Saturday, 2 January 2016

Camden Post Office, NSW

Camden Post Office

135 Argyle Street, Camden. NSW
Lot 2  DP 193308

Camden Post Office NSW c2013 (Google Images)


History and Description
Warmington and Ward note the original Camden Post Office dates from 1882 in the era of Colonial Architect James Barnet, and that this early core was buried beneath Edwardian additions (under the aegis of architect Walter Vernon), which have been dated at 1898 (the post hall, mail and service rooms, quarters), and 1910 (telephone exchange). However, the original building is still visible from some viewpoints, albeit concealed from Argyle Street by the later addition. The brickwork of the rear single-storey section is different in colour (darker) to the brickwork on the front two-storey section, and the roof of the rear section is corrugated galvanised steel sheeting.

The post office occupies a prominent site in Argyle Street, the main shopping precinct. It has a broad alleyway to its immediate north-east, with its north-east entry apparently designed to develop a diagonal reading, common in Federation composition.

The post office is an example of a Late Victorian (1882 core by Colonial Architect James Barnet) and Federation Free style (1898, 1910 additions by New South Wales Government Architects Walter Vernon and George Oakeshott), and is therefore a composite building with the original post office typology compromised. The Federation Free Style envelope includes the breakfront postal hall added around the original building, plus the later 1910 telephone exchange. (Australian Heritage Place Inventory)

Condition and Use 
Maintains its original use as a post office.
The building is in good condition.  (State Heritage Inventory)

Heritage Significance
Camden Post Office, the original component of which dates to 1882, with later works the most substantial of which date from 1898, is of historical significance. It is located in an historic centre which dates from the earliest years of settlement in New South Wales, and is of considerable importance in terms of early Australian developments in wool in particular, following the original land grant to pioneer John Macarthur in 1805. The first post office operated locally from about 1841. The current post office, while associated with the comparatively later history of the town, is still of nineteenth century origin, with its establishment and subsequent development reflecting the needs of postal services in Camden. Although an evolved building physically and architecturally, it remains evidently a historic postal building. Its prominent location in the main town strip of Argyle Street also enhances this aspect of significance.

Aesthetically, Camden Post Office, although a composite building, is significant for its strong streetscape presence, with a handsome fa├žade and detailing to Argyle Street. More broadly, the building also contributes to the historic character of central Camden, and features in tourism promotional material celebrating the towns diversity of architectural styles (Australian Heritage Places Inventory)

Heritage Listing
Camden LEP I13
State Heritage Inventory
Australian Heritage Places Inventory Record Identifier: 106176

Read more about the Camden Post Office on the Australian Heritage Places Inventory Click here and on the State Heritage Inventory Click here
Camden Heritage List Click here

8 comments:

  1. My father Arthur (Ben) Bennedick was the last Postmaster and our family to live in the attached residence (1957-67). It was above and behind. Camden's population was expanding some of the residence was needed for postal activities.
    My father was approaching retirement and we moved to Narellan. He remained Postmaster until his retirement in 1971. Bruce Bennedick.

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    1. Would you be interested in puting some memories together for the Camden History Society?

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    2. Thanks Ian. I had some contact with John Wrigley some years ago and submitted some photos and extracts from the official Postal History of the Post Office. I have noticed in recent images in December there was scaffolding on the balcony. I presume it was getting some maintenance. It is great to see it is kept in such good condition. In fact, I believe, apart from the inevitable traffic lights the whole main street reflects the historical aspect more now that it did in the 1960s and 70's.

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    3. I remember mr bennedick very well as he was the postmaster when I started work there in 1969.

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  3. Does anyone happen to have any photos of the post office around 40-50 years ago?

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    1. Hi,i am Bruce Bennedick. Do you remember me?

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  4. Check the Camden Library website.

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