St Leonards Park | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

St Leonards Park

Item details

Name of item: St Leonards Park
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Parks, Gardens and Trees
Category: Urban Park
Location: Lat: -33.831089 Long: 151.2105391962
Primary address: 283A Miller St, North Sydney, NSW 2060
Parish: Willoughby
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: North Sydney
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT7321 DP1149783
LOT1104 DP46990
LOT1105 DP46990
LOT1106 DP46990
LOT1106 DP46990
LOT1107 DP46990
LOT1108 DP48839
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
283A Miller StNorth SydneyNorth SydneyWilloughbyCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

St Leonards Park is of state heritage significance for its historical values as one of the earliest established public parks in NSW being set aside as a recreation reserve in 1838 and gazetted as a public park in 1867. It also contains one of Australia's oldest, continuously used cricket grounds and bowling clubs established in 1867 and 1887 respectively.

St Leonards Park is of state heritage significance as a surviving and relatively intact example of a Victorian public park in the gardenesque style. It retains many of its original aesthetic characteristics including an axial layout, formal pathways culminating in memorials, including an ornate Victorian style memorial fountain to Mayor William Tunks, and picturesque vistas. The park also includes distinctive examples of early 20th century architecture and Modern Movement architecture which are aesthetically distinctive and demonstrate a high level of creative and technical achievement.

St Leonard's Park has state significant historic associations with Mr Edgar Herbert a noted pioneering specialist in physical education who was involved in the establishment of the playground and educational programs at the park in the 1930s and early 1940s.

The site is of state heritage significance as a rare and representative example of a largely intact Victorian era park designed in the gardenesque style with its original layout still appreciable. It is also rare as a continuously used cricket ground and bowling club dating from 1867 and 1887 respectively. The post WWII music shell and Modern movement style Bowling Club are rare surviving examples of these types of structures.
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: William Tunks, Mayor
Construction years: 1838-
Physical description: St Leonards Park is a nineteenth century area of parkland that covers approximately 15 hectares. The dominant feature, other than the open areas of park is the North Sydney Oval complex with its playing field, grandstands and commercial spaces, the Parks depot and a childcare centre. North Sydney Oval ( Oval No 1) - The original open village-green oval that has remained in existence since its dedication in 1867, making it one of the oldest cricket grounds in Australia. The National Trust Listing of 1993 refers to it as the oldest. It includes the Bob Stand, constructed in 1895, and re-located from the Sydney Cricket Ground to St Leonards Park in 1983. The Duncan Thompson stand was constructed in 1929 and was, at the time of construction, the largest suburban grandstand in NSW.

Other architectural features of note include:

Bon Andrews Oval (Oval No 2)- A rectangular sports field with an amenities building named the Cunningham Pavilion. It is constructed in the Inter-War style with a 1990s addition by architect Feiko Bouman. The oval has been in use since 1894.

Music Shell- The Music Shell was designed by acclaimed architects Peddle Thorp and Walker in the Art Moderne style.
It is a two level building at the rear which provided a band practice room with storage for chairs. At the front, the stage area is enhanced by a dramatic roof structure that is enhanced by relief sculptures and other refined detailing, including urns and decorative grilles on either side of the stage.

Tunks Memorial Fountain- This fountain is a Sicilian marble fountain that was installed in the park in 1885 in honour of William Tunks, first Mayor of East Leonards and Member of State Parliament. Tunks was instrumental in the establishment of St Leonards Park, its early layout and plantings.

War Memorial - The War Memorial, constructed 1926, is an imposing Inter-War Art Deco style cenotaph made from Bowral trachyte. It is 13m in height and was, at its time of construction, the largest and most imposing war memorial constructed in Sydney. Subsequent plaques have been added to the war memorial to commemorate later wars.

World War I Field Gun - This is a 77mm field gun mounted on a pedestal in the north-west corner of the park. The field gun was captured from the Germans in France in 1918. This and other similar war weapons were distributed to Army units, schools and communities as a reminder of the sacrifice of the armed services.

Playground - The children's playground is located on the site of what was the site of two tennis courts in the 1930s and is contained within a Depression period concrete rusticated fence.

Stone Shelter - This shelter was constructed from rock-faced sandstone in 1943 with four arches and a terracotta tiled roof. There are four concrete tables.

Oval Bus Shelter- Originally a former tram stop, the Oval Bus Shelter is a small timber rectangular structure comprising stop-chamfered timber posts on concrete pads, supporting a timber framed hipped roof covered with terracotta shingle tiles. It is designed in the Late Twentieth Century Post Modern style.

Air Raid Trenches - Although filled in, the Second World War saw the construction of slit air raid trenches in St Leonards Park in a zig-zag configuration across the northern end of St Leonards Park and in the area now near the War Memorial.

North Sydney Leagues Bowling Club - The land for a bowling green was set aside in 1887 with the first clubhouse constructed in 1880s and since demolished in the 1960s. The existing club building was financed by the club.

Open Parkland - St Leonards Park has a gardenesque character with open lawns studded by both remnant native trees and planted specimens of indigenous species that represent the site's original plant community. These include: Callitris rhomboidea ( Port Jackson pine) Corymbia gummifera (red bloodwood) Eucalyptus haemastoma (scribbly gum) Eucalyptus piperita ( Sydney peppermint) Syncarpia glomulifera (turpentine) Other trees that have been planted include: Ficus macrophylla ( Moreton Bay figs) Ficus rubiginosa ( Port Jackson figs) Ficus hillii (Hills weeping fig) Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya Bunya pine) Toona australis (red cedar) Lophostemon conferta (brushbox) Macadamia integrifolia (macadamia) Melaleuca quinquenerivia (paperbark) Eucalyptus citriodora (lemon-scented gum) Eucalyptus botryoides ( Bangalay) Eucalyptus cinerea (Argyle apple) Quercus robur (English oak) Populus nigra var. italica (Lombardy poplar) Pheonix canariensis (Canary Islands palm)

A few dead tree stumps have also been retained for their habitat value for nesting sites of the local parrot species and possums.

Significant group plantings include the: Fig tree avenue in Fig Tree Lane which commemorate the closure of the portion of Carlow St within the Park; Araucaria trees and Eucalyptus citriodora (lemon scented gum) row plantings along the Falcon St edge; Lophostemon conferta (brush box) row plantings along the Miller Sedge; Pheonix canariensis (Canary Islands palm) row plantings in the north-western corner of the park and either side of Tunks Avenue, north of the War Memorial Rotary Wheel Rose Garden and Tree, Memorial trees commemorating significant people and events include the: Judge Bouler Tree, J.D. Fletcher Tree after James Duncan Fletcher.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
All elements in the soft landscape of St Leonards Park are in excellent condition. The War Memorial and Tunks Fountain are in good condition however, the setting has been cluttered by light poles and an enclosing wall extension to the North Sydney Oval complex. North Sydney Oval is in excellent condition however, the pavilions and grandstands are generally in a fair condition with the Duncan Thompson Stand being in poor condition.
Modifications and dates: The North Sydney Sewer Vent was originally located within St Leonards Park, however it was separated by the Falcon Street exit ramp when the Warringah Expressway was constructed in the 1960s. It is now located on a small landscaped island and is listed as a State Heritage Item (285047).
Further information: The 1836 park layout is largely intact with the only exception being the acquisition and excise of land for the 1960s construction of the Warringah Expressway.

The original 1870s pathways and plantings are still evident and are representative of Victorian era public parks.

The three main sporting venues, the two ovals and the bowling greens are continuing in their use in their original location.

The original landmark fig trees planted along the main avenues are largely intact and replacement planting has been undertaken where trees have been lost from age or storms.

The later development that occurred in the park during the 1930s and 1940s with the construction of the War Memorial, Music Shell, playground and palm trees avenues also imbue a strong aesthetic character sympathetic to the Victorian era park plan.

The major park upgrade in the 1980s by architect Feiko Bouman saw the upgrading of the North Sydney Oval complex, the re-surfacing of pathways, new lighting and the re-location of the Bob Stand from the Sydney Cricket Ground to North Sydney Oval.
Current use: Cricket, football, oval bowling club and recreational park
Former use: Cricket, football, oval bowling club and recreational park

History

Historical notes: Phase 1: 'Reserve' Alienation 1838-1867
The 40 acre (16.2 hectares) site for St Leonards Park was first identified and then gazetted when the original township of St Leonards was laid out in 1838. During this early phase, no development was undertaken other than a track which crossed diagonally across the Park. A tributary of Willoughby Falls Creek ran across the site in the current location of the Music Shell and there was also a swamp near the existing Fig Tree Lane.

Phase 2: The Park Established 1867- 1900s
William Tunks, the first mayor of the newly created township of St Leonards, made it his first duty to have the public reserve dedicated as a public park in 1867 as a centrepiece for the new municipality. The first portion of land was dedicated in 1867 and set aside for public recreation and cricket, with the second section, not dedicated until 1869. The original cricket ground, now known as North Sydney Oval, was dedicated and the first pitch laid on 6 December 1867, making it one of the oldest continuously used cricket pitches in Australia. The first pavilion for spectators was constructed in 1879 on the south-western side of the oval and then replaced in 1909. This was further replaced in 1929 with the current Duncan Thompson Stand on the north western side of the oval. An Act of Parliament in 1879 gave the land its name St Leonards Park.

Mayor Tunks was very interested in the development of St Leonards Park and took a personal interest in its construction, attending to the location of pathways, the plantings of shrubs and trees, some even cultivated from his own garden. Local residents raised funds in 1873 for a perimeter fence and for further plantings of pines, camphor laurels and figs. The design was influenced by the English Public Parks Movement and Charles Moore, the Director of the Sydney Botanical Gardens, as he promoted the use of Moreton Bay and Port Jackson figs in many parks across Sydney. The large fig trees in the formal avenue of Fig Tree Lane were most possibly planted at this time and were influenced by the middle-class practice of the leisurely promenade.

In 1883, Tunks suffered a fatal fall in the park. His memory is however, perpetuated on a Carrara marble fountain erected in his honour in 1885 with funds raised by the public. The fountain is still present today to the north of the War Memorial and is known as the Tunks Memorial Fountain.

Under the provisions of a by-law of the Public Parks Act of April 1884, North Sydney Council was given status as Trustee for St Leonards Park. In 1885, a number of citizens proposed that Council, as Trustee, grant space for the playing of bowls. The by-laws and the Local Government and Crown Lands Acts however, did not allow Council to lease parkland, only allowing Council to enter into renewable occupancy agreements. By May 1887 an area for a bowling green was gazetted with rules established by the Public Parks Branch of the Department of Mines (then the Department responsible for public parks) ensuring free access to the public when no sport was being played. The first annual general meeting was held in 1888, naming the club the St Leonards Bowling Club with the then Mayor of St Leonards, Captain Jenkins, as the first chairman.

The bowling club obtained a lease over the crown land in 1888 (NSW LEC 2016/170886).

In 1894, the Acting Under Secretary of Lands approved two areas for the playing of cricket and football totalling 2.3 ha as well as a 5 year licence for over 2000 sqm for a bowling club. A plan was created showing the outline of each area. The current Bon Andrews Oval is in the location of the space originally known as the 'Football Ground' although the oval has been used for both cricket and football.

By 1886, the park was connected to the ferry terminal at Milsons Point by the tramway. The Jubilee Fountain was erected in 1897 to the north-east of the existing bowling club, in honour of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. This fountain, however, was subsequently re-located to Civic Park between Stanton Library and the North Sydney Council Chambers in 1982.

The North Sydney Sewer Vent (SHR No 1641) was constructed by the Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage between 1891 and 1899. Originally designed to vent the reticulation system that took waste water from North Sydney and Mosman, it was located within St Leonards Park until it was separated by the construction of the Warringah Expressway.

Phase 3: Early Twentieth Century Development 1900-1930 Australia's first outdoor cinema commenced operation at St Leonards Park in 1909 by opticians Osbourne & Jerdan. The screening of movies continue in 2014 by Sunset Cinemas after e being operated by Starlight Cinemas for the previous decade..

After the First World War, North Sydney Council established a War Memorial Committee to raise funds and to identify a site for a memorial to commemorate the sacrifice made by the armed services. The site at the crest of Ridge St and the northern end of Walker St was chosen, along the park's central axis in direct alignment with the Tunks Memorial Fountain. The design, by Frank Thorp, a student working a Peddle Thorp and Walker, was chosen after a design competition and approved by the Public Monuments Advisory Board. The foundation stone was laid in 1924 for a Art Deco style 13 metre cenotaph made of Bowral trachyte and was unveiled in 1926. At the time of construction, it was visible from parts of Sydney Harbour and was the largest and most imposing war memorial in Sydney.

In 1921, the World War I German Field Gun allotted by the State War Trophy Committee was mounted on a pedestal in the north-west corner of St Leonards Park and unveiled by Major-General Sir Granville Ryrie.

Two tennis courts were constructed prior to 1930, on the site of the current playground. In 1904, the original grandstand at North Sydney Oval was replaced with a more substantial structure and in 1909 a low picket fence was constructed to enclose the oval after an agreement was reached between North Sydney Council, the NSW Rugby Football League and Osbourne & Jerdan, the firm that conducted open-air picture shows on the Oval.

By 1924, Council awarded a prize to Mr F G Leslie Allen of Martin Place for the design of a brick grandstand. Now known as the Duncan Thompson Stand, it was the largest suburban grandstand in NSW at the time of its construction, seating 772 spectators. It was officially opened in 1928.

Phase 4: The Inter-War and Early Post War Years 1930s- 1960s
During the early 1930s, St Leonards Park was a site for various government established work projects to create jobs. A Works Depot was constructed at this time near North Sydney Oval and rusticated stone work fences with a rough concrete finish were constructed.

A playground was established on the original tennis court site during the 1930s and included rows of swings and climbing equipment. By the 1940s, the park's activities had been extended to included dance and drama programmes, as well as sporting events. The playground was staffed by the Leadership Training College where Mr Edgar Herbert was the principal, a leading Australian authority on physical training and children's development. The area was to become a model community centre but was never achieved by Herbert, due to the advent of World War II and the death of Herbert in 1948.

Ornamental gardens were planted near Miller St with the name St Leonards Park formed by planted garden beds.

World War II also resulted in the construction of slit air raid trenches in a zig-zag pattern across the northern area of the park as well as near the War Memorial. These were later in-filled in 1944.

A stone gazebo, constructed for the 'Old Age and Invalid Pensioners' was constructed with funding from the Department of Local Government and Housing using rock faced stone and a terracotta tile roof.

In 1948 the Music Shell, designed by Peddle Thorp and Walker was completed and officially opened on 13 November by the Honorable Clive R Evatt, Minister for Housing with an audience of 4000 watching to a performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the North Shore Choral Society.

A brick wall was constructed around North Sydney Oval during 1936, resulting in the removal of a double avenue of Moreton Bay figs along the Miller St frontage. This wall was to enclose the oval and to allow concrete terrace style seating for 1200 people.

The Cunningham Pavilion was constructed at the Bon Andrews Oval in 1930. H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and H.R.H. Duke of Edinburgh drove through St Leonards Park in front of 48 000 school children on 18 February, 1954. A plaque set in sandstone is located in a low stone wall opposite Carlow St, facing Miller St within the Park to commemorate the occasion.

Phase 5: The Post War Boom 1960s- Present
The construction of the Warringah Expressway altered the eastern boundary of the park, with the resumption of 1.2 hectares of parkland and the separation of the Sewer Vent from the park.

Grass netball courts were constructed during the 1960s to the south of the bowling club near Ridge St for use primarily by local schools. An additional two asphalted courts were constructed in 1992.

n 1960, the North Sydney Leagues Bowling Club was granted a special lease 1960/227 for perpetuity to exclusive occupation upon the Crown Land. Council's trusteeship was terminated. Approval for a new clubhouse was given, financed and constructed by the Club. The Club also received an additional 1.4 hectares of land for car parking and for a larger clubhouse.

The club house building was built in 1960-61 after approval on 11 October 1960 (NSW LEC 2016/170886).

In 1984, the Bob Stand was relocated from the Sydney Cricket Ground to North Sydney Oval. Originally constructed in 1895, it is a fine late nineteenth century shelter covering tiers of seating.

On 10 February 1984 there was a land exchange involving North Sydney Council exchanging the car park (532.6 sq.m) to the south of the bowling club houe (Lot 1104 DP46990) for equal areas of land to the north and east of the bowling greens (Lots 1106 & 1107 DP 46990) to be transferred back to being part of St. Leonards Park (NSW LEC 2016/170886).

The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Marathon event on 1 October 2000 commenced outside St Leonards Park with spectators viewing from the Park. The starting line painted across Miller St, North Sydney is still visible today adjacent to the Park. A 42.2 km blue line was painted along Miller St to mark the course of the Marathon, across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, to finish at the Olympic Stadium

North Sydney Oval continues to be used for local, regional and interstate sporting events. A record crowd of 23 089 was set in 1994 for a match between North Sydney and the Manly Sea Eagles.

DA 81/12 in 2012 proposed alterations to the bowling club house to provide office accommodation for the RSL sub-branch. The application was granted consent on 4/4/2013. Unauthorised paving was carried out, prior to 21 November 2014, to part of the northern bowling green and the use of this paved area for the service of alcohol and outdoor dining (NSW LEC 2016/170886).

In September 2016 the NSW Land & Environment Court upheld an appeal against North Sydney City Council's deemed refusal of DA78/16 for the internal refurbishment of the main bowling club house; to provide extra toilets; continued use of part of the most-northern green and specify hours of operation and patron no's for the NSBC subject to conditions.(NSW LEC 2016/170886).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 Gardens and landscapes reminiscent of an 'old country'-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to suburban-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Townships-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Suburban Centres-
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 19th Century Infrastructure-
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 suburban settings-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Beautifying towns and villages-
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 community park-
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. Monuments-
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. civic setting-
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. Civic Gardens-
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 fountains-
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. Landscaping - 20th century interwar-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - 20th century post WW2-
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 - public parks movement-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Victorian gardenesque style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation musical gatherings-
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 Outdoor relief-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Cinema-
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 Enjoying public parks and gardens-
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 Going to the park-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going to a Club-
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 Sport-Activities associated with organised recreational and health promotional activities Lawn Bowls-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Sport-Activities associated with organised recreational and health promotional activities bowls-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Sport-Activities associated with organised recreational and health promotional activities Administering and operating sporting complexes-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Sport-Activities associated with organised recreational and health promotional activities cricket-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with William Tunks MLA, first Mayor of East St.Leonards, 1870s-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
St Leonards Park is of state heritage significance for its historical values as one of the earliest established public parks in NSW being set aside as a recreation reserve in 1838 and gazetted as a public park in 1867. It contains one of Australia's oldest, continuously used cricket grounds and bowling clubs established in 1867 and 1887 respectively.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The park has state significant associations with Mr Edgar Herbert a noted pioneering specialist in physical education. He was also a valued supervisor of Playgrounds to the Kindergarten Union, a colleague of Walter Burley Griffin and actively involved in the Castlecrag Progress Association. In the 1940s Herbert was Principal of the Leadership Training College which staffed the playground and implemented a program of dance and drama activities as well as sporting events.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
St Leonards Park is of state heritage significance as a surviving and relatively intact example of a Victorian public park in the gardenesque style. It retains many of its original aesthetic characteristics including an axial layout, formal pathways culminating in memorials, including an ornate Victorian style memorial fountain to Mayor William Tunks, and picturesque vistas. The park also includes distinctive examples of early 20th century architecture including: the Bob Stand which was relocated to St Leonards Park from the Sydney Cricket Ground in the 1980s, the WWI Memorial, a fine example of an Interwar Stripped Classical WWI Memorial, designed by Frank Thorpe and the Music Shell designed by Peddle Thorp and Walker in the Art Moderne style. The 1960s Bowling Club is a good and intact example of Modern Movement architecture applied to a popular leisure activity. These features are aesthetically distinctive and demonstrate a high level of creative and technical achievement.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
St Leonards Park has a high level of local social significance as a recreational facility for cricket and various forms of football.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The site is of state heritage significance as a rare and intact example of a Victorian era park designed in the gardenesque style with its original layout still appreciable. It is also rare as a continuously used cricket ground and bowling club dating from 1867 and 1887 respectively.

The Music Shell is a rare intact surviving example of a Post WWII Music Shell, sympathetically adapted to serve contemporary purposes.

The 1960s Bowling Club building is a rare, surviving, intact example of a Modern Movement style building serving as a Sporting facility. Many sports club buildings designed in this style in the 1960s have been demolished or substantially modified.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The park has representative value within NSW, as it displays elements typical of Victorian era parks including an axial layout, formal avenues of trees, open grassed areas, decorative architectural elements as well as sporting facilities. It is a fine, relatively intact example of a wider group of public parks constructed during the nineteenth century.
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 ManagementCarry out an Archaeological Assessment 
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 workHeritage Act - Site Specific Exemptions HERITAGE ACT 1977

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

St Leonards Park, 283A Miller Street, North Sydney

SHR No. 1941

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, mortgagee or lessee of the land] described in Schedule "B" on the item described in Schedule "A".




The Hon Mark Speakman, MP
Minister for Heritage


Sydney, Day of 2014


SCHEDULE "A"

The item known as the St Leonards Park, situated on the land described in Schedule "B".


SCHEDULE "B"

All those pieces or parcels of land known as Lot 7321 DP 1149783, Lot 1108 DP48839, Lot 1 DP 560566 and Lots 1104-1107 DP 46990 in Parish of Willoughby, County of Cumberland shown on the plan catalogued HC 2627 in the office of the Heritage Council of New South Wales.

SCHEDULE "C"

1.Works and activities to allow general maintenance and repair.
(i) Suppression of fire in vegetation.
(ii) Tree surgery or tree removal where considered necessary for the health of a tree, or the safety of the public or staff, provided a concurrent proposal for a replacement species is submitted.
(iii) Pruning of less than 30% of the canopy of trees within a 2 year period as recommended by a qualified arborist and approved by Council's Tree Management Officer for the tree's health or public safety reasons.
(iv) Routine horticultural maintenance, including lawn mowing, cultivation and pruning.
(v) Repair of damage caused by erosion and implementation of erosion control measures.
(vi) Maintenance, repair and resurfacing of existing roads, paths, fences and gates.
(vii) Maintenance and repair of any building, structure, monument or work, including temporary relocation for conservation or protection.
(viii) Maintenance, repair and resurfacing of sports fields and other sports courts.

2.Works and activities to allow for the maintenance of services and utilities.
(i) Maintenance and repair of services and public utilities including communications, gas, electricity, water supply, waste disposal, sewerage, irrigation and drainage.
(ii) Upgrade of services and public utilities where the Council is satisfied that the activity will not materially affect the heritage significance of the Park as a whole or the area in which they are to be undertaken.
(iii) Maintenance and upgrade works to buildings undertaken to improve public safety and/or the suppression of fire which in the opinion of the Director of City Strategy (CS) do not impact on the heritage significance of the building or work.
(iv) Installation, maintenance and removal of waste bins to implement the Council's waste
management policies.
(v) Extension of irrigation system as necessary to areas currently without this infrastructure

3.Works and activities to allow for the implementation of the St Leonards Park Conservation Management Plan, the St Leonards Park Plan of Management and North Sydney Oval Plan of Management.
(i) Removal of existing trees and planting of new trees where necessary to implement the St Leonards Conservation Management Plan, St Leonards Park Plan of Management and North Sydney Oval Plan of Management.
(ii) Removal, construction or alteration of garden beds, hard landscaping and plantings to implement the St Leonards Park Conservation Management Plan, St Leonards Park Plan of Management and North Sydney Oval Plan of Management.

4.Works and activities to allow the alteration of roads, pathways and fences.
(i) Closure, removal, alteration or construction of roads and pathways to implement the St Leonards Park Conservation Management Plan, St Leonards Park Plan of Management and North Sydney Oval Plan of Management.
(ii) Repair, alteration, removal and installation of fences to implement the Council's policies.
(iii) Parking management measures to implement the Council's parking policies.

5.Works and activities to allow for the management of lawns, sports fields, garden beds, hard landscaping and living collections
(i) Removal, construction or alteration of garden beds, hard landscaping and plantings to implement the St Leonards Park Conservation Management Plan, St Leonards Park Plan of Management and North Sydney Oval Plan of Management where the Director City Strategy (CS) is satisfied that the activity will not materially affect the heritage significance of the Park as a whole or the area in which they are to be undertaken.
(ii) Alteration of sports fields and other facilities for organised sports within the areas currently used for such activities to meet changing needs and demands, including the erection of goal posts and line marking, erection of a picket fence, score boards, cricket pitches, lighting and perimeter fencing in the vicinity of the oval.
(iii) Routine horticultural curation, including development and management of displays.

6.Management of interpretive, information and directional signage.
Installation, removal and alteration of interpretative, information and directional signage and labels in accordance with signage policies adopted by the Council and/or the North Sydney Council Traffic Committee and/or the Roads and Maritime Services of NSW.

7.Management of artworks, statues and directional signage.
(i) Installation, relocation and removal of artworks, statues and monuments to implement the St Leonards Park Conservation Management Plan, St Leonards Park Plan of Management and North Sydney Oval Plan of Management.
(ii) Minor maintenance and minor repair of any artwork, monument, pool, fountain or work within the park where the Director CS is satisfied that the works will not materially affect the heritage significance of the area in which they are to be undertaken.

8.Furniture and fixtures.
Installation, relocation, removal and maintenance of park furniture, BBQs, play equipment, light poles, bollards and fixtures where the Director CS is satisfied that the proposal is consistent with the St Leonards Park Plan of Management, Conservation Management Plan and North Sydney Oval Plan of Management and will not materially affect the heritage significance of the Park as a whole or any buildings or area in which they are to be undertaken.

9.Works and activities allowing for the management of temporary events.
(i) Temporary use of a section of the Park temporary road closures and the installation of temporary buildings, structures, fencing, facilities, crowd control barriers, stages, lighting, sound and public address equipment and signage for a period not exceeding six months in total or for one day per month, where the Director CS is satisfied that the activity will not materially affect the heritage significance of the Park as a whole or the area in which they are to be undertaken.
(ii) Temporary installation of exhibitions, artworks, statues and monuments for temporary exhibitions or events for a period of less than six months.

10.Works and activities allowing for the management of temporary events- North Sydney Bowling Club.
Works and activities enabling the use of the North Sydney Bowling Club for temporary uses including road closures and the installation of temporary buildings, structures fencing, facilities and crowd control barriers, stages lighting, sound and public address equipment and signage for a period not exceeding six months in total or one day per month.

11.Alterations to buildings and/or works.
(i) Minor alteration to buildings and/or works (including alterations to provide disabled access) which do not increase the area of a building by more than 5% and where the Director CS is satisfied that the activity will not materially affect the heritage significance of the Park as a whole or the area in which they are to be undertaken.
(ii) Replacement of asbestos products with new materials where the Director CS is satisfied that the activity will not materially affect the heritage significance of the building and/or works.

12.Capital Works Program.
Activities related to Council's Capital Works Program where in accordance with the St Leonards Park Plan of Management, Conservation Management Plan and North Sydney Oval Plan of Management and where the Director CS is satisfied that the activity will not materially affect the heritage significance of the Park as a whole or the area in which they are to be undertaken.

13.Existing approved development.
All works and activities in accordance with a current and valid development consent in force at the date of gazettal for listing on the NSW State Heritage Register, including, but not limited to:
DA 199/00 Refurbishment of the Music Shell as Planet X Youth Centre
DA32ll04 Starlight Cinema
DA 48112 Works to the Cunningham Pavilion
DA 81/12 Alterations and Additions to the Bowling Club
DA 35114 Refurbishment of the Duncan Thompson Stand, North Sydney Oval

14.Works and activities allowing alterations to existing recent development.
All works and activities for minor alterations and additions to current and valid development consents in force at the date of gazettal for listing on the State Heritage Register for St Leonards Park where the Heritage Council or its Delegate is satisfied that:
(i) The proposed works are substantially the same as the development for which consent was originally granted, before any modifications to that consent, for the purpose of this exemption only;
(ii) The proposed works will not incrementally or materially increase the impact of the original development consent on significant elements or characteristics of St Leonards Park, such as (but not limited to) its setting, tree canopy, curtilage, subdivision and ownership patterns, remnant significant fabric, relics, landscape and natural features, current and historic access routes to significant elements ,views to and from the item and its significant features, and the capacity for interpretation of its significance; and
(iii) The Heritage Council has been notified in writing of the works proposed to be undertaken under this exemption prior to commencement of works, including details of the works and their location, and the Executive Director has provided written confirmation that the works and their location, and the Heritage Council or its delegate has provided written confirmation that the works are exempt.

15.Change of Use - St Leonards Park
The change of use of a building or an item located in St Leonards Park where the Director of CS is satisfied that the use will not materially affect the heritage significance of the listed area as a whole or the area and where otherwise permitted by relevant legislation.

16.Change of Use - North Sydney Bowling Club
The development or use of part of the North Sydney Bowling Club which is in accordance with a Heritage Council endorsed Conservation Management Plan or Conservation Management Strategy.

17.Any activities, work, and uses identified as exempt in a Conservation Management Plan endorsed by the Heritage Council of NSW.

18.Development carried out in accordance with the recommendations of a Heritage Council Conservation Management Plan or Conservation Management Strategy for the North Sydney Bowling Club.

19.Works and activities related to the maintenance and upgrading of the bowling greens
Jul 31 2015
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementConservation Management Plan and Maintenance Schedule - North Sydney Leagues Bowling Club Jun 23 2016

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0194131 Jul 15 642265-2267
Local Environmental PlanNth.Sydney LEP 2013 (St.Leonards Park)I0916   
Local Environmental PlanNth.Sydney LEP 2013 (Nth.Syd.Oval)I1125   
National Trust of Australia register Suburban Register (St.Lds.Pk & Nth.Syd.Oval)9878   
Register of the National EstateSt. Leonards Pk.& Nth.Syd.Oval19563   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenDesign Collaborative2015Plan of Management for the Greens, North Sydney, located at 50 Ridge Street, North Sydney
WrittenGodden Mackay Logan2013St Leonards Park Conservation Management Plan
WrittenLand Arc Landscaping Architects1994Significant Tree Register
WrittenNoel Bell Ridley Smith & Partners2016Conservation Management Plan & Maintenance Schedule - North Sydney Leagues Bowling Club, St. Leonards Park, North Sydney NSW 2060
WrittenNoel Bell Ridley Smith & Partners2015Statement of Heritage Impact - North Sydney Bowling Club, St.Leonards Park, North Sydney NSW 2060
WrittenNorth Sydney Council2013Face of North Sydney
WrittenNorth Sydney Council2011St Leonards Park Plan of Management

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

rez rez rez rez rez rez
rez rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5062353
File number: EF12/13999


Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.