Friday 3 November 2023

Mural and Wishing Well

Corner Broughton Street and Menangle Road


Lot 2, DP 530480

Camden Rotary Pioneer Mural and Wishing Well (I Willis 2020)

History and Description

The mural and wishing well are located at the intersection of Menangle Road and Broughton Streets adjacent to Camden District Hospital on the Old Hume Highway. It was opened in 1962 and is also known as the Camden Rotary Pioneer Mural. At the opening, the mural was called ‘The Story of Camden’.

The mural has three panels and is described as a ‘triptych’ constructed from glazed ceramic tiles (150mm square). The tiles were attached to the wall of sandstone blocks supported by two side columns. The monument is 9.6 metres wide and 3 metres high, and around 500mm deep. There is a paved area in front of the mural 3x12 metres, associated landscaping works and a wishing well. (AMOL, 2001; Clowes, 1970)

Camden Rotary commissioned ceramic mural artist WA Byram Mansell to undertake the mural. (Clowes, 2012)

Monuments Australia describes the mural this way

There is a decorative border of blue and yellow tiles creating a grape vine pattern. The border helps define the triptych. The three panels depict the early history of Camden. The large central panel shows a rural setting with sheep and a gum tree in the top section. Below is a sailing ship with the southern cross marked on the sky above. Beside is a cart wheel and a wheat farm. There are three crests included on this panel, the centre is the Camden coat of arms bearing the date 1795, on the proper right is a crest with a ram’s head and the date 1797, and on the proper left is a crest with a bunch of grapes and the date 1805. The proper right panel of the triptych, in the top section depicts an Aboriginal hunting scene. Below this is an image miner’s and sheafs of wheat. The proper left panel depicts an ornate crest in the in the top section with various rural industries shown below. (AMOL, 2001)

The memorial wall is made of sandstone blocks salvaged from the demolition of St Paulinas’s Catholic Church at Central Burragorang in the Burragorang Valley. The total weight is 150 tons. The demolition of the church was part of the clearing of the Burragorang Valley due to the construction of Warragamba Dam. (The District Reporter, 5 March 2004)

Condition and Use

The memorial wall, wishing well and mural are in good condition.

Heritage Significance

The mural and wishing well are a memorial to lost cultural heritage and memory of the Burragorang Valley. The mural is a representation of modernism and a 1960s interpretation of the settler story of the Camden district.

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan                       Item 145

Read more

 Camden Rotary Pioneer Mural: public art, a mural and memorial wall


Monday 13 March 2023

Agricultural Hall, Camden, NSW

Camden Agricultural Hall 

(former Drill Hall)

191 Argyle Street
 Lot 2, DP 922667
-34.054018305845325, 150.69303418365882

Camden Agricultural Hall frontage on Argyle Street (Camden Council, 2023)

History and Description

The hall was built in 1894 by George Furner, 125 ft by 50 ft built under the direction of Major AJ Onslow Thompson for Captain Onslow and cost £1000, as a drill hall for the Camden Mounted Rifles (HNSW; Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 2 March 1895)

The hall was used for a variety of community events over from its inception, including the annual show. The Mounted Rifles held their annual AH&I banquet (Daily Telegraph, 28 November 1896), Camden Town Band social (Camden News, 2 January 1896), community farewell to the manager of the Camden Refrigeration Works (Freemans Journal, 1 October 1898), fundraising social for St Paul’s Roman Catholic Church (Camden News, 3 August 1899), farewell for Camden Mounted Rifles headed to the Queen's Jubilee in England (SMH, 13 February 1897) and the annual show (Evening News, 22 March 1900).

The drill hall changed its name to the agricultural hall in 1910 when it was sold to the AH&I committee for £500 (CN, 7 July 1910) and was let for roller skating (CN, 14 July 1910).

Sydney architect Adrian Bolot designed new brick extensions to the front of the 1890s drill hall for £400 (CN, 19 March 1936). This was part of general improvements to Onslow Park in preparation for the 1936 jubilee show, including the construction of a new grandstand (CN, 15 August 1935)

The agricultural hall is still the focus of the district's rural activities, with the annual show held in autumn each year and a range of community events.

Heritage NSW describes the hall’s construction this way:

The nucleus of this hall was built with timber cantilevered trusses in the roof. The exceptionally long spans of the roof joists are of particular interest. The more recent front is of brick and tile construction. The building has a corrugated iron gabled hip roof and has sixteen pane double hung windows the bottom sash of which is textured glass. The early part of the building is constructed of timber on a brick base. (HNSW)

Condition and Use

The hall retains good integrity and intactness. (HNSW)

Heritage Significance

An important part of town life since 1894 and continues to be the focus of the district's agricultural activities. (HNSW)

The agricultural hall is part of rural place-making in Camden and contributes to the community’s sense of self and identity.

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan 2010 LEP Item 116

NSW State Heritage Inventory 1280010

Read more  

Camden Heritage Walk Tour

Monday 6 March 2023

Harrington Park Homestead

Harrington Park

1 Hickson Circuit
Harrington Park
Lot 2001, DP 1035209
-34.024166, 150.742464

Harrington Park Homestead (HG, 2023)

History and Description

In 1815 Governor Macquarie granted 2,000 acres in the Macarthur region to Scottish Sea Captain William Douglas Campbell. He named his land parcel Harrington Park after his brig, the Snow Harrington, was stolen by convicts in 1809. (Gover 2019)

William Campbell built the original two-room cottage at Harrington Park in 1817, which had a stone floor and was made of clay brick. (Gover 2019)

In 1823 Campbell enlarged the homestead into a two-storey single-pile brick home in Georgian architectural style facing north. (Gover 2019)

During the early 1820s, Campbell built the central, two-storey part of the existing home. It was connected to the original building by a verandah. Still facing north (Everett, 2013).

W.D. Campbell never saw the homestead fully completed, dying in 1827 aged 57. He left the estate to his nephews Murdoch and John Campbell. It included a basement and servants' quarters, later used as a cellar. (Gover 2019)

There were several ownership changes, and by 1875 William Rudd, a grazier from the Murrumbidgee area, bought the property. (Gover 2019)

By the mid-1930s, owners Arthur and Elaine made some extensions. A sunroom was constructed to the rear of the house by infilling part of the verandah, and the rear verandah to the homestead was likely removed during this time. (Everett 2013)

In 1944 Harrington Park was sold to John Fairfax & Sons Pty Ltd and then transferred to Warwick Oswald Fairfax in 1956. Many improvements and construction works were carried out throughout the estate, including the study in the garden built in 1957. (Everett 2013)

There was extensive restoration work between 2010 and 2013. (Gover 2019)

Condition and Use

The privately owned house is in good condition (HNSW).

Heritage Significance

Harrington Park is of State significance as one of the earliest 'Cow Pasture' homesteads on the Cumberland Plain. (HNSW)

Harrington Park demonstrates the layout of a gentleman's estate with views and vistas afforded to and from the homestead over the landscape and important access routes. (HNSW)

Historically the quintessential landscape character - based on the traditional juxtaposition of homestead area, with its dominant garden and cleared pastureland beyond - represented one of the best examples of this intentional contrast and the siting of a homestead group on a landform summit in the Cumberland Plain and Camden area. (HNSW)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan 2010 LEP Item I119

NSW State Heritage Inventory State Significant 5052629

Read more

Heritage NSW  2022, Harrington Park, State Heritage Inventory. Heritage NSW, NSW Government, Sydney. Online at Viewed 6 March 2023.

David Everett 2013, ‘Harrington Park House 1817-2012’. In Macarthur Magazine Your Home Annual, pp.10-19.

Sheree Gover 2019, Harrington Park Homestead. Harrington Estates, Harrington Park.

Wednesday 15 February 2023

The Plough and Harrow Hotel


Plough and Harrow Hotel

75-79 Argyle Street
Lot 18, DP 228845
-34.053887621960875, 150.69690788103918

This image of the Plough and Harrow Hotel dates from the 1910s. The sign outside the hotel reads 'Camden Jockey Club - Tattersalls'.  (Camden Images)

History and Description

The Plough and Harrow Hotel was built in the early 1850s as a single-storey inn and is still located at its original site. (Mylrea 2011)

The original building was a single-storey inn built for Samuel Arnold. Arnold was a member of an immigrant group from the Isle of Wight with fourteen others in 1836 and was nominated by the Macarthurs to work at Camden Park. He established a wheelwright’s business in 1841 on the corner of Argyle and Hill Streets and later built the Plough & Harrow opposite. Arnold leased the inn to Thomas Brennan. (HNSW)

The second storey of the building was built in 1885. (HNSW)

The weekly cattle and horse sales were held at the rear of the inn for many years. Access for the sale yard was from Mitchell Street. (HNSW)

The hotel is substantially altered from the early ashlar building. It now has a tiled gable roof with timber gable screens, brick chimneys, new windows, and doors though the old columns are in place along the ground floor verandah. (HNSW)

The windows to the hotel's ground floor are two-pane double-hung, and there are timber shutters to the French doors on the first floor. The entrance door is timber and glass panelled, and the ground floor verandah and steps are tiled. (HNSW)

The hotel was briefly known as The Argyle Inn (1996-2012), and since then, the pub has been restored to its original name as a homage to our historical significance. (PHH)

Condition and Use

The Plough & Harrow Hotel (the former Argyle Inn) retains good integrity and is intact. (HNSW)

The privately owned hotel is in good condition. (HNSW)

Heritage Significance

The hotel is a relic of early Camden in a main street dominated by modern shop fronts. (HNSW)

The hotel is an early building in the Camden townscape within the Camden Town Centre Conservation Area. (NSWSHI)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan 2010 LEP Item 18

NSW State Heritage Inventory 1280003

Read more 

Camden Heritage Walk Tour

Peter Mylrea 2011, 'Macarthurs' Village of Camden'. Camden History, Vol 3, No 1, March, pp.23-35

Monday 13 February 2023

Hilsyde (formerly Pammenter)

Hilsyde (formerly Pammenter)

56 Hilder Street
Lot 1, DP 1142209
-34.0544292582955, 150.71610061342875

WC Furner and his wife Eliza in their sulky in the front driveway of their home Pammenter (later Hylside) c.1890s. Pammenter was a substantial family home at 56 Hilder Street, Elderslie, built-in 1888. (Camden Images)

History and Description

The house known as Hilsyde (formerly Pammenter) was built in 1888 by Camden builder WC Furner for his family. The property was known as Pammenter at least until the early 1920s. (Wrigley 1983; Camden News, 21 December 1922 )

The main dwelling is a Victorian single-storey brick residence. It has a galvanised iron roof, a bull-nosed verandah, and cast iron columns and brackets. The cottage has rendered brick bay windows on the north fa├žade, brick chimneys and a glass and timber entrance door with side and highlight windows. (BCS 2006)

There is a formal entrance to the property from Hilder Street with ‘an impressive view looking up the driveway to the house’. (BCS 2006)

The house is at the top of a slight rise and set back some distance from Hilder Street. The property is entered from a driveway which circles at the front centre of the house, is lined with vegetation, and continues around the north side of the house. (BCS 2006)

Between 1978 and 2003, the property was conducted as Hilsyde Lodge, a retreat for Christian women workers of The Anglican Deaconess Institution Sydney Ltd.  (Mac Chronicle, 19 October 2010)

Condition and Use

Hilsyde is a privately owned house and retains good integrity and intactness. (HNSW)

Heritage Significance

The house is a representative example of a Victorian-style cottage. (HNSW)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan 2010 LEP Item 1108
NSW State Heritage Inventory 1280087

Read more

John Wrigley, 1983, Historic Buildings of Camden. Camden Historical Society, Camden.
BCS 2006, Hilsyde, 56 Hilder Street, Elderslie, Heritage Curtilage Study. DBL Property, Sydney.

Tuesday 7 February 2023

Forresters’ Hall (Former)

Forresters’ Hall (Former)

147 Argyle Street
Lot 1, DP 716784
-34.05467592844007, 150.69469581297724

Former Forresters' Hall at 147 Argyle Street Camden c1920 (Camden Images)

History and Description

Two-storey adapted Federation brick building (of Federation style origins) with parapet roof. Suspended awning. Double-hung windows with timber shutters. The ground floor shop front has large fixed windows with tiled surround and glass doors.

Modifications to the street-facing facade may have occurred during the building's conversion to a theatre after WW1. In 1936 Camden Municipal Council ordered the removal of the verandah posts.

Initially built by the Lodge of Ancient Order of Royal Forresters as a hall for lodge meetings, with retail premises on Argyle Street. The building was occupied by the Empire Picture Theatre (1914-1933) and Empire Sports Club billiard saloon on the upper level (1930s-1940s).

During WW2, soldier support services ran the ACF-YMCA Hospitality Centre in the building (1944-1946). During the post-war years, the Fostars Shoe factory occupied the auditorium as part of post-war reconstruction (1947-1958). In the following years, commercial premises occupied the building, the Downes general story (1960-1985), Southern Radio and Piano Agency known as Southern Radio (then Retravision in 2002) electrical store and radio repair shop (1985-2007) and most recently as 'Treasures on Argyle' charity shop (2008-present)

Condition and Use

The building is in good condition. (HNSW)

Heritage Significance

The building maintains a unique historical and high aesthetic contribution to Camden township

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan 2010 LEP I14
NSW State Heritage Inventory 1280145

Read more

Camden Heritage Walk Tour

Friday 3 February 2023

Bank of New South Wales (Westpac)

Bank of New South Wales (Westpac)

121 Argyle Street
Lot 1, DP 215368
-34.05426277728778, 150.69582848633004

History and Description

The current two-storey building was built in 1936 and replaced the former Crofts hotel (Woolpack Inn) that was used as a banking chamber from 1873. (Willis, 2015)

This interwar two-story banking chamber was built in 1936 by Camden builder Harry Willis & Sons. The building has a residence upstairs and a banking chamber downstairs. (Willis 2015)

Designed by Sydney architects Peddle, Thorp & Walker, influenced by American design in the 1920s. This renowned firm was established in Sydney in 1889 and designed Science House, cnr Gloucester and Essex Sts, Sydney, which won the inaugural Sir John Sulman Medal in 1932. (PTW)

In 1936 the Sydney Morning Herald stated the building had a ‘commodious banking chamber and offices for the staff’. ‘Textured brick’ was used for ‘facing’ throughout the building ‘relieved by lighter coloured treatment of the external woodwork. The bank entrance at the splayed angle at the intersection of the two streets will be treated with specially brick architraves and pediment surmounted by a synthetic sandstone ornamental shield.’ The interior was treated with polished maple woodwork throughout. ‘The Georgian character design will be a colourful and artistic addition to the architecture of this historic town’. (SMH, 14 Jult 1936)

The NSW Heritage Inventory states: ‘The 1936 two-storey glazed and rough brick building with double hung windows and tiled roof. Its detailing includes quoining and multipaned windows, typical characteristics of the Georgian Revival style.’ (HNSW)

Westpac closed the Camden branch in 2020, and the building remains vacant.

Condition and Use

The building is in good condition, although currently vacant.

Heritage Significance

This elegant 1930s two-storey Georgian Revival brick building is located and designed to address its prominence on the corner of John and Argyle Streets. It contributes to Camden township's substantial eclectic fabric and overall cultural significance. (HNSW)

A building from the interwar period in the Camden townscape within the Camden Town Centre Conservation Area. The building retains its historic integrity and is intact.

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan 2010 LEP Item I-11

NSW State Heritage Inventory 1280149

Read more

Camden Heritage Walking Tour

Ian Willis, 2015, Pictorial History Camden & District. Kingsclear Books, Sydney.

Ian Willis, 2009, The Interwar Heritage of a Country Town, Spirit of Progress, Vol 10, No 3.

Wednesday 1 February 2023

Belgenny Farm Complex Camden

Belgenny Farm Complex

100 Elizabeth Macarthur Avenue
Lot 11, DP 658458
-34.08322199382272, 150.7040696146956

The stables are the centre, and the community hall is on the left-hand side (K Lee, 2017)

The main courtyard with bell tower and Belgenny cottage in the rear of the image attributed to Henry Kitchen c1821 (BF)

Sketch map used for Father's Day Open Day 2017 (BF)

History and Description

Belgenny Farm is thought to be the oldest surviving group of farm buildings in Australia, dating back to the 1820s.

The main Belgenny cottage was built in several stages, with the earliest part attributed to architect Henry Kitchen in 1821.

The stables complex was built in 1820, originally two separate buildings and combined in 1826 to form one long continuous structure. They are timber framed and clad with iron bark weatherboards. Fasteners are wooden pegs and handmade nails.

The coach house was built in the 1820s and in the 1890s, converted to a creamery and had that use from 1900 to 1928.

The smokehouse was built between the 1830s and 1840s.

The granary was built after 1890, with the upper level used for dry storage of grain, the lower level for storage of machinery.

The carpenter's shop was built around the 1890s by Herb English.

The engine room was constructed around 1900 and used steam, diesel and petrol to drive chaff cutters and other farm equipment.

The community hall was built in 1937 for the estate workers.

The blacksmith’s shop was built in 1937. (Belgenny Farm website)

Condition and Use

Some modifications and conservation of buildings have been undertaken. The integrity the Belgenny Farm complex has remained intact. The site is currently used for educational purposes by schools and for events and functions.

Heritage Significance

Belgenny Farm has historical, aesthetic, social, technical and research significance at local, state and national levels as the oldest group of farm buildings in Australia, with close associations with the Macarthurs, a family instrumental and influential in the development of this country's agricultural, pastoral, horticultural and viticultural industries. It is both representative of the evolution of many rural industrial technologies and a rare example of a place which has few intact survivors. (HNSW)

Aesthetically, Belgenny Farm demonstrates the beauty of vernacular timber buildings in a setting of bucolic charm and with the added significance of the Macarthur family cemetery with its monuments, symbolic plantings and important vistas. (HNSW)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan 2010 LEP Item I-79

NSW State Heritage Inventory ID 3040029

Read more

Belgenny Farm, Camden. Click here

Monday 30 January 2023

Nant Gwylan Edwardian Cottage and Garden

Nant Gwylan
Cottage and Garden

33A Exeter Street
Lots 15 and 16, DP193308
-34.06821268457085, 150.7157508170685
Nant Gwylan Edwardian farmhouse and garden c1920s (Camden Images)

Nant Gwylan 33 Exeter Street Camden front fence in 2023 (I Willis)

History and Description

Nant Gwylan, built in 1903 by John Peat, a Camden bricklayer of note, is an entire four-room Edwardian house and outbuilding set in a cottage garden of the same period. The house was extended in 1950 and included a bedroom and an enclosed veranda. (McSwan, Vincent & Vlack, 1985)

Occupied for more than 90 years by the Davies family, the garden has been mostly the same from its inception until recent times. The house has organically evolved with pavilion additions and enclosed verandas. (HNSW; )

A brick federation-style house with extensive gardens of the period. Both the house and the garden are in their original form. The property has remained in the ownership of one family for most of this century (LEP, 2010).

The garden was laid out in 1911 by Mr Davies, father of Llewella Davies, while some trees pre-date this period. The paving between the planting beds is sand stock bricks from a nearby demolished cottage. By 1985 the garden was described as having an ‘informal character’ with ‘tropical’ elements with its dense canopy, ferns and exotics. (McSwan, Vincent & Vlack, 1985)

The garden has been little altered from its inception until recent times, while the house has organically evolved with pavilion additions and enclosed verandas. (Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners, 2004)

Nant Gwylan maintains a visual relationship with the farmland lying opposite, which was associated with the Davies family from 1908 to 2000, and was donated to the town through the will of Miss Davies (Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners, 2004)

Condition and Use

The privately owned house is in good condition.
The garden is in moderate condition. (HNSW)

Heritage Significance

Nant Gwylan is a significant early twentieth-century Edwardian-style cottage and garden. The garden has retained much of its integrity.

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan 2010 LEP Item I-25
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 00243

Read more

Camden Heritage Walk Tour
Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners, 2004, Conservation Management Plan, Nant Gwylan 33a Exeter Street, Camden
Karen McSwan, Lynda Vincent & Roxanna Vlack, 1985, Report on Nant Gwylan, Camden.

Friday 11 February 2022

Brookfield House, Camden. NSW

Brookfield House

30-32 Hill Street

Lot 90, DP 1077100; Lot 10, DP 731597

-34.055520080386096; 150.6981116045414

Brookfield House, 30-32 Hill Street, Camden. NSW. (I Willis, 2022)

History and Description

Brookfield House is part of a group of substantial Victorian buildings at the end of Hill Street. A good house of its time.

Brookfield House was built between 1897-1898 for J. W. Macarthur-Onslow for officers of NSW Mounted Rifles. In name of Captain Antill.

The building is a large two-storey semi-detached brick house with Victorian detailing. This house has ornate cast-iron gates and palisade fences on a brick base and has brick entry columns. It also has cast-iron verandah posts and filigree balcony rails to the first floor and valances to the ground and first floors. The verandah wall to the ground floor is brick. The windows are arched with lead lights to the front facade. The upper verandah roof is metal skillion.

At some stage, the balcony has been enclosed; the rear has been extended beyond the line of the original two-storey house (the line of the original skillions roof is still visible), and a garage has been built with timber and metal gates at the line of the house along the driveway.

Part of a group of substantial Victorian Buildings at this end of Hill Street and form a symmetrical pair – 30-32 Hill Street. (NSWSHI)

Condition and Use

The house retains good integrity and intactness. (NSWSHI)

Heritage Significance

Brookfield House is part of a group of substantial Victorian buildings at the end of Hill Street. The house is a good house of its time forming a symmetrical pair – 30-32 Hill Street.

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan Items 138-139
New South Wales State Heritage Listing

Read more

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