• Jon Ruwolt

Mosman, the Federation Suburb

Updated: Aug 12, 2019


Two Sydney suburbs claim to be the 'Federation Suburb': both Haberfield and Mosman. Both were developed in the period following the Federation of Australian states from 1901 to 1915, but only one of these suburbs has water views and 'merchants mansions'.


Haberfield development bylaws only allowed single-story development and the use of the single company architect to ensure each house had a unique design.

The development of Mosman was in the hands of many developers, most notably Smith and Cabban, who built the large Federation mansions on Bradleys Head Road which now fetch upwards of $10 million each, since they have tennis courts and swimming pools, space which is lacking in Haberfield.


Four Federation Era Heritage Mansions of Mosman​

  1. The Manor, 2-10 Illuka Road, Mosman, was built circa 1911, in a loose Federation Queen Anne/Arts-&-Crafts style. This is a large and imposing dark-brick residence, located on a broad site addressing Iluka Road at the bottom of the slope of Morella Road. Built circa 1911 by a Mr Bakewell as an eight-room cottage, it grew to over thirty rooms, most of which were lined with beaten copper. It was known locally as Bakewell’s Folly.

  2. Monterey, 1 Avenue Road Mosman, is a large Federation Filigree style house built above Mosman Bay. In the 1980s it was divided into a number of upmarket units.

  1. Alma House, 114 Belmont Road Mosman, a magnificent “state of the art” Federation mansion set in beautiful grounds with a sweeping driveway, was constructed for Frederick Smith, a wealthy resident in the mid 1890s. In later years Miss Hutchinson established a nursing school in the building. Now a corporate headquarters.

  2. Clifton Manor, 42 Kardinia Road, Mosman now three apartments. A large Federation Queen Anne residence which contributes significantly to the area through its corner location, complex roofscape and prominent, unusual chimneys.

Mosman has 500 heritage listings, most of them representing Local Heritage.

While Mosman has thirteen Heritage Precincts, the larger character houses are clustered along these main roads:

  • Military Road,

  • Bradleys Head Road,

  • Middle Head Road,

  • Prince Albert Street and

  • Raglan Street.


Three main Federation Styles are represented in Mosman, notably Federation Queen Anne Style, and Federation Arts and Crafts style.

Much less common are examples of Federation Bungalows, which characterise Haberfiled and Beecroft, for example.

Read more about these examples of Mosman Federation Style:

  • Ardagh, 19 Prince Albert Street Mosman

  • Curraweena, 6 Buena Vista Avenue (Clifton Gardens) Mosman

  • Aneesha, 7 Kardinia Road Mosman

  • Tregoyd or Dr Cullen's House, 161 Raglan Street Mosman

  • Rothesay, 7 Thompson Street Mosman

  • Iorana, 13 Upper Spit Road Mosman, NSW

  • Sessiagh, 13 Upper Spit Road Mosman

Read more about these Bradleys Head Road developments:

  • Smith and Cabban, builders

  • The Silex Estate

  • Mosman's Bradley's Head Road, Federation Heritage

  • 16 Bradleys Head Road, Mosman NSW

  • Rona, 17 Bradleys Head Road, Mosman NSW 2088

  • 30-32 Bradleys Head Road, Mosman, NSW

  • Ardblair, 44 Bradleys Head Road, Mosman

  • Trelawney 63 Bradleys Head Road Mosman

  • Westmeath 56 Bradleys Head Road, Mosman NSW