Coach House - McKeller Stores
Statement of SignificanceThe Raphael and Mackellar Stores provide tangible evidence of the development of The Rocks from the mid-nineteenth century as a place of trade and manufacture. They are indicative of the light industrial and commercial activity that once centred on West Circular Quay and demonstrate the changing nature of The Rocks from the mid-nineteenth century through to the present day. The Raphael and Mackeller Stores are rare storehouses dating from the mid-nineteenth century remaining within The Rocks, Sydney and New South Wales. Of the remaining storehouses from this period, they are the smallest with a more utilitarian character reflecting their original function as storehouses for the shops/warehouses on George Street.The Raphael and Mackeller Stores are relatively intact examples of small mid-nineteenth century storehouses/warehouses designed in the Victorian Georgian style. They retain most of their original external form, character and fabric, which make a substantial contribution to the Kendall Lane streetscape and to the wider townscape character of The Rocks. The interior spaces are largely intact and feature sufficient original and early fabric to illustrate the changes over the last 160 years. The warehouse use of the stores is demonstrated by insitu machinery comprising a hand winch, and catshead beams and pulleys. The later role of the Raphael and Mackellar Stores as a manufactory is demonstrated by insitu lineshafting and a soap mixer.The site of the Raphael and Mackeller Stores also retains sub-surface remains that are of exceptional significance for their potential to provide valuable evidence that would contribute to a range of research themes, particularly the economic, political, social and physical development of The Rocks.
Store (originally) Coach House & stable (also used)
Transport - Land
Coach House/ Station
Builder/Maker: Built for Joseph George Raphael
Construction Years: 1853 - 1854
Physical Description: The Coach House is a narrow stone building facing Kendall Lane. It was built along the rear boundary of properties now called Nos. 77, 79 and 81 George Street North (earlier known, as Nos. 81, 83 and 85 George Street, respectively). The Coach House is now generally considered as separate from the George Street properties it originally served, and is now usually referred to as the Coach House or as Nos. 2 & 4 Kendall Lane. The justification for the "Coach House" name is fairly tenuous, but it seems to be the currently accepted name and so is used here as well.The Coach House was reputedly erected as a store and stables over the period 1853-1854. It was later used for small-scale manufacturing activity, but was vacated in the 1980s and left disused. It still contains some machinery related to its former manufacturing and/or store functions. The doorways and the lane access are barely adequate for manoeuvring a horse and cart, let alone a coach, making it unlikely that the building was ever used as a coach house.The three storey sandstone coach house was built in two stages. The first part on 77 George Street was built in 1853 and the second part on 79 George Street was built to the south in 1853-54. This is visible from the continuous vertical joint that runs along the western and eastern facades of the building. (See also 4500035 - Unwin's Stores). The rough face sandstone block walls have 6 loading bays on the first and second floors, with three on the ground floor and one on Kendall Lane. The doors are framed and braced and all have hardwood lintels. Two cat head beams are at roof level to the north and middle doors projecting through above the loading bays. A pulley mechanism remains over the top level northern door. A corrugated iron gable roof has capped sandstone gable ends at the north and south ends of the building and over the continuous joint in the Kendall Lane Coachhouse at the boundary between Nos 77 and 79-81 George Street. The north wall is the original sandstone wall to the 1844 Samson's Cottage. (Tropman 1989: 34).Industrial Archaeology:1. Lineshafting and Associated Motor DriveAt ground floor level of No.2 Kendall Lane, there is a short lineshaft mounted high on the east wall, near the ceiling. The shaft is 38 mm (1.5 inch) diameter, and about 4 metres long. It is mounted in four plain sleeve metal (probably brass) bearings on four fabricated steel cantilever brackets attached to the east wall, with the axis of the shaft at about 540 mm out from the wall, and about 2,400 mm above the uneven floor.The shaft has five pulleys for use with flat leather belts, but all of the belts have gone. Three of the pulleys are solid discs made of laminated wood, and the other two (larger) pulleys have laminated wood rims and wooden spokes. The pulleys are (from north to south end of the shaft):(a) 710 mm (28 inch) diameter (spoked) x 80 mm (3.25 inch) face width;(b) 255 mm (10 inch) diameter (spoked) x 80 mm (3.25 inch) face width;(c) 190 mm (7.5 inch) diameter (solid) x 160 mm (6.25 inch) face width;(d) 200 mm (8 inch) diameter (solid) x 150 mm (6 inch) face width;(e) 180 mm (7 inch) diameter (solid) x 115 mm (4.5 inch) face width;The largest pulley, (a), is at the northern end of the shaft, in line with the motor pulley, and was obviously used for the flat belt transferring mechanical power from the electric motor to the shaft. The smallest pulley,(e), is located at the southern end of the lineshaft, directly beneath a hole in the floor above, and was used for a belt transmitting power from the lineshaft to a small mixing machine at first (middle) floor level, used by Stanton Catchlove for making semi-liquid soap. The other three pulleys are located in between (a) and (e), and were used for flat belt drives to other machinery (since removed) at ground floor level, mainly mixing machines for making 44-gallon lots of sheep dip and soft soaps, again for Stanton Catchlove.The shaft was probably installed in c1928 by Vita-Lick, or in c1930 by Stanton Catchlove, and was certainly used for many years by Catchlove. However, the pulleys look much older than 1930, and it is possible that the shaft was installed earlier, or that the pulleys were second-hand from some other site.The motor for driving the lineshaft was tucked beneath a wooden staircase at the northern end of the ground floor area, and is partly guarded (for operator safety) by a roughly made chain-wire mesh screen. The motor was a relatively modern "C & W' Type A, 3 phase AC, 3 horse-power, variable speed, 550-1950 rpm, electric motor, made by Charles and Hunting, Melbourne, Australia.The motor ran at constant speed internally, but the output shaft speed is set at any speed between 550 rpm and 1950 rpm by varying the setting of internal intermediate conical drive pulleys. The internal conical drive setting, and hence output speed, is varied by means of a handwheel and flexible shaft connected to the motor easing. The pulley on the motor output shaft is cast-iron, 100 mm (4 inch) diameter x 80 mm (3.25 inch) face width, indicating that the lineshaft ran at a modest 80 to 280 rpm.2. MixerAt middle floor level in the north section of the Coach House (No.2 Kendall Lane), there is a small mixing machine which was used by Stanton Catchlove & Co. for making semi-liquid soap. The machine has a cylindrical sheet-metal drum, about 350 mm diameter x 560 mm tall, with an open top and a lift-off thin pressed-metal lid, like a billy lid.The drum has a hemispherical bottom in which three concentric sets of circular mixing blades revolved, each set consisting of six semicircular rods spaced 60 degrees apart. The blades are on a short horizontal shaft connected by gears to an upper shaft which carries a pair of flat-belt pulleys. The upper shaft also acts as a pivot on which the drum could be tilted to discharge the contents.Power was provided by a continuously running flat leather belt, which came up through a hole in the floor from the ground-floor lineshaft immediately beneath the mixer, and passed around the machine's pulleys. A handle with metal prongs enabled the mixer operator to slide the belt onto one pulley which was keyed to the gear shaft, and which then drove the mixing blades, or to slide the moving belt onto the second pulley which was not keyed but which rotated freely on the shaft and allowed the blades to stop. The combination of motor speed range, pulley sizes, and gearing ratio, gives the mixer blades a theoretical speed of 70 rpm to 250 rpm.The mixer was probably installed by Catchlove on occupying the Coach House in c1930, but might have been in use earlier at their previous premises. The machine had no visible brand, but appeared to be a "mass" produced mixer rather than a one-off custom-made item. It resembles a food mixer, and it is likely that the blades could be removed for cleaning. The drum appears to be made of tin-plated or galvanised sheet steel, with some of the galvanizing or plating flaking off. More sturdy brackets, pivots etc., are riveted to the outside of the drum at strategic locations. The drum still contains a residue of (presumably) soap. The whole mixer is very dirty, but in fairly intact condition, except that the drive belt is missing, and a drain cock has been removed from a threaded outlet at the bottom of the drum.3. Winch and Catshead PulleyA large manually-powered winch is bolted to the top floor of the north section of the Coach House (No.2 Kendall Lane), just inside and facing the top loading doorway over Kendall Lane. The winch has a fairly modern steel wire cable wrapped around the winching drum. The free end of the cable passes out through a small hole above the loading doors, passes over a pulley attached to the external catshead beam protruding above the doorway, and ends with a hook.The winch and hook were obviously intended for hoisting heavy loads from the laneway up to the middle or upper floor levels, or for lowering loads to the laneway. The load rating of the winch, cable and catshead beam, is not visible, although a safe load rating is normally required to be clearly displayed next to any lifting device. Such a notice may have been removed, but possibly the winch was never inspected after the relevant regulations came into force.The winch has a pair of A-shaped cast-iron side frames, marked with the name of the manufacturer, "BROWN LENOX & Co, LONDON". The frames are joined by three horizontal tie rods with threaded ends, which pass through holes at the apex and at each foot of the A-frame, and are secured by square nuts. Also mounted horizontally between the pair of A-frames are the cast-iron winch drum (near the centre of the frame), a winding handle shaft, and an intermediate gear shaft (both near the apex of the frame, which is at about waist height).At one end of the winch drum there is a large 64 or 65 tooth gear wheel. Above that is a much smaller 10 tooth pinion gear on the winding handle shaft, which has a large crank handle at each end, enabling the pinion gear to be turned by two men. Normally, the small pinion gear would be engaged directly with the large drum gear, and about 6.5 turns of the handles would be required to get one turn of the winch drum.Next to the handle shaft is another shaft with a set of 24 tooth and 10 tooth intermediate gears, which are normally disengaged and sitting idle, but which, by a simple arrangement, can be slid across to be interposed as a second reduction stage between the handle pinion gear and the main drum gear. This gives extra gear reduction, so that about 15.5 turns of the handles are needed for one turn of the drum. Engaging the intermediate gears allows much heavier loads to be lifted occasionally, although they would be raised more slowly, a versatile arrangement well suited to a small store like this one.On the side of the main drum gear there is a narrow brake drum, around which is wrapped a brake band. The upper end of the brake band is attached to a fixed pin in the top of one leg of the A-frame side casting. The lower end of the band is connected to a long lever, allowing the operator to apply considerable tension to the brake band, and thus control the lowering of the load. If preferred, one or both winding handles could be removed to stop them spinning during lowering of the load. The nuts or threaded knobs which were used to secure the handles to the shaft have been lost, but the handles are still in place.At the opposite end of the drum there is a toothed ratchet which originally had a pawl to engage it, to lock the drum and the load in a fixed position. The engaging pawl has gone, and several teeth of the ratchet are broken, indicating that there were problems with the pawl breaking or not engaging properly, and the load getting away.The floor beneath the winch is strengthened locally by two cross-planks, held by the same bolts which secure the feet of the winch to the floor joists. Above the winch there is a makeshift wire tie from the winch to the overhead roof truss. the purpose of the tie is unclear, but possibly it was intended to prevent the floor shaking during hoisting, or possibly there was some concern that the winch might fall through the floor.The date of installation of this winch has not been determined, but winches of a very similar type can be seen in a c1887 photograph of railway construction work, and in a c1898 photograph of a water reservoir being built. It is quite likely that this Coach House winch is of about the same vintage, ie about 100 years old. It has been in the same location since first installed in the building. The date of its installation is not known. It may have been installed new in the 1880s or 1890s, but equally may have been moved in from another location by a later tenant.SUMMARY OF BUILDING FABRICStyle: Colonial; Storeys: Three; Facade: Sandstone; Roof: Slate on timber truss; Floor: Stone flagging on ground floor, timber boarding on timber framing first and second.
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Historic Notes and Themes
Historical notes: The Raphael Mackeller Stores were reputedly erected as stores and possibly as stables and later used for small-scale manufacturing activities. Vacated in the 1980s the buildings were left disused for several years. They still contain some machinery related to their former manufacturing and store functions. Although commonly known and referred to in the past as 'The Coach House', it is unlikely that the building was ever used as a coach house.The Raphael Mackeller Stores are two narrow stone buildings facing Kendall Lane. They were built along the rear boundary of the properties now called Unwins Stores, Nos. 77, 79 and 81 George Street North (earlier known as Nos. 81, 83 and 85 George Street respectively). The Raphael Mackeller Stores are generally considered as separate from the George Street properties they purported to have originally served.The subject land was originally granted to John Piper in June 1828 by Lieutenant General Ralph Darling, Governor of the Colony. The allotment was part of the first Hospital and the land was not required for future extensions. William Balmain was granted a lease on the property and by 1807 he had surrendered the lease to the Government. Frederick Unwin gained title to the land in 1839, and his subdivision of 1841 included these properties.Construction proper of the shops and houses fronting George Street began in 1843 by Frederic Wright Unwin. Frederick Mackellar, Doctor of Medicine purchased the 4 tenements in February 1853 for £2,100/-/-. The Mackeller Store located to the rear of 79-81 George Street was erected in 1853-4 by Mackeller, as an extension of the original store building (Raphael Stores) built to the rear of 77 George Street. The Mackellar family and and his trustees re-leased the buildings to the Crown and the then NSW Minister for Public Works in December 1902 for the sum of £5,932/15/4. The Raphael Store (at the rear of 77 George Street) was built in 1853 as store/warehouse. It was probably built for Joseph George Raphael, a merchant, publican, clothier, seaman's shipping agent, member of the NSW parliament, and owner of 77 George Street. The close match in style and construction between the two sections (Raphael and Mackeller Stores) suggests a close cooperation between the owners and using the same builder.The building was constructed around the southern wall and chimney of Samson's Cottage which had been partially demolished. The present Samson's Cottage was rebuilt in 1991 to the same configuration. For most of its history the Raphael Mackeller Stores were occupied by tenants of Unwin's Stores, including several Chinese businesses. In 1860 Nom, Hing & Co., Chinese merchants were the tenants. In 1864 Henry Murray, grocer was a part tenant followed by in 1865 Nom, Who & Co. and from 1866-1868 Chin Long was the storekeeper. The most recent tenant before the original conservation and adaptive reuse works in the late 1980s was Stanton Catchlove & Co who moved into 2 Kendall Lane in 1930 and manufactured sheep dip and soft soap. The company gradually took over 4 Kendall Lane from 1932 to 1936. They also ran a ship's chandlery from c.1946. Stanton Catchlove moved out in 1986 and in 1990 was operating in Alexandria.The building was used to house exhibitions and functions during the 1990s and by May 2005, the Raphael Mackeller Stores was in use as The Rocks Toy Museum. This involved extensive conservation and adaptive reuse of the building to accommodate modern services and fitout occurring in 1988- 1990. In 2005, the Raphael Mackeller Stores were once again converted to accommodate the Rocks Discovery Museum (opening December 2005), at which time, further conservation and interpretation works occurred.
Historical significance: The Samson's Cottage remnants provide evidence of the early residential development and later commercial activities of The Rocks, in particular within the George Street and Kendall Lane precinct. The remnants of the cottage (and the later infill building) also provide evidence of the evolution of Samson's Cottage from an early nineteenth century residence to one of acknowledged cultural heritage value today. The site also contributes to our understanding of nineteenth century Sydney through the archaeological excavations of the 1980s and early 1990s. (State significance)The Raphael and Mackellar Stores provide tangible evidence of the development of the historic precinct of The Rocks as a place of trade and manufacture. They are indicative of the light industrial and commercial activity centred on West Circular Quay and demonstrate the changing nature of The Rocks from the mid-nineteenth century through to the present day. (State significance)The sandstone boundary walls provide evidence of the early subdivision pattern of the 1840s created by Frederick Unwin. (Local significance)
Historical association: The Samson's Cottage remnants and site are associated with the Chinese community, which was established in The Rocks from the 1850s. The site was occupied by Lee Quan and Hong On Jang who operated a boarding house for Chinese travellers in the early twentieth century. The site was also used as a Chinese-run laundry from the 1940s up until 1974. (Local significance)The Raphael Store has a strong association with Joseph George Raphael, merchant, MLA, and important member of Sydney's nineteenth century Jewish community. The Raphael Store is also associated with the Chinese community, with the tenancy of Nom. Wing & Co, then Sun Kung Wor and Chie Long in the 1860s. (Local significance)The Mackellar Store has a long-term association with the Mackellar family, in particular Dr Frederick Mackellar a surgeon and physician in Victorian era Sydney and father of Sir Charles Mackellar and grandfather of poet Dorothea Mackellar. The Mackellar Store is also associated with the Chinese community from 1879, through the tenancy of Tin War and Chin Pook. (Local significance)The Samson's Cottage remnants and the Raphael and Mackellar Stores are also associated with Frederick Wright Unwin who was responsible for the establishment of the current subdivision boundaries and the creation of Kendall Lane. (Local significance)
Aesthetic significance: The Samson's Cottage remnants clearly indicate the bulk, form, scale and fabric of the original two storey building. The southern wall of the building, which is embedded within the later northern wall of the Raphael Store, is significant in illustrating the position of the fireplace, the height of the building and steep pitch of the gable roof. The remnants of the original stone wall and brickwork masonry of the west elevation contribute to the streetscape of Kendall Lane and The Rocks. (Local significance)The Raphael and Mackellar Stores are sandstone warehouse type buildings of Victorian Georgian style, which have retained their original external form and key elements including sandstone walls and door openings. The retention/re-construction of the catsheads beams and pulleys also contribute to the historic character of the stores. The stores make a substantial contribution to the Kendall Lane streetscape and to the wider townscape character of The Rocks. The interior spaces are largely intact and feature sufficient original and early fabric to indicate changes over time. (Local significance)The remnant sandstone boundary walls make a substantial contribution to the aesthetic qualities of the east courtyards. (Local significance)
Social significance: The Samson's Cottage remnants and site are associated with the Chinese community, which was established in The Rocks from the 1850s. The site was occupied by Lee Quan and Hong On Jang who operated a boarding house for Chinese travellers in the early twentieth century. The site was also used as a Chinese-run laundry from the 1940s up until 1974. (Local significance)The Raphael Store has a strong association with Joseph George Raphael, merchant, MLA, and important member of Sydney's nineteenth century Jewish community. The Raphael Store is also associated with the Chinese community, with the tenancy of Nom. Wing & Co, then Sun Kung Wor and Chie Long in the 1860s. (Local significance)
Research significance: The Samson's Cottage remnants provide tangible evidence of the layout, form and fabric of the original cottage constructed c1843. It also provides evidence of the early practice of building common or party walls-in particular the incorporation of the south wall and fireplace into the north wall of the Raphael Store. (State significance)The Raphael and Mackellar Stores incorporate intact nineteenth century technology comprising hardwood flooring, storey posts and beams and sandstone load-bearing walls. The common walls between the south and north buildings also indicate the practice of using adjacent boundary walls wherever possible. The warehouse use of the stores is demonstrated by insitu machinery comprising a hand winch, and catshead beams and pulleys. The later role of the Raphael and Mackellar Stores as a manufactory is demonstrated by insitu lineshafting and a soap mixer. (State significance)The Samson's Cottage and Raphael and Mackeller Stores site are known to contain sub-surface remains that are of significance for the potential to provide evidence that would contribute to a range of research themes, particularly the economic, political, social and physical development of the first urban settlement in Australia. (State significance)
Rare assessment: The Samson's Cottage remnants provide increasingly rare evidence of a residence constructed in the 1840s within The Rocks. When originally constructed, Samson's Cottage was one of a relatively large number of residential buildings in The Rocks and Millers Point. However, due to the widespread demolition of the early twentieth century, very little evidence of residential buildings from this period continues to survive. (Local significance)The Raphael and Mackellar Stores are rare storehouses dating from the mid-nineteenth century remaining within The Rocks, Sydney and New South Wales. Of the remaining storehouses from this period, they are the smallest scale and have a more utilitarian character reflecting their original function as storehouses for the shops and stores on George Street (Unwins Stores). (State significance)
Representative assessment: The Samson's Cottage remnants and the site's surviving archaeological evidence is representative of the early residential and commercial development of The Rocks. The site's evolving use over the years, its demolition and use as a yard, and subsequent infill redevelopment, contributes to the history of The Rocks precinct as a whole. This evolving use demonstrates wider changes experienced over the twentieth century in the cultural environment of The Rocks. (Local significance)The Raphael and Mackellar Stores are representative of early commercial stores constructed in the first century of European settlement in Sydney Cove. This is demonstrated in the construction technology, the layout of the loading bay doors, the open plan of the interior, and hoisting equipment. Historically, the Raphael and Mackellar Stores are representative of the role of The Rocks as a place of manufacture and trade. (Local significance)
Intact assessment: Archaeology partly disturbed
Physical condition: Major conservation works c. 1988-90. No major excavations, only service trenches through Unwin's Courtyards through existing trenches. Conservation and adaptive works were carried out in 2005 to convert the building into The Rocks Discovery Museum.
|Australian Theme||NSW Theme||Local Theme|
|Developing local, regional and national economies||Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services.|
|Heritage Listing||Listing Title||Listing Number||Gazette Date||Gazette Number||Gazette Page|
|Register of the National Estate||1/12/036/0334||Unwins Coach House||21/03/1978||2136|
|National Trust of Australia Register||10633||Unwins Coach House and Laneway|
|Register of the National Estate||1/12/036/0331||George Street / Kendall Lane Precinct||2133|
|Local Environmental Plan|
|National Trust of Australia Register||7716|
|Heritage Act - State Heritage Register||01539||Coach House - McKeller Stores||10/05/2002||2868||85|
|Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register||Place Management NSW|
|Within a National Trust conservation area||10499|