Sunday 8 November 2015

Narellan Public School a local heritage icon

Narellan Public School

290 Camden Valley Way Narellan Lot 1 DP 808100

Narellan Public School buildings (Camden Images/John Kooyman 1997)

History and Description

The school site historically important buildings comprising a small sized late 19th century former original residence and schoolroom, constructed of brick and setback from Camden Valley Way by a generous tree lined and open space. The school is located directly adjacent to former St Thomas’ Church and School at Narellan, together forming an important long term institutional precinct in Narellan town centre.

The most prominent tree is a landmark Bunya Pine adjacent to the earlier buildings.

The administration bulding was originally constructed as a school residence, erected in 1877. Repairs and additions were made in 1891 and in 1912 the shingle roof was replaced with corrugated iron. Further repairs were made in 1938, along with adaptation and cyclic maintenance undertaken in subsequent years. The building is of brick construction.

The school building was originally constructed in 1877 and has a simple Victorian aesthetic, with a pitched roof, timber windows and decorative barge board. The building is a brick construction with corrugated roofing. In 1949 a fire destroyed the front section of the building. In 1951 the building was rebuilt as a single classroom using the original bricks and in 1957 it was renovated to provide an office, staffroom and storeroom. In 1987 it was coverted into a staffroom for the school. (SHI)

School Grounds

The existence of some of the trees can be attributed to plantings made in 1890 and subsequent years to mark the celebration of Arbor Day at Narellan Public School. Tree types on the site include a Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghammii), Pepper Trees (Schinus molle) and several Eucalypt varieties. 

Narellan Church of England School was in operation in January 1854, and may have existed prior to this date. In August 1875 it was recommended that a schoolroom with the accommodation for 40 children and a residence be built.

A permanent schoolroom and residence were completed in 1877. Enrolments in 1888 numbered 73. In 1889 a new classroom was constructed and additions to the residence undertaken in 1891. In 1912 the shingle roof on the school and residence was replaced with corrugated iron. Further renovations and repairs were completed in 1938, and the buildings were affected by fire in 1949.

Land was progressively acquired over time. In 1920, two more lots were acquired which completed the area between Coghill Street, Camden Valley Way and Richardson Road. (SHI)

Designer of school buildings: G.A. Mansfield (1877)

Condition and Use

Appears to be generally good (SHI)

Recommendation to conserve historically significant fabric and setting (pre 20th century and earlier) and maintain school use.

Heritage Significance

Narellan Public School is a historically important institution within Narellan. For some 130 years it has been the place of learning for many local children, and maintains a number of physical elements through its extant buildings and setting, which are testimony to that historical growth and association. (SHI)

Heritage Listing

2010 Camden LEP Item No I130

Read more about the Camden LGA Heritage Inventory Click here