Saturday 31 December 2016

Gledswood Curtilage under review

Gledswood Homestead

900 Camden Valley Way, 
Catherine Field, NSW 2171

Gledswood Homestead and gardens in the 1980s (Supplied)

Gledswood curtilage under review 

The owners of Gledswood Homestead, Caldla Pty Ltd,  have applied to the NSW Heritage Council to change the curtilage around the historic farm homestead. This means that they want to reduce the amount of land around the homestead that is considered essential to maintain its heritage significance.

 In 2006 the Gledswood Homestead and curtilage were listed on the State Heritage Register under the Heritage Act 1977. In 2006 it was felt necessary to protect the historic integrity of the property that a total curtilage of 45.5ha was necessary to protect the integrity of this state and nationally significant historic property.

The NSW Heritage Office defines curtilage as:
‘The area of land surrounding an item or area of heritage significance which is essential for retaining and interpreting its heritage significance’. (Warwick Mayne-Wilson, Heritage Curtilages, Sydney: Heritage Office, Department of Urban Affairs & Planning, NSW Government, 1996)

In 2011 Heritage consultants Goddin Mackay and Logan stated:
 Gledswood is of State Heritage Significance and demonstrates a rare, highly intact cultural landscape derived from the earliest land grant. (GML, Gledswood SMP Sept 2011, p.115)

The changes to the curtilage can be viewed here

The Gledswood homestead and the gardens are listed on:
  • ·         The Register of the National Estate (Place ID 3252 & 3253; Registered (21/03/1978)) by the Australian Government Click here and here
  • ·         The State Heritage Register (Listing No 01692; NSW Government Gazette 22 Dec 06) by the NSW Government
  • ·         The State Heritage Inventory (Database number: 5051540) by the NSW Government
  • ·         The Local Environment Plan 2010 (21 Feb 92) by Camden Council

 In 2016 the NSW Heritage Inventory states:
Gledswood is an early 19th century farm estate that has close associations with the Camden area which is the birthplace of the Australian wool industry. Built by James Chisholm in c.1830, Gledswood remained the Chisholm family residence for 90 years. A prominent feature at Gledswood is an outstanding colonial garden that was expanded in 1870. The garden featured in Horticultural Magazine (1870) and was romanticised by Hardy Wilson in 1920. The intense and continual interest in gardening at Gledswood has made Gledswood a prominent contributor to the art of gardening within NSW.
Gledswood has historical significance for its association with the early development of
Australia's wine industry. James Chisholm junior planted a vineyard in 1830, and in 1847 vinedressers from Germany were imported to work it. A convict built cellar under the homestead was capable of holding 20,000 bottles of wine (Everett, 2004)
Gledswood Homestead in 1997 (Camden Images)

 Historical significance

The state of significance for Gledswood states that it has a prominent role in the development of the wine industry and the foundation of the Australian wool industry. The property has an outstanding colonial garden that has been extensively written about by a number of notable authors.

Governor Macquarie granted Huon de Kerilleau  the 400 acres (162ha) which became 'Buckingham; as from 1 January 1810, and he called it Buckingham after the Marquis of Buckingham, who had some part in arranging his discharge Huon de Kerilleau employed convicts to quarry stone on the property and start his building programme. Their first project was the small cottage where they were chained each night. Then they went on to the coach house and the servants' quarters (Carroll, Brian,
The Hume Australia’s Highway of History a Heritage Field Guide, p. 31).

Maintenance of Gledswood Homestead

One visitor to Gledswood had this to say about the maintenance of Gledswood homestead by current owner Caldla Pty Ltd. Minzo007 on TripAdvisor stated:

From the car park this farm looks lovely and rustic but closer inspection shows that the heritage buildings have been seriously neglected. No wonder there are ghosts: the former owners would be turning in their grave! The interior and exterior of the old homestead needs renovation or maintenance. Surely as a building built in the early 1800s this place should qualify for heritage listing and therefore the requisite care? The current owners seem to be more interested in weddings and conferences to the detriment of preserving the unique history.  (

 Threats to heritage

The intention of the principals of Caldla Pty Ltd in 2013 was clearly flagged. The variation of the curtilage is intended so that the block 1203 can be sold off for housing allotments.

 While the Australian Government listing may have been made at the height of the heritage boom in Australia, the listing on the State Heritage Register in 2006 is far from this position. The NSW government seems to care little for heritage in this state. This application appears destined to repeat the same mistakes that were made with significant heritage properties in Campbelltown, where their curtilage was all but destroyed. One example is Blair Athol.   

This is a simple case of rent seeking developers compromising the heritage values associated with Gledswood homestead for profit and monetary gain. 


The current curtilage is necessary to maintain the heritage significance of the homestead and outbuildings.  Minzo07 (TripAdvisor) has drawn a damming conclusion based on the actions of the current owners towards the heritage values of the Gledswood homestead. This application needs to be rejected. The curtilage for Gledswood needs to stay at levels approved in 2006.

Do you agree with this?

If you have any views on this matter you can express then by writing to:
Heritage Council of NSW
Locked Bag 5020
Parramatta NSW 2124
by  5 January 2017

Or speak to 
David Hoffman, Heritage Officer at the Heritage Division, OEH, on (02) 9873 8582 or

Thursday 22 December 2016

Menangle Rotolactor

Menangle Rotolactor

The rotolactor was a piece of industrial modernism introduced at Camden Park in 1952 by Edward Macarthur Onslow.

The idea came from the USA in the 1920s and the first rotolactor was built in New Jersey shortly after then.

Construction started in 1950 and completed in 1952. It had a capacity of 1000 cows a day and could milk 50 cows a day on a rotating platform.

The rotolactor was a huge tourist attraction for Menangle with up to 2000 visitors a week.

The rotolactor suffered from technical problems and closed in 1977. It opened shortly after this but finally closed down in 1983.

Menangle Rotolactor on Camden Park closed in 1977 and was a huge tourist attraction to the village (Camden Images)

This postcard from the collection of the Camden Museum shows the view scene by a visitor the facility. (Camden Images)


Brian Walsh, Milk and the Macarthurs the dairy history of Camden Park, Camden: Belgenny Farm Trust, 2016

Friday 9 December 2016

A view of Menangle

A view of Menangle

Menangle resident Laura Egan-Burt writes:

Tucked away in the back of The Menangle Store, in a dilapidated room that houses the beautiful, original baker's oven is a lovingly curated photographic display.

Past members of the Menangle Community Association, with the leadership of the late Maurice Blackwood, collected photographs and memorabilia from residents. They then spent countless hours creating a visual representation of our beautiful village.

The group held a travelling roadshow featuring the display. Some of the venues visited included libraries and museums. They also formally presented to politicians and councillors, highlighting Menangle's unique and important history.

The Menangle Community Association would like to thank The Menangle Store for  volunteering as the ongoing venue for the display.

Images by Laura Egan-Burt

See more

Laura says that you can see the display  at The Store, 2 Station Street, Menangle. 

As well as the display there is the Menangle Walking Tour available  @ 

Thursday 8 December 2016

St John's Church Camden considering selling land

St John's Church Camden 

Considering selling land for development

St Johns Church at the end of John Street on the hill above the village in 1890s reflecting its Englishness across the countryside. C Kerry (Camden Images)

St John's Church is Camden's most important heritage icon. It is disappointing to hear that church authorities want to sell off some of their site.

The church site, including the Rectory, is part of the foundational story of the township of Camden and its District. The church has played a fundamental role in place making and building community identity over the past 150 years or more. St John’s Church is the moral and emotional heart of the Camden township.

The church is an integral part of the story of the Macarthur family. The church is still, as was in the past, part of the historic vista from Camden Park house to the Camden village. There are representations of the church in engravings dating from Andrew Garran’s Picturesque Atlas of Australasia (1886).

The church is part of the England landscape aesthetics that was so evident during the Interwar period in the Camden township. Writers like William Hardy Wilson, Ure Smith, Eldrid Dyer and others have written in lyrical fashion about the importance of the church to the Englishness of the Camden village.

The church is set within a fine group of other ecclesiastical buildings that includes the Rectory (1859) and church hall (1906), together with the cemetery in a rural landscaped environment resplendent in native and exotic mature trees, fence lines, paths and memorials.
Central to the town plan was the siting of the church of St John's as the Sydney Herald of 14 February 1840 noted that 'on the greatest elevation of the adjacent hills it is proposed to erect a church, the situation for which will be highly picturesque and commanding'. By the time ofthe sale of the town allotments, the church was under construction and was the main feature of the incipient township prominently sited on the highest point overlooking the principal street, John Street. 
At the same time as clearing land for the new township in 1835, James and William Macarthur appealed to their neighbours and employees for help in founding a church (Anglican). By September 1835, 644 pounds had been collected, with the majority (500 pounds) coming from the Macarthurs. 
The church and the rectory are a legacy from the 19th century Camden gentry and other members of the community who funded its original construction. It is very easy to destroy the integrity of the church precinct along Menangle Road, which has remained intact from the church’s foundation.

Read more 

about St Johns Church and its precinct on the Australian Heritage Database:

There are a number of stories appearing the local press and other material.

 Read more:

St Peter's Anglican Church, Campbelltown
It sobering to thing about what has happened adjacent to St Peter's Anglican Church at Campbelltown. Land next to the church was  sold off by the NSW State Government for development in September 2015. The land is zoned for up to 10 storey tower block  which would overshadow the St Peter's Anglican Primary School next door.  Read more on this development here and here

Monday 5 December 2016

Review Camden LEP 2010 Phase 1 Minor Amendments

Review Camden LEP 2010 Phase 1 Minor Amendments

Argyle Street Camden 1940 (Camden Images)

Camden Council voted (12 July 2016) to put on public exhibition minor amendments to the Camden LEP 2010 following a Gateway Determination by the Department of Planning and Environment.

Camden Councils website states

The Planning Proposal seeks to improve the overall operation and accuracy of the Camden LEP (2010) by making changes which are administrative or low impact in nature with respect to the following:
  • Administrative review of Schedule 5 (Environmental Heritage); 
  • Comprehensive review of LEP Mapping;
  • Review of LEP clauses & exempt development provisions;
  • Review of Land Use Table; and
  • Review of Schedule 1 (Additional Permitted Uses)

Camden  Council has a number of relevant documents on exhibition:

Comments can be emailed to  

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Macaria threatened by demolition


37 John Street

Macaria was used by Camden Council as part of its office in 1980s (Camden Images)

In 1970 Macaria was threatened with demolition by Camden Council when it was considering the re-develop John Street. The council had purchased the Macaria site in 1965 and was considering the construction of a new council administration building.

One definition of heritage is what is valued by the community and can be handed down to the next generation. Heritage is a political concept that changes over time. What one generation considers important is not what the next generation wants to hand on to their children. Heritage is a very disposable concept. One decade something is considered important, the next it is considered worthless.

In 1970  Camden Council did not consider Macaria worthy of saving.

 Camden's historic buildings might be valued by most of the community now, but it was not always like that.

In 1970 the Camden Historical Society wrote to Camden Council to re-consider the demolition of Macaria. (Image below)

Letter from Camden Council to the Camden Historical Society dated 31 August 1970 about the possible demolition of Macaria

 The councils reply stated:

The Council of the Municipality of Camden
Box 10, PO,

August 31, 1970
Mrs N Blattman
Hon Secretary
Camden Historical Society
57 Menangle Road

I refer to your letter of August 17, 1970, concerning the Council's reported decision to demolish the above property in the near future, and wish to inform you that it was considered by Council at its meeting held on August 24, 1970.

Council acquired the property some 5 years ago for the purpose of providing a suitable site for a future civic administration building. The question was raised at that time as to whether the property had any architectural or historic value, which would warrant its retention. Council's Architects at the time, who were connected to the National Trust of Australia, reported to Council that 'Macaria' had no historic or particular architectural value and that its retention on these grounds could not be justified.

However, Council decided to inform the Society that it had in mind to recover and re-use bricks and sandstone from 'Macaria' as far as this is practical, with a view to preserving the present character of John Street. You might rest assured that the views of the Society and others regarding the preservation of the present character of John Street, will be fully considered by Council when the time comes for the re-development of the 'Macaria' site to take place.

Yours faithfully,
J Mack
Town Clerk

Note: The loss of Macaria was this close! John Wrigley

The National Trust of Australia (NSW) considered Macaria in the 1970s.
Macaria was considered an important historic property in the 1970s by the National Trust of Australia (NSW)

Macaria in 2016 after Camden Council moved to new office premises in Oran Park (I Willis)

Macaria's heritage importance today

Today Macaria's heritage importance is recognised as being nationally significant.

The New South Wales State Heritage Inventory states:
For a house of this scale, Macaria is among the best picturesque Gothic houses in Australia. This, when combined with its importance to Camden, makes it a building of great significance.  A fine early townhouse of distinctive and interesting architectural quality, associated with an important figure of the town's early years.
The Australian Heritage Place Inventory states:
Built 1842. For a house of this scale, Macaria is amongst the best picturesque Gothic houses in the Commonwealth of Australia. This, when combined with its importance to Camden, makes it a building of great significance.

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Leppington progress and development


76 Rickard Road

Brochure for the sale of 76 Rickard Road, Leppington

There has been a development application lodged by NRI Byron Developments Pty Ltd in April 2016  with Camden Council for a project at 76 Rickard Road. The project is for the construction of 3 four storey residential flat buildings containing a total of 250 apartments (1, 2 and 3 bedroom units), basement car parking, road construction, subdivision to create 2 lots and associated site works.

The proposal is to have 26 one bedroom units, 207 two bedroom units and 17 three bedroom units.

The value of the project is $85 million dollars. Currently the project has been referred for environmental assessment.

The heritage assessment of the locality states:
The study area is located within the 3000 acres granted to Alexander Riley in 1816. The grant in part was a consolidation of earlier grants made in 1809 to David Bevan (700 acres in two grants), Samuel Foster (100 acres), and John Pye (200 acres)1 , and Riley's 500 acres. This extensive land holding was located at the junction of Cowpasture Road and Bringelly Road, both key routes to the southern and western fringes of the Cumberland Plain. 
British colonisation of the country south-west of Liverpool began in 1809, and continued in the 1810s under the administration of Governor Macquarie and his successors into the 1830s. This was undertaken by alienation of the land and imposition of the rule of law. In most instances, land grants were made to free settlers and former military men with the wherewithal to establish stock runs. The grants were therefore large in area and consequently the country was sparsely settled. The soils are generally poor, but the creek systems of South Creek and Cabramatta Creek sustained farming over generations. 
In 1821 700 acres were granted to William Cordeaux, a colonial Land Commissioner, on the Cumberland Plains near Denham Court (Roads and Maritime Services 2013:24). On this property Cordeaux built a hill-top mansion which he named ‘Leppington Park’ after a village near his birthplace. The locality soon adopted this name and became known as Leppington. From the original grants at Leppington smaller farm holdings were subdivided, and since then the area has primarily remained a community of small farms.  

The development documents state:
The site is located within the Leppington Precinct of the South-West Priority Growth Area (SWPGA). The SWPGA and the North-West Priority Growth Area are strategic locations identified for the provision of much of Sydney’s long term housing supply. The Leppington Precinct is projected to provide up to 7,190 dwellings to house up to 24,000 people at full capacity.
Leppington Precinct Plan
The Leppington Precinct forms part of the SWPGA and planning for Stage 1 of its development is now complete. Stage 1 of the Leppington Priority Precinct was rezoned in November 2015. The Precinct Plan developed by NSW Planning and Environment (NSW P&E) to guide its future development makes provision for:
  •  2,500 new homes; 
  • A new primary school and K-12 school; 
  •  A new community centre; 
  • Upgraded rail and road infrastructure; and 
  • New open space including playing fields and recreational lands. 
The Precinct benefits from proximity to Leppington Railway Station providing rail services along the South West Rail Link as well as a new ‘Major Centre’ within the Leppington North Precinct which provides opportunities for employment, shopping and entertainment.
Read more at Camden Council 

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Heritage Protection at Camden Council

Macaria which was formerly the offices of Camden Council to 2016. The new council offices are at Oran Park.

Heritage Protection at Camden Council

At tonight's Camden Council meeting (25 October 2016) councillors unanimously agreed to ask council officers to prepare a report on the establishment of a heritage protection sub-committee. It was moved that any proposed  sub-committee might include councillor representativs, community representatives, independent heritage experts, and representatives of historical groups and other appropriate organisations.

This is the first time that Camden Council has considered forming a committee related solely to heritage protection that could include a range of representatives from council, the community and experts in the field.

The motion was moved by Councillor Cindy Cagney, who stated the she felt the committee should be about preservation and promotion of the local area. She talked about her experience on Campbelltown Council and how Campbelltown Council heritage committee helped community members and councillors around heritage matters.

Councillor Cagney mentioned similar sub-committees at Campbelltown, and other councils. She saw any sub-committee taking a broad role on heritage issues, from advising on a heritage palatte for buildings, to writing histories of important heritage items.

Argyle Street in Camden which was originally founded in 1840 as part of the Macarthur's Camden Park.  

Councillor Eva Campbell spoke in support and said that social heritage of the local area was also important and that it was often overlooked. She stated the heritage made up an important part of a community's sense of place.

In reply to an amended motion Councillor Cagney stated that heritage included natural heritage, cultural heritage as well as built heritage of the local area.

Dr Ian Willis gave a public address to the council early in the evening in support of the proposal. His address is as follows:

Camden Council Public Address
FROM: Cr Cagney
TRIM #: 16/300825

 I would like to thank the councillors for the opportunity to address the meeting this evening. I would like to speak in support of the motion put by Councillor Cagney.

 I think that a section 355 sub-committee on Heritage Protection is long over due in the Camden Local Government Area.

 A panel of councillors, experts and community members could give sound and constructive advice to Camden Council on local issues of substance related to local heritage.

 This could contribute to the Council’s knowledge of heritage matters within the community.

 The proposed Heritage Protection sub-committee could allow stakeholders a platform to voice their concerns around any proposed development that effected any issues concerning heritage in the Local Government Area.

 The proposed Heritage Protection sub-committee could seek the view of external experts on contentious heritage matters within the Local Government Area.
 The proposed sub-committee could provide considered advice to Council on matters of heritage concern to the community.

 Perhaps provide more light that heat on matters of community concern.  Such advice might lower the noise levels around proposed development around heritage issues that have arisen in recent months.

 In 2010 I wrote an article that appeared in Fairfax Media which I called ‘Heritage, adismal state of affairs’. It was in response to an article by journalist Jonathan Chancellor about the neglected state of Camden’s heritage lists.

 In the article I quoted Sylvia Hales view expressed in the National Trust Magazine that in New South Wales there had been ‘the systematic dismantling of heritage protection’ over the past five years.

 I also quoted the view of Macquarie University geographer Graeme Alpin who wrote in Australian Quarterly that ‘heritage listing at the local level does not provide much protection at all'’.

 I expressed the view at the time that there needed to be a ‘ thorough and considered assessment of historic houses’. And that  'the current political climate in New South Wales is not conducive to the protection of historic houses. Heritage is not a high priority'.

Six years later I have not changed my view.
 The proposed sub-committee could give greater prominence to the Camden Heritage Inventory, similar to Campbelltown Council and Wollondilly Council.

 In 2015 I wrote a post on my blog that I called ‘Camden Mysterious Heritage List’ in frustration after spending a great deal of time and effort trying to find the heritage inventory on the Council’s website. It is still difficult to find.

 In conclusion, the proposed Heritage Protection sub-committee would be a valuable source of advice for council and provide a platform for the community to express their view around heritage issues.

Thursday 30 June 2016

More developments at the Camden Milk Depot

Camden Vale Milk Depot Saga

DA/2016/169 Camden Council

The District Reporter 24 June 2016 p3

There have been more developments in the saga of the Camden Vale Milk Depot story.

Sydney identities Mr Alan Jones and Mr Mark Latham have been drawn into the controversy. 

Listen to a conversation between Alan Jones and Mark Latham on Sydney Radio 2GB and read a letter to the editor of the Camden Narellan Advertiser by concerned resident Mr J Wrigley. 

Mr Jones has stated that he has received a stream of emails and phone calls on this matter and other issues related to the town centre development.

Mr Jones and Mr Latham paid a visit to Camden to inspect what the fuss is all about. Lee Abrahams from The District Reporter has published a story about their visit which has appeared in a recent issue of the newspaper. (24 June 2016)

It is advantageous that according to The District Reporter (11 May 2016) and reports in the Macarthur Chronicle (26 April 2016) the mayor's position on these issues seems to have shifted from her earlier statements about the development. 

Camden Vale Milk Depot (Camden Images)
The handling of this development application by Camden Council has been unfortunate. The notification for the original DA was not publicly advertised in the press and then there seemed to be considerable confusion around the publication exhibition period dates. 

The council's approach on this matter has done nothing to narrow the trust deficit that emerged in 2014 with the community consultation process for the town centre re-development.

The council's continued politicisation of these type of development matters is regrettable. The council needs to build confidence within the community.

Read more on the Camden Vale Milk Depot

Monday 30 May 2016

Parramatta Heritage Under Threat

Member of the Parramatta Historical Society and National Trust Karen Brown says:
There are 1820s Francis Greenway Parramatta Female Factory buildings in the Cumberland Mental Hospital precinct in North Parramatta that are subject to Nsw Urban Growth rezoning and private sell off.

There is incredible colonial convict history contained within this 30 hectare site on the banks of the Parramatta River that many members of the public wouldn't even know exist seeing as NSW Health use the site as a mental hospital.

The local residents are trying to circulate interest in the sydney residents to attend a community rally to show solidarity and support to stop any new buildings being built and land sold to developers.

The government wants super lots sold to developers and built close to these old buildings. it's hard to show the Government that people care about its importance when many Sydneysiders don't even know these buildings are here to protect.

The North Parramatta Residents Action Group of only 100 or so people are trying to inform Sydneysiders of these plans and hope you will join us for a rally this Sunday 5th June, meeting at 11am at Parramatta Stadium carpark.

For more information about these issues go to

All images K Brown.

Saturday 14 May 2016

Development at Camden Milk Depot site

Development at the historic Camden Milk Depot site

DA/2016/169 Camden Council

The District Reporter 29 April 2016

A major development is planned for the historic Camden Vale Milk Depot site at 11 Argyle Street Camden at the entry to the historic town centre
The $8.8 million development was lodged in April 2016 by developer C Meitanis for five restaurants and a car park.

Camden mayor, Councillor Symkoviak has stated that it will transform the site into a restaurant precinct. (Macarthur Chronicle 26 April 2016, p13; Camden Narellan Advertiser, 11 May 2016, p7)

Not everyone agrees with the mayor.

A number of community groups including the Camden Residents Action Group, the Camden Community Alliance and the Camden Historical Society  have objected to the development. (Camden Narellan Advertiser, 11 May 2016, p7; Macarthur Chronicle, 26 April 2016, p.13; The District Reporter, 29 April 2016, p. 3)

Former Camden Council Mr K Hart stated in April that the development would completely change the entry to the town area. (The District Reporter, 29 April 2016, p.3)

Historian Dr I Willis maintains that the development does not conform to Burra Charter principles.
The Burra Charter states:
The Burra Charter provides guidance for the conservation and management of places of cultural
significance (cultural heritage places), and is based on the knowledge and experience of Australia
ICOMOS members. Conservation is an integral part of the management of places of cultural significance and is an ongoing responsibility.

Camden Community Alliance vice-president Ms L Idon stated that the development does fit with the historic centre of the town area. (Camden Narellan Advertiser, 11 May 2016, p.7)

The current industrial building on the site was opened in 1926 and was a milk depot of Camden Park's Camden Vale Milk Company. The plant was regarded at the time as one of the most modern for the scientific treatment of milk. The current building replaced a former timber construction that burnt down in 1926 that was originally built in the 1890s.

Read more 

Janice Johnson Back Then The District Reporter 1 April 2016, 8 April 2016,

Camden Vale Milk Depot, NSW State Heritage Inventory, Click here

The Burra Charter  Revised 2013 Click here  More information at the International Council of Monuments and Sites in Australia Click here

Proposed development for Camden Vale Milk Depot, DA/2016/169 Click here

Thursday 28 April 2016

Elderslie Banksia Scrub - Critically Endangered

Elderslie Banksia Scrub (I Willis)

The Elderslie Banksia Scrub is listed as critically endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Elderslie Banksia Scrub (I Willis)

Common Species
Coastal banksia, Broad-leaf apple

Elderslie Banksia Scrub (I Willis)
It occurs on the alluvial sands in the Elderslie area and there is only around 13 hectares left of the scrub.

The biggest threat is from sandmining in the Elderslie area. The remaining remnants are vulnerable and threatened by invasive weeds.
Elderslie Banksia Scrub disturbed by local road (I Willis)
Recovery and Management
There has been efforts to re-vegetate the Elderslie Banksia Scrub at Spring Farm.

Rehabilitation of Elderslie Banksia Scrub (Microclimate)

Read more @

Office of Environment and Heritage Click here
The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act (NSW) Click here
Elderslie Banksia Scrub Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion - profile (OEH) Click here
Three ecological communities of the Sydney Basin Bioregion (Aust Govt, Dept of Environt) Click here
Spring Farm, (Dictionary of Sydney) Click here
Final determination as Critically Endangered Ecological Community under the Threatened Species Conservation Act (NSW)  Click here

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Camden White Gum- Endangered

Camden White Gums - Endangered

cc Camden White Gum (Wikimedia) 

One of Camden's little known hidden gems is a tree commonly known as the Camden White Gum. This gum tree is named after our local area. It is found along the Nepean River floodplain in the Camden area, as well Bents Basin and the Kedumba Valley in the Blue Mountains. It grows in numbers in these restricted locations but not elsewhere.


The species of tree is declared as vulnerable under the Commonwealth Governments endangered species and the NSW threatened species.


The flooding of the Burragorang Valley by Warragamba Dam in the 1950s destroyed many trees of the species.


Some individual trees live for over 150 years. Germination of new trees is triggered by floods on the Nepean River which leave a suitable silt deposit for germination of new seedlings.


These include tree clearing for farming and urban development, increased nutrients in the Nepean River from sewage and runoff, intense bushfires which kill existing trees and weed competition.  


In 2020 as part of the New South Wales government's Greening Our City program
The Connecting Camden White Gum project has secured $41,500 to plant 500 genetically diverse Camden White Gum within the Nepean River corridor at Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve and is part of the wider program to plant more than 40,000 trees across Greater Sydney.  (Camden Narellan Advertiser 16 December 2020)

Read more

National Arboretum in Canberra Click here
NSW National Parks Click here

Originally posted 21 April 2016. Updated 17 December 2020.

Saturday 9 April 2016

Camden Vale Milk Depot

Camden Vale Milk Depot/Old Dairy Farmers Co-op Depot
11 Argyle Street Camden

Lot 1, DP 219757

Camden Vale Milk Depot/Dairy Farmers Milk Depot c1970s (Camden Images)

History and Description

The foundation stone was laid in 1926 by Mrs F.A. Macarthur-Onslow, Mayoress of Camden and wife of Camden Vale Milk Co Ltd. The name was later changed to Dairy Farmers Co-operative Milk Co in 1928. They operated the factory until the 1970s.(SHI)

Condition and Use

The Old Dairy Farmer's Co-op Depot has poor to fair integrity and intactness. (SHI)

Heritage Significance

An early dairy of the Camden Vale Milk Co Ltd (later changed to Dairy Farmers). (SHI)

Heritage Listing

Camden Heritage Inventory LEP 2010 Listing Item I3

State Heritage Inventory Built Commercial Listing

Read more

State Heritage Inventory Click here

Thursday 31 March 2016

Commercial Bank Camden NSW

Commercial Bank of Sydney

125 Argyle Street, Camden. Lot 1 DP 986203

Commercial Bank, Argyle Street, Camden NSW (Camden Images)

History and Description

It was built in 1877-78 to the design of G.A. Mansfield, who did much of the CBC's architectural work at that time. The contractor was C. Furner of Camden. A one storey extension added 1972-73 by Architects Laurie and Heath, sympathetically following the style and detail of the original building. (State Heritage Inventory)

A fine example of the late Victorian Bank buildings to be found in country towns of New South Wales. It is in an Italianate style with a fine stone entrance porch to the main elevation and a cast iron balustraded verandah and balcony to its two storeys. The wisteria vine which climbs over the verandah is considered part of the Bank's aesthetic contribution. (SHI)

The building has a hipped shingle roof with a tiled ridgecap and painted chimneys. The entrance door is a timber framed glass sliding door with a highlight window. The building has arched two pane double hung windows. There are french doors to the first floor verandah. (State Heritage Inventory)

The entrance doors have been converted to automatic sliding doors. Airconditioners have been installed. Single storey extension. National Estate Database)

Condition and Use

The building is in good condition. The building is currently occupied by the NAB, and other small businesses. (SHI)

Heritage Significance

An important and noticeable building in a key position on the corner of Camden's two main streets. It continues to be used for its original purpose and well kept over the years. The building is representative of a Victorian Italianate building. It is part of the John Street Group. (SHI) The bank retains good integrity and intactness. (SHI)

Heritage Listing

LEP 2010 item no 112.

State Heritage Inventory (NSW). Built Heritage. Click here

National Estate Database Australian Heritage Commission Click here

Friday 5 February 2016

Clinton’s Motor Showroom & Garage, Camden.

Clinton’s Motor Showroom & Garage

16 Argyle Street
Camden 2570
Lot 2, DP 1017656

Clintons Car Showroom c.1983 (J Wrigley/Camden Images)

History and Description
The car showroom was built for Clinton Motors, the local Holden dealership, by local builder Mark Jensen in 1947  to coincide with the launch of the new Holden motor car in Australia.  

Jack and William Clinton, who had extensive interests in the Burragorang Valley coalfields, extended their business  into the the motor trade in 1945. William Clinton launched Clintons Distributions which is the pioneering General Motors dealership in the area in 1945. The business became the local General Motors Holden agency at Narellan. They sold Oldsmobiles, Mapleleafs, Buick, La Salle, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Bedford and Vauxhall vehicles. They moved to Camden in 1946 and Barry Clinton became sales manager. (Willis, Clinton Motor Group)

John Wrigley reports that one of the early sales manager was John Smails, service manager Harold Monaghan,  and parts manager Garnet Rofe. In 1949 the dealership sold 65 Holden motor cars. (TDR 7 March 2008)

Condition and Use
The building is currently used as a real estate agency.

Heritage Significance
According to the Camden Heritage Inventory is a rare masonry Art Deco building with large shopfront and wrap around awning. The tower on the front of the building is meant to represent the grille of a Holden car. 

Heritage Listing
Local Item 4

Read more
Ian Willis, Pictorial History of Camden & District (2015)
History of the Clinton Motor Group Click here