Revival: Built in 1904 for George Baker by George F Nott, architect Ranclaud of Tamworth, Birida is a classic statement of the Queen Anne Revival style.. This is the eleventh in my series on New England's built landscape and architecture.
I said that each of the
England centres had their own style reflecting the period at which
they were built.
In Armidale’s case, the old city is predominantly Victorian with a strong admixture of Federation styles. There are also Georgian overlays in things such as the symmetrical rooflines that persisted into the Federation period.
The first vernacular colonial slab and bark buildings clustered around Rusden, Beardy and Dumaresq streets. By the mid 1850s, these were being replaced by a more sophisticated vernacular form with dressed timbers and shingle roofs. Very few if any of these buildings survive.
While brick was available, timber would continue to be an important building material into the twentieth century especially (but not always) in the more modest dwellings. For that reason, a number of architectural styles can be found expressed in timber, including the California Bungalow. style that forms such an important part of the Armidale streetscape.
As wealth increased, the still small merchant and professional class began to build bigger houses on South Hill from Barney to
These generally faced north to catch the sun with views over the town.
Workmen’s cottages were also required. By 1870 inns, stores, blacksmiths shops and small factories had developed on the western edge of town including Barnett A Moses substantial tannery. The coming of the railway accelerated this trend. Armidale west of
Jessie Street became the working class
Brown Street provides a microcosm of all
the different styles, one that you can walk or drive using Dr John Ferry’s 2007
book, Brown Street Armidale NSW 2350 as a guide.
The street is book ended by two of Armidale’s most iconic buildings, the railway station in the west, the
in the east. Opened in 1883, the
railway station is an outstanding example of the high Victorian architecture
that marked so many railway stations of the period. Armidale School
building opened ten years later. Designed by architect Sir John Sulman, it is a
Federation Queen Anne style building with both arts and crafts and Victorian
elements. Armidale School
First house: Built in 1863 by builder John Barnes and then sold to Joseph Scholes, Newton Terrace now Marsh House was the first house in Armidale's Brown Street area, laying the basis for the fashionable mansions that would follow.
The development of
Brown Street began when early Armidale builder John Barnes built a house on spec in 1863 and then sold it to successful Armidale
businessman Joseph Scholes who named it Newton Terrace. The house survives
today as Marsh House.
From this point, development extended along the street. From the railway station to
Jessie Street the houses generally began
as workmen’s cottages. From Jessie
Street you find the more substantial residences
that with their counterparts in Mann and Barney Streets form one of Armidale’s most
significant architectural precincts.
Note to readers: This post appeared as a column in the Armidale Express Extra on 15 November 2017. I am repeating the columns here with a lag because they are not all on line outside subscription. You can see all the Belshaw World and History Revisited/History Matters columns by clicking here for 2009, here for 2010, here for 2011, here for 2012, here for 2013, here for 2014, here for 2015, here for 2016, here 2017.