittings
Table: In 1917 the present cedar table replaced the original 1848 altar table (location now unknown). A front piece was added to commemorate 25 years in charge of St John's Parish by Rev C.J. King in March 1916. The panel at the bottom in the middle of the front is a recent plywood addition.
Reredos: The original 1848 reredos was remodelled by architects Wilson Neave & Berry and presented by the parishioners in 1916, marking 25 years of Rev. C.J. King's ministry. The eastern end is cedar panelled; given c.1970 in memory of Warwick Frank Hands, replacing earlier heavy curtains.
Communion rail: Cedar - original. The communion rails with carved Gothic arches were partly funded by Bishop Broughton and were installed shortly after the consecration.
President's Chairs: Pair of chairs, Gothic style, Australia made, cedar - original. Installed at time of chancel extension in 1874.
Credence stand: Cedar with grapevines - date unknown.
Hall chairs: Pair; cedar, mid-Victorian.

Windows:
East window: The stone frame of this window, the largest in the church, dates from the completion of the church in the 1840s. It was re-installed in 1874 when the chancel was extended. The present stained glass was commissioned and installed in 1869 (or 1872-4) as a memorial to James Macarthur (d. 1867) by parishioners and friends, and was made by Clayton and Bell of England. The window depicts the Transformation (Matthew 17:1-8).
Four lancet windows: A gift of Sir George Macleay of Brownlow Hill, and installed at the time of the completion of the chancel in 1874. The windows depict the Evangelists and their symbols - St Matthew with the casket; St Mark with the lion; St Luke with the bull; and St John with the eagle.

Vestry - Interior
Ceiling: Timber beaded sarking boards - original
Rafters: Timber beaded - original
Windows: Cedar framed with small frosted glass panes - some original
External door: Cedar replacement (c.1995); copy of damaged original
Walls: Cement, lined out in ashlar - original
Floor: Cement, date unknown

Vestry - Fittings
None original

Tablets and memorial fittings

The tablets in the church commemorate:
1874: Brass Plate Sir George Macleay lancet windows (chancel).
1877: Marble Plate Oliver Hinde, his wife and children (nave).
1897: Brass Plate James & Emily Macarthur, Sir William Macarthur, Arthur Alexander Walton Onslow RN. Peal of bells and clock (entrance).
1907: Brass Plate Reggie Gardener, Chorister (vestry).
1915: Brass Plate Lance Corporal Eric Lyndon Lowe (WWI) (chancel).
1932: Bronze Plaque Brigadier-General George Macleay Macarthur-Onslow (nave).
1932 Brass Plate Electric Lighting (entrance).
1940's Chromium Plate: Edward Palmer, died 1875 (chancel).
1940's Chromium Plate: Edward Palmer, his son (no date) (chancel).
1949 Copper Plate: Emma Rapley. Electric winding of clock chimes (entrance).
1969 Bronze Plate: Lawrence Arthur Rideout. Pipe Organ restoration (nave).
1988 Bronze Plaque: Bicentennial window restoration (entrance).
1999 Bronze Plaque 150th Anniversary of Consecration (entrance).
2001 Bronze Plaque Clock & bells restoration (entrance).

Fittings in the church commemorate:
1917 Harbour Board: Guild of St Faith (nave).
1930 Processional Cross: Ethel King (chancel).
1931 Framed Print: Dorothy Wheeler (children's corner).
1935 Wood Panelling: Ada Isabel Nixon (children's corner).
1945 Table & Chairs: Eliza Anne Turner, Mavis Turner (children's corner).
1951 Service Book Cupboard: Private Ernest Henry McGrath, chorister, died 1941 (nave entry)
1970's Wood Panelling: Warwick Frank Hands (chancel).
1970 Front Cover: Amy Pinkerton (chancel).
1970 's Service Book Cupboard: Ernest & Hannah McGrath (nave entry).
1972 History Board: Lloyd and Isa Scanlan (nave).
1981 Upright Piano: Michael Brien (nave).
1985 Electronic Organ: William and May Johnson (nave).
1992 Refreshment Trolley (nave).

Organ loft and choir gallery - interior
Organ loft: Installed in 1861. The organ loft and choir gallery were constructed at the west end of the nave. The design for this alteration was prepared by Edmund T. Blacket. The builder was John Le Fevre (a former church warden). The cost was met by public subscription.
Stair to loft: Tasmanian oak stairs (1995). Originally access to the gallery was by stairs situated in the entrance area under the tower. This arrangement was removed in 1995 and new access stairs were installed within the nave to the design of architect R.Y. Stringer.
Screen doors: Entry to nave; pair of Tasmanian oak glass panelled doors (1995).

Organ loft - fittings
Organ: The organ is labelled 'Bates and Son, organ builders Ludgate Hill London'. The organ is housed in a timber case in the Gothic style, of gabled towers with pinnacles, and contains 17 false gilded pipes arranged 5-7-5. It has eight ranks to the manual and one rank to the foot pedals.

The original harmonium was installed in 1850 on a platform which also accommodated the choir; located at the west end of the nave. The extant pipe organ was either built or rebuilt (Rev C.J. King in 1919 stated that it was second hand) by the London firm of T.C. Bates & Son, Organ Builders, 6 Ludgate Hill, London. The organ was selected by Dr E.J. Hopkins, organist of Temple Church, London, for Emily Macarthur. The purchase price was (Pounds)300. Theodore Charles Bates was a builder of small finger and barrel organs from 1812 through to 1864. In alterations, possibly undertaken early in this century, the Bourdon pipes were added for the pedals and the range reduced. This work was by organ builder, Charles Richardson. Further alterations were made in 1969 by the organ builder Arthur Jones.

Extensive restoration was commenced in 2000. Between 2002-2007 the organ was completely rebuilt by M. Da Costa master organ builder of Sydney who extended the keyboard compass back to the original G below bottom C with additional pipes.

Rectory and Stables

The rectory of St John's, dating from c.1859, is a thorough architectural essay in strict Georgian symmetry and discipline. Its plan form is four square about a wide hall. This is repeated for the first floor. The window and door openings are set out to give symmetrical elevations and internally doors face each other across the halls. The elevations are executed in fine face brick laid in true English bond. Large double-hung windows with divided sashes and shutters are identical throughout the house. The quality and details of the house are refined but simple. All except two of the chimney pieces have been removed. The surviving joinery, cornices and staircase are well built and finely executed examples of their period.

The original verandah on the front of the building (its east side) was removed in the mid-1970s and replaced with a smaller portico (Macarthur Development Board, 1977:86). This portico was later removed and the verandah recreated in 2003. A family room was added to the rectory sometime between 2004 and 2010.

Exterior
Chimneys: Two rendered chimneys with moulded cornices - original. Bent metal flue caps - late 20th century.
Lining: Natural slate with lead ridgings - original.
Gutters: Metal, quad profile - late 20th century
Fascia: Beaded timber - original.
Eaves Soffit: Approximately 300 wide beaded board plus 100 beaded board - original. To each elevation, six shaped timber brackets above each opening and at comers - original or replacements.
Walls: Face brick English bond with raddle and tuckpointed gauged arches above all openings - original. Eight cast iron vents above base course - original.
Base Course: Splayed rendered base course - original.
Threshold to doors: stone - original.
Front verandah: Stone flagging - evidence of original column placings at the outer edge. Flagging lifted and relaid in correct position - 2003. The 1859 verandah posts and roof were reconstructed from photographic and on-site evidence, 2003.
Windows: Double-hung sashes, each divided into six panes, in timber box frame with a pair of louvred timber shutters, hung on parliament hinges - all original.
French doors: Timber-framed sashes, clear glazed, no divisions in solid timber frames with pair of timber louvred shutters - original. Southern pair of doors are a reproduction - 1996.
Front door case: Four-panelled timber leaf with fielded panels and bolection moulds - original. Two side lights and three fanlights: Timber framed and clear glazed - original. Flyscreen door: late 20th century.

Interior Ground Floor

Space 1 - Hall
Ceiling: Set plaster - original?
Walls: Set plaster - original. Moulded timber picture rail c1915. Moulded three-centred arch to the rear hall - original.
Skirting: 300 timber moulded -original. 35mm timber quad - mid-20th century.
Floor: 75mm hardwood, polished- late 20th century.

Space 2 - Rear Hall
Ceiling: Set plaster - original.
Walls: Set plaster - original.
Skirting: 300mm timber moulded-original. 35mm quad - mid-20th century.
Floor: 75mm hardwood - mid-20th century.
Other: Timber open string stair with square balusters and turned newel - original.

Space 3 - Sitting Room
Ceiling: Set plaster - original.
Cornice: Moulded plaster - original.
Walls: Set plaster - original. Timber moulded picture rail - mid-20th century. Timber staff beads to chimney breast - original.
Skirting: 300mmtimber moulded-original.
Floor: Carpet - late 20th century on timber.
Other: Face roman brick fireplace and hearth - c 1970.

Space 4 - Study
Ceiling: Fibrous plaster - mid-20th century.
Cornice: Moulded plaster, probably fibrous - c 1970.
Walls: Set plaster - original. Timber moulded picture rail - mid-20th century.
Skirting: 300mm timber moulded - original. 35mm quad, timber - mid-20th century.
Floor: Carpet - late 20th century on timber structure.
Other: Roman brick fireplace and hearth- c1970. Timber staff mould to chimney breast up to picture rail - original.

Space 5 - Dining Room
Ceiling: Fibrous plaster- cl970.
Cornice: Moulded plaster, fibrous? - c 1970.
Walls: Set plaster - original. Timber splayed picture rail - c1930.
Skirting: 300mm moulded timber - original. 35mm timber quad - mid-20th century.
Floor: Carpet - late 20th century. Stone hearth to chimney piece - original.
Other: Marble chimney piece - original, painted 20th century. Face brick hob and inner hearth lining- c1930. Pass through hatch to service wing - c 1930.

Space 6 - Bedroom
Ceiling: Set plaster, set square - original.
Walls: Set plaster - original.
Picture rail: Splayed timber - c1930.
Skirting: 150mm moulded timber - original.
Floor: Carpet - late 20th century.
Other: White marble chimney piece - original. Face brick inner hearth and outer hearth and hob lining- c1970. Timber staff moulds to chimney breast - original. Fitted bookcases either side of chimney breast - c 1970.

Space 7 - Sunroom
A c1980 room was partially demolished and rebuilt in 2003.

Space 8 - Passage
Ceiling: Set plaster - original. Set square.
Walls: Set plaster - original.
Skirting: 35mm timber quad - mid-20th century.
Floor: Vinyl - late 20th century on timber.
Other: At the east end fitted timber cupboard - 1930s.

Space 9 - Service Room
Ceiling: Ripple iron, with timber lined manhole in south east comer - c1930.
Cornice: 50mm scotia - 1920s?
Walls: Set plaster - original.
Skirting: 38mm timber quad- 20th century.
Floor: Vinyl - late 20th century on timber structure.
Other: East wall: pass through hatch, timber lined - c1930. West wall: fitted timber cupboards, floor to ceiling with flush doors and polished metal handles - c1970.

Space 10 - Kitchen
Ceiling: Fibrous plaster? - c 1970.
Cornice: Moulded plaster, fibrous? - c 1970.
Walls: Set plaster - original. Plaster vents to the south and west walls (three) - c1930.
Skirting: North: 50mm timber quad - mid-20th century.
Floor: Vinyl - late 20th century on timber substructure.
Other: Large chimney breast with timber staff moulds - original. Fitted cupboards to east, south and west including the former fireplace opening - c1980. Tiling above bench- cl980.

Space 11 - Laundry and Lavatory
Ceiling: Raking fibrous cement- c1930.
Walls: North: Former exterior brick wall and base - original. East, west and south: Fibrous cement on timber frame - mid-20th century.
Floor: Cement - mid-20th century.
Other: A pair of enamelled cast iron laundry tubs of fine quality- early 20th century. Shower, lavatory and basin fitout and partition - c1980. Hot water service and cupboard - c 1980.

First Floor

Space 12 and 12A - Stair Hall
Ceiling: Fibrous plaster - c 1970.
Cornice: Moulded plaster fibrous - c1970. Space 12A: Set plaster - original. Timber framed manhole with panelled hatch cover - original.
Cornice: Set square.
Walls: Set plaster - original.
Skirting: 300mm moulded timber - original. 35mm timber quad - mid-20th century.
Floor: Carpet - late 20th century on timber.
Other: Three centred arch with staff moulds - original. Stair - original. Gate at the top of the stair - early 20th century.

Space 13 - Bedroom
Ceiling: Set plaster - original. 75 x 19 battens - early 20th century.
Walls: Set plaster - original.
Picture rail: Splayed timber- c1930.
Skirting: 300mm moulded timber - original. 35mm timber quad - mid-20th century
Floor: Carpet - late 20th century
Other: Chimney breast with timber staff moulds - original. The fireplace has been closed up. Door to dressing room - opening reinstated 1996.

Space 14 - Dressing Room
Ceiling: Set plaster - original. Set square.
Walls: Set plaster - original.
Skirting: Not visible.
Floor: Carpet - late 20th century

Space 15 - Bedroom
Ceiling: Set plaster - original. Timber 75 x 19 battens - early 20th century.
Walls: Set plaster - original.
Skirting: 300mm moulded timber - original. 35mm timber quad - mid-20th century.
Floor: Carpet - late 20th century.
Other: Chimney breast with timber staff moulds - original. The fireplace opening has been closed up.

Space 16 - Bedroom
Ceiling: Fibrous plaster - c1945.
Cornice: Fibrous plaster - c1945
Walls: Set plaster - original.
Skirting: On northern half of room: 300mm moulded timber - original. 35mm timber quad - mid-20th century.
Floor: Northern half of room: carpet - late 20th century.
Other: Tiled bathroom fitout occupies the southern half of the room - c 1945. Chimney breast with timber staff moulds - original. The fireplace has been closed up. Fitted cabinet in the northern half of the room on the west wall - c 1945.

Space 17 - Bedroom
Ceiling: Set plaster - original. 75 x 19 timber battens - early 20th century.
Walls: Set plaster - original.
Skirting: 300mm moulded timber - original. 35mm timber quad - mid-20th century.
Floor: Carpet - late 20th century.
Other: Chimney breast with timber staff moulds - original. The fireplace has been closed up.

Survey of Doors

Door 1 - Front Door
Timber frame, transom, four-panelled leaf, glazed side lights, three glazed fanlights, 12" iron barrel bolt, 12" iron drawback rimlock and keeper and escutcheon, brass centre knob - original; cabin hook and eye (c1900); door bell night latch and security chain (late 20th century); cabin hook for rope (early 20th century).

Door 2 - French Doors
Timber frame, shutter lining, shutters, clear glazed undivided french door leaves, splayed linings, architraves, inward opening pair of fanlight casements, rimlock- original; ceramic knob set ( c 1920); barrel bolt (late 20th century).

Door 3 - Laundry
Frame, architraves and stops (c1930); framed and sheeted leaf cut down - original; rimlock (1930s); nightlatch (1960s), flyscreen door (late 20th century).

Door4
Frame, pair of glazed divided doors and hardware (late 20th century). Doors Frame, pair of glazed divided doors and hardware (late 20th century), removed 2003.

Door 6
Frame, shutter lining, louvred shutters, pair of clear glazed undivided french doors, splayed linings, architrave, casement hung fanlight sashes, mortice lock, escutcheon key, knob rose and table catch to fanlight - original; barrel bolt to second closing leaf (late 20th century).

Door 7
Double rebated lining, architraves, four-panelled leaf, mortice lock, porcelain knob set and escutcheon flaps (original).

Door 8
Double rebated linings, architraves, four-panelled door, mortice lock, porcelain knob set and escutcheon flaps (original; one flap from the inside is missing).

Door 9
Double rebated lining, architraves, four-panelled door, mortice lock, porcelain knob set and
escutcheon flaps (original); porcelain and brass hat and coat hook (late 19th century).

Door 10
Double rebated lining, architraves, four-panelled door leaf, mortice lock, brass rose to knobs, 1 porcelain escutcheon flap (original); brass knob set (c1900); two boot hooks on inside face of door (mid-20th century); cabin hook on architrave (c1930).

Door 11
Solid frame, iron arch bar, splayed linings, architrave, four-panelled bead flush leaf, carpenter rimlock, brass knob set, brass escutcheon (original); mortice lock with chrome locking hardware (late 20th century); broken brass and porcelain hat and coat hook (late 19th century); brass hat and coat hook (late 19th century).

Door 12
Solid frame, architrayes, framed and sheeted leaf, carpenter rimlock (original); metal knob set (late 19th century); thumb latch and keeper (original); mortice lock and lock and chromed knob set (late 20th century).

Door 13
Double rebated linings, architraves (original; leaf not in place).

Door 14
Double rebated linings, architraves (original; leaf not in position).

Door 15
Solid frame, transom, fanlight sash, clear glazed, half-glazed framed and sheeted leaf, beaded architraves (original); rimlock and knob set (mid-20th century); sash curtains (late 20th century); flyscreen frame composed of recycled shutter linings? (late 20th century).

Door 16
Rebated lining, architraves, flush door, mortice lock and knob set (c1970).

Door 17
Double rebated linings, architraves, four-panelled leaf, mortice lock, porcelain knob set, one porcelain escutcheon flap, brass and porcelain hat and coat hook (broken) (original; the internal escutcheon flap is missing).

Door 18
Double rebated linings, architraves, four-panelled door leaf, mortice lock, porcelain knob set, porcelain escutcheon flaps, brass and porcelain hat and coat hook (original).

Door 19
Single rebated lining, architraves, four panelled doors, mortice lock, porcelain knob rose, brass escutcheon flap - original; brass knobs - early 20th century.

Door 20
Double rebated linings, architraves, four panelled leaf, mortice lock, fragment of porcelain key escutcheon, brass and porcelain hat and coat hook - original; brass knob set - early 20th century.

Door 21
Double rebated linings, architraves, four-panelled leaf, mortice lock, remnant of escutcheon, one porcelain escutcheon flap (original); barrel bolt, porcelain knob set (late 20th century).

Windows

All windows shown on the plans are of a common type as follows:

Box frame, double-hung divided sashes, shutter linings, louvred shutters, splayed linings, architraves, sillboard, inset brass sash lifts to bottom sash (original). Original blind or curtain fixing and sash fastener survives in Spaces 14, 4, 5, 6, and 10 (northern). The exception to this common pattern are the windows in the laundry addition, which are mid-20th century, and the window originally located in the south wall of the kitchen, which is late 19th century. This window was relocated to the sunroom in the 2003 work, and the opening converted to a doorway opening.

Other notes

Kitchen Chimney: Rendered with corbelled courses - original.

Finishes: Generally the finished joinery is clear. Last varnished in the early 20th century.

Stables

The stables are constructed in brick and originally provided for horse stabling, carriage and harness storage with feed loft. The building was reduced in length to enable access to church land subdivision in 1968 and for the creation of Forrest Crescent.

Roof: Slate 20th century. Galvanised iron ridging
Gutters: Copper quad pattern late 20th century.
Fascia: Bullnosed - late 20th century.
Eaves: Grooved timber boards c1960.
Walls: Face brick English bond - original. Gauged arch over the back door. Timber lintel over the loft door. Stone corbel kneelers at four comers - original.
Main Space: Not inspected.

Space 2 - Store
Ceiling: Hardboard - mid-20th century.
Walls: Skim plaster - original or late 19th century.
Floor: 100mm Cyprus pine - 20th century. 125mm Baltic pine - original.

Loft: Not inspected

Survey of Doors:

Door 1 - Store
Solid frame, framed and sheeted leaf, timber lining (original); rimlock, knob set, tail bolt, pad bolt (late 20th century).

Door 2 - Loft
Timber frame, lintel, ledged and sheeted door (original), metal pull catch (late 20th century), internal elevation of this door was not seen. There is evidence of an opening for a hoist above this door.

Door 3
Opening - original; garage door- cl970.

Church hall (1906)

The federation gothic church hall is entirely as built in 1906 except for a partition one bay east of the original stage proscenium. The roof is asbestos cement shingles with a perforated terracotta roof ridging and weatherboarding to the gable ends. The bell and its associated detail is intact. The hall has timber-framed doors and windows; the walls are face brick; the interior walls are painted print; the floors are timber and the ceiling is timber planked with exposed compound steel and timber trusses.

Drainage works were undertaken to overcome structural cracking as some point between 2004 and 2010.

Second Church Hall (1973)

This hall does not contribute to the heritage significance of St John's Anglican Church Precinct.

Church Precinct Grounds

Plantings

There are a group of exotic and native trees planted to the east and south of the church and within the terraced platforms of the cemetery. These trees are visible in photographs from the 1860s onwards.

Mature kurrajongs (Brachychiton populenus) planted to the west of the 1973 church hall.

Clusters of conifers (Cupressus funebris and Cupressus sempervirens) planted throughout the grounds, also visible in photographs from the 1860s.

Mature bunyas (Acaucaria bidwilii) planted throughout the grounds providing a reference point within the surrounding landscape. Particularly large and locally prominent examples are situated to the east of the rectory.

Two large palms (Jubaca chilensis) planted to the east of the rectory. Many of the now mature specimens probably came from William Macarthur's nursery at Camden Park.

Other mature trees immediately around the church include Mediterranean cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), forest red gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis), kurrajong (Brachychiton populneum), Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis), oleanders (Nerium oleander cv.s), funeral cypresses (Chamaecyparis funebris), Photinia glabra, Chinese elm (Ulmus chinensis), and brown pine (Podocarpus elatus) (Stuart Read, visit notes, 23/10/2001).

Memorials

There are several memorials to benefactors within the precinct:

Lych gate: The lych gate at the entry to the church grounds from Menangle Road was erected in 1912 as a memorial to Mrs Elizabeth Macarthur-Onslow and restored in 2003.

John Street entry: The flight of brick built steps and iron railings leading up from John Street were erected in 1935. The cost of this work was donated by General J.W. Macarthur-Onslow. The electric light and copper fitting here is a memorial to Mr and Mrs James Waterworth.

Boundary fencing: Boundary fencing of pipe railing and other gates were erected in 1935. The cost of this work was donated by Mrs Faithful Anderson.

Sundial: The sundial was donated in 1953 by Mrs (Violet) G.M. Macarthur-Onslow. It had been at the Riley's Glenmore estate at Mulgoa since 1861, and at her property, Murrandah, Camden, since 1922. It was restored in 1996.

Columbarium: The Memorial Garden / Columbarium was erected in 1964 as a memorial to William Angilley. The Columbarium walls were further extended in 1986 in memory of Mark Kernahan and again in 1994.

Other features

The major features, other than buildings, within the precinct are:

Road formation: Situated to the east and south of the cemetery are the remains of a road formation, which is likely to be the road shown in nineteenth century maps of the area and photographs of the church. The road evidently provided an early route to Camden Park House.

Horse paddock: The sloping areas of land situated between the rectory and church is shown in nineteenth century photographs as cleared and open. It was separated from the church and cemetery by a substantial four rail fence. It was purchased by or donated to the church in 1911.

Tennis courts platform: Located to the west of the 1906 church hall is a platform which evidently is the remains of former tennis courts. This photograph is visible on 1940s photographs of the precinct.

Undulating topography: The church grounds possess an undulating topography framed by the three hills upon which the rectory, church and Masonic hall (site of former school) are sited.

Old path from the church hall to the church: The formation of the old path from the church hall of 1906 (and presumably before that from the old school) to the church is evident in a number of nineteenth-century photographs and cl940 aerial photograph.

Road from the lych gate to the church: The present-day road from the lych gate to the church closely approximates the same shown in early twentieth century photographs although the surface treatment is different.

Road from front of the rectory and leading to the stables: There are a number of old road formations and gates associated with the rectory and associated stables. The timber gate posts to the stables are comparable in detail to a gate to the church on Broughton Street shown in an early twentieth-century photograph.

Horse paddock and Cemetery gate: These are four nineteenth-century timber gate posts with cast irons caps.

Cemetery

The modern cemetery covers an area of around 1 acres across approximately six terraces ranged across the southern slopes of the church lot. It holds approximately 1600 grave sites and is scattered with and surrounding by various tree plantings. Since 1977 there has been an ongoing program of maintenance which ensures that the sites is not overgrown by vegetation. Between 1977 and 1987 a survey of the cemetery was undertaken that recorded all the grave sites. Further work has been undertaken in 1995 by a Land Environment Action Program team and in 1999 by a work for the dole program. Today sections of the cemetery are in poor condition and require maintenance, rebuilding, and interpretation (CMP, 2004:16: Addendum, 2010:25).

Regional Landscape Context

St John's Anglican Church Precinct is an exemplary demonstration of the regional use of landscape design. St John's Anglican Church, with its tower and spire, dominates and commands the Camden landscape on its high prominence (St John's Hill) in the middle of what is a low-lying flood plain. Its tower and spire symbolically reach for heaven and point the way for the minds and souls of the local community. The church tower and spire, as well as other elements of the church precinct such as the rectory, are visible from many locations in the local landscape from Cobbitty to the north, Narellan in the east, Cawdor in the south, and Grasmere and Bickley Vale to the west. More distant views are also available of the church in the greater region as well. This effect on the local landscape is the result of a deliberate landscape design by the Macarthur family that was aimed both at creating picturesque vistas that reminded them of an English countryside, and reinforcing the social order the Macarthurs, as part of the ruling class, wished to uphold. St John's extraordinary command of the regional landscape ensures that it is visible from all the major roads, high points, and the seats of several of the major local estates. This command is expressed through 16 significant views and vistas in the regional landscape that is identified in the CMP (2004:35-36, 44).

The most important of these many vistas are the two deliberately planned by the Macarthur family with the assistance of Sir Thomas Mitchell:

1) The vista from the front carriageway loop of Camden Park House to St John's in the distance. Today the garden and plantings around the front of the house have been purposefully managed and arranged so that a break exists in the surrounding tree line (across the croquet lawn) which captures the picturesque vista to St John's across the landscape of the former estate. In this vista, St John's spire sits in front of the Blue Mountains range between the two distinctive peaks of Mount Hay and Mount Banks (Images 8). This vista has earned the church the local quip 'built to the glory of God and to improve the views of the Macarthurs' (Hill, 2016:505). It is complemented by one of Camden Park House from the southern main entrance of St John's (however, this is no longer visible due to tree growth near the church). Further evidence of the deliberate planning of this vista is the fact that it aligns with the cross-axis of the township of Camden (Hill, 2016:505).

2) The vista of St John's looking south and upwards along John's Street in Camden. This vista was deliberately planned by Sir Thomas Mitchell in his design for the township to demonstrate the moral authority and commanding presence of God, and the Anglican Church, over the hearts and souls of the community.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
St John's the Evanglist Anglican church is in good condition and retains all its original fabric. It is well maintained by the Camden Parish and features only small sympathetic modifications to assist in the modern running of the building. Some elements of the building require conservation and maintenance works such as the clock and bells, roof, and walls (rising damp).

The churchyard and grounds are well maintained and in good condition.

The cemetery is well maintained but requires some conservation works to its older portions to prevent further subsidence of some graves and memorials.

The rectory is in a fair-good condition but requires some maintenance works, especially to its roof..

The church hall is in fair condition, but has some issues with structural cracking due to subsidence.

.
Date condition updated:20 Sep 17
Modifications and dates: Please see the Physical Description for a list of modifications for each element of the church precinct.
Current use: Place of worship
Former use: Aboriginal land, colonial farmland, place of worship

History

Historical notes: Traditional Owners
The Camden area is the traditional lands of the Dharawal people. It is unknown if what became the township of Camden or in particular St John's Hill on which now stands St John's Anglican Church Precinct had any particular economic, spiritual, or domestic importance to the Dharrawal people.

British Invasion and Settlement of Camden
What became known as the Cowpastures to British settlers was first encountered by an expedition from Port Jackson in 1795. It encountered a herd of wild cattle that had bred from two bulls and five cows that had escaped from the colony soon after the arrival of the first fleet in 1788. When the Dharawal people encountered the cattle they incorporated them into their rock art which resulted in the paintings of bulls at Bull Cave near what is now Campbelltown. Due to the fortunate presence of this wild stock Governor Hunter christened the area, comprising what became Narellan, Campbelltown, Camden and south to Stone Quarry creek, the Cowpastures. This was the name used in England for common grazing land near a village. Hunter's purpose at this time was to conserve the herd for future need by the colony (Atkinson, 1988:8-9).

By the time of Governor King (1800-6) the Cowpastures had gained a reputation amongst the colonial gentry and visiting naval officers and other gentlemen as a place of romantic landscapes and fine livestock. They described 'large ponds covered with ducks and the black swan, the margins of which were fringed with shrubs of the most delightful tints' and they thought the flats were perfect for cattle and the hills would carry sheep. They particularly admired the absence of underbush - achieved by Aboriginal land management practices - which created a landscape that reminded them of an English gentleman's park. Due to the increasing visits to the area Governor King stationed a guide at prospect. However, the increasing accessibility of the Cowpastures steadily led to poaching of the cattle herd by escaped convicts and outlaws and in July 1803 King forbade any crossing of the Nepean River without his permission. At this time King still wished for an orderly expansion of regular settlement from Sydney over the following decades. However, John Macarthur (1767-1834) was soon to upset these well-laid plans (Atkinson, 1988:9-10; GML, 2012, 20-21).

John Macarthur arrived in the colony in the Second Fleet in 1790 as a lieutenant in the New South Wales Corps with his wife Elizabeth (nee Veale) and infant son Edward. Unfortunately, John had a prickly personality which often got him into trouble in colonial society and early in his stay he was effectively banned from social occasions at Government House after he was reprimanded by Governor Philip. The newly arrived Major Francis Gorse relented and appointed Macarthur as regimental paymaster at Parramatta in 1792 and in the following year, when he was acting-governor, as Inspector of Public Works. These appointments provided John with control over a large portion of the colony's resources, and the power to begin tentative commercial pursuits in the nascent colony along with his fellow officers.

In 1793 Grose granted John a 100 acre grant which he named Elizabeth Farm at Parramatta and with convict labour he was able to quickly develop it, earn another identical grant, and become one of the Colony's foremost landholders. This property became the foundation for one of the largest and most prosperous enterprises in the Colony from 1794 when Macarthur began his first experiments towards breeding sheep that would provide fine quality wool. During this time Macarthur also gained further promotion in the military and he became a Captain in 1796 (Emery, 2016:30; Steven, 1967).

Following feuds with Governors Hunter and King and an irregularly conducted duel with his superior Captain William Paterson which left the latter injured, Macarthur was arrested by King and dispatched to England for Court Martial. Consequently, Macarthur was sent back to England along with his two youngest sons James and William in 1801. Following his arrival in December 1802 and his escape from his Court Martial with only an official censure Macarthur was reprimanded back to NSW to his regiment (Steven, 1967).

Macarthur's return to England at this time was propitious due to a developing crisis in the British wool trade associated with the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) which ramped up war requirements that were, at the same time, hamstrung by an associated continental blockade (Britain had previously sourced its wool from Spain). Previously, British interest in an Australian market had been aroused by a sample of colonial fleeces send by Governor King to Sir Joseph Banks that had showed great promise. Macarthur capitalised on this event by bringing with him fleeces from his own flocks at Elizabeth Farm on his return to England. The British authorities were impressed with the superior quality of these samples and Macarthur seized on the opportunity to establish himself as the head of a scheme for colonial wool production that could free the Empire from dependence on Spanish wool (Steven, 1967).

He was soon able to convince the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Camden, of the value of his scheme and arranged his resignation from the army and appointment to development the Colony's wool industry. To this end, he received a unique grant of 5000 acres of the best pasture land in the colony, and rare Spanish sheep (Merino) from the Royal flocks. An additional grant of 5000 acres would become available if the results of his efforts were satisfactory (Steven, 1967).

Macarthur returned to the colony on the 5 June 1805 with formable patronage and power. This allowed him to establish himself as a merchant and begin to develop a range of commercial interest. For his grant he chose the Cowpastures (Mount Taurus) on the advice of a naval officer, Henry Waterhouse, who had investigated the area and found it like a beautiful park, interspersed with plains of rich luxuriant grass, and devoid of underwood. Subsequently, by the end of 1805 Macarthur had provisionally settled a 8500 acre grant on the south side of the Nepean River which incorporated his initial 5000 acres and 2000 acres granted to his friend Walter Davidson. Macarthur's workforce of 34 convicts soon began clearing the property which he christened 'Camden Park' in honour of this patron (Atkinson, 1988:10; Steven, 1967).

However, Macarthur was soon at loggerheads with Governor Bligh over his pastoral and mercantile schemes. This resulted in Macarthur being a central figure in the January 1808 rebellion that disposed Bligh. After Major George Johnston assumed the Governorship he appointed Macarthur as colonial secretary. In this role Macarthur virtually administered the colony until Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Foveaux arrived on the 28 July to assume command. On the 28 March 1809 Macarthur travelled to England, again with his sons James and William, to assist Johnson in presenting his defence at a Court Martial. The result of Johnston's court martial was that while Macarthur was accused by Bligh as a leading civilian promoter and instigator of the rebellion he could not be tried for treason in England. However, he could be tried by Governor Macquarie if he returned to the Colony. This left him in effective exile in England and his family and commercial interests in uncertainty. In the meantime his wife Elizabeth and nephew Hannibal were left to manage the family concerns at Parramatta and Camden respectively (Steven, 1967).

Despite the efforts of Macarthur to excise his influence it was not until 1817 that he was granted permission to return to the colony on the condition that he not interfere in public affairs. During their time in England, John, James, and William, had investigated improvements in the wool industry and in 1815-1816 toured the continent to examine the latest development in agriculture and viticulture. On their return to Sydney they brought with them vine cuttings, olive trees, seeds, and various agricultural implements collected during their study tour and many ideas that they wished to put into motion on their colonial properties. Following their return Macarthur, despite quickly getting on the wrong side of Governor Macquarie managed to forward the interests of the Colonial wool industry. This was principally by influencing Commissioner John Thomas Briggs who arrived to investigate the administration of the Colony in 1819 that its future lay in developing an extensive wool-exporting country comprised of large estates run by men of capital (gentry). Soon afterwards Camden fine wool realised unpresented high prices in the British market and Macarthur was able to successfully claim his additional 5000 acres in 1822 which was added to Camden Park which his sons James and William were running by this time (Ashton and Blackmore, 1987:2-3; Steven, 1967).

Macarthur continued to work to expand the wool industry throughout the colony during the later 1820s and played an important role in Colonial affairs. In 1825 he was appointed to the newly created Legislative Council but his erratic temperament increasing led to disputes in all his ventures and undermined his personal authority. He was part of the reformed Legislative Council between 1829 and 1832 until he was removed at the request of Governor Bourke on the grounds of lunacy. John passed away on the 11 April 1834 and was buried at the Camden Park cemetery (Steven, 1967).

Camden Park and the Macarthur Family
The founding of Camden Park in late 1805 announced the beginning of organised settlement in the Camden area. Over the following five years small settlers began to establish themselves along the north bank of the Nepean River opposite the estate in accordance with the burgeoning of agricultural and pastoral interest in the area. During the term of Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Foveaux Acting-Governor (1808-1809) several smaller grants were also made along the north bank to increase settlement. Governor Macquarie (1810-1821) soon after his arrival continued this trend granting the remaining land on the north bank. In this manner, by the mid-1810s the Cowpastures became a developing pastoral and agricultural area, but with Camden Park being the only main settlement south of the Nepean (Atkinson, 1988:11-12).

By 1815 Camden Park carried 4500 sheep divided into flocks of between 350 and 500 that were each managed by a single convict shepherd. Three herdsmen also managed a herd of several hundred cattle. However, the only substantial building on the property was a woolshed. At this time the resident overseer was Thomas Hubert with the property being managed remotely by Elizabeth and Hannibal Macarthur (Atkinson, 1988:15-16).

The granting of Macarthur's addition 5000 acres in 1822-1823 provided him with an additional four grants with which to extend Camden Park and in 1825 Macarthur also managed to secure the Cawdor grant (10400 acres) based on the success of his wool scheme. These additions extended Camden Park to about 27333 acres in size bounded on its north and east sides by the Nepean River, on its west side by Mount Hunter Rivulet, and on its south side by higher ground (Atkinson, 1988:19).

The absentee landlords began to move into permanent residency on their estates by the 1820s and this encouraged the Macarthur's to erect fitting housing at Camden Park. Thus, in 1821 the weatherboard cottage 'Belgenny Farm House' was constructed on the property. This farm became the home of James and William Macarthur when they arrived to oversee the running of the Estate. At this time the Estate was run by a workforce of nearly a hundred people of which the majority were convicts and the remainder ex-convicts. This included only three women. From this time the Macarthur brothers were the higher gentry of the area who with their considerable wealth and youthful energy began to see to the proper development and advancement of the Cowpastures in accordance with the ideas and improvements they had brought back from the continent. There was a vast social gulf between the Macarthurs and their convict servants on the Estate that was enforced by a range of overseers and upper servants and this contributed to their social standing in the community. Under their leadership the Estate was well run and organised partly due to their careful encouragement of well-behaved and industrious convicts and servants. Those loyal to the Macarthurs were well-looked after by the family. The movement of the Macarthurs and other owner families to the area at this time led to imposition of order and the ruling of the area from within its borders (Atkinson, 1988:17, 19-20, 23-24).

In 1831, after John Macarthur had finally decided to make Camden the 'family seat', he commissioned the architect John Verge to design a house of a stature suitable for one of the colony's leading and wealthiest families. The house was completed in 1835, shortly after John Macarthur's death in 1834. His sons James and William Macarthur took up occupancy in the new house, while their mother Elizabeth continue to reside at Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta, in which she had a life interest (Emery, 2016).

James and William were intelligent and capable men and their interests and morals were to characterise the development of the Camden Park Estate. Of the many things which they were fond of, such as theatre and history, they had a special interest in a well-made or picturesque landscape that could encapsulate and frame the works and lives of men and women. Consequently, during the early development of the estate they spent much time and money on developing the beauty of its landscape, which in time incorporated the township of Camden. James and William saw to the construction of three well-made and purposefully placed structures, St John's Anglican Church, Camden Park House, and the monument on John Macarthur's grave, that helped to form a triangular arrangement of subtle and elegant picturesque vistas. This was especially when they were contrasted with the intrinsic beauty of the surrounding 'natural' landscape. Form the earliest trespasses of Europeans into this region they had considered the Camden landscape to be beautiful, almost a work of art, and satisfactory to the aesthetic notions of the time that valued the combination of the natural and the artificial (the works of man - anthropogenic). Adapting or improving this original canvas with the works of men could only add to its beauty in the minds of the Macarthurs and their contemporaries (Atkinson, 1988:26-27).

By the 1830s the Camden Park Estate had grown to 28,000 acres through the addition of further grants including Cawdor and comprised arguably the greatest and most advanced mixed farm in NSW. Throughout the 1820s James and William had worked towards improving the quality of their wool production but had also diversified the estate so that it produced grain, meat, and dairy produce. This was aside from Williams development of a flourishing orchard, vineyards, and gardens for vegetables and horticultural experiments. With this diverse base the estate was in good financial straits, despite the fall of wool prices and drought during the late 1820s. Consequently, the Macarthur brothers could begin looking to consolidating their squirearchy at Camden and creating a social order to their liking (comprising tenant farmers) (Ashton and Blackmore, 1987:4-6).

The Establishment of the Township of Camden
The construction of the Great South Road with a river crossing over the Nepean River along the north boundary of the Camden Park Estate in the early 1820s ultimately served as the goad for the establishment of a Township in the area. In 1826 this crossing was replaced by a bridge which more effectively opened up the land to the south for settlement and the mere existence of the bridge encouraged the development of a settlement. The fact that there were no major settlements along the Great South Road for considerable distances each way from the Cowpastures also encouraged the establishment of a police lock-up at Camden that could patrol the road and protect settlers against bushrangers (Atkinson, 1988: 34-35).

Consequently, in December 1830 a group of local residents petitioned Governor Darling for the establishment of settlement, comprising a police station, court-house, goal, and church, near the Cowpastures Bridge. Darling liked this idea and began arranging for the establishment of a 320 acre township to serve as a local administrative centre. However, due to most of the land along the Nepean being a flood plain and nearly all of it also having been granted away the Government had no existing Crown Land on which to establish a township. The Surveyor-General Thomas Mitchell recommended the land on the south bank of the Nepean on a rise close to the river being the most ideal choice, but this location was part of the Camden Park Estate. As John Macarthur had not signed the petition and was not amenable to the idea of giving away any of his Estate for this purpose, the plan was shelved at this time (Atkinson, 1988:34-35).

James and William Macarthur were of the same opinion as their neighbours that a township would be to the benefit of the district, but they were unable to change their father's mind. However, following John's death in April 1834 and their establishment as the official heads of the Estate they were able to re-commence the plans for a township. In the interval the government had chosen Campbelltown as the main administration centre in the southern districts, but this allowed James and William to develop their own private township in accordance with their own ideals. They were keen to promote public order (along with a keen social order) that reflected a spiritual one that could encourage and regulate the minds and souls of the people. To this end an Anglican church was to form the imposing and commanding centrepiece of their new township (Atkinson, 1988:35).

The Macarthur brothers had the 8 hectare area for their township cleared during the winter of 1835. On this foundation they desired that the first building to be constructed should be a church. To this end they appealed to their neighbours and employees for assistance and subscriptions to fulfil this goal. James was the main force behind this scheme. He was more religious than William and convinced that religious progress was beneficial, but that it should not be forced on the lower classes by the gentry, but rather be the result of the combined effort and initiative of all classes. This was to encourage a collective and mutual dependence among the population that was in keeping with Christian teachings and tenets. In this way, James pictured this church as growing from the land from the combined effort of the people so that it could be a focus of their moral behaviour and a symbol of the inter-reliance of society for its common good. However, he still demanded that it be an Anglican church, in accordance with its status as the Established Faith, despite the fact that people of a number of different denominations resided in the area (Atkinson, 1988:35).

James and William had amassed 644 pounds in subscriptions by September 1835 for the construction of an Anglican church. Of this total they had promised 500 pounds, while their employees had offered 43 pounds, and their neighbours the remainder. This allowed them to write to the government outlining their plans for a township and offering a copy of the subscription list as evidence of the commitment of the local population. They envisioned that the town would include reserves for a police station and lock-up, courthouse, post-office, and for churches of the several denominations: Anglican, Catholic, and Presbyterian, that flourished in the area.

The Government approved these plans and the Surveyor General Thomas Mitchell began the process of town planning in consultation with the Macarthur brothers in January 1836. In accordance with his ideals he designed Camden as being a rectangle with two crossing main streets near its centre: the one running east-west was to comprise the highway and the other (John Street) running north-south comprising a vista to the towns Anglican church. This church was to crown a hilltop overlooking the town and, specifically gaze down into the centre of rectangle and the commercial district. In this way, Mitchell designed the church to be a focus for the town, while also being above and beyond it. Mitchell characteristically liked towns to have axes, squares, and meeting places and he often used the natural landscapes of places, such as hills and valleys, to emphasize these features. Camden was a more simple example of this type, but this does not prevent it from being a successful and highly picturesque and commanding one (Atkinson, 1988:36; CMP, 2004:9).

Despite this beginning it was not until July 1841 that the town allotments were offered for sale at auction. At this time the population of the Camden Park Estate was around 200-300 and there were eight households and a post office in the township. There was also regular traffic along the Great South Road through the township. These inducements encouraged the sale of half of the 44 half acre township blocks but up for sale for high prices and the beginning of increased settlement (CMP, 2004:9-10; Ashton and Blackmore, 1987:10).

The Construction of St John's the Evangelist, Camden
During the early days of settlement of the Cowpastures, particularly after the 1820s when the landholders began to live in the area, religious services were undertaken through the employees and members of each estate coming together for prayers. Early in their residency at Camden Park it appears William and James organised these events with William at least occasionally conducting readings. By 1826 the Reverend Thomas Reddall, chaplain of St Peter's, Campbelltown began conducting services at Kirkham on the north bank of the Nepean. In March 1827 Thomas Hassall was appointed Chaplain of the Cowpastures and settled at Denbigh near Cobbitty and he soon began his regular circuit of the properties and settlements within his parish, which included Camden Park (Atkinson, 1988:33-34).

The Macarthur's plans for Camden and it crowning jewel - its Anglican Church - in late 1835 lucky coincided with the introduction of Governor Burke's Church Act the following year. This Act was designed to promote the buildings of churches and chapels and provide for the maintenance of Ministers of Religion. This Act offered pound for pound subsidies for the construction of churches of all the major denominations. In this manner it removed the de facto 'established church' status the Church of England had enjoyed in the colony to this point by providing equal access to state funding for the major denominations. The subsidies were available for churches and rectories costing between 600 and 2000 pounds. These building had to be designed by a competent architect and be approved by the Colonial Architect to be eligible for the subsidy. A subsidy of (Pounds)1000, towards the total cost of (Pounds)2500 of the church, was provided to the Macarthurs under this Act. The Reverend Thomas Hassall, Charles Cowper of Wivenhoe, James and William Macarthur, and George Macleay were appointed trustees of the church (CMP, 2004:11).

While the 1836 Church Act provided substantial funds for church construction Bishop Broughton and the Anglican Church were hamstrung by the lack of competent architects in the colony to realise their dreams and ideals. Consequently, Broughton was initially forced to rely on James Hume to design the church. He commissioned Hume to design the church in the classical style in 1837. This design was initially accepted by Broughton, and assumedly the Macarthurs, but it was abandoned by late 1839 at the request of Emily Macarthur, James new wife, who objected to the classical design and preferred something in the Gothic style which was the current new vogue in England (Atkinson, 1988:46, 243; CMP, 2004:11).

James Macarthur had travelled back to England in 1836 and met Emily Stone (1806-1880) there in 1838. Emily was the daughter of Henry and Mary Stone. Henry was a civil servant (and later banker or their family had banking connections) and Mary was the daughter of Dr William Roxburgh a botanist with the East India Company. Emily had been born in India and she travelled to England in 1811. Soon after meeting James Macarthur she married him later in 1838. Soon afterwards they returned to the colony, arriving in March 1839. After returning to Camden Park, Emily became the first mistress of the new Camden House which had been completed in 1834-35 (CMP, 2004:11).

During the mid-late 1830s in England the gothic or medieval style of architecture was just becoming the new trend in ecclesiological architecture due to the works of the Tractarian movement and the Cambridge Camden Society.

The Oxford or Tractarian movement, named after their publication 'Tracts for the Times', was formed at Oxford in 1833 as a new school of churchmanship. Initially, it was an academic theological and historical movement focussed on ascertaining the rightful position and nature of the Church of England within contemporary society. It had been formed as a protest against the State and liberal pressure being directed against the Church of England at the time and was part of the Church taking stock of its purpose and mission. However, as it rapidly grew and was influenced by the Romantic Movement it morphed into a widespread affirmation of the spiritual and historical integrity and apostolic character of the Church of England. To this end it focussed on and insisted that the sacramental character of the Church be given proper reverence. The movement argued for the reinstatement of some older Christian traditions of faith and their inclusion into Anglican liturgy and theology. Overall, Tractarianism focussed on the Catholic heritage of the church and the apostolic succession, espoused that the liturgical emphasis should be on the sacraments, and was strongly opposed to any segregation in church based on social differentiation. At this time the liturgical emphasis of the Church of England was on the spoken word with the pulpit being the focus of attention and there was commonly social segregation through the use of rented pews for the wealthy and open galleries for the poor (Elliot, 1995:25-26; Judd and Cable, 2000:29-30; Lucas, Stapleton, and Partners, 2001:29).

Tractarianism was, overall, a divisive movement, as among its supporters it generated much excitement, but at the same time it brought about resolute and firm opposition among its, often Evangelical, opponents. The nature of the movement to look towards the medieval past for inspiration led its liberal critics to label it as retrogressive and its Evangelical opponents as pro-Roman Catholic and a threat to the Protestant Church. Indeed, several of the movement's leaders seceded to the Roman Catholic Church (Lucas, Stapleton, and Partners, 2001).

The Cambridge Camden Society, later the Ecclesiological Society, was originally established to study the design and execution of ecclesiastical ornaments and buildings. This organisation was closely allied with the Tractarian movement as their goal was to provide structural expression for the liturgical and doctrinal ideals they developed. In this manner they were attempting to reintroduce structural sacramentalism to the Church of England. They eventually settled on Gothic architecture as being the most fitting for church construction and promoted these designs in Britain and across her colonies. In accordance with their goals they had very stringent standards and design requirements for church architecture and church designs they approved. The society advocated an architectural form known as 'symbolic sacramentality' which was a system where the material fabric of the structure was designed to symbolise or embody some abstract meaning and through which an expression of liturgy could be articulated structurally. In essence the society aimed to develop a style that could best embody 'both liturgical and architectural beauty without striving for effect' (Elliot, 1995).

This society aimed to implement the reformations of the Tractarian Movement through igniting a change in ecclesiological architecture in England. The favoured design or icon of the society ultimately came to be an idealised version of the 14th Century English country parish church and particularly the designs modelled after this type by its favoured architects in the 1830s and 1840s. This design stressed the proper definition and separation of the nave and chancel; the allocation of the chancel with fair proportions; the placement of the font at the entrance to the church; the addition of an exterior porch; the provision of aisles with the subsequent threefold division of the nave symbolising the holy trinity; the provision of an un-galleried nave furnished with open benches; the establishment of the chancel, sanctuary, and altar as the focus of the congregation through their elevation with steps (ideally three each); the sub-division of the chancel into a chorus cantorum and sacrarium; and the alignment of the church so that it faced east. Church design should also encourage the exclusion of the congregation from the chancel, which was only acceptable when receiving communion. A tower was not considered an essential element, but if provided should be at the west end or at the crossing of the church if it featured transepts. The most ideal Gothic style was the Decorated dating to between 1260-1360 (13th-14th Centuries) and building materials stone, or less so flints, with bricks only being used as an alternative when neither was available. In this manner a church should emphasise auditory and hierarchal values in its architecture. This design was in contrast to the traditional early nineteenth century style that featured high box pews, triple-decker pulpit, and a western gallery containing harmonium and choir (Elliot, 1995:25-28, 50-52, 145; Kerr, 1977:105).

Emily Macarthur must have been fashionably up-to-date with the nascent Gothic Revival in England prompting her to ensure that the new Anglican church at Camden was constructed in the Gothic style. However, due to the lack of competent architects in the colony that could design buildings in this style (Edmund Blacket was not to arrive in the colony until 1843) Emily and James were forced to have a British architect design the church. They chose the Scottish architect John Cunningham (1799-1873) who had a connection with Emily's family or the Macarthurs. Cunningham had been trained in the Edinburgh City Works Department, but after he established his own practice he mostly worked in the Liverpool area. During his career Cunningham designed a number of churches in Gothic and Romanesque styles (CMP, 2004:11).

It is slightly unclear at what point the decision was made to change the style of the Camden church from Classical to Gothic. It seems most likely that the decision occurred prior to the beginning of construction of the church. Emily and James likely convinced the other church trustees to change the style after their arrival back in Camden in mid-1839. They must have been successful by late 1839 when Hume was dropped as the architect, allowing them to send away for plans at this time. They then waited until the winter of 1840 before clearing the site and constructing the foundations (the church sits on bedrock) and they must have had the plans in hand by September when construction began in earnest. When the Macarthurs sent to England for plans they must have specified that they be the same dimensions as Hume's original plans, perhaps to ensure that the budget for the church was still applicable to the new gothic design. This would explain the similarity in the designs of the foundations of the two plans noted by many modern authors (Atkinson, 1988:46, 243; Kerr and Broadbent, 1980:122- 124; CMP, 2004:11).

As noted above construction work commenced on the church during the winter of 1840 with the levelling of the site occurring over two months. Construction of the brickwork commenced in September allowing Bishop Broughton to lay the foundation stone on 3 November 1840. During these works the Colonial Architect, Mortimer William Lewis served as supervisory architect. This was likely a result of the connection of the Macarthur family rather than Lewis fulfilling the terms of the Church Act requirements on the design and construction. Richard Basden was the local builder employed to construct the church. He supplied the 386,000 bricks used in its erection from his brickyard located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Argyle and Oxley streets. John Le Ferve acted as the carpenter and he constructed the brick spire, framing, and other timberwork. The ironbark that was used to construct the roof framing was provided by the Macarthur brothers who organised for it to be cut from the forest at Mount Hunter. The stone for the construction was sourced from Denbigh and the lime from quarries near Goulburn (Atkinson, 1988:46; CMP, 2004:11-12).

With these arrangements construction continued apace during 1841 and by April 1842 the roof, tower, and spire (including its plastering) had been completed. Unfortunately, the depression now intruded on the construction work with a lack of funds preventing the final stages of construction, such as the installation of the stained glass windows and the furnishing and flooring of the interior. This was apparently due to the folding of the bank that held the funds for the church construction (John Wrigley pers. comm. 8/8/2017). With the loss of these funds the church could not be completed until replacement funding could be found and this was difficult due to the financial straits of the Colony and the Macarthurs. It is also possible that the depression caused the delay of the promised funding from the government under the Church Act (Atkinson, 1988:46; CMP, 2004:12).

By the time the shell of the church had been constructed in 1842 its authentic gothic design was a new innovation in the colony and just ahead of the fashionable wave of the Gothic Revevial that was to wash over the community from the mid 1840s. In particular, the decorated gothic stone tracery of the windows and the open cusped hammer-beam roof of the church were entirely new features that subsequently became standard for Gothic Revival churches in the colony.

While construction had been underway the 5 acre, 3 rood, and 24 perch land grant for St John's Church had been formally granted to the Anglican Church through Bishop Broughton in May 1841 by James and William Macarthur. This land was reserved strictly for 'the erection of a church or chapel for the performance of divine worship according to the rites of the United Church of England and Ireland (and) for the erection of a residence for a clergyman in holy orders, and for a burial ground according to the use of the said United Church.' The grant was triangular and positioned on the south side of the town with Broughton Street forming its north boundary, the road from Broughton Street to Camden House its west boundary, and the road from Elizabeth Street to Camden House its east and south boundary. Also as part of this deed 2 perches of land on the Camden Park Estate to the west of Camden House and south of Belgenny Farm was granted to the Church of England as the Macarthur family burial vault (CMP, 2004:11).

Soon after the granting of this land the first burial of Thomas Budd of Narellan occurred in the cemetery in March 1843. The cemetery continued to grow from this period, but unfortunately no records are available about burials or grave locations for the first 40 years of its existence (CMP, 2004:16).

During the halt in construction work, Camden continued to develop at a fast pace with it expanding to 45 households by around 1846. This development was undertaken in the shadow of the incomplete shell St John's that promising so much picturesque beauty if it could be completed (CMP, 2004:10).

Some effort appears to have been undertaken in 1846 to completed the construction of the church when James Macarthur is reported to have ordered the stained glass windows from England. To ensure that they were of the correct size zinc templates were sent of the unique design with its tiny stained glass diamonds. Two of these windows (plus more in the tower) are still extant in the church today (CMP, 2004:50).

Further work to complete the church had occurred by 1848 when it was suggested in the local press that the flooring had been laid and even perhaps the windows installed leaving just the interior furnishings, pulpit, seats, and chancel fittings, to be finalised. From early 1848 the church appears to have been used for marriages according to the parish register. Temporary measures to supply these furnishings and fittings appear to have been taken prior to June 1849 to allow the consecration of the church to finally be carried out. The consecration of St John's the Evangelist Anglican Church was performed by Bishop Broughton on 7 June 1849. The ceremony was attended by a congregation of around 500 people, including the Macarthur brothers, and the service was assisted by the incumbent Reverend Edward Rodgers and the clergy of the surrounding parishes (Rev. George F. Macarthur) (CMP, 2004:13, 17).

A contemporary account eloquently describes the church on its completion (CMP, 2004:14):

'St John's consists of a nave, chancel and western tower and spire, all including the spire, being of brick, and at some future time to be covered with plaster. The spire is already stuccoed. The windows, which are of the 'decorated ' period, are exceedingly well wrought in the stone procured from the neighbourhood, which is of greyer colour and closer grain, though softer in the cutting, than the sandstone around Sydney. The flagging of the interior is the very best piece of work of the kind in the country. The roof is open, with tie-beams and spandrels. The windows are filled with fancy patterns of octagon and square glass, the former being ground, the latter coloured set in copper frames. The altar rail is carved with cinquefoil arches, on small shafts, with caps, bases and bands, in the style of the Church, and is of very effect. There is a want of porch and vestry, and the chancel is far too short.'

At the time of its completion St John's was considered to be large for the population of Camden and the surrounding estates. Its size was part of the Macarthur's vision, and providing for the future, for a large and thriving settlement at Camden that honoured Anglican morals and traditions (CMP, 2004:1).

The original road that ran along the south border of the church lot was used extensively by the Macarthur family travelling from the town and the main south road to Camden Park House. It was closed around the time St John's was completed and consecrated (CMP, 2004:16).

The Operation of St John's Camden

The Anglican Parish of Camden is thought to date to the period of the enactment of the Church Act in 1836-1837 and the early plans of James and William Macarthur to establish a church at Camden. With the Macarthur family acting as patrons for the new church and endowing the stipend of the clergyman they had the right of nomination of presentation of a parish under the provisions of the Sydney Diosecan Ordinance. However, an arrangement was made at Camden that the appointment of a minister was alternatively the decision of the Macarthur Family and the Bishop. The first incumbent of the parish of Camden (in conjunction with the parish of Narellan) was the Rev. Robert Forrest who was appointed in 1843. He had previously been the first headmaster of the King's School in Parramatta from 1832 and the minister of the parish of Campbelltown from 1839 to April 1843. Forrest resided at his property Elderslie and officiated at services at the Camden Park school-room and the Narellan school-church during this period. He returned to the King's School in January 1848 (CMP, 2004:17).

Forrest's replacement was the Rev. Edward Rogers who was appointed in early 1848 and was subsequently the minister at the time of St John's consecration in June 1849. He oversaw the first marriages that were performed in St John's. The first registered marriage was on 24 February 1848 between Robert Boyd of Camden and Augusta Sheather of Camden Park and the first following its consecration was in June 1849 between Thomas Dunk and Maria New of Camden. Rogers remained at Camden until 1858 when he was appointed to Holy Trinity, Sydney. The first churchwardens of St John's who worked alongside Rev. Rogers were James Macarthur, William Macarthur, and George Macleay. Over the following years they were replaced by both the main tradesmen who had been involved in the church construction: John Le Ferve in 1854 and Richard Basden in 1856 (CMP, 2004:11-12, 17).

The Rev. Henry Tingcombe replaced Rogers in August 1858. He had previously been the minister of Armidale from 1846. When the rectory was completed in 1859 he was its first resident and he remained in the parish until his resignation in October 1872 (CMP, 2004:17).

At the time of Tingcombe's resignation the arrangements for the endowment of the stipend for the parish were altered. The Macarthur family continued to contribute 100 pounds per annum to the stipend and provided the rectory on a nominal rent, but the local parishioners were now asked to contribute the remaining part of the stipend. With this arrangement the Bishop of Sydney granted his right of alternate nomination of the minister to the parish (CMP, 2004:17).

The ministers appointed from this time were (CMP, 2004:17-18):
Rev John Fleming Moran 1872-1891;
Rev Cecil John King 1891-1927;
Rev Thomas Giles Paul - 1927-1943;
Rev Alfred Henry Kirk - 1944-1968;
Rev James Barry Burgess - 1968-1975;
Rev Alan Reginald Patrick - 1976-1988;
Rev Trevor William Edwards - 1989-1996;
Rev Steven John Davis - 1996-2000
Rev Anthony Victor Galea - 2001 to date.

A critique of the completed St John's at the time of its consecration was that its chancel was too short for the preferred liturgy of the day as encouraged by the Tractarian movement. This movement required long chancels that could accommodate a choir and in which the raised altar was the focus of the congregation. This lack must have been felt by the congregation over the early years of the church's operation as in 1857 Sir William Macarthur decided to acquire plans for a chancel extension and vestry. Consequently, during his visit to Europe between 1855 and 1857 as commissioner of the NSW contingent to the Paris International Exhibition he commissioned the famous English Gothic Revival architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott to provide a design. It apparently took some time for Scott to supply these plans and it appears that in the meantime Edmund Blacket was also commissioned to provide a design. No action seems to have been taken to implement either of these designs over the following years until the death of James Macarthur in April 1867 that led to a desire by the congregation to install a fitting memorial in the church for the life of the gentleman who had been so instrumental in its establishment and early management. The congregation, organised by Rev. Tingcombe, resolved to erect a memorial window, enlarge the chancel, and complete the church in James's honour. To this end they organised a subscription fund 'the Macarthur Memorial Fund' in which the friends and relatives of James could subscribe funds towards this memorial. This resulted in the commissioning of a grand stained-glass window from Clayton and Bell later in 1867. However, when it became time to implement the chancel enlargement William and the rector, Rev. Henry Tingcombe disagreed about which plan to use. William preferring Scott's and Tingcombe Blacket's. This disagreement continued to at least 1872 before a comprise was reached and a mix of Scott's and Blacket's work was used. The separate vestry design that was implement is thought to be Blacket's work (CMP, 2004:14; Empire, 18 June 1867:5; Kerr, 1983:19).

Construction work on the chancel extension and vestry must have commenced post-1872 with the bricks being sourced from the demolition of Thompson's former steam flour mill and store that was constructed in c.1843. Work on the extension was completed in 1874, but it was not until the 13 June 1875 the chancel extension with its window memorial to James Macarthur was finally opened by the Lord Bishop of Sydney (Australian Town and Country Journal, 26 June 1875:32; CMP, 2004:14).

Soon after the completion of St John's the need was felt for improved educational facilities in the budding township of Camden. Consequently, in 1850 moves were made to found a denominational school on the eastern corner of the church lot adjacent the intersection of Hill and Broughton streets. Funding was granted from the Denominational School Board for the school and the trustees of the local board, George Macleay, Rev. Edward Rodgers, and John Oxley sought about seeing to its construction. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Broughton on the 1 July 1850, but tenders for the construction were not called until February 1851. The very neat brick school was soon completed and in remained in use until the denominational school was closed in 1879 after the establishment of the Camden Public School. The building was retained by the church for the next 25 years before its worsening condition prompted the parish to sell it and 1 acre and 11 perches of surrounding land in December 1906. Both the condition of the building and the need to raise funds to construct a new Church Hall appear to have played a part in prompting the sale of this corner of the original 1841 land grant for the church (CMP, 2004:14-15).

The need for a rectory at St Johns was alleviated in 1859 with the construction of a brick rectory with stables and coach house. James and William Macarthur donated the 1000 pounds for the construction of these building on lands belonging to the Camden Park Estate. As Rev. Henry Tingcombe was the Rector of the church at this time and he became the first occupant of the new rectory it has been speculated that Edmund Blacket was the architect for this building. This is because these gentlemen are known to have been associates and in later times were involved in the design of the chancel extension. The rectory comprised a substantial Georgian style two-storey brick building with six-pane windows and shutters, as well as a front verandah. The Macarthurs appear to have seen to the upkeep of the rectory throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century and continued to manage the surrounding land as part of the estate. However, it does seem likely that they permitted some of the surrounding land to be used for glebe purposes by the rectors (CMP, 2004:14).

In 1861 a new organ, specially constructed by Bates and Sons of Ludgate Hill, London, was presented to the church on the behalf of Emily Macarthur (who was in London at the time) to replace an older harmonium that was not of the best quality. Theodore Charles Bates was a well-known London builder of small finger and barrel organs. He operated from about 1812 to 1864 on his own, in partnership with others, and in partnerships with his son. A new gallery was constructed at the west end of St John's in 1861 to accommodate this new organ. This gallery was designed by Edmund Blacket and the organ had been fitted by the 21 July 1861 (Rushworth, 1988:218-219).

Elizabeth Macarthur (1840-1911), the only daughter of James and Emily Macarthur, married Commander R. N. Arthur Onslow (1833-1882) at St John's on the 21 January 1867 (SMH, 21 February 1867:9). Elizabeth, and to a lesser degree her husband, was to be a strong patron of the church throughout her life and she donated many fixtures to improve the church facilities.

The early 1880s witnessed the passing away of several older members of the Macarthur family. Emily died in 1880 and Arthur Onslow in early 1882 leaving his wife Elizabeth to raise their six surviving children. William Macarthur passed away on 29 October 1882 and his funeral service was held at St John's before he was interred at the family vault on the Camden Park Estate. As he had never married he left the estate to his niece Elizabeth Macarthur-Onslow. Elizabeth had been managing the estate since the late 1870s due to William's failing health. Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century and into the next she and her children were to be strong friends and patrons of the church and its parish (Ashton and Blackmore, 1987:16; Teale, 1974).

In 1897 Elizabeth Macarthur Onslow donated the turret clock and peal of eight ringing bells for the church tower to commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond Jubilee. The majority of the bells were dedicated to different members of the Macarthur family (see description).

By the late nineteenth century the church cemetery was nearing capacity and a new general cemetery at Cawdor was dedicated in 1898 to serve the community. The church cemetery was soon closed except for those who had purchased the right to burial or family vaults (CMP, 2004:16).

Plans to construct the first Church Hall were underway in 1905 to provide the parish with improved facilities after the deterioration of the old denominational school building. This hall was designed by Sulman and Power in the Federation Gothic style and the plans were approved by the Diocesan Building Surveyor Cyril Blacket (the son of Edmund Blacket) in February 1906. Sir John Sulman is known as an important late-nineteenth and early twentieth century Australian architect. The design comprised a 50 by 30ft hall with platform and two 15 by 25ft retiring rooms at the south end and 10 by 9ft porch at the front. The Bishop of Goulburn laid the foundation stone for the hall on the 29 July and construction commenced soon after. Funding came from three main sources: the Church Loan Fund, the Camden Park Estate, and other subscriptions and donations. The funds from the sale of the denomination school when it proceeded after 1906 was reportedly used to pay back the loan for the construction (CMP, 2004:15, 75).

An Ordinance of August 1906 approved the sale of 1 acre, 11 perches of the original 1841 grant to the Anglican Church for the establishment of St John's. This reduced the grant area to the 4 acres, 3 roods, and 12 perches which is extant today. The rational for the sale of this land was the area was surplus to the needs of the church and the funds from the sale were necessary for the funding of the new hall which was already under construction. Elizabeth Macarthur-Onslow consented to the sale and the auction took place in December 1906 and the land was sold for 300 pounds to Mr F.C. Whiteman. In 1925 the land was sold again and in 1926 the Masonic Lodge that still stands today was built on the site (CMP, 2004:33-34).

In the early 20th century when the Parish was in some financial trouble due to a decrease in the congregation and the changing nature of the surrounding area (from agriculture to dairy farming) the Macarthur-Onslow family came to its assistance through the granting of additional land.

This first resulted in the rectory being donated to the Camden Parish by George Macleay Macarthur-Onslow a church warden and active member of the congregation on behalf of the Directors of the Camden Park Estate Ltd at the annual vestry meeting of St John's parish in May 1905. This was so that the parish now had its own proper rectory, however, it required that the parish outlay funds for the upkeep of the property. It seems that previously the Camden Park Estate had paid for repairs, renovations, and other maintenance. Consequently, in November1905 a 3 acre, 2 rood, and 3 perch property encompassing the rectory was transferred from the Camden Park Estate to the Anglican Church Property Trust (Camden News, 18 May 1905:1; CMP, 2004:34).

In August 1910 the Camden Park Estate donated a further two pieces of land to the Parish comprising a 12 acre, 3 rood, 2 perch lot equal in width to the rectory and lot and extending from its south side to the Nepean River and a 2 acre, 2 rood, 22 perch lot, which is the modern day horse paddock lot between the rectory and church lots. Besides this they also offered for purchase the strip of land between the rectory and Mr Furner's paddock for 200 pounds. It does not appear that the parish accepted this offer at the time, but the two parcels of land that had been donated were transferred to the Church of England Property Trust from the Camden Park Estate in September 1911 (Camden News, 11 August 1910:4; CMP, 2004:34).

Elizabeth Macarthur Onslow passed away while in England in August 1911. A memorial lych gate (which is extant) was installed on the church grounds in her honour the following year. The Camden Park Estate had been formed into a company a few years previously and her sons and daughters had been strongly associated with its running since they reached their majorities. Rosa Sibella (1871-1943) who had cared for her mother for some time now took over Camden Park House and the headship of the family. She was to be a good friend and patron of St John's over her lifetime and a leader in church and charity affairs. Captain George Onslow was strongly connected with civic and social life in Camden in this period and had been a treasurer of the parish council for some time, he was to be strongly connected with the Parish and St John's throughout his life. Upon his death in 1937 a memorial window depicting war and peace was installed in the nave (Camden News, 10 August 1910:5; SMH, 12 August 1937:7).

In July 1929 7 acres, 2 roods, and 16 perches comprising a strip of land to the south of the rectory from Menangle Road to the Nepean River was transferred to the Church of England Property Trust from the Camden Park Estate. This may encompass the land that the Camden Park Estate had previously offered to the Parish for 200 pounds in 1910. The land the Parish now owned facing Menangle Road to the south of the rectory was subdivided into building blocks and sold in 1932 (CMP, 2004:34).

In 1968 the remaining 20 acres of glebe land located between the rectory and the Nepean River, as well as an additional five acres purchased by the parish, was subdivided and sold as a residential estate. This comprised 54 buildings lots around Forrest Crescent and Tingcombe Place, and Paul Place - streets named after the early ministers of the parish. Part of the original rectory lot was also subdivided at this time. The 12 acres of flood prone land closest to the Nepean River was donated to Camden Council and became the Kings Bush reserve. Today it is known as the Chellaston Street Reserve. The funds raised through this land sale were used to meet the operation costs of the parish and to fund the construction of a new church hall (CMP, 2004:34).

The final building constructed in the church precinct was the second Church Hall. It was designed by the architects Martin and King and originally also included a kindergarten that has never been constructed due to a lack of funding. The foundation stone for this hall was set by Brigadier Richard Quentin Macarthur-Stanham (1921-2008) of Camden Park House on 24 September 1972. It was opened and dedicated on 25 March 1973 by the Archbishop of Sydney Most Rev. Marcus Loane (CMP, 2004:15).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Gardens-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Other open space-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
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 Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
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 Significant Places How are significant places marked in the landscape by, or for, different groups-Monuments and Sites
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 19th century suburban developments-
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 Subdivision of rural estates-
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 Cultural Social and religious life-
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 relationships between key structures and town plans-
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-
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. Developing cultural institutions and ways of life-National Theme 8
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 - Gothic Revival-
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. work of stonemasons-
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. Patronising artistic endeavours-
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 - Victorian-
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 - 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. Designing making and using ecclesiastical furniture-
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. Designing structures to emphasise their important roles-
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 structures to emphasise their important roles-
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. Landscape of Remembrance-
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 making and showing stained and coloured glass-
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. Designing and marking grave furnishings and ornamentation-
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. Adaptation of overseas design for local use-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1900-1950-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1950-2000-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1850-1900-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ornamental Garden-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Outdoor relief-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation community park-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going to church-
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 Activities associated with relaxation and recreation-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Leisure-Includes tourism, resorts.
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Cemetery-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship parsonage, manse, vicarage-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Church-
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 Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Community volunteering-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Red Cross activities-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Places of formal community gatherings-
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-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Developing local clubs and meeting places-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Birth and Death-Activities associated with the initial stages of human life and the bearing of children, and with the final stages of human life and disposal of the dead. Cemeteries-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Birth and Death-Activities associated with the initial stages of human life and the bearing of children, and with the final stages of human life and disposal of the dead. Burying the dead in customary ways-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Bishop William Grant Broughton, Anglican bishop of Australia-
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-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with John Macarthur, pastoralist and entrepreneur-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Sir George Macleay, explorer, pastoralist, zoologist, explorer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Sir William Macarthur, pastoralist, horticulturist, gentry-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with James Macarthur, settler, farmer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Sir Thomas Mitchell, Surveyor-General-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Edmund Blacket, Government Architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Mjr-Gen., later Gnl., Sir) Ralph Darling and Eliza Darling, 1826-1830-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Mjr.-Gen. (later Gen., Sir) Richard Bourke KCB, 1831-7-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Charles Cowper, grazier-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Sir George Gilbert Scott, English architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with John Cunningham, Scottish architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Emily Macarthur (nee Stone), gentlewoman-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
St John the Evangelist Anglican Church has historical significance at a state level as the first archaeologically correct Gothic Revival Church constructed in the colony of NSW and Australia as the Gothic Revival movement gained momentum in the early 1840s. The church thus has an important place in this movement that was to dominate ecclesiastical architecture in the colony throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century. The Gothic Revival movement was reflective of deep-running change in the Anglican Church during this period. St John's Anglican Church demonstrates the spread of these ideas to the Colony, following the trends of ecclesiastical architecture in Britain.

St John's Anglican Church is of historical significance at a state level due to its strong connection with the 1836 Church Act. This piece of legislation confirmed the colony as a religiously plural society and ushered in an unprecedented period of church building. St John's is one of the earliest extant churches built under this act. It is an important member of this group of early Church Act churches due to its Gothic Revival design, fine construction, picturesque location, and prominent part in wider regional landscape planning that renders it a remarkable place of worship.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
St John's Anglican Church Precinct has an association of state significance with the Macarthur family. The Macarthurs have played significant roles in politics, social life, philanthropy, military life, and the development of wool growing, agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, and dairying in the colony of NSW. They are especially well remembered as the gentry that developed the Camden area as it is today with its wide open rural landscape and proud historic nature. The Macarthur family are directly responsible for the establishment of St John's and its associated church precinct as they donated the land on which it sits and provided much of the funding that saw the church, rectory, and many of the other features constructed. Many elements of the church precinct and furnishings of the church were also donated by, or are memorials to, members of the Macarthur family. In this manner, the church precinct and its regional landscape setting is a fitting memorial to the achievements of the Macarthur family in the development of the Camden region and the Colony of NSW.

Among the generations of the Macarthur family that have been custodians of the Camden Park Estate there are several members who were closely involved with the establishment and running of the church precinct. The successful pastoralist and conservative politician James (1798-1867); his wife Emily (1806-1880); and the prominent pastoralist, horticulturalist, vintner, and benefactor of public institutions Sir William Macarthur (1800-82) were intimately involved in the establishment and construction of St John's and the early portions of its precinct during the mid-nineteenth century. Their successors to the Camden Park Estate, the philanthropist and dairy farmer Elizabeth (1840-1911) and naval officer and politician Commander R. N. Arthur Macarthur-Onslow (1833-1882), were also strongly involved in the further running and development of the church and precinct during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Their children the charity and church worker Rosa Sibella (1871-1943) and the soldier and grazier Brigadier-General George Macleay (1875-1931) were also involved in the same manner during the early to mid-twentieth century. The association between the family and the church precinct continued until at least 1972 when Brigadier Richard Quentin Macarthur-Stanham (1921-2008) laid the foundation stone for the new Church Hall. In this manner, almost all the diverse elements of the church precinct have some form of connection with members of the Macarthur family.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
St John's Anglican Church Precinct has aesthetic significance at a State level as a fine group of ecclesiastic buildings with a cemetery located in an open rural landscape resplendent with mature native and exotic trees, rolling grassed slopes, fence lines, paths, and memorials. This open setting creates important interconnecting views and vistas between different elements of the church precinct, such as that between the church and rectory, that allows for their proper appreciation. On a broader scale this open setting complements St John Anglican Church, and particular its tower and spire, by opening it to a wider catchment of views and vistas across the regional landscape. This allows the church to be the focus of the great picturesque character of the region which is the result of the landscape design implement by the Macarthurs in their development of Camden. In the landscape design St John's is the pinnacle of the township and the apex of many important vistas. As such, it has an all-encompassing relationship with its landscape and has important inter-relationships with the Camden Park Estate, Camden Park House, and the township of Camden that expresses the power structures between these places.

St John's plays a key role in the picturesque landscape planning of the Camden Park Estate and particularly, Camden Park House. This is demonstrated by a picturesque vista of St John's available from the front carriageway loop of Camden Park House. It was part of the early design of the mansion and its surrounding countryside and it has been cultivated into the surrounding garden to the present by the Macarthur family. This vista features St John's tower and spire framed by the peaks of Mount Hay and Banks of the Blue Mountains range in the distance as its focal point. Its exemplary picturesque design is evident in the intricate details and variety in contains that are expressed in its contrasting textures created by the juxtaposition between nature and man-made structures and landscapes. This vista was deliberately planned to delight and interest the eye and mind of early nineteenth century observers and the medieval inspired design of St John's was a fitting centrepiece according to the dictates of the picturesque. This vista is reciprocated by a view of Camden Park House from the front steps of St John's Anglican Church.

St John's is an important part in the framework of power dynamics the Macarthurs embedded in their regional landscape design to reinforce the social structures they wished to perpetuate. This featured the Macarthurs as the ruling upper gentry; the Anglican church, patronised and guided by the Macarthurs, as the moral compass of the community; and the middle and working classes as the lowest social strata. This social structure is expressed firstly through the distant vista of St John's from Camden Park House as described above which demonstrates the relationship the Macarthur family wished to cultivate with the Anglican Church in Camden; one of patronage and firm guidance. It is secondly expressed in the relationship of St John's Anglican Church with the township design of Camden as envisioned by James and William Macarthur and put into effect by Sir Thomas Mitchell. In this design, St John's is purposely situated on top of a hill over the town that ensures that it dominates the local landscape. This design ensures that the church, and particularly its tower and spire, was a reminder to the community of the watchful presence of God and the Anglican Church. This effect was further accentuated by the commanding vista of St John's along John Street that was purposefully planned into the town design by Mitchell.

St John's Anglican Church has technical significance at a State level as the earliest, and one of the finest, examples of archaeologically correct Gothic Revival architecture in the state (and possibly nationally). This church embodies the aims of the early development of the Gothic Revival movement in the Colony. As such, it is a successful early example that was likely used as a precedent in the local Gothic Revival movement throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century. The church's fine construction, completeness, and good condition further enhance its significance against this criterion.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
St John's Anglican Church has research potential in a state context as the first archaeologically correct Gothic Revival church constructed in the colony. The church's fine construction and completeness, with its tower, spire, clock, bells, stained glass, organ, and furniture all being intact add to its significance against this criterion. St John's Anglican Church retains many elements of its original built fabric, which makes it a unique repository for the future study of nineteenth century technology and artisan's crafts. These aspects of the church make it an important research resource for the study of Gothic Revival architecture in the state context (and perhaps nationally).

The Bates & Son pipe organ (c.1860) in St John's Anglican Church is the only known extant example constructed by this maker in NSW. This makes it an important research resource in the state context.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
St John's Anglican Church is rare in a state context as the first archaeologically correct Gothic Revival church constructed in the colony. The church's fine construction and completeness, with its tower, spire, clock, bells, stained glass, organ, and furniture all being intact add to its significance against this criterion.

The Bates & Son pipe organ (c.1860) is rare in a state context as the only known extant example produced by these manufactures.

St John's Anglican Church Precinct is rare in a state context as a complete ensemble of parish church buildings (church, rectory, cemetery, and grounds). It is one of the most complete church groups achieved in the colony in the nineteenth century.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
St John's Anglican Church is of state significance as a representative example of early architecturally correct Gothic Revival architecture in the colony. The church's fine construction and completeness, with its tower, spire, clock, bells, stained glass, organ, and furniture all being intact add to its significance against this criterion.

St John's Anglican Church Precinct is of state significance as a representative example of a complete ensemble of parish church buildings dating to the nineteenth century.
Integrity/Intactness: The church precinct has good integrity and intactness.

Organ: The pipes and mechanical action have been modified in places and added to over time, however the organ remains a substantially intact instrumental and is played regularly.
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
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementSt John's Anglican Church Precinct, Menangle Road, Camden, CMP, prepared for Anglican Parish of St John by Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners Pty Ltd., dated March 2004.  
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for commentSt John's Anglican Church Precinct, Menangle Rd, Camden Oct 8 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
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act - Site Specific Exemptions HERITAGE ACT 1977

ORDER UNDER SECTION 57(2) TO GRANT SITE SPECIFIC EXEMPTIONS FROM APPROVAL

St John's Anglican Church Precinct

SHR No. 02006

I, the Minister for Heritage, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, in pursuance of section 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, do, by this my order, grant an exemption from section 57(1) of that Act in respect of the engaging in or carrying out of any activities described in Schedule C by the owner of the land described in Schedule B on the item described in Schedule A.

The Hon Gabrielle Upton MP
Minister for Heritage

Dated at Sydney, 2nd Day of August 2018

SCHEDULE A

The item known as the St John's Anglican Church Precinct, situated on the land described in Schedule B.

SCHEDULE B

All those pieces or parcels of land known as Lot 1 DP 1024949, Lot 550 DP 737448 and Lot 56 DP 239467 in Parish of Camden, County of Camden shown on the plan catalogued HC 3182 in the office of the Heritage Council of New South Wales.

SCHEDULE C

1.All Standard Exemptions.

2.Existing approved development:
All works and activities in accordance with a current and valid development consent from Camden Council in force at the date of gazettal for listing St John's Anglican Church Precinct on the State Heritage Register. Specifically, DA 192/2012 for alterations and extension to the existing 1973 St John's Church Hall and DA 795/2017 for a new retaining wall and earthworks to create a courtyard adjacent the 1973 Church Hall.

3.Works on non-significant items:
All internal works to the 1973 St John's Church Hall, except works that would affect the external appearance of the building.

4.Temporary change of use:
The erection of temporary structures (including stages, fencing, portable lavatories, food and beverage services and marquees) within the boundary of St John's Anglican Church Precinct for the purpose of church fairs, fetes, and children's activities, providing that the structures are erected within and used for a maximum period of 4 weeks after which they be removed within a period of 4 days and not erected again with a period of two months.

5.Interpretative signage:
Activities for installing and replacing interpretative signage, internally and externally, to provide information on the heritage significance of the item, where such signage is sympathetic with the materials and spaces of the heritage item, is free-standing or is fixed into mortar joints with a minimum number of fixtures.

6.Garden beds:
All activities for gardening work in existing garden beds where these activities do not impact on or damage existing built structures, such as retaining walls and fences and do not damage trees.

7.Non-significant furnishings and fittings:
Removal of internal (non-significant) furnishings and fixtures where removal of such furnishings and fixtures does not negatively impact upon significant fabric or the significance of the place.

8.Installation of carpark/driveway edging:
Installation of timber or concrete edging around the existing car park and driveway provided the installation does not involve the disturbance of archaeological relics or deposits.
Aug 24 2018

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0200624 Aug 18 2018-825544
Local Environmental PlanSt John's Anglican Church, Cemetery & slopes45, 4613 Jan 89 2 
National Trust of Australia register various St. John's Group listings1534, 1535, 1536, 153729 Sep 75   
Register of the National EstateSt. John's Anglican Church Group3232, 323321 Mar 78   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Religious Heritage Nominations2001 Heritage Office  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAlan Atkinson1988Camden: Farm and Village Life in Early New South Wales
WrittenAnglican Church of Australia1999The Anglican parish of Camden : a brief history prepared for the 150th anniversary of the consecration of St John's Church, 1999. [Variant title:The Anglican church of St John the Evangelist Camden, N.S.W.
WrittenAnglican Church of Australia1991Final Report: St Johns Church Camden [Variant title:Heritage Assistance Programme 1990/91 HAP 91 68
WrittenAnglican Church Property Trust Diocese of Sydney1998List of Property Title Documents
WrittenBritton, Geoffrey; with Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners2001Curtilage Assessment for St. John's Anglican Church, Camden
WrittenCamden Desidents' Action Group Inc.2019media release: Development of St. John's Precinct Camden: a turning point for heritage?
WrittenClive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners2004St John's Anglican Church Precinct, Menangle Road, Camden: Conservation Management Plan.
WrittenClive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners Pty Ltd2001Christ Church St Lawrence, 812a-814 George Street, Pitt Street, Sydney: Conservation Management Plan
WrittenGodden Mackay Logan (GML)2012East Leppington Rezoning Assessment - Heritage Management Strategy - Draft Report
WrittenGrahame Rushworth1988Historic Organs Of New South Wales: The Instruments, their Makers, and Players 1791-1940
WrittenJ. P. Elliot1995The Architectural Works of Richard Cromwell Carpenter (1812-1855), William Slater (1819-1872) and Richard Herbert Carpenter (1841-1893)
WrittenJ. Stiller1991St John’s Anglican Church, Camden NSW: Detailed Documentation of Pipe Organ Built by Bates & Son 1821.
WrittenJoan Kerr1983Our Great Victorian Architect Edmund Thomas Blacket (1817-1883)
WrittenJoan Kerr and James Broadbent1980Gothick Taste in the Colony of New South Wales
WrittenJudd, S., and K. Cable2000Sydney Anglicans: A History of the Diocese
WrittenKerr, E. J.1977Designing a Colonial Church: Church Building in NSW 1788-1888
WrittenLe Sueur, Angela2017St. John's Anglican Church, Camden - historic curtilage under threat of development'
WrittenLeary, Frank & Judith1979Colonial Heritage - Historic Buildings of NSW
WrittenLinda Emery2016'Living History'
WrittenMacarthur Development Board1977Colonial Buildings: Macathur Growth Centre
WrittenMargaret Steven1967John Macarthur 1767-1834 - Australian Dictionary of Biography
WrittenNoel Bell Ridley Smith & Partners2010Conservation Management Plan Addendum: St Johns Anglican Church Precinct, Menangle Road, Camden NSW 2570.
WrittenPaul Ashton and Kate Blackmore1987History of the Camden Park Estate (forming part of the Camden Park Estate Conservation Plan)
WrittenPeter C Hayward1999NSW State Heritage Inventory Form
WrittenPeter C Hayward, St Johns Camden, Records1997Brief Historical Summary
WrittenRuth Teale1974Sir William Macarthur (1800-1882) - Australian Dictionary of Biography View detail
WrittenScott Ethan Hill2016'Paper Houses' John Macarthur and the 30-year design process of Camden Park

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: 5053423
File number: S90/3642 H00/839; EF17/3559


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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