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Coutt's Sailors Home
1842 - Enterprise Park and Coutt's Sailors Home (former) - SHR Plan 2377 (5054876b100).jpg
Heritage boundaries
Location 16 Bond Street, Newcastle, City of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Built 1882–1882
Architect George Brown
Official name: Enterprise Park and Coutt's Sailors Home (former); Coutts Sailors Rest Home; Convict Lumberyard
Type state heritage (built)
Designated 22 March 2011
Reference no. 1842
Type Housing & Quarters
Category Maritime Industry
Builders Robert Muirhead
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Coutt's Sailors Home is a heritage-listed former sailor's home, health clinic, government office building and now residence at 16 Bond Street, Newcastle, City of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by George Brown and built in 1882 by Robert Muirhead. It is also known as Coutt's Sailors Rest Home. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 22 March 2011.


The 1882 Sailors' Home is a two-storey symmetrical building erected in the Victorian Italianate style. Walls are of brick construction with set plaster and cement rendering. The hipped roof is clad with corrugated asbestos, replacing the original galvanised iron. Eaves are close and feature ornate stone bracketing at the cornice level of the main wing. Paired moulded chimney stacks are located on the western wing.

The north (Bond Street) facade comprises three bays with the main entrance through the central bay. The central bay is adorned by a modest parapet and is flanked by engaged piers. A verandah was added to the first floor facade in 1897 by the architect, Frederick Menkens. The verandah extends the full length of the north facade and is divided in five divisions by decorative cast iron columns and infilled at either end with light weight construction. The cast iron columns of this verandah, including those of the ground floor, remain intact, providing tangible evidence of the classical detailing afforded this residence. The two side bays of this verandah have been enclosed. The front door including a semi-circular fanlight is original. The windows are generally double-hung sash but have been covered over by boards. On either side of the original main wing new masonry rooms have been added at a lower height than the main entablature of the building.

The east and west facade are similar. The original volume of the building has been enveloped in the 1897 verandah, room extension and wrap around verandah. The windows in this infill are smaller than the original. To the rear, the two storey wing shows evidence of the line of the original single storey. Where this wing has been extended at the first floor a new facade has been added which forms an awkward junction.

At the rear of the building (Scott Street) the site is dominated by the former Superintendent's Residence a two-storey rendered and painted brick building in Victorian Italianate style, designed by Menkens in 1897, extending southerly to Scott Street on the western side of the main building. This residence features a central projecting bay flanked by two symmetrical bays. Elongated windows with decorative masonry heads and sills adorn each facade surface on both storeys. The first floor balcony/verandah of this residence was removed in the 1950s during the site's conversion to Government offices. The columns from this verandah were used to form the supports for a new verandah along the eastern side of the west wing. The roof is clad with corrugated asbestos sheets and two corbelled chimneys exist.

To the east of the Superintendent's residence part of the rear of the Sailor's Home is visible, with various unsympathetic additions such as infilled balcony and a car port.


(NB: The following description is based on the Heritage Study undertaken by Architectural Projects Pty Ltd in October 2002.).

The interior layout of the 1882 Sailors' Home is symmetrical with a central loaded corridor which provides access to a sequence of three rooms on each side. The first, a square room, was extended in 1897 to match the size of the adjacent two rooms. The corridor leads to a verandah which has been modified in the 1920s. The corridor provides access, via the enclosed verandah to two wings which were originally one storey. The upper level repeats a similar plan to the ground floor. The stairs are located at the end of the original corridor.

The interior plan of the Superintendent's Residence is asymmetrical with a corridor on the [west] at both floors providing access to a sequence of three rooms at both levels. The interior features a sequence of well proportioned spaces which are lit by high double hung windows.

The interior of the former Sailors' Home retains much of the original planning, including the vestibule entrance, two former dining rooms and library. Many of the original partitioning walls remain. The skirting boards and internal doors are all original. The stair, originally providing access to the dormitories located on the first floor, is original. Many of the dormitory rooms remain intact. However, much of the internal detail has been removed.

Modifications and dates

  • 1883-1897 - two wings added onto the south side, forming a three-sided rear court. This extension was originally a single storey. At a later stage another storey was added to these wings (date unknown).
  • 1897 - Superintendent's Residence built.
  • 1936-1938 - Sailors' Home converted to Sister Kenny Poliomylitis Clinic.
  • 1950 - Former Chapel converted to toilet block.
  • 1950s - Adaptation of building for use as NSW Government offices
  • 1960s-1970s - Modifications relating to use by Education Department. Original float and plaster walls rendered in hard cement; other walls veneer clad; verandahs infilled etc. Resulting in much of the original building's features being hidden.
  • 2014-2015 - Building completely refurbished for residential use.
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