Colleges & Tertiary Institutions

AHS has prepared a range of Conservation Management Plans on 19th and 20th century colleges, a number of which developed out of substantial private mansion estates, including Sacred Heart College, Newtown.

A few of these Conservation Management Plans are:

Australian Catholic University, Aquinas Campus, Mair Street, Ballarat.Former Carn Brae Mansion House 2011
The Australian Catholic University, Ballarat, began as a private residence in 1881, before becoming a campus of Queen’s GIrls’ Grammar School in 1918 and then Aquinas College and later the Australian Catholic University from 1973.  An overview of the historical development of the site is as follows:

Mansion Era 1881-1918
‘Carn Brae’Carn Brae c1885 Aquinas collection
In 1881, the land now known as 1200 Mair Street was purchased by Cyrus Bath Retallack, a successful Cornish miner and engineer.  He soon set about designing a two storey brick mansion that was built between 1882 and 1883.  Retallack named the property ‘Carn Brae’ after the castle in Cornwall.  Substantial grounds were established with with range of exotic trees planted, a tennis court was laid out and a stables building was erected.

Neighbouring Dwellings
The University-owned dwellings neighbouring the campus were built between the 1880s and early 20th century.  Burke House at 1202 Mair Street appears to have been constructed in 1883-84.  The dwellings at 2 and 4 Ripon Avenue and 104 and 106 Ripon Street North were associated with a residential subdivision of a larger parcel of land in 1888.  Ripon Avenue (then known as Little Fraser Street) was created at this time.  The dwellings at 2 and 4 Ripon Avenue were built in 1888-89, as was the house at 106 Ripon Street North.

At 104 Ripon Street North, a timber dwelling was also built in 1888-89 but it was replaced with the existing brick Late Victorian house in c.1900-01.  This dwelling served as the Ballarat West Police Station and Residence.

Queen’s Grammar Era 1918-1973Carn Brae Gates c1919 Grammar collection_resize
In 1918, ‘Carn Brae’ was sold to the Ballarat Church of England Trustees as the new location of Queen’s Church of England Girls’ Grammar School.  The official hand over took place on 14 December 1918.  The acquisition was made possible by the considerable financial support by Messrs. Manifold, Cuthbert and Bailey.  The first headmistress was Dorothy Poole.  The ‘Carn Brae’ mansion was renamed Manifold House in honour of its chief benefactors, William Thomson Manifold and Edward Manifold.  A brick school building to the east the mansion was constructed in 1920 to a design by the local Stuart-Murray Building c1960 Grammar collectionarchitect, P.S. Richards.  It was named in memory of Marion May Stuart-Murray (nee Manifold) by the Manifold brothers who funded the building.

Other developments also ensued.  In c.1920, a detached dining hall was built at the rear of the mansion (it was extended in 1958).  A kitchen wing was added on the west side of this building in 1934.  To the west of the mansion, a dormitory addition was built in 1928.  A small timber building of dormitory cubicles was constructed to the north of this wing in 1935.  In 1952, a junior Cuthbert House c1960 Grammar collection school was built to the east of the Stuart-Murray Hall (it was later demolished, as was Cuthbert House, a Victorian house that had been donated by J.H. Cuthbert in 1919 in memory of his son, John Bryan, who was killed in action in France in 1918).  In c.1967, a science block was added to the north-east of the Stuart-Murray Hall, to a design by Ewan Jones.  He also designed the adjoining chapel and lecture theatre in the following year.

Aquinas College & Australian Catholic University Era: 1974- present day
In 1973, the Sisters of St. John of God purchased the Queen’s Church of England Girls’ Former Sisters of Mercy Wing 2011Grammar School.  By this time, Queen’s Grammar had amalgamated with Ballarat Grammar to form Ballarat and Queen’s Grammar School at the Forest Street, Wendouree, campus.  In the following year, 1974, the school property was acquired by the Catholic Trustees Corporation for the Diocese of Ballarat.  From this time, Aquinas College (then known as the Catholic Teachers’ College), commenced at 1200 Mair Street.

The acquisition of the Queen’s Grammar property and the subsequent restoration of the mansion house were largely made possible through the efforts of the Rev. Dr. George Pell, Director of Aquinas College between 1974 and 1984 (now a Cardinal and Archbishop of Sydney).

During the era of the Catholic Teachers’ College, further change was made at the property.  In 1980, the north wing of the former Stuart-Murray building was substantially altered and a new library entrance porch was built to a design by Daryl Jackson Architects.  The building then became known as the Callinan Library and Auditorium.  It was named in honour of Sir Bernard Callinan, CBE, AC, Kb, Mc, D.S.O. (1913-1995), one of the founders of the Australian Catholic University.  In 2010 the front portion of the building was renamed the Sisters of Mercy Building to mark the centenary of the Sisters in Ballarat with the Hall named the Connors Centre in honour of Bishop Connors.

In 1983, the Forbes Centre was created through major alterations and additions to the former dining hall.  The works were designed by John Henry, Architect, and built by W.G. Feary and Sons Pty Ltd.

It was also in 1983 when the Mistress’s quarters adjoining the south-west of the mansion was replaced with the existing Administration Block.  The former dormitory addition, built in 1928, also appears to have been altered and extended during this period.  The kitchen building, constructed in 1934, was also substantially altered and extended (as part of both the Forbes Centre and Arts Centre and Early Childhood Development Centre  in 1980-82 and 1990.

In 1985, the mark 75 years of service of the Catholic teacher education in Ballarat by the Sisters of Mercy, a fountain was installed in front of Manifold House.  The centerpiece of the fountain was a sculpture by Guy Boyd of Mary Mother of God.

In 1988-89, the Pell Centre (Nursing/Paramedic Labs) was constructed.  It was also at this time when the Catholic Trustees purchased the neighbouring dwelling at 1202 Mair Street that had been constructed in c.1883-84.  It was named ‘Burke House’ in honour of Margaret Lillian Pell (nee Burke), mother of George Pell.  In 1990, the Arts and Sciences Building was built.

At the end of 1990, Aquinas College was formally handed over to the Australian Catholic University.  The only regional campus of its six campuses, the University was formally opened on 1 January 1991.  It was at this time when the University also acquired the properties at 102-106 Ripon Street North, and 2-6 Ripon Avenue.  In 1994, the Mulkearns Centre was erected.

In 1996, to commemorate the Wathaurong people who lived on the land for thousands of years prior to European settlement, a plaque was unveiled by the University in the grounds at the front of the campus.  In the north-east courtyard adjacent to the Science Block, Chapel and Lecture Hall, a figure sculpture of St. Thomas Aquinas was installed in 1999 to mark 25 years of service to Catholic higher education at the site.

Loreto College, Sturt Street, BallaratLoreto College Driveway, 2003
Loreto College, 1600 Sturt Street (Mary’s Mount), Ballarat, represents the original parent house of the Loreto Order in Australia founded by Mother Mary Gonzaga Barry of Loreto Abbey, Rathfarnham, Ireland, in 1875, upon the invitation of the Bishop of Ballarat, Michael O’Connor (also originally from Rathfarnham).  Loreto Convent and College was established in the former mansion house built for Ballarat businessmen, E.A. Wynne in Original Loreto Mansion House, Ballarat, n.d., Loreto Archives1869.  Between 1875 and 1914, Mother Barry instigated the profound transformation of the property into one of the most substantial Gothic-inspired Catholic convents in Victoria.  The major developments included the construction of::

  • Residential wing  in 1882;
  • Administration building in 1887;
  • St. Michael’s Novitiate in 1892;
  • Convent chapel (Church of the Immaculate Conception) between 1898-1902;Convent Chapel, n.d., State Library of Victoria, image pc000221
  • Laundry in 1890;
  • Brick perimeter fencing and entrance gates in 1881;
  • St. Joseph’s Chapel in c.1881-82;
  • St. Anne’s kindergarten in 1908;
  • Major alterations and additions to the Mansion House/Abbey in 1914.

Several of these buildings were designed by the Catholic architect and friend of Mother Barry, William Tappin, although the changes to the mansion house were designed by the Ballarat architectural firm of Clegg and Miller.  In 1955, St. Anne’s wing was completed in a respectful Gothic-inpsired style by the Catholic architect, Cyril Kelly.  However, the most elaborate building at Loreto was the construction of the convent chapel (Church of the Laying Convent Chapel Foundation Stone 1898, Loreto ArchivesImmaculate Conception), which had been funded by the German Countess, Elizabeth Wolff-Metternich, who resided and studied at Mary’s Mount in the late 1890s. Loreto College, Sturt Street, Ballarat.

Former Loreto College, Dawson Street, Ballarat.
The former Loreto College, Dawson Street North, has been converted into residential apartments. Former Loreto College, 2005 A snapshot of the early history of the site is as follows:

Main Building (Building 1)
Section 1: Original Private Dwelling (1863-64)Original Dwelling, n.d., Loreto Archives
The original dwelling (Section 1) was constructed in 1863-64 for Evan Rowlands and Robert Lewis.  It appears that the dwelling in Dawson Street was occupied by Evan Rowlands.  It was designed as a two storey, robust Victorian Italianate styled dwelling of face red brick, constructed with a hipped roof and three-bayed symmetrical composition.  The dwelling featured a slate roof and eaves overhangs characterised by elaborate timber eaves consoles.  A rendered stringcourse delineated the ground and first floors.  The main entrance was distinguished by a heavy portico comprised of vermiculated rectangular pilasters with vestigial entablature above punctuated by a vermiculated keystone and crowned by a projecting cornice.  The symmetry of the design was especially defined by the flanking ground floor windows, framed with rendered quoinwork and topped with rendered lintels and vermiculated keystones, being smaller versions of the portico entablature surmounting the main door.  The three first floor windows featured rendered architraves and moulded projecting window heads supported by elegant consoles.  The face brick wall construction – rare for the early 1860s – appears to have been tuckpointed.

Rowlands and Lewis had founded an aerated water factory in 1854 on the edge of Lake Wendouree.  In 1870, they opened a new substantial factory in Dana Street.  The enterprise proved so successful that Rowlands and Evans opened works in Melbourne in 1873.  Three years later in 1876, Lewis (who was a long-serving Ballarat Councillor from 1859 and the first Mayor of the Borough of Ballarat West in 1863) retired from the company.  He died in 1884.  By the time of Rowlands’ death in 1894, there were Rowlands and Lewis aerated water factories in Ballarat, Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle.  After the Second World War, the company of Rowlands and Lewis was sold to Schweppes.

In 1875, the Dawson Street residence owned by Rowlands and Lewis – set on about an acre of land – was sold to the Catholic Bishop, Michael O’Connor.  He had acquired it for Mother Mary Gonzaga Barry of Loreto Convent, Mary’s Mount, for £1,000.  She established a Day School and Convent in the former dwelling.  It was an adjunct to Loreto Convent, Mary’s Mount, that had also been established by M.M. Barry in 1875.  Mary’s Mount was the original parent house of the Loreto Order in Australia, with M.M. Barry having arrived from Loreto Abbey, Rathfarnham, Ireland.

Section 2: Early Additions as Loreto Convent & Day School (1881)Early Additions c.1900, Blee, From the Murray to the Sea
In 1881, Mother Mary Gonzaga Barry instigated two storey additions to the original Victorian Italianate dwelling .  These comprised an additional three bayed composition to the north of the original dwelling in identical design and construction.  The overall building therefore read as a two storey, six-bayed Victorian Italianate building having an asymmetrical ground floor as a result of the original main entrance then being off-centre.  These additions may have been designed by William Tappin of Tappin Gilbert and Dennehy.  Tappin was one of Mother Barry’s enduring friends.

At the rear of the new additions (Section 2), an elongated single storey hipped roof wing was also constructed, terminating with a bay window at the end (west façade).  This wing appears to have accommodated class rooms divided by folding doors.  In 1963, it was converted into a hall.  At the east end, it opened into a stage area that had been added years earlier.

Between 1885 and 1888, cast iron balconettes were added to the first floor windows on the east (Dawson Street) façade of the original and early additions (Sections 1 & 2).

Section 3: Northern Additions to the Loreto Convent & Day School (1912)Northern Additions of 1912 and additions of 1963 (right), 2003
This northern wing was added to Loreto Convent in 1912.  These two storey brick additions were designed by the local architectural firm of Clegg and Miller.  This firm had also designed the Day School at Loreto Convent, Mary’s Mount, in 1908.  Slightly recessed from the earlier building (from the Dawson Street façade), the new additions drew on the composition of the original residence, with its three-bayed composition.  The new work also featured a gambrel roof form clad in slate and brick wall construction.

Section 4: Southern Additions to the Loreto Convent & Day School (1922)
In 1921, the architects Clegg and Morrow designed two storey additions to the south of the original residence that were completed in 1922.  A two storey gabled rear building, built in 1884 (and extended in 1888) as a Teachers’ Training College, was demolished to allow for the new addition that accommodated a front entrance, halls, parlour, chapel, student’s refectory, and two dormitories.  L-shaped in plan, the additions were characterised by hipped roof forms clad in slate, brick wall construction and a recessed front entrance portico supported by cement-rendered Doric columns.  On the south elevation, a verandah and balcony (having a skillion corrugated galvanised steel roof springing below the eaves of the main addition) provided access and shelter to the rear spaces.  By the 1940s, the balcony had been glazed and boarded in with timber framed windows and timber weatherboard cladding.

Section 5: Loreto College Additions (1963)
In 1963, a three storey wing (Section 5) was added to the north of the 1912 additions (Section 3).  They were designed by Reginald W. Appleford, who had also designed the Mary Ward Wing at Mary’s Mount in 1962.  Costing £30,000, the new work included eight additional classrooms on the ground and first floors, with the second floor devoted completely to a commercial college.

Section 6: Rear Kitchen Area
At the rear of the original residence (Section 1) was originally a kitchen wing.  This wing was single storey and constructed in brick.  Between 1889 and 1891, a back verandah, new kitchen and laundry were built beside the original kitchen.  Another verandah was added from the new kitchen between 1910 and 1915.  By the 1950s, these old and new kitchen wings (which then also included a Nun’s refectory) were characterised by steeply pitched gambrel roof and a gabled roof with substantial monitor light.

In 1965, the original kitchen and Nun’s refectory were demolished.  They were replaced by a new kitchen, store rooms, refectory and pantry.  Portions of the original brick wall of the kitchen wing were retained as part of the new development.  The new kitchen and store rooms were given a flat roof with skylights (which are still extant), with a skillion verandah projecting along the full length of the west façade of the entire building.

Sections 7-8: Loreto College Additions (1968-70)Rear additions, 2003
John and Phyllis Murphy, Melbourne architects, were commissioned to design a new science wing in 1968 (Section 6).  It adjoined the south-west corner of the wing built in 1963 (Section 5).  The new wing included a science room on the first floor and two classrooms above.

In 1970, a brick, flat-roofed three storey library and classroom wing (Section 8) (also designed by John Murphy) was added along the length of the rear portion of the building, adjoining the south of the science wing (Section 7) constructed in 1968.

Former Art & Classroom Building
In 1950, the Loreto Convent purchased the property then known as “Kelvin House”, 4 Lyons Street.  It adjoined the southern boundary of the convent site.  “Kelvin House” was built in the c.1870s or 1880s as a substantial brick two storey dwelling for Edward Morey, M.L.C. and was originally known as “Kentville”.

In c.1908 a timber classroom for a college conducted by the Misses Dick was added at the rear of “Kelvin House.  The City of Ballarat Building Permit Book for 1908 lists the architect/builder as “Laird and Laird”.

“Kelvin House” was demolished in 1962 and replaced with a single storey brick building designed by Reginald Appleford.  Both the new brick building and the rear earlier timber building became the LoretoJuniorSchool until 1975 when the LoretoPrimary School amalgamated with St. Joseph’s School.  Until recently, the brick wing has continued to function as a classroom.  The individual classrooms of the timber building were opened up and converted into an art room in the later 20th century.  Secondary spaces have been added to the art room at the east end, together with a brick toilet wing in 1962.

Former Music BuildingFormer Music Building, 2003
Mother Mary Gonzaga Barry established St. Joseph’s School in 1876 on the rear portion of the Loreto Convent land, which extended from Dawson Street to Lyons Street.  With a frontage to Lyons Street, a double gabled timber school building was built in the location of the present open grassed area between the Arts and Classroom Building and the MusicRoom Building.

In 1931, the old timber St. Joseph’s School building was demolished and replaced with a commodious interwar brick structure, possibly designed by the architect, Cyril Kelly.

 Ballarat and Clarendon College, Sturt Street, Ballarat.Ballarat & Clarendon College, 2005
Ballarat College was founded by the Presbyterian Church in 1864 and is now the oldest operating secondary college in Ballarat.  The first headmaster was Robert Oliver McCoy.  By the turn of the century, Ballarat College was a prestigious provincial institution, having been modeling on other well-known colleges including Geelong College, Scotch College in Melbourne and Melbourne University.  In 1974, Ballarat College amalgamated with Clarendon Presbyterian Ladies’ College (which had been established in a cottage on Soldier’s Hill in the 1860s) to became Ballarat and Clarendon College.

It was in 1904 when the school annual The Minervan reported that the Old Collegians in the Ballarat District had met to form a supportive committee for a new building and site.  Five years later in 1909, the College committee disclosed that it had settled on a 9.5 acre site having a 485 foot frontage to Sturt Street.  It was the suburban residence of the Former Wanliss Mansion 1914, Ballarat & Clarendon College collectionWanliss family, owned by the Hon. T.D. Wanliss, M.L.C.  Built in 1866, the mansion house was situated in the centre of the property and the substantial rear orchard soon made way for a sports field.

In 1910, a formal architectural competition was held for the best design for a new Collegiate building.  The competition was won by Percival Richards, local architect.  In November 1911, Mrs Thomas Robertson of ‘Mt. Mitchell’ formally laid the foundation stone of the new building.  It was Ballarat & Clarendon College, n.d.  Ballarat & Clarendon College collectionopened on 31 July 1912, comprising only the east wing.  Between 1924 and 1953, several additions were made to the original main college building.  They were designed by Richards’ former business partner and architect, H.L. Coburn.  His designs did not replicate Richards’ original design concept, although the overall composition and construction drew on the competition design.

At the rear and side of the main college building, other buildings were constructed between 1962 and 2001.  These buildings included the three sections of the Mackinnon Wing, Weatherly Library, Charles Richardson Physical Education Centre, College Chapel, Year 12 Common Room, Erindale Library, and the Principal’s Office and Administrative Block.  The original Wanliss Mansion House was demolished in 1996 and replaced with a circular paved landscape known as Wanliss Square.

Neighbouring the main college building site to the east was a stretch of large houses on substantial garden allotments with frontages to Sturt Street.  After 1954, the College embarked on a plan of extending the land available for school development with the purchase of properties along this thoroughfare.  The first property acquired was ‘Dumbarton’, 1423 Sturt Street, in 1954.  It had been constructed in 1909 to a design by P.S. Richards.  Adjacent to ‘Dumbarton’ another house was purchased which was removed in 1962 for the construction of the A. Oswald Charles Junior Boarding School.  The dwelling at 1419 Sturt Street was purchased in 1965 and was developed as the H.G. Morrow Arts and Craft Centre.  It was in 1967 when the dwelling known as ‘Enderly’ was acquired by the College at 1421A Sturt Street.  The large house was subsequently demolished.  In 1982, the dwelling at 1415 Sturt Street (which had been used by the Ballarat Teachers’ College) was purchased and in 1986 it was opened as the Elsie Morison Centre.  The College also purchased the property at 1417 Sturt Street and in the 1990s the dwelling known as ‘Kawarau’ at 1421 Sturt Street was also acquired and first used as a senior boys’ boarding house.

Houses in Ajax Street, together with the dwelling at 1 Murray Street (nearby streets to the south-east of the main college building) were acquired in subsequent years.

Sacred Heart College, Retreat Road, Newtown.North Wing, 2009
The arrival of Mother Mary Xavier McGuire and five sisters from the Sisters of Mercy Mother House, Baggot Street, Ireland, in late 1859 brought about the beginning of a Catholic convent, school and orphanage in Newtown.  The Sisters of Mercy established their Foundation at ‘Sunville’, the former property of J.W. Belcher, who had built it in 1850.  A chronology of development of the surviving heritage buildings at Sacred Heart College today is as follows:


East & South Wings


Possible construction of single storey brick East Wing


Construction of South Wing, designed by J.L. Shaw.


Remodelling of East Wing, including two storey additions, to a design of J.L. Convent, 1866, Norton, State Library of Victoria, image b47278Shaw.


Northern two storey additions to East Wing, designed by T.A. Kelly.


Verandah and Balcony (Cloister) Addition to east façade of East & South Wings, designed and built by W.J. Kelly.


Removal of original central gable to east façade of South Wing


North Wing


Building of North Wing, including tower base (east elevation) and main North Wing, 1880-81 Fred Kruger, Mercy Archives.northern convent portico, designed by T.A. Kelly.


Installation of window as a memorial of the Jubilee Anniversary, designed by William Montgomery.


Convent Chapel


Construction of Convent Chapel, designed by T.A. Kelly.Convent Chapel, 2009


Installation of Sanctuary Window by Ferguson & Urie, designed by D.R. Drape.


Interior furnishings & fittings completed in the Chapel.


Installation of Fincham Organ in Chapel gallery.


Redecoration of sanctuary and altar, designed by Reid Smart and Tappin, architects.  Altar crafted by Jaan Kannuluik.


Installation of stained glass nave windows, the work of Brooks Robinson & Co.


Refurbishment of sanctuary ceiling (including new plas-ply finish, decorated to match original design), alterations to altar & removal of central pier supporting the archway between the sanctuary and the boarders’ chapel.


West Wing


Construction of original northern portion of West Wing, designed by A. Davidson & Co.


Construction of original southern portion of West Wing (possibly including western portion of South Wing), designed by A. Davidson & Co.


St. Joseph’s Orphanage & Laundry


Construction of St. Joseph’s Orphanage & Laundry to a design by J. Watts.


Construction of a balcony (including enclosed central ground floor portico) to the east façade, designed & built by W.J. Kelly.


Demolition of rear laundry and linking wing (to orphanage).


Multi-Purpose Wing (3 storey wing)


Construction of temporary single storey music wing between the two storey St. Joseph’s Orphanage and the South Wing, designed by Reid Smart and Tappin.


Demolition of temporary music wing.


Construction of 3 storey multi-purpose wing, designed and built by W.J. Kelly.