Former Bakewell Brothers south-east warehouse including interiors | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Former Bakewell Brothers south-east warehouse including interiors

Item details

Name of item: Former Bakewell Brothers south-east warehouse including interiors
Other name/s: Bakewell Brothers Pty Ltd, H Brightwell and Sons
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Warehouse/storage area
Primary address: 7-19 Coulson Street, Erskineville, NSW 2043
Local govt. area: Sydney

Boundary:

Brick building in the south-eastern corner of the site only, as described in Sydney Local Environmental Plan
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
7-19 Coulson StreetErskinevilleSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Built prior to 1919 for brick and pottery manufacturers, Bakewell Brothers, this former warehouse represents the industrial development of Erskineville during the early twentieth century. The building is historically significant for its connection to the Australian manufacturing of bricks and pottery. It provides evidence of this formerly widespread brick-making and pottery industry of Erskineville when it formed part of Sydney's largest brick-making centres in the late nineteenth century.

The building is significant for its historical association with brick and pottery manufacturers, Bakewell Brothers, and the products made at their larger Erskineville site. Ceramics made by this company demonstrate the development of Australian artware during the first half of the twentieth century, including the Australian traditions of ceramic design, the use of Australian imagery and experimentation with coloured glazes for commercially manufactured pottery. The construction of this warehouse provides evidence of the operations and growth of the company and the popularity of its products during the first half of the twentieth century.

Aesthetically, the building demonstrates a representative example of a modest inter-war warehouse with typical characteristics of this style applied to a utilitarian building, including its load bearing masonry construction, wall areas more dominant than window areas, facades divided into bays by engaged brick piers, vertically proportioned windows and doors with shallow arches, parapeted gable and restrained ornamentation.

The building is of local heritage significance in terms of its historical, aesthetic and representative value.
Date significance updated: 25 Jan 16
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Unknown
Construction years: 1914-1919
Physical description: The subject building was constructed prior to 1919 likely as a warehouse for Bakewell Brothers, brick and pottery manufacturers. This building occupies the south-eastern corner of the site with no setback from Coulson Street and comprises a two-storey brick building contained under a pitched roof. The roof is asymmetrical with a gable end to the western side and rear.

The building features typical elements of the inter-war style applied to a utilitarian building, including its load bearing masonry construction, wall areas more dominant than window areas, facades divided into bays by engaged brick piers, vertically proportioned windows and doors with shallow brick arches, parapeted gable and restrained ornamentation.

The walls are constructed of face brick in Flemish bond. The bricks were likely manufactured at the Bakewell site from local clay deposits. The asymmetrical roof and vertical line of projecting bricks on either side of the parapeted gable may indicate the original intention to extend the building to the west. The western elevation of the building features a blind arch below the parapeted gable as well as two loading docks; an upper floor loading dock with timber doors and a ground floor loading dock with a garage roller door. There is no entrance on the main street frontage of the building. Windows are timber double-hung sashes with shallow arch brick lintels and rendered brick sills.

The partial reconstruction of the southern elevation of the building and the removal of the second level windows is evident through the different colour of the bricks. This alteration occurred after 1993.

Other buildings on this site are not the subject of this inventory. These include a large warehouse building with a sawtooth roof dating from the 1950s that adjoins the northern elevation of the subject building, a flat-roofed brick office building dating from the 1960s attached to the western elevation of the building, and another early brick building likely a former power house, to the west of the subject building.

The roof, foundations and floor structures have not been inspected by the authors.

Category: Individual building. Style: Inter-war. Storeys: Two. Roof: Pitched with parapeted gable. Façade: Face brick. Side/Rear Walls: Face brick.
Modifications and dates: Timeline of known dates for changes to the site:

16 August 1883
Certificate of title issued to Thomas Pearce Weeks, freeholder of Newtown, for 1 acre, 2 roods and 10 perches for lot 15 Thurlow’s subdivision

1895
Detail Survey shows single building on south-eatsern corner of this parcel of land

12 February 1913
Street alignment survey showed a brick building labelled ‘power house’ on this site

13 January 1914
Site resumed by Chief Commissioner for Railways and Tramways

27 October 1914
Site transferred to William Bakewell of Scone

17 December 1914
Site transferred to Bakewell Brothers Ltd

31 December 1919
Valuation of 1 acre 2 roods 10 perches owned by Bakewell Brothers Ltd shows site is occupied by two-storey brick bulk store, a brick powerhouse, a wood and iron cooling tower and stack, all with iron roofs

21 September 1927
Part of land leased to Municipal Council of Sydney, likely the powerhouse

1943
Aerial photo shows two buildings at eastern and western corners of the site on Coulson Street, including subject building

18 November 1949
Lot D, DP 22910, the westernmost part of the land including the powerhouse was transferred to Frank William Shearing, merchant of Caringbah

18 November 1949
Lot C, DP 22910 transferred to Brightwell Real Estate Pty Ltd

18 November 1949
Lot E, DP 22910, the easternmost part of the land including the subject building was transferred to Frank Abraham Cocks, merchant of Sydney

6 December 1949
Lot E, DP 22910 transferred to Brightwell Real Estate Pty Ltd

1950
Civic survey sheet shows it is occupied by Gordon Brandon Pty Ltd bulk store and by Penn-Wealth Oils Pty Ltd

17 July 1950
Application by H Brightwell & Sons for additional toilets and offices worth £300

1 September 1952
Application for erection of building for use as bulk storage by John E Allsopp for H Brightwell & Sons

3 March 1955
Application for additions by J E Allsopp worth £30,000

17 January 1963
Application for proposed erection of brick office block for H Brightwell & Sons

2 July 1963
Application for office block worth £6,500

28 October 1963
Application by H Brightwell & Sons for alterations and additions worth £1,500

28 October 1963
Application by H Brightwell & Sons for alterations and additions worth £2,000
Further information: The Former Bakewell Brothers south-east warehouse was first listed as a heritage item by Council with the gazettal of Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Amendment No. 25) on 22/1/2016.

Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are constantly updated by the City as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conservation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Current use: Container distribution and warehouses
Former use: Brickworks and pottery manufacture

History

Historical notes: Early development of locality:

This site forms part of the land of the Gadigal people, the traditional custodians of land within the City of Sydney council boundaries. For information about the Aboriginal history of the local area see the City’s Barani website: http://www.sydneybarani.com.au/

Land in the area to the south of Central Station was granted to Nicholas Devine, a superintendent of convicts, in 1794 and 1799. Devine built a house called Burren Farm near the corner of present George Street and Erskineville Road. After his death in 1830, the property was passed on to Bernard Rochford and his wife who had cared for Devine in his old age. Rochford subdivided and sold the estate. Some of the land was bought by Reverend George Erskine, a Wesleyan Minister who built Erskine Villa in 1830. He died there in 1834. The villa was subsequently owned by Mr Robert Henderson, a naturalist, followed by William Toogood, a Sydney inn-keeper. When Toogood died, he left the property to the Church of England and it became the rectory for the Holy Trinity Church in Macdonaldtown. (Pollon 1996)

By 1852, Erskineville had been developed with a mix of housing and industry. The discovery of rich clay deposits around the area now known as Sydney Park led to the development of a number of brickworks in the surrounding suburbs including Erskineville, Alexandria and St Peters. The area became one of the largest brick producing areas of the city. In the 1890s, it was said that “as many as 1,500,000 bricks were manufactured in Alexandria every day [and that] the greatest part of the city of Sydney has been built from the brickyards of Alexandria” (Alexandria – The Birmingham of Australia, p.78).

In 1893, part of what was formerly known as Macdonaldtown became a new suburb when parliament passed the Borough of Erskineville Naming Act. In 1911, electric trams began running to Erskineville. By 1920 the suburb had become the home of many workers, some employed in local brickmaking, bootmaking and hat manufacturing industries. (Pollon 1996)

Industrial history:

As one of only two major centres for historic Australian industry during the period when industry was centred in cities, Sydney’s industrial development is part of the national history of industrialisation. Australia’s industrialisation formed part of the ‘second industrial revolution’ which began during the mid-nineteenth century. This second revolution was driven by major technological innovations including the invention of the internal combustion engine and the assembly line, development of electricity, the construction of canals, railways and electric-power lines.

Sydney's twentieth century industrial development records when and how Sydney became one of the largest industrialised cities in the South Pacific and the diversification of Australia's economy beyond primary industry. Together with Melbourne, Sydney’s twentieth century industrial boom expanded Australia’s economy from the ‘sheep’s back’ to the ‘industry stack’ or from primary production to manufacturing. By 1947 more Australians were working in city industries than in farms or mines.

Sydney’s industrial development not only impacted on the national economy. Twentieth-century industry in Sydney also played a major role in developing Australia’s self-sufficiency, growth, urbanisation, society and its contribution to the war effort for World War II. Sydney’s industrial development has affected the lives of many Australians directly and indirectly, whether through the number of workers employed, goods and technology produced, the prosperity it engendered, or the social change and urban environments it generated.

Bakewell Brothers:

In 1884, English immigrant William Bakewell established Bakewell Brothers and began manufacturing bricks and pipes in Erskineville. The company’s range of manufactured products quickly expanded to include tiles, pots and jars. From 1891, the company also made Bristol-glazed bottles, safe stands for the protection of food from ants, butter pots and other domestic and commercial pottery wares.

In 1906, the Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser published an article featuring a photograph of a display of Bakewell pottery exhibited by the Australian Natives Association. The article described the collection of products as an ‘admirable example of high class Australian pottery’. At this time, the Bakewell manufacturing site in Erskineville occupied five acres of land and employed over 250 people. (Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser, 10 January 1906, p89)

Between 1905 and 1914, Bakewell Brothers manufactured transfer-printed earthenware patterned in green and sepia with Australian flora or English designs. However, the company was unable to compete with imported wares of this type from England.

In 1914, William Bakewell donated a number of pots to the museum which eventually became part of the collection of Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. The museum’s 1914 annual report described the donation as ‘a very fine collection of specimens of domestic pottery’ which was considered a reflection of the success of the Australian ceramic industry at this time.

After William Bakewell died in 1918, the business continued under the management of his son, Frederick William Bakewell who relinquished his pastoral interests at Scone to become the director of Bakewell Bros Pty Ltd. Frederick William Bakewell died in 1933 (SMH, ‘F.W. Bakewell’, 11th September 1933, p8).

During the 1930s, art deco elements appeared in the ornamental pottery produced by the company. The ‘newtone’ range of products produced by Bakewell Brothers in 1937 included pottery hand painted with bush landscapes and typical Australian scenes. Daisy Victoria Merton, artist, was associated with the production of the ‘newtone’ range. Her signature can be found on the bottom of many of these items.

The company also produced small koala bears, kookaburras and pin dishes made from moulds in the late 1930s and after the second world war. Small painted dishes in the shape of Australia were also produced for a short time after 1945.

The ceramic industry suffered significant decline as a result of the introduction of plastics and pressed metals, competition from imports and the 66.6% sales tax on artwares which was introduced in 1949.

In 1955, Bakewell Brothers closed. Some of the company’s pottery moulds continued to be used by a former employee until the early 1960s.

The products produced by Bakewell Brothers now forms part of a collection of Australian artware which documents the tradition of ceramic design, the use of Australian imagery and the experimentation of coloured glazes for commercially manufactured pottery.

Site history:

The subject building is located on the south-eastern corner of the site on Coulson Street. Other buildings on the site include an early building in the western corner of the site, a larger warehouse building at the rear of the subject building and a brick office attached to the western side of the subject building.

No records were found which definitively established the date of construction of the subject building. However, the building was likely to have been constructed by brick and pottery manufacturers Bakewell Brothers by 1919 on land they purchased in 1914 as an extension to their pottery works which had been operating on the south side of Coulson Street since 1884. The absence of excavation on the site suggest that the subject building was used as a warehouse for the storage of products from the opposite Bakewell brick and pottery manufacturing site located on the south side of Coulson Street.

On 19 August 1883, a certificate of title was issued to Thomas Pearce Weeks, freeholder of Newtown, for the land on which the subject building is situated, then part of 1 acre, 2 roods and 10 perches of lot 15 of Thurlow’s subdivision (C T 662 f 24).

The 1895 Detail Survey sheet records that a single building had been constructed on the south-eastern corner of the site facing Coulson Street (Lands Department, Metropolitan Detail Survey, Erskineville, sheet 13). The configuration of this early building does not correspond with the current configuration of the subject warehouse. The early building may have been incorporated into the subject warehouse or demolished for the construction of the current building.

A street alignment survey from 12 February 1913 records the construction of an additional brick building labelled the ‘power house’, which appears to correspond to the existing building located on the western corner of the site (E.6.2566, Crown Plan).

The land was resumed on 13 January 1914 by the Chief Commissioner for Railways and Tramways.

On 27 October 1914, the property was purchased by William Bakewell. The property was subsequently sold to Bakewell Brothers Ltd on 17 December 1914 (C T 662 f 24). This site was an extension of the Bakewell Brothers pottery works which had been operating on the south side of Coulson Street since 1884.

The 1914 Wise’s Directory listed Bakewell Brothers Ltd on Coulson Street, Erskineville, as brick and pottery manufacturers (Wise, Directory, 1914, p 207).

A valuation from 31 December 1919 of the 1 acre, 2 roods and 10 perches of land owned by Bakewell Brothers Ltd recorded that this site was then occupied by a two storey brick bulk store, a brick powerhouse and a wood and iron cooling tower and stack, all with iron roofs (Valuer General, Valuation Card, Erskineville, SRNSW 13/7588, No 87). As the 1913 street alignment survey recorded the ‘power house’ in the south-western corner of the site, it is likely that the subject south-eastern building comprised the brick bulk store described in this 1919 land valuation.

Part of the land was leased to the Municipal Council of Sydney on 21 September 1927. This may have related to the power house for use as part of council’s electrical network (C T 662 f 24).

The Sands Directory does not provide specific information about buildings and occupiers of the Bakewell Brothers site on the north side of Coulson Street for the period between 1883 and 1933. However, Bakewell Brothers pottery manufacturers on Coulson Street were listed in the 1936 Wise’s Directory (Wise, Directory, 1936, p 223).

A 1943 aerial photograph records the subject building located in the south-eastern corner of the site and the power house building on the south-western corner of the site. The aerial photograph shows the land criss-crossed with tracks, likely to have been made by wheeled vehicles. Unlike the Bakewell site on the south of Coulson Street, the subject site shows no sign of being disturbed or excavated. It is likely that this land was not used to supply clay or shale for the brick and pottery works. This supports that the most likely use of the subject site at this time was as a holding or transport yard for the bricks and earthenware products produced by Bakewell.

In 1949, the land was subdivided and sold. The central section of the site, known as Lot C of DP 22910, was purchased by Brightwell Real Estate Pty Ltd on 18 November 1949 (C T 662 f 24).

The eastern-most section of the site containing the subject warehouse, known as Lot E of DP 22910, was purchased by Sydney merchant Frank Abraham Cocks on 18 November 1949 (C T 662 f 24). This Lot was subsequently purchased by Brightwell Real Estate on 6 December 1949 (CT 6289 f 96).

The western-most section of the site which contained the south-western powerhouse building, known as Lot D of DP 22910, was purchased by merchant Frank William Shearing on 18 November 1949 (C T 662 f 24). On 1 December 1954, this western section was also sold to Brightwell Real Estate Pty Ltd (CT 6279 f 131).

Therefore, by 1954, Brightwell owned all three lots that comprised the subject site. H Brightwell & Sons transport and storage company had been established in 1880. The 1956 Wise’s Directory recorded H Brightwell & Sons, carriers, at 165 Wyndham St Alexandria and 230 Sussex St Sydney (Wise, Directory, 1956, p 124, 934).

The 1950 Civic survey records that this site was then occupied by Gordon Brandon Pty Ltd bulk store and by Penn-Wealth Oils Pty Ltd.

Brightwell & Sons submitted a number of applications for works to the site during the 1950s and 1960s.

On 17 July 1950, H Brightwell & Sons applied to undertake works valued at £300 involving the construction of additional toilets and offices on the site (Coulson St, Street Cards, NSCA). On 1 September 1952, John E Allsopp applied on behalf of H Brightwell & Sons to erect a building to be used as bulk storage (Coulson St, Street Cards, NSCA). Another application was submited by J Allsopp on 3 March 1955 proposing additions valued at £30,000 (Coulson St, Street Cards, NSCA). It is likely that this application eventuated in the construction of the large building at the rear of the subject building which is visible on the 1956 Building Surveyors Detail Sheets and 1975 aerial photograph of the site.

On 17 January 1963, H Brightwell & Sons applied to erect a brick office block. On 2 July 1963, another application was submitted for an office block, with works valued at £6,500 (Coulson St, Street Cards, NSCA). It is likely that the brick office building with Brightwell & Sons signage adjoining the western elevation of the subject building formed part of these 1960s works by H Brightwell & Sons. This building is visible in the 1975 aerial photograph of the site.

A 1993 photograph of Coulson Street records that the subject building formerly had three upper level windows on the south elevation. These windows have since been removed likely when part of the brickwork of the south elevation was reconstructed.

Recommended management:

Retain and conserve the building. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. All conservation, adaptive reuse and future development should be undertaken in accordance with the Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance (The Burra Charter). Archival photographic recording, in accordance with Heritage Council guidelines, should be undertaken before major changes. Do not paint, render or seal face brick walls. Original bricks, piers, windows, loading docks and other original building features should be conserved and maintained. New works, including alterations and new uses for the building are to complement and enhance the internal and external character of the building by conserving and interpreting significant fabric and spatial qualities. . Future development and/or new uses of the building should explore opportunities to reinstate the former upper level windows of the south elevation.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney Local Environmental Plan 2012I224622 Jan 16   
Heritage studyCity of Sydney Industrial and Warehouse Buildings 01 Oct 14   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Sydney Industrial & Warehouse Buildings Heritage Study2014 City Plan HeritageCity Plan Heritage Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written  Wise Directory, 1936, 1956
WrittenAlexandria (NSW) Municipal Council1943Alexandria, "The Birmingham of Australia" 75 years if progress
ElectronicBrightwell Group2011‘Welcome to Brightwell transport’ View detail
WrittenCity of Sydney Planning Street Cards - various
MapCity of Sydney/ City Building Surveyors Department1956City Building Surveyors Detail Sheets, Sheets 19 and 23
WrittenDr Terry Kass2014Industrial and warehouse buildings research - site history
WrittenFrances Pollon1996The book of Sydney suburbs
WrittenHeritage Group, NSW Department of Public Works and Services1999Sheas Creek Woolsheds, Conservation Management Plan
MapHiginbotham & Robinson18901890s Higinbotham & Robinson map, Macdonaldtown, Sydney, 1890s
WrittenJohn Sands Sands Directories, Macdonaldtown -1886-1930
WrittenLands Title Office Certificate of Title - C T 662 f 24; CT 6289 f 96; CT 6279 f 131
MapNSW Department of Lands1885City of Sydney section cartographic materiel- Erskineville, sheet 13, Z/ M Ser 4 811.17/1
ElectronicPowerhouse Museum Bakewells Teapot and Cover, c1930-1940 View detail
PhotographRTA1943Aerial Photographs of Sydney May-June 1943.
WrittenSydney Morning Herald, September 11th 19331933Mr F. W. Bakewell
PhotographSydney Reference Collection1993View easterly along Coulson St showing condition of bitumined road surface up to Eve St & outside Brightwell & Sons building / SRC17363
WrittenThe Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 10 January 19061906Messrs Bakewell Brothers - A surprising exhibit
WrittenValuer-General Valuation Card, Erskineville, SRNSW 13/7588, No 87

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: Local Government
Database number: 5062459


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