THE FORMER CROWLE HOME SITE BECAME A DEICORP DEVELOPMENT AT MEADOWBANK (Belmore Street Ryde)
In 2019 Crowle Home is surrounded by cutterbox development of five buildings containing 416 Apartments with a height of seven storeys.
TO SUM THIS UP …
PERHAPS a prime example of an abuse of a family’s generosity through the somewhat notorious Part 3A, and now morphed into State Significant Development:
Crowle Home on a 2 Hectare site was originally donated by W.A. Crowle as a home for delinquent boys and then in 1951 it was gifted to provide accommodation for people with intellectual disabilities.
Mr W.A. Crowle was buried in the memorial gardens of this estate. This site underwent excavation for 6 mixed-use residential buildings of 7 storeys.
In 2009 it was taken over by Achieve Australia, a private service provider for the disabled. The 31 residents were moved to supported housing.
Samuel Crowle says:
“It’s a sad time for the people at Crowle Home. My Great Grandfather, W.A. Crowle set up Crowle Home, and is buried in the memorial gardens there. We are very disappointed that his act of generosity to others is being used for profit.”
23 July 2012
Redevelopment of Crowle Home at 74-76 Belmore St Ryde.
Update: September 2013. Construction started on residential development
This area is going to be mixed residential, commercial and retail development of
470 dwellings in 6 buildings of maximum 7 storeys plus 584 car spaces.
This development was originally submitted to the Department of Planning as a Part 3A development and continued as a Major Project following NSW Government Review in April 2011.
The Friends of Crowle Home addressed Ryde Council on 14 December 2011 to express their concern about the impact of the proposed development on their relatives accommodated at Crowle Home (which like Ryde Rehabilitation Centre) was a philanthropic gift by the Crowle family in the 1950’s to provide accommodation for people with intellectual disabilities. Disturbingly, it appears that this concern has NOT been resolved.
The proposed redevelopment is currently under assessment by Planning NSW.
View details and public submissions at Planning NSW website.
SCROLL DOWN FOR ‘STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE’ AND MORE ABOUT CROWLE HOME!
CAAN Photo: April 10, 2015. Crowle Home view from the front. A site office.
THE FORMER CROWLE HOME SITE NOW A DEICORP DEVELOPMENT AT WEST RYDE/MEADOWBANK
THE CROWLE HOME
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Statement of significance:
The Crowle Home, formerly Telleraga, built in 1902 as the home of George Australia Denning (1867-1943), a retired civil servant and his family, is of historical significance as evidence of the 1901 subdivision the Blanch Estate, and for its continuing association, since the 1940s, with charitable functions: initally a rehabilitation centre called The Once Upon A Time Home for delinquent boys who had passed through the Children’s Court, set up by the Reverend John Hope and William Alfred Leopold Crowle; from 1952 The Sub-Normal Children’s Welfare Association (later known as the Crowle Foundation) set up as a school for ‘sub-normal’ children in what became known as Crowle Home, donated by the Estate of the late William Crowle in 1952; from October 1993 the Crowle Foundation Limited, and from April 2011 Achieve Australia (which had merged with the Crowle Foundation), and currently used by Achieve Australia to provide services and support for people with disabilities.
The house has associations with William Alfred Leopold Crowle, a prominent philanthropist.
The house and landscape elements, including circular drive, gateposts, palisade fence, tree plantings and Crowle war memorial garden are significant elements of the site. The house is of aesthetic significance as a fine representative example of a Federation Queen Anne style house which retains much of its original site, though the setting of the house has been compromised by later development on the site.
The house has social significance as a site providing charitable functions, including assistance for people with disabilities, since the 1940s.
Date significance updated: 01 Feb 12
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Branch intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.
Physical description: The subject site comprises several buildings located within the grounds of the original single-storey residence of ‘Tellaraga’. These buildings, together with construction dates, are as follows:
‘Tellaraga’ Home (c1904); EF Ward Building (1968); Alan Penney Memorial Centre (1969 and 1983); Lindsey Cottage (1970 and 1990); Swimming Pool (1970); Lacey House, Administration Block (1971); Dulcie Johnson Hall (1976); Activity Therapy Centre (1979); and Johannes Guttenberg German School (1992-2008).
The house, the former Telleraga, is a large brick single storey Federation Queen Anne style house set within extensive landscaped grounds with frontages to Junction Street, Porter Street and Belmore Street, which have been developed as an institution. The grounds are bound by a fine palisade fence, memorial gardens and circular driveway with established trees surrounding the site.
The house is symmetrical in form and dominated by a large hipped slate roof with side gabled bays ventilating gables and a gablet marking the entry. The roof extends over a verandah which wraps around the building with a bellcast profile.
Clad in slate with decorative terracotta ridge capping, the roof features symmetrically placed rendered chimneys with terracotta chimney pots.
The verandah is supported by cast iron columns and some lace work balustrade panels are extant. The verandah floor is finished with tessellated tiles. The house is constructed of red tuck-pointed face brickwork.
The front facade features a glazed entry door with leadlight fanlight and side panels and groups of floor-to-ceiling timber double hung sash windows. The house is compromised by extensive blond brick and tile structures built to the side and rear of the heritage item, and changes to its setting.
The 1946 Memorial garden and views to and from the house are significant.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential: Good
Date condition updated:16 Dec 11
Modifications and dates: The house is compromised by extensive blond brick and tile structures built to the side and rear of the heritage item, and changes to its setting.
Further information: The 1904 house and landscape elements, including circular drive, gateposts,
palisade fence, tree plantings and 1946 Crowle war memorial garden are
elements that remain and contribute to the historic and aesthetic significance of the place.
Current use: Institutional
Former use: Residence
Historical notes: AREA HISTORY
Aboriginal people inhabited the Sydney basin for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. The northern coastal area of Sydney was home to the Guringai people, western Sydney was home to the Dharug clans, and southern Sydney was inhabited by the Dharawal clans. The Guringai lived primarily along the foreshores of the harbour, and fished and hunted in the waters and hinterlands of the area.
All clans harvested food from their surrounding bush. Self-sufficient and harmonious, they had no need to travel far from their lands, since the resources around them were so abundant, and trade with other tribal groups was well established. The British arrival in 1788 had a dramatic impact on all of the Sydney clans. Food resources were quickly diminished by the invaders, who had little understanding of the local environment.
As a result, the Aboriginal people throughout the Sydney Basin were soon close to starvation. The Sydney clans fought back against the invaders, but the introduction of diseases from Europe and Asia, most notably smallpox, destroyed over half the population.
The clearing of land for settlements and farms displaced local tribes and reduced the availability of natural food resources, leaving Aboriginal people reliant on white food and clothing. The French surgeon and pharmacist Rene Primavere Lesson, who visited Sydney in 1824, wrote: “the tribes today are reduced to fragments scattered all around Port Jackson, on the land where their ancestors lived and which they do not wish to leave.”
(Information taken from City of Ryde Aboriginal Site Management Report, Aboriginal Heritage Office, 2011).
In the early years of European settlement of Sydney, the Ryde area was found to be highly suitable for farming and orchards, and early colonial land grants to marines were given to encourage agriculture. In January 1792 land in the area which extended from Dundas to the Lane Cove River along the northern bank of the river, was granted to eight marines.
The area was named by Governor Phillip the “Field of Mars”, Mars being the ancient Roman God of war, named to reflect the military associations of the land grantees. Two of these land grants were made in the modern area of the suburb of Ryde. Isaac Archer and John Colethread each received 80 acres of land on the site of the present Ryde-Parramatta Golf Links (now in West Ryde).
These grants were followed soon after by grants to ten emancipated convicts in February 1792, the land being further to the east of the marine’s grants, in the area now central to Ryde. Most of the grants were small, from 30 to 100 acres. This area was called Eastern Farms or the Eastern Boundary. By 1794 the name Eastern Farms had given way to Kissing Point, a name believed to have originated from the way in which heavily laden boats passing up the Parramatta River bumped or ‘kissed’ the rocky outcrop which extends into the river at today’s Kissing Point.
Further grants were issued in 1794 and 1795, gradually occupying most of the foreshores between Meadowbank and Gladesville. Some of the grants were at North Brush, north of the Field of Mars settlement, in the area of Brush Farm and Eastwood.
Much later these were bought by John Macarthur, Gregory Blaxland and the Reverend Samuel Marsden. The district remained an important orcharding area throughout the 19th century.
The land on which Ryde House (now Willandra) was built was part of the emancipist John Small’s 1794 grant and was acquired by James Devlin in 1828 from Thomas Small, James’ step-father. James Devlin (1808-1875) was born in NSW, the son of Irish exile Arthur Devlin and his colonial-born wife Priscilla Squire.
Devlin was originally a wheelwright, and later became a successful developer and contractor. James Devlin was a warden of St Anne’s Church, Ryde and also a trustee for many years, and a Trustee of the Field of Mars Common, Devlin was instrumental in advocating for the proclamation of Ryde as a municipality and was one of the first Ryde aldermen in 1871. Devlin’s Creek and Devlin Street are named after James Devlin. (Pollen, 1996).
About 1840 the name Ryde began to be used in the locality, with Devlin’s 1841 subdivision being the earliest documented use of this name. Megan Martin has shown that the names Ryde and Turner Street were both chosen by James Devlin to honour the new Anglican Minister, Rev. George Turner, whose wife was a native of the English Ryde.
Devlin and his neighbour, James Shepherd, had some 40 lots surveyed in a subdivision they named the Village of Ryde, with Devlin’s ‘East Ryde’ facing St. Anne’s Church and Shepherd’s ‘West Ryde’ facing the road to Parramatta.
Devlin designed and began building the house now known as “Willandra” in 1841 on the old Small’s farm and the Devlin family moved into the house in 1845. At that time it was called Ryde House.
The Crowle Home site, 8 Junction Street Ryde (also known as 76 Belmore Street Ryde), is located on part of an original 30 acre Crown Grant to Richard Cheers (1759-1827), a convict, who arrived at Sydney Cove on 28 June 1790. He was granted conditional pardon for his support of Captain Riou during his ship’s demise.
The grant, at Kissing Point (Ryde) known as Cheers Farm at Eastern Farms, was made on 2 September 1792 by Governor Phillip. He was also given two town leases. On the latter he successfully established the first butchery in the New Colony. His shop occupied the corner of George and Hunter Streets, and his slaughterhouse the tip of Dawes Point.
On 1 January 1810, Richard officially became the owner of his leases when Captain Macquarie signed a Crown Grant of the land for Richard and his heirs to have and hold forever. Cheers built a stockyard on his 30 acre grant and used the land as a grazing farm. In 1818, Richard Cheers sold part of his grant to D’Arcy Wentworth.
D’Arcy Wentworth (1762-1827) immigrated to Australia as an assistant surgeon arriving in Sydney on 28 June 1790. He was immediately appointed an assistant in the hospital at Norfolk Island, became a superintendent of convicts in 1791, and acted at the same time as assistant-surgeon.
He returned to Sydney in 1796, eventually became principal surgeon and superintendent of police, and a magistrate. He was a well-regarded public servant and one of the early colony’s richest men.
When he died in 1827 his properties went to his son William Charles Wentworth (1790-1872), explorer, barrister, landowner and parliamentarian.
Land acquisition was common in the 1830s and James Blanch (1784-1841), a convict who arrived in Australia 18 January 1816, shared in this, acquiring farms at Kissing Point, Brisbane Water and Illawarra in addition to George Street properties.
James Blanch was a mathematical and philosophical instrument maker, brass founder, brazier, plater and general worker in silver and brass. Blanch ran a prosperous business believing that his various properties would provide for his wife and three children.
When Blanch died on 27 October 1841 his widow, Sarah Blanch, believed the value of his estate did not exceed fourteen thousand pounds. In the depths of the depression of 1844 it appears that all of his properties, including Blanch Estate, upon which Crowle Home currently stands, were auctioned off.
In 1901, Lots 10 and 11 of the Blanch Estate were subsequently purchased by George Australia Denning (1867-1943), a retired civil servant who was born in Tamworth. He married Julia Margaret Single (1870-1968) in 1897 and they had three children Enid, Joan and Joyce.
In 1902 he built a substantial single storey house named Tellaraga on this estate in Belmore Street. It was a brick residence with a tiled return front veranda enhanced with iron-lace, high ornate ceilings and fashionable marble fireplaces with tiled surrounds representative of that era.
The name ‘Tellaraga’ appears in the Sands Directory in 1914 and in the 1924 valuation roll it’s described as ‘CTGE 8 RMSK & O BK SLATE ROOF. FERNERY. TENNIS COURT’. Denning and his family lived in the prestigious property until the mid 1940s. During their occupation additional land was acquired in 1936 bringing the total area to four acres.
Following Denning’s death in 1943, the land passed by inheritance to his wife, Julia Margaret Denning. She soon sold the estate to Reverend John Hope and William Alfred Leopold Crowle, who are listed as trustees in the 1947 valuation.
William Crowle was a well known philanthropic gentleman of the period and when he and his partner Hope purchased Tellaraga, they set up a rehabilitation centre called The Once Upon A Time Home for delinquent boys who had passed through the Children’s Court.
Major changes to the home were carried out between 1944 and 1946.
A 2-storey addition was added to the south-eastern side of the house to provide dormitories to house 20 boys. On the north-western side, a large assembly hall was built and this was used as a dining area for the boys.
When William Crowle died in 1948, his trustees Cecil and Lorna Crowle carried on for some years, however they felt that the centre was no longer serving its original intention, and sought a more useful purpose for the land and buildings.
The Sub-Normal Children’s Welfare Association (later known as the Crowle Foundation) set up a school for ‘sub-normal’ children in what became known as Crowle Home, which was donated by the Estate of the late William Crowle in 1952.
The school officially opened on 8 September 1952. At this time the four acre property had a well maintained brick property with six rooms, as well as two dormitories, and an assembly hall which had been added during the time it was a Boys’ Home.
By 1953 Crowle Home had 74 children attending which included 15 residential children (the residential facility commenced in this year).
In March1959 a new building, which included 3 classrooms, was opened. One of the buildings that housed four Association classrooms during the 1950s was later demolished to make room for the E. F. Edwards Building.
In 1961 the completion of a new dining room and kitchen, above which a 12 bed ward was added, cost £16,000.
In 1965 planning began for a building to provide 40 beds and after 3 years of construction the 2 storey building was completed at a cost of $120,000.
The old barn and workshop were demolished in the 1960s and a new building (‘Porter Street’ Building) was completed in 1969, as well as 500 sq. ft. added to the lunch room.
A swimming pool with amenities including showers, dressing rooms and toilets was completed in 1970 (the pool was enclosed in 1987).
The 1980s saw a number of structural changes to the numerous buildings surrounding ‘Crowle Home’ including the completion of a new wing in 1983, canteen in 1987 and cottage in 1990.
In 1992 the Johannes Gutenberg German School leased part of the property.
On 26 October 1993 the property was transferred from The Challenge Foundation of New South Wales to the Crowle Foundation Limited. This change does not appear to have interfered with the general running of the property.
On 7 April 2011 there was a transfer of the property ‘without monetary consideration’ to Achieve Australia. Achieve Australia was originally two separate non-profit organisations, Achieve Foundation and The Crowle Foundation, which merged on 1 January 2009. Both organisations had supported people with disabilities across Sydney for decades and had been incorporated as branches of the Challenge Foundation in the 1950s.
On 24 August 2011 Achieve Australia lodged a plan with the Planning Department outlining major developments for the Crowle properties. Reference was made to the ‘historic house’ (Tellaraga ) that was ‘built in the early 1900s with extra buildings being added to it in the 1970s and ‘80s’. As part of their plan Achieve Australia stated that the ‘long history of the property will be honoured with the restoration and retention of the heritage listed Tellaraga house (Crowle Home) and memorial gardens’.
Crowle Home is currently used to run the Foundation’s Vintage and Value Enterprises which sells an array of products including needlecraft, fabrics, books, plants and pre-loved clothing. It is run by volunteers and proceeds from sale are used by Achieve Australia to provide services and support for people with disabilities.
Crowle Home is aesthetically significant and a fine representative example of a large single storey Federation Queen Anne style house which retains much of its original site, though the setting of the house has been compromised by later development and institutional use. This includes extensive blond brick and tile structures built to the side and rear of the heritage item.
When the Denning’s built the house in 1902, it was mansion-like in its size and location on four acres of land. After about 4 decades of Denning occupation, the house saw a new beginning as a home for the destitute and the disabled, the ‘Crowle Home’.
Whilst the house no longer stands alone on the site on which it was originally built, its historical significance remains a source of pride for the foundation which has been associated with it since 1952.
Australian theme (abbrev) New South Wales theme Local theme
- Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. (none)-
- Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages
Assessment of significance
SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance] The Crowle Home, formerly Telleraga, built in 1902 as the home of George Australia Denning (1867-1943), a retired civil servant and his family, is of historical significance as evidence of the 1901 subdivision the Blanch Estate, and for its continuing association, since the 1940s, with charitable functions: initally a rehabilitation centre called The Once Upon A Time Home for delinquent boys who had passed through the Children’s Court, set up by the Reverend John Hope and William Alfred Leopold Crowle; from 1952 The Sub-Normal Children’s Welfare Association (later known as the Crowle Foundation) set up as a school for ‘sub-normal’ children in what became known as Crowle Home, donated by the Estate of the late William Crowle in 1952; from October 1993 the Crowle Foundation Limited, and from April 2011 Achieve Australia (which had merged with the Crowle Foundation), and currently used by Achieve Australia to provide services and support for people with disabilities.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance] The house is of aesthetic significance as a fine Federation Queen Anne style house which retains much of its original site, though the setting of the house has been compromised by later development on the site.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance] The house has social significance as a site providing charitable functions, including assistance for people with disabilities, since the 1940s.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness] A fine representative Federation Queen Anne style house.
Integrity/Intactness: Some alterations, however the house is relatively intact. Setting altered.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.
DOCUMENTATION: A Heritage Impact Statement is required by Council to accompany any Development Application for non-minor work. Please consult Council staff about your proposal and the level of documentation that will be required as early as possible in the process. Note that Council has adopted planning provisions to assist in the making of minor changes that will not have any impact on the significance of properties without the need to prepare a formal application or Heritage Impact Statement.
In this case Council must be consulted in writing to confirm the nature of the works. Major redevelopment of the site will require a Conservation Management Plan to be prepared with regard to the former house “Tellaraga”.
APPROACHES TO MANAGING THE HERITAGE
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROPERTY: (Note: the detailed requirements for each property will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The following advice provides general principles that should be respected by all development.)
The overall form of the former house “Tellaraga” should be retained and conserved and new uses should be restricted to those that are historically consistent and/or able to be accommodated within the existing fabric with minimal physical impact. All significant exterior fabric should be retained and conserved. The external surfaces and materials of significant facades (generally, but not limited to, those visible from the street or a public place including the water) should be retained, and painted surfaces painted in appropriate colours. Sandstone and face brickwork should not be painted or coated. Significant door and window openings should not be enlarged or enclosed.
Any subdivision of the property should retain an appropriate curtilage for the former house “Tellaraga”. The setting of the house should be protected from the impacts of development and significant plantings, walls, paths and other landscape elements should be retained in a manner that will not threaten the viability of significant gardens, landscapes or views. It is recognised that 1950s and later buildings on the site are of minimal heritage significance, OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHANGE:
All development affecting the former house “Tellaraga” should respect the principle of ‘do as much as necessary but as little as possible’. In most instances, new work should not attempt to replicate historic forms. A ‘contemporary neutral’ design that sits quietly on the site, and enhances the quality of the item, will be a more sympathetic outcome than a ‘fake’ historic building.
Respecting the scale and overall forms, proportions and rhythms of the historic fabric is critical. As a general principle, all major alterations and additions should NOT: – result in demolition of significant fabric – result in excessive site cover; – be visually prominent or overwhelm the existing buildings. – intrude into any views of the property from the public domain, including the water; and should be: – located behind the historic building/s on the site; – visually subservient and have minimal impact on heritage significance including that of views over the property.
Single storey extensions will generally be preferred over two-storey forms unless there is a sound heritage reason to do otherwise. Attic rooms must be accommodated in the original roof form. Solid fences or high walls on street boundaries and structures – including car parking structures – forward of the front building line are strongly discouraged.
Heritage Listing Listing Title Listing Number Gazette Date Gazette Number Gazette Page
Local Environmental Plan Ryde LEP 2010 57
Local Environmental Plan Ryde Draft LEP 2011 I57
Local Environmental Plan Ryde LEP 2014 I57 02 Sep 14
Local Environmental Plan – Lapsed LEP No. 105 72 17 Jan 03 14 349
Title Year Number Author Inspected by Guidelines used
Ryde Heritage Study 1988 72 Jonathan Falk Planning Consutants P/L Assoc with Rodney Jensen and Assoc P/L No
Review of 1988 Ryde Heritage Study. 2002 Hill Thalis Architecture and Urban Projects. Yes
Ryde SHI Review Stage 1 2012 Paul Davies Pty Ltd Yes
References, internet links & images
Type Author Year Title Internet Links
Written 2011 Achieve News (Spring 2011)
Written Land and Property Information Documents Folio 1/921633
Written Sands Directories: Sydney and New South Wales, Australia (1858-1933)
Written Valuation Roll Ryde 1924 (valuation no. 814)
Written Valuation Roll Ryde 1947 (valuation no. 1033)
Written Dr Sascha Jenkins 2012 Historical research for Ryde SHI Review Stage 1, Paul Davies Pty Ltd
Written Holland, Julian, 2000 James Blanch – Australia’s First Metrologist?’ The Australian
Metrologist (No. 21, May 2000,
Written Martin, Megan, 1998 A Pictorial History of Ryde
Written NBRS+PARTNERS 2011 Heritage Assessment and Curtilage Study – Crowle Home (formerly
“Tellaraga”, 8 Junction Street, Ryde, March 2011
Written Phippen, Angela 2008 Ryde suburb history, Dictionary of Sydney online
Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.
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The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2340046
Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.
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Links for further information …
Recurring theme of the lack of consultation concerning the redevelopment of Crowle Home …