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Point Stephens Lighthouse Keepers House

Source: Go to the Register of the National Estate for more information.
Identifier: 1322
Location: Fingal Bay
Port Stephens Shire
State: NSW
Country: Australia
Statement of
Point Stephens Light Keepers' Quarters, built in 1862 is significant as an assemblage of buildings which demonstrate the establishment and evolution of an Australian lighthouse complex over time. (Criterion A.4)

The quarters are significant for their association with Alexander Dawson, the Colonial Architect of New South Wales in the period 1858-62. Comparatively few substantial complete buildings of his design were constructed, and the residence is a significant example of his work. (Criterion H.1)

The remnants of the Keepers Quarters are significant as the only example in Australia of a terrace of lighthouse keepers' quarters. (Criteria B.2 and F.1)
Description: Point Stephens Light Keepers' Quarters is located at the tip of Point Stephens which is at various times connected to the mainland by a sand spit. The high point is Mount Stephens, 77m above sea level. On the shore line is a band of hard igneous rock. The island is vegetated by a low heath. Point Stephens Lightstation and Point Stephens Lighthouse are listed on the Register of the National Estate. For further information regarding the Point Stephens Lighthouse refer to File No 1/9/64/2, RR No 001321, and File No 1/9/64/1, RR No 1320 for Point Stephens Lightstation in the Australian Heritage Commission Register of the National Estate Database. Accommodation for the Head Keeper and two Assistant Keepers were provided originally in a terrace of three one storeyed cottages, all under one massive terra cotta (originally slate) roof, broken by five chimneys along the ridge and by an arrangement of a bay window and gable along the front. The Head Keeper's Cottage had six rooms, and the Assistant Keeper's having three rooms each. All cottages were provided wtih kitchens, storerooms and privies. The building was constructed of the same imported sandstone as the lighthouse, and dressed externally and plastered inside. Two underground rainwater tanks, each with a capacity of 7,650 gallons were also originally provided. At the rear of the building a random stone low terrace was built. The building was gutted by fire in September 1991. In early 1992 security fencing was installed around the building, and the chimneys and gables stabilised by being shored up by new brickwork. Prior to the opening of the Point Stephens Lightstation twenty four vessels were known to have been wrecked in the area. The most serious of these was the wreck of the Dove in 1828 with the loss of seven lives, and the Pandora in 1836 with five lives. One of the reasons for these misfortunes was the mistaking by mariners of the entrance to Fingal Bay for that of Port Stephens. The Point Stephens Lightstation was also established to assist vessels entering Port Stephens.

Report produced : 2/8/2015
AHPI URL : http://www.heritage.gov.au/ahpi/search.html