Sydney Architecture Images- The Rocks and the Quay





176 Cumberland Street The Rocks




Old Colonial Regency




Lilyvale was built as a town house for Michael Farrell, an inkeeper on land in Cumberland Street that he had purchased in 1838 from Robert Fopp, a butcher. The house was probably built in 1847 and it replaced a single storey brick dwelling which was on the site in 1845. Originally intended as a town house, Lilyvale seems to have quickly assumed the role of a tavern and a boarding house, the latter being its present use. In 1885 it was known as Cumberland Hotel and in the following years was known as Clare Tavern and Athol Blair. The origin of the name Lilyvale is unknown, but was in use when the property was surveyed in 1928. The architectural style of Lilyvale reflects the introduction in NSW of the 1837 Building Act by Legislative Council, and a subsequent Act of 1845 intended to clarify the earlier Act. The legislation, aimed primarily at fire prevention, was based on the London Building Act on 1709 and effectively put an end to the Colonial style compatible with the legislation. The resulting architecture was similar to the style of London architecture of the early 19th century, although perhaps more austere. Lilyvale forms an important link in domestic, town architecture between the Colonial and the Victorian/Italianate styles.

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