Saturday 11 July 2020

Studley Park Narellan. NSW

Studley Park

Payne's Folly, St. Helen's School, Campbelltown-Camden Grammar School
52 Lodges Road 
Narellan, NSW.
Part Lot 1 & 5, DP 859872
-34.05021106586053, 150.7302815385643

Studley Park House - Camden Grammar School, Narellan c1909 (Camden Images)

History and Description 

On 2 October 1888, businessman William Charles Payne bought the combined property of 200 acres from Thompson for 1400 pounds. He authorised AL & G. McCredie of Sydney to construct the house, stables and a granary/engine house. The engine house reportedly contained a steam traction engine and a dynamo, providing electricity to the house.

A lengthy article in the "Australasian Building and Contractors News" on 20/7/1889 described the project. It called the house a 'picturesque looking villa-residence, in a light Italian style'. A rendered drawing view of the house from the west incorporated the two-floor plans produced by the McCredies at the time of construction (SHI)

Payne named the property 'Studley Park'. Ray Herbert writes that Payne named it after a property near where his father-in-law lived at Ripon in England. There is no evidence Payne intended Studley Park to be a self-supporting farm. What is more likely is that it was established as a country retreat. Many such estates were built around the outskirts of Sydney during the latter half of the 19th century. The opulent mansion bankrupted Payne: he sold it in 1902, and it became Camden Grammar School. (SHI)

A few decades later, it was transformed into an art deco playground for the sales manager of 20th Century Fox. The period of ownership of Studley Park House by AA (Arthur) Gregory in the 1930s is represented by its remaining 'Hollywood' style internal finishes and is supported by high-quality, contemporary photographs. Gregory was the US film company Twentieth Century Fox representative in Australia. (SHI)

During World War 2, it was resumed as the Eastern Command Training School for the army (Richardson, 2010).

Condition and Use

In 2009 the house was sold to a private owner, and the golf course land was transferred to the care, control and management of Camden Council (Lisa Howard, Camden Council pers.comm., 14 December 2010).

Heritage Significance

Studley Park House is an excellent example of Victorian Italianate architecture, enhanced by its prominent location and open landscape setting. It is one of the last 'country estate' dwellings to be built in the Camden/Campbelltown area and represents the work of the Sydney firm of architects AL & G McCredie.

Studley Park is a place of State significance for its aesthetic and visual qualities associated with a beautiful nineteenth-century country house and its setting and for its historical associations with important uses and historical themes of twentieth-century development around Sydney. (SHI)

The site has natural heritage value in retaining two areas of regenerating remnant (endangered ecological community) Cumberland Plain Woodland, including a population of the nationally endangered shrub species, Pimelea spicata. (Read, S., 2005)

Heritage Listing 

Camden LEP   I133
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 00389
Register of the National Estate 3240
National Trust of Australia register 10045

Read more 

State Heritage Inventory Click here