Monday, July 17, 2006

Gingerbread Gothic

(Gosford walkies #14)

St Edward's School Frederick Street Point Frederick

Went back up to Point Frederick this morning and photographed this lovely old building at St Edward's. It's Victorian Rustic Gothic (circa1840 - c.1890). Steeply pitched roofs, all those gables and chimneys, iron lace brackets on the veranda posts, decorated bargeboards on the gables, pendants and finials at the point of the gables and that lovely bullnose veranda roof. The plaque on the gable reads "MONA,VALE. 1889". It's the administration bulding now but presumably it once housed the classrooms.

The rest of the school is red brick with roofs in the same red as this building. The other buildings look like they were built in the twentieth century, post war. The setting is lovely. There's a playground and oval on the waterfront behind the buildings and a view from them down into Caroline Bay and across to Green Point and Saratoga. Lovely spot to go to school.

View from St Edward's School Frederick Street Point Frederick

The view from the school is down into Caroline Bay between Point Frederick and Peeks Point, across to Green Point (behind the trees), the lower ground of Saratoga, Davistown and, in the far distance, what looks to be Killcare Heights.

South end of St Edward's School Frederick Street Point Frederick

South end of St Edward's. There's three doors across the back there. Put in when the white brick part was added at the front (above) maybe.

St Edward's School Frederick Street Point Frederick

The front door. The fanlight seems pretty common in the Victorian Rustic Gothic style. But the mix of brick & wood window frames and wood-only window frames is making me think the white brick section on the front wall here, the quoin-bricks and the wood-only framed windows and the back door were added a few years after the place was built.

St Edward's School Frederick Street Point Frederick

Stilted arch window on the front of the building. The same brick pattern as down the sides of the brick framed windows. Stitled arch windows are quite common on 19th century terrace houses in Sydney. Apart from this one, there's only one other I've seen on the Central Coast so far and that's just up the road on a green and white house on York Street.

St Edward's School Frederick Street Point Frederick

Cast iron bracket on the south side of the building. It's quite different to the ones on the front (above).

St Edward's School Frederick Street Point Frederick

Bargeboards & cast iron brackets on the east side of the building. The bargeboards are different again from those on the front and back.

Looks like there was a door instead of a window there once. You can see the replacement bricks under the window in the shape and size of a door. The window is also wider than rest (except the stilted arch one at the front) so it could be a 20th century alteration.

St Edward's School Frederick Street Point Frederick

Detail of the veranda and iron lace. The iron lace I think is original. It was in pretty good nick but I've never seen any 20th or 21st century reproduction in that pattern.

I don't know about the post section, below the brackets. Could be reproduction. They look very similar to 1970s reproduction. There's a lot of bashes and scrapes on the posts under their paint but this is a school building so they could've happened in the last few decades.

It was a lovely building. The only one of its kind I've seen so far in the Brisbane Water area but hopefully a few more will surface. There's a few more detail photos of it on Flickr.

It's come over cloudy this afternoon. Grey cloud. Hope there's some more rain coming.


Inexplicable DeVice said...

Gingerbread gothic?

I hope no witches were harned during the photo taking...

Bloody kids!

Inexplicable DeVice said...


Good grief! I've only had half a glass of wine, too!

Spike said...

No witches were seriously harmed though I did speak to one who was covered in camellia leaves and cat wee.

She'd crash landed in a bush the night before after a party to celebrate the opening of a rather large bottle of kumquat brandy at a fellow witch's cottage.

I helped her to her feet and she showed me a nasty bruise she'd copped from coming in too low over a pendant and finial. She said she much preferred school holidays when no blasted kids came clattering down to her basement while she was trying to work out tricky hexes and harrassing her pussy.