Challoner Cottage, Mittagong Farm Home | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Challoner Cottage, Mittagong Farm Home

Item details

Name of item: Challoner Cottage, Mittagong Farm Home
Other name/s: Cottage No.12, Old Dormitory Building, Renwick Child Welfare House, Mittagong Training School for Boys, Renwick Farm Home / State Ward Home / Children's Home
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Education
Category: Reformatory/Remand Home
Location: Lat: -34.45587359 Long: 150.47409685
Primary address: 82 Bong Bong Road, Renwick, NSW 2575
Parish: Mittagong
County: Camden
Local govt. area: Wingecarribee
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Illawarra
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT61 DP1142602
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
82 Bong Bong RoadRenwickWingecarribeeMittagongCamdenPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Department of Family and Community ServicesState Government 

Statement of significance:

Challoner Cottage, Mittagong Farm Home, dating from 1941, is of state social significance to many of the 30,000 or so children who lived at the Mittagong Farm Home between the 1880s and 1990s, one of the longest-running children's home in NSW. Many former child residents, including some of the Aboriginal stolen generation, have deeply emotional connections to Challoner Cottage because of their good and bad childhood experiences at the farm. Challoner Cottage is of state significance as a representative example of an institutional style of accommodation for children that contrasts with nearby 'cottage-style' accommodation. It is representative of 1940s government child welfare philosophy and the architectural design practice of the Government Architect's Branch.

Challoner Cottage is also of state historical significance for being a substantial institutional building built in part by its own children residents. If it is substantiated that it is constructed from materials produced on-site at the Mittagong Farm Home by the children themselves, Challoner Cottage provides physical evidence of the 20th century government policy of encouraging self sufficiency in its child state wards.

Challoner Cottage is of local significance for its associations with the NSW State Children's Relief Board as the first children's home established and longest managed by the board. The size of the building and landscaped setting of Challoner Cottage landscaped also gives it local landmark qualities.
Date significance updated: 06 May 14
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Construction years: 1885-1916
Physical description: Challoner Cottage--Mittagong Farm Home is located on Lot 61 DP 1142602, an irregularly shaped block which is different to the original fenced yard around the building. The building is located approximately 26 metres from Bong Bong Road and along its frontage is a dense row of mature Conifers. There is also a row of mature Conifers on the south western corner boundary of the site forming a windbreak to a garden in front of the building.
Challoner Cottage is a two storey solid brick building on a cruciform plan with a multi hipped and tiled roof with seven brick chimneys. There is an external concrete fire stair on the northern side. The main entry has a concrete porch and is on the southern elevation facing Bong Bong Road, there are other entries from the north and east. The ground floor consisted of kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, locker room and offices and upstairs were dormitories and accommodation for staff. No internal inspection was made.
Early photographs show the eastern side of the yard was once cultivated as a flower garden. Around the flower garden was a circular gravel driveway connecting to Bong Bong Road. No evidence of the garden or circular drive can be seen today, only the straight length of driveway to the road remains. This stretch of driveway is bordered on its western side by a low brick retaining wall which serves to raise the level of the front lawn area.
To the north west of the main building is a shelter shed with a concrete slab floor, brick walls and a tiled roof. Inside the shelter shed is an open area which is open along one side and has enclosed rooms at either end. Inside are the remains of timber seats.
Challoner Cottage is located in a group of five cottages from the Mittagong Farm Home that all face Bong Bong Road and are separated from each other by vegetation and short distances. Immediately to the west is Goodlet Cottage and to the east is DeLauret Cottage. To the north of the House site are the Farm silos and some remaining sheds which housed the dairy, laundry and truck shed.

Challoner Cottage (Cottage no. 12)
Located between Goodlet Cottage and De Lauret Cottage on Bong Bong Rd.
Designed 1940-41 by Govt Architects Office. Opened in 1944 as accommodation for delinquent boys, replacing cottage 8 which was demolished due to its poor condition.
Ceased use in 1978.
Unadorned 2 story brick building with hipped tile roof. The building has a cross shaped plan with a wider building footprint on the west/east axis. It has 7 chimneys.
On the Bong Bong Road side there is a square define by mature Cypress pine trees on the road and side boundaries adjacent to building. There is an all weather shed on the lot.
Condition is poor. Windows are boarded up and the building is unoccupied.
Other Cottages in the group (not the subject of the Development Application):
Suttor Cottage c 1908 - 1914 (WLEP 2010 - Heritage Item)
Goodlet Cottage c. 1910 (WLEP 2010 - Heritage Item)
Heydon Cottage c. 1915 Cottage No. 4 (Draft Heritage Item - Heritage Study)
De Lauret Cottage 1974 (Draft Heritage Item - Heritage Study)

Setting and views
Challoner Cottage is located between Goodlet Cottage (c. 1910) and De Lauret Cottage (1974) on Bong Bong Road, while Heydon Cottage (c. 1915) is located around 160 metres to the north-east. Challoner House is only visible from a short section of Bong Bong Road, to the south and south-east. The mature conifers along the road frontage of the property and part of its western side form dense walls of vegetation and completely screen views of the cottage from the west and south-west. Views to and from Goodlet Cottage and Heydon Cottage are screened by vegetation in the other properties, while partially screened views are available to and from De Lauret Cottage. (Artefact Heritage HIS, 2012)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
In March 2012, a building inspection report was prepared by Childs Property Inspections Pty Ltd. The report concluded that the overall condition of Challoner Cottage in the context of its age, type, and general expectations of similar properties, is below average, with a high incidence of both major and minor defects. The identified defects include some settlement cracks, weathering of external timbers, missing roof tiles, rusting gutters and roof valley metal, cracked and sagging ceilings, and extensive damage to internal fixtures caused by vandals. The shelter shed is in a generally dilapidated condition, with fire and water damage to the ceiling, missing roof tiles, rusting gutters, and deteriorating weatherboard on the western addition. While the buildings are generally in poor condition, they have not been subject to significant alteration and are therefore of high historical integrity. The site, including both structures and grounds, still clearly conveys its history as part of a government welfare institution. (Artefact Heritage HIS, 2012)
Date condition updated:24 Oct 13
Further information: No internal inspection was made
Current use: Unoccupied
Former use: Aboriginal land, farm, Children's Home

History

Historical notes: Aboriginal land
Gundungurra or Gandangarra people lived in the Southern Highlands area, which includes Mittagong, for many thousands of years. People who spoke the Gundungurra language lived in the Blue Mountains, the Southern Highlands and the Goulburn Plains of New South Wales. They lived in small groups of extended family members, who were attached to particular areas of country. After Anglo-European settlers caused displacement of Gundungurra people, they often worked on farms or grazing properties within and adjacent to their traditional land (Di Johnson: 2004 in SHR database 5045486). Gundungurra groups left archaeological evidence of their occupation throughout their traditional lands, including scarred trees where bark was removed for use as a boat or other object, grinding grooves on rocks where axes were ground, and occupation sites which include middens. Well-worn Gundungurra pathways on ridge tops were often the routes used as the first roads by colonists (Di Johnson 2004). Possibly this could have been the origin of the Old South Road which borders part of the Renwick site. (SHR database 5045486)

Colonisation
Early European explorers visited the area in the 1810s. The earliest road was the Old South Road to the east of the later township of Mittagong. An inn was established at the property facing the Old South Road by George Cutter and opened as the Kangaroo Inn in 1827, following the initial grant of land c.1823. When the main road to the south was relocated by Surveyor General Thomas Mitchell in 1830 to its present location through Mittagong and Berrima, the coaching trade declined and the inn was sold to explorer Charles Sturt in 1836 who apparently used it as a residence. Surviving evidence of the inn became part of Renwick Farm Home and the early 19th century buildings became incorporated into Hassall and Jefferis cottages.

Two nearby early 19th century Crown land grants in the area went to Robert Plumb and one to John Thomas Wilson. On these lands the Southwood Estate was established and came under the ownership of Stephen John Pearson and John Douse Langley. The western half of the Southwood Estate was subdivided in 1886. The balance of the estate including the eastern side (approximately 397 acres) was purchased by the government in 1907 for use as a farm for delinquent boys. This land along with some later purchases became the Mittagong Farm Homes (later Renwick Home). By 1918 Renwick was 427 acres. (Tanner 2005)

Insitutionalising children
In the 19th century there were several large institutions operating as orphanages and reform schools in the colony of NSW. These included the Female Orphan School (1801 - 1850), the Male Orphan School (1818 - 1850), Randwick Asylum for Destitute Children (1852 -1916) and the Protestant Orphan School (1850 - 1886). In the 1870s Judge Winderer headed a Royal Commission on Public Charities and its two reports of 1873 and 1874 advocated a 'boarding-out' or fostering system rather than the large orphanages of the day. This boarding-out system was similar in many respects to modern day foster-care. The State Children's Relief Board, which was constituted by Parliament in 1881 to remove children from orphanages and place them in foster care.

However some children were considered to need different forms of care because they were crippled, mentally disabled and or suffering from disease. In his second Annual Report, Dr Arthur Renwick, Chair of the Board, advocated for special cottages to be established for the care of these children. Early in 1885, four Cottage Homes were established: two at Pennant Hills and one each at Picton and Mittagong. Mittagong soon became a popular place to send unwell children, as it provided, 'a wholesome country environment essential for building up their health'. Some children attended the local school, others only convalesced. Soon there were six cottages around Mittagong. (Downie 2013)

Mittagong Farm Home
By 1886, Dr Renwick was advocating the purchase of a farm which would provide milk, fruit and vegetables that the children needed. He also advocated that the cottages should be purpose built for the children. Thus in 1896, 100 acres of the 'Southwood Estate' (on which there stood a commodious cottage) were leased for a five year period. (Downie 2013)

In 1900, the first of some 'otherwise unmanageable' boys were sent to Mittagong. They were put to work at the 'Cottage Farm Home'. This name was changed to The Farm Home, Mittagong, in 1902. It was an auxiliary to the Cottage Homes, which were now designated for use by 'the crippled and feeble minded'. Thus the dual roles of Mittagong homes were established, a role that was to exist until 1976. (Downie 2013)

On 5 June 1906 in accordance with the provisions of the Neglected Children and Juvenile Offenders Act, 1905 the Farm Home for Boys at Mittagong was proclaimed an Industrial School and a Probationary Training Home for delinquent boys aged 8 to 17. These were boys convicted in the Children's Courts of less serious offences including truanting, being uncontrollable, being neglected and wandering, breaching probation, stealing, and breaking and entering. 81 boys were admitted in the first six months. (State Records Agency Detail)

Hassel Cottage was opened as a 'Probationary Training Home' in 1906, and the ten years that followed saw the building of Haydon, Goodlet, Renwick, Mackellar and De Lauret Cottages. A superintendent's cottage was constructed in 1910 and remained in use until 1966, when it was extended to allow accommodation for boys. Turner Cottage was built on The Lindens Estate in 1915, originally as a cottage for mentally defective girls, then was later used as the Cottage Hospital until the Hospital moved to the Farm Home. (Downie 2013)

After acquisition of the freehold title in 1906 the Board instigated extensive capital improvements which made the estate a successful working farm. Initial improvements included a silo, steam engine and wood cutting machinery. Large areas were cultivated for vegetables with six acres set aside as a training plot. There was also a piggery, orchard, dairy, stables, coach house and dams. The Farm was worked by the residents and ran self-sufficiently for many years. The most intensive agriculture on the farm was the orchard and associated packing, sorting and jam making facilities. By the 1950s the Farm had a dairy herd of 70 cows, an orchard which supplied the home and other institutions with apples, plums, etc and a small cannery. (Tanner 2005)

Industrial activities also took place on the Farm - boot making, tailoring and carpentry instructors provided training in industrial trades on the site for residents. Boys also received training during the construction phases on site in building trades such as brick-laying, plumbing and painting. The bricks for the building works were also manufactured on site by the boys. (Tanner 2005)

Initially the cottages were referred to by number but over time were assigned names. Challoner Cottage was also known as Cottage 12.

The boys were in the charge of an attendant and matron (usually a married couple). Boys under 14 (and older boys with a low standard of education) attended lower Mittagong Public School. The older boys, under the supervision of the attendant, worked on the Farm lands adjacent to the Home cultivating fruit and vegetables, dairying and raising poultry. Most boys stayed at Mittagong for short periods. Boys who were responsive to the program at Mittagong were released on probation to a relative, boarded-out or apprenticed out, and those who showed no evidence of reform were sent to the Farm Home for Boys, Gosford. (State Records Agency Detail)

During the years of World War I, Aboriginal children were admitted to the Farm in response to the Aborigines Protection Amendment Act which was causing the removal of Aboriginal children from their families. Although a Royal Commission in 1920 recommended against placing Aboriginal children in the same homes as white children, residents have confirmed that many of the children at the Farm were Aboriginal. (Downie 2013)

By 1919, there were 230 children, some going to school and others involved in training programmes, including orcharding, dairying, general farming, tailoring, boot making, carpentry and poultry, and pig farming. During the 1930s, Suttor Cottage was built to house mentally defective boys, and used for this purpose until the closure of the old Mittagong Public School next to Turner Cottage; the boys were then transferred to Turner Cottage, and Turners old school then functioned as a truant school. There was a fairly strong feeling amongst the townspeople of Mittagong to have all the cottages centralised on 'Southwood Estate'. This led to the buying of 'Rotherwood', a property on which the Rotherwood cottage was built. The original house on the property was used as the Hospital Cottage until its closure in 1976. (Downie 2013)

A large increase in delinquents led to the opening of Challoner Cottage in the early 1940s. In December 1948 eight cottages existed for delinquents, three for state wards and one hospital cottage, with the population fluctuating between 200 and 250 children. (Downie 2013)

From 1947 the Institution was called the Mittagong Training School for Boys. On 23 August 1974 a new cottage for younger boys was opened, enabling a maximum population of 180 boys. The average stay at the institution was four to five months. The Mittagong Training School for Boys was gradually phased out as a Home for Delinquent Boys. On 30 June 1976 only 33 boys were in residence. In August 1976 the Institution ceased to operate as a Training Centre and the remaining boys were transferred to - Ormond House, Thornleigh. Subsequently Mittagong Training School for Boys was established as a home for dependent children and became part of the newly named centre, Renwick. (State Records Agency Detail)

In 1968 Linden was built for girls, Garran in 1969, for girls and Rotherwood in 1969 for boys. In 1964, delinquent numbers increased, this led to the demolishing and rebuilding of DeLauret. Also in that year Linden became the first co-ed cottage. This was such a success that Garran and Rotherwood became co-ed in 1976. (Downie 2013)

In 1976 the Training School for Boys at Mittagong was officially closed and the following cottages ceased to be used: Hassal, Jefferis, Renwick, Mackellar, Goodlet and Heydon, along with the Hospital Cottage. The 200 residents at that time were either discharge or transferred to other centres. The property was renamed Renwick in honour of the first president of the State Children's Relief Board, Sir Arthur Renwick. Challoner and De Lauret cottages were adapted to accommodate male and female State wards. By the 1980s, 160 state wards were accommodated at: Turner, Waverley and Lindon in Mittagong, and Rotherwood, Garran and Suttor on the Southwood Estate and DeLauret and Rowe along Bong Bong Road. Challoner ceased being used for delinquent boys in 1978. Renwick finally closed in 1994. (Downie 2013)

Challoner Cottage
The first building at Renwick to be designed by the Government Architects Office, Challoner Cottage (number. 12) was completed in 1941, replacing cottage number 8. Named after Mr Challoner, the chief clerk of the Child Welfare Department in the 1930s, number 12 cottage was not designed as an intimate cottage like the others on the Farm. More institutional, the building housed dormitories and associated rooms over two storeys on a cruciform plan. Downstairs was the dining room, common room and locker room and upstairs were three dormitories. Challoner Cottage was used as a home for delinquent boys until 1976, and then became a home for disturbed male wards. The Renwick institution was finally closed in 1994.

Challoner Cottage has been unoccupied for a number of years and while structurally sound, is in a deteriorated state.

Comparative Children's Homes NSW
The Australian Government webpage 'Find and connect' provides history and information about Australian orphanages, children's homes and comparable institutions. It provides a long list of institutions that have been in operation at some time in NSW as a 'home', which is defined as 'any institution that accommodated children, for example, orphanages, children's Homes, disability institutions, family group homes, hospitals and juvenile justice institutions', at:
http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/ref/nsw/browse_h_function.htm

Of the 472 named institutions here, about a dozen appear to have functioned for around a century, a comparable length of time to the Mittagong Farm Home. These include the Female School of Industry in Macquarie Street Sydney (1827-1926), the Liverpool Asylum (1851-1961), the Waratah School for Deaf Girls (1886-1979). the Peat Island psychiatric facility in the Hawkesbury River (1902-2010) and a number of Catholic orphanages such as the St Joseph orphanages which ran from the 1860s to the 1970s in Goulburn, Bathurst and Kincumber.

The Tanner CMP for Renwick notes that the State Children's Relief Board, which established Renwick, also had three other 'farm homes': the Gosford 'Farm Home for Boys' at Mount Penang from 1912, the 'Riverina Welfare Farm' in Yanco which was turned into POW camp during World War II (1928-1942) and the Narara 'Farm Home for Boys' (1927-34); however comparative information about remaining structures from these other sites is not given (2005, Vol2, Appendix 1 'Historical Background', pp20-22)

Children's home which have been listed on the State Heritage Register, or which are under consideration for such listing include three homes for Aboriginal children: the Bomaderry Children's Home (Shoalhaven LGA) (1908-1980); Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls' Training Home (1911-1969) and Kinchela Aboriginal Boys' Training Home (Kempsey LGA) (1923-1970). The Fairbridge Farm School near Orange (1938-1973) which trained child migrants from Britain to become domestics and farm labourers and accommodated them in cottages, is also under consideration for SHR listing.

Much more detailed research is required to ascertain how much built fabric remains from the wide array of former children's homes in NSW, and whether there are communities of former residents who continue to identify with them.

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. Changing the environment-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. All nations - the stolen generations-
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Orchards-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Private farming-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Clearing land for farming-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Market gardening-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Orcharding-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Ancillary structures - sheds, crop storage-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Dairy farming-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Health-Activities associated with preparing and providing medical assistance and/or promoting or maintaining the well being of humans Caring for the sick in hospitals-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use Agisting and fattening stock for slaughter-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Country Homes-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Adapted heritage building or structure-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working independently on the land-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Government agricultural training farm-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Trade education-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Education associated with Welfare institutions-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Educating people in regional locations-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. apdated villa/ cottage for a school-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Industry training and education-
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 - caring for orphans-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Children in need-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations (none)-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Providing training for destitute boys-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Cottage Hospital-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Rehabilitation of juvenile offenders-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Rehabilitation of truants from schools-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Providing a home for disadvantaged children-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Providing hospital facilities-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Providing care for mentally disabled youth-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Welfare-Includes charitable and self-help institutions.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Challoner Cottage, dating from 1941, is of state historical significance as a key element in the chronological development of a major state-run child welfare institution, Mittagong Farm Home demonstrating a change from cottage-style accommodation to institutional-scale dormitory-style accommodation. It has been estimated that 30,000 children lived at the institution between the mid 1880s and the mid 1990s. Challoner Cottage also has historical significance if it is substantiated that it was constructed in part by the children who would live there as wards of the state. It has been said that bricks, timber and other materials used in the building were produced at the Mittagong Farm Home by the children themselves. Challoner Cottage would then provide physical evidence of the 20th century government policies of encouraging self sufficiency in children wards of the state.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Challoner Cottage, along with the other surviving cottages from the former Mittagong Farm Home, is of local significance for its association with the NSW State Children's Relief Board. The Mittagong Farm Home was the first children's home and welfare centre established and managed by the board, and it has close historical associations with the first three presidents of the board, Sir Arthur Renwick, Sir Charles Mackellar and Alfred William Green. Challoner Cottage also has some local significance for its historical association with the Government Architect’s Branch, which was responsible for its design.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Challoner Cottage is of local aesthetic significance for its demonstration of a modernist architectural design approach to the accommodation of institutionalised children in the mid twentieth century, in contrast to the older and more ‘homey’ cottage style accommodation used in adjacent buildings at the former Mittagong Farm Home. Because of its size and unusual architectural style, the building and its landscaped setting has landmark qualities.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Challoner Cottage is of state social significance to many of the former children who resided the Mittagong Farm Home between the 1940s and the 1990s. Evidence of this community attachment for the building can be seen in the level of support for its retention as well as the strength of patronage for the annual reunions and open days held by the Renwick Association. Many former child residents, including some of the Aboriginal stolen generation, have deeply emotional connections to Challoner Cottage because of their childhood experiences at Mittagong Farm Home. This significance may be enhanced if it is proved that the Challoner Cottage building itself was constructed in part from bricks, timber and other materials produced and processed at the Mittagong Farm Home by the children themselves as part of their training in trades.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Challoner Cottage is understood to be of low archaeological potential. No structures are known to have been present on the site prior to the construction of Challoner Cottage in 1941 and both Challoner Cottage and the shelter shed have concrete floors and domestic archaeological deposits would not occur beneath either structure. An Aboriginal archaeological survey of the former Mittagong Farm Home (Navin Officer, 2002) did not discover any traditional Aboriginal relics within the curtilage of Challoner House. There is research potential to enhance our understanding of the place and the experience of children wards of the state that could be obtained through oral history interviews with former residents and staff, and through documentary research using the annual reports of the successive welfare departments which were responsible for the site during its history.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Challoner Cottage is of local significance for its rarity as the only institutional-style building built in the mid-twentieth century at Mittagong Farm Home, and as such provides physical evidence of the change in policy from providing domestic-scale cottage accommodation to larger, dormitory-style accommodation after the introduction of the Child Welfare Act of 1939. It was the only new building constructed at Mittagong Farm Home for accommodating children between 1915 and 1969. A comparative analysis of surviving architecture of children’s homes across the state may indicate that Challoner Cottage is rare at a state level.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Challoner Cottage is of state significance as a representative example of purpose-built children’s home accommodation from the 1940s which demonstrates an institutional style of accommodation that was less intimate in scale than adjacent ‘cottage-style’ accommodation. It is a representative 1940s expression of government child welfare philosophy and of the architectural design practice of the Government Architect’s Branch.
Integrity/Intactness: The building is said to be structurally sound but run down and showing signs of having been vandalised.
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:

Recommendations

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

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

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

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

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

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

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

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0192728 Mar 14 311065

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenArtefact Heritage consultants2012Heritage Impact Stateemtn (HIS) Challoner Cottage Renwick, Mittagong
WrittenDowney, Leealison and others Various Documents provided by the Renwick Association
WrittenState Records State Records Agency Detail - Agency 506 - Farm Home for Boys, Mittagong View detail
WrittenTanner Architects2005Non-indigenous Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for Renwick Development, Draft B
WrittenTanner Architects2005Non-Indigenous Conservation Management Plan - Renwick Development Draft C

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: 5062002
File number: 13/13164


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