Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 0003) | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 0003)

Item details

Name of item: Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 0003)
Other name/s: WS 0003
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Water
Category: Water Supply Reservoir/ Dam
Location: Lat: -33.8989966008 Long: 151.1245631140
Primary address: Holden Street, Ashbury, NSW 2193
Parish: Petersham
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Canterbury
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP911478
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Holden StreetAshburyCanterburyPetershamCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Sydney WaterState Government 

Statement of significance:

Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 3) is one of a small group of four similar elevated reservoirs in the SWC system, the others being Bellevue Hill Reservoir (WS 10),1910, Drummoyne Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 38), 1910, and Penshurst Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 87), 1910. The group of reservoirs demonstrates a high level of engineering expertise and architectural detail, accommodating both structural requirements and aesthetic qualities.
Date significance updated: 10 Jun 05
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: Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage
Builder/Maker: Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage
Construction years: 1912-1912
Physical description: Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 3) is one of a group of four similar elevated reservoirs in the SWC system, the others being Bellevue Hill Reservoir (WS 10),1910, Drummoyne Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 38), 1910, and Penshurst Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 87), 1910.

Each reservoir is an elevated cylindrical riveted steel tank, resting on a concrete apron and supported on a steel girder frame. The perimeter of the steel stand has a faade of concrete columns and arches, which forms a decorative, rather than a structural feature. The walkway around the rim of the reservoir is attached to the outside and supported on brackets (decking planks removed).

Standard features include: handrail in tubular steel, davit, access ladder, trigonometric station, inlet and outlet valve chambers.

Full Service Level: 80 m.
Capacity: 4.6 ML.

The site.
The site includes workshops and offices, as well as access to the Pressure Tunnels. Two skid huts are located in the grounds and are a rare survival, demonstrating former working conditions in MWS&DB.
Date condition updated:18 Dec 00
Modifications and dates: The reservoir has been roofed to safeguard water quality (1960s-1970s).
Current use: Reservoir.
Former use: Aboriginal land, farm, Reservoir.

History

Historical notes: Due to the impact of the arrival of European colonists from 1788 and the almost immediate impact that this had on established patterns of subsistence, our knowledge of the Aboriginal people of the Sydney district is limited. Some eight individual groups or clans within the vicinity of the Parramatta area have been identified and two, the Cadigal and Wangal, most likely lived in the area that now makes up the Ashfield municiaplity. The Wangal group of the geographical area of Wann, which extended from the south side of Sydney Harbour from Sydney Cove to Rose Hill, are likely to have found Ashfield an attractive locality, the mangrove estuaries of the Long Cove and Iron Cove Creeks a good source of fish and molluscs (Attenbrow, V. & Pratten, C., quoted in SWC, 2005, 5).

Post-contact, the stretch of land between Iron Cove and the Cook's River was known as the Kangaroo Ground, the natural woodland would have provided a suitable habitat for possums, fern rhizomes and tubers, all of which would have been identified as valuable food sources for the Wangal (Pratten, C., quoted in SWC, 2005, 5).

Aboriginal people lived along the Cooks River for thousands of years prior to European arrival...The Cadigal and Wangal peoples made use of the land and seasons to hunt, trap, fish and forage for fruit and plants. As firestick farmers, they burned off scrub near rivers leaving only large trees spaced several meters apart, creating an open, park-like appearance (Marrickville Council website, quoted in ibid, 2005, 5).

Canterbury:
The first European land grant in this suburb...was of 100 acres to a "very good, pious, inoffensieve man", the Reverend Richard Johnson (1753-1827), the colony's first chaplain, in 1793. He called his grant Canterbury Vale, as a tribute to Canterbury in England, and the suburb took its name from the farm. The farm extended over the area of modern day Canterbury and Ashbury suburbs. By 1800, when it was sold to Lieutenant William Cox, the propery covered 600 acres. In 1803, when it covered 900 acres, it was sold to Robert Campbell the elder (1769-1846), who then bought up most of the land north to Liverpool Road.

The village of Canterbury was formed after 1841 subdivision of this land, then owned by Campbell. Sales of the land in the area west of Canterbury Road and north of the railway, were successful, and several other sales followed in the 1840s and 1850s.

Although the soil in this area was rather poor, there was some farm cultivation, but the main work was wood cutting and carting, and brickmaking. In 1840 the Australian Sugar Company bought 60 acres of Campbell's Canterbury estate and a steam engine was installed, but after passing through the hands of several owners, the factory closed in 1856.

The first post office opened in 1858, and the first official public school in 1878, and the district slowly developed. Canterbury Race Course, on the northern bank of the Cooks River has been one of Sydney's major racetracks since 1871. The railway station, on the Bankstown line, opened in 1895 (Pollen & Healy, 1988, 7-8 & 50).

Ashbury:
Ashbury is a predominantly residential area, that was largely developed between 1912 and 1940, with most development occuring during the Inter-War period and particularly during the building boom of the 1920s. Ashbury developed as part of the overall suburban expansion of Sydney that occurred along train lines and major roads. The area has a consistent subdivision pattern, building form and streetscape, largely because its development occurred over a relatively short period of time. A high standard of design and residential amenity was also achieved, and housing in this area has become increasingly sought after (Extent Heritage, 2017, 6).

Ashfield Reservoir:
When the Upper Nepean Scheme commenced operation in 1888, a single cast-iron pipeline connected Potts Hill to large in-ground reservoirs at Petersham and at Crown Street, Surry Hills. From Crown Street, water was pumped to reservoirs at Paddington and Woollahra, then on to Waverley. A second main was commenced almost immediately and commissioned in 1893 (ibid, 2017, 7).

Water from Petersham Reservoir served the (inner) western and Illawarra suburbs and a pumping station at Carlton passed water to tanks at Penshurst, from where the higher levels of Kogarah were supplied. The City and eastern suburbs were served from Crown Street, Paddington, Woollahra and Waverley Reservoirs, with water from Woollahra fed back to the elevated tank at Ashfield (ibid, 2017, 7).

By the early 20th century, increasing demand saw development of additional supply mains from Potts Hill, feeding the North Shore, the Granville district, Lidcombe/Auburn and Bankstown/Canterbury. From 1912, a pumping station at Potts HIll was commissioned to boost supply beyond what could be delivered by gravity alone (ibid, 2017, 7).

Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 3), built in 1912, is one of a group of four similar elevated reservoirs in the Sydney Water Corporation system, the others being Bellevue Hill Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 10),1910, Drummoyne Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 38), 1910, and Penshurst Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 87), 1910.

Petersham Reservoir supplied western Sydney and Illawarra suburbs. A pumping station at Carlton lifted water to Penshurst to supply the higher areas of Kogarah.

Originally, water from Woollahra Reservoir was fed back to Ashfield Reservoir (1888) to supply the higher areas in Inner West. By 1927 an additional main from Potts Hill supplied Ashfield Reservoir. Ashfield Reservoir is now supplied by the City Tunnel, whcih was completed in 1961, with the first section, between Potts Hill and Ashfield, opened in 1957. Amongst other connections, the elevated Ashfield Reservoir was now supplied fromt he City Tunnel, via a new pumping station. Ashfield Reservoir supplies the elevated areas of Ashfield, Drummoyne and the western side of Petersham (ibid, 2017, 8).

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. Topography: How did the environment, topography and the River influence early settlement? Is there a strong relationship-Peopling the Continent Contact
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
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 20th Century infrastructure-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Water and drainage-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Water supply-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - providing reticulated water-
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 - Federation Free Classical-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Ashfield Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 3) is one of a small group of four similar elevated reservoirs, the others being Bellevue Hill Reservoir (WS 10),1910, Drummoyne Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 38), 1910, and Penshurst Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 87), 1910.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The group of reservoirs demonstrate a high level of engineering expertise and architectural detail, accommodating both structural requirements and aesthetic qualities, rare in NSW.

The reservoir is a landmark in the surrounding area.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
This reservoir demonstrates the high level of technical expertise available to the MWS & DB for reservoir construction at the time.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
This reservoir is one of four riveted steel elevated reservoirs on a steel girder stand with concrete surround in the SWC system, rarer still because of the high level of architectural detailing. The 'skid huts' are a rare survival.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The riveted steel tank was common technology for surface reservoirs, but was extremely rare when combined with an elevated steel frame with concrete apron.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Manage the place and its significant components in accordance with the State Owned Heritage Asset Management Guidelines. Where no Conservation Management Plan, Heritage Assessment or Statement of Heritage Impact is in place, or where works are outside the scope existing heritage documentation, assess heritage impacts of proposed works in accordance with Sydney Water Environment Impact Assessment procedures. Undertake a Heritage Assessment and/or Statement of Heritage Impact as required by EIA procedures. Where the item is listed in a Local Environmental Plan Schedule of Heritage items, determine if works are exempt from approval under the LEP provisions. Where works are not exempt, obtain necessary approvals from the local council, in accordance with SWC EIA Guidelines. Undertake archival and photographic recording before major changes, in accordance with Heritage Council guidelines. Lodge copies of the archival record with the Sydney Water Archives and the NSW Heritage Office.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementAshfield Reservoir WS0003 Draft CMP, prepared in house by Sydney Water for Sydney Water, dated June 2004 Sep 7 2004
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementAshfield Reservoir WS0003 Draft CMP, by Sydney Water for Sydney Water, dated February 2005 CMP endorsed by Heritage Council 16 June 2005 for a period of 5 years, expires 16 June 2010. Jun 16 2005
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0162215 Nov 02 2209709
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Local Environmental PlanCanterbury LEP 2012I1   
Within a conservation area on an LEPAshbury HCA, Canterbury LEP 2012    
Heritage studyCanterbury Heritage Study    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Alexandra Canal Conservation Management Plan2004 NSW Department of Commenrce, Heritage Design Services  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenExtent Heritage2017Ashfield Reservoir Site - Demolitions and Remediation - Statement of Heritage Impact -
WrittenPollen, F. & Healy, G. (ed.s)1988"Ashbury" and "Canterbury" entries, in The Book of Sydney Suburbs
WrittenSydney Water Corporation2005Ashfield Reservoir WS0003 - Conservation Management Plan

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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5053873
File number: H04/00253


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