• 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'.


Trelawney House 63 Bradleys Head Road, Mosman

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.


Previous Page: Federation Details     Next Page: Grace Park, Hawthorn VIC Mosman, the Federation Suburb  Mosman became known as the Federation suburb, because its first major population explosion and building boom was around 1901, at the time of Australia’s Federation.  Mosman is primarily a residential suburb, on the lower North Shore, to the East of North Sydney and surrounded by Sydney Harbour.  Until the harbour bridge was opened in 1932, Mosman was only accessible by ferry across the Harbour, or via road and rail over the Parramatta river at Granville, far to the west.   At the turn of the twentieth century, rows of shops and of many Federation architecture homes were built as the increasing population were attracted away from the more crowded southern suburbs to the natural charm and vistas of Mosman's unique bushland, boating, and water surrounds.  Federation Queen Anne Read More > Read More > Federation Bungalow Read More > Read More > Bradleys Head Federation Arts and crafts Jump To:      Mosman the Federation Suburb      Mosman's Federation Heritage, Sydney NSW      Early Mosman Mansions      Federation Era Heritage Mansions of Mosman      Mosman's Federation Past      Federation Styles in Mosman      Federation Queen Anne in Mosman      Ardagh, 19 Prince Albert Street Mosman      Curraweena, 6 Buena Vista Avenue (Clifton Gardens) Mosman      Federation Arts and Crafts in Mosman      Aneesha, 7 Kardinia Road Mosman      Tregoyd or Dr Cullen's House     161 Raglan Street Mosman      Federation Bungalows in Mosman      Heritage Federation Bungalow examples      Rothesay, 7 Thompson Street Mosman       Iorana, 13 Upper Spit Road Mosman, NSW      Sessiagh, 13 Upper Spit Road Mosman      Mosman's Heritage Conservation Areas      Mosman's Federation Areas      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      Keep Reading      References  ​ Related pages:      Mosman Federation Heritage      Mosman Merchant Mansions      Ardagh, Mosman Merchant Mansion  Parriwi Road, Mosman.jpg Early Mosman Mansions  ​      The Nest, Mosman's first large home—'The Nest'—was built in 1833, bought by Richard Harnett Sr in 1859 and demolished in the 1920s.      The Rangers. Oswald Bloxsome built The Rangers in 1844, a mansion on 40 acres overlooking Mosman Bay.      The house, located near Spofforth Street between Rangers Avenue and Brierly Street survived until 1914.      Ellamatta, 3 Ellamatta Avenue, a three storey stone mansion built in 1870. Now a hospital.      Kirk Oswald 2 Kirkoswald Avenue, built 1873 on what is now Kirkoswald Avenue.      Buena Vista, built by Richard James Harnett Sr, with sixteen rooms, in 1876, at a cost of £5000, a two-storeyed, two-winged residence of sixteen rooms on one of the Silex estate's five-acre allotments, at the junction of Middle Head Road and Bradley's Head Road. This was replaced in 1900 by the Buena Vista Hotel.      Duncraggan, built on Curraghbeena Point in 1877 by W.E. Wilson.      Glanmire, later known as Merriwa 17 Stanley Avenue Mosman, built in 1880 above Balmoral by Edward Stanley.      Boronia House, built in 1885 has had a variety of uses including as the former municipal library. It is listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register.      Killarney House, Dalton St, Mosman: a large two-storeyed Federation Filigree residence with tower, built on ten acres of land in 1895 by Gerald Dalton - now a Uniting Church retirement home.      - Source: Mosman, a History by Gavin Souter, chapter 6.  800px-(1)_Boronia(1885).JPG  Above: Boronia House, Mosman  built in 1885  Mosman became a municipality in 1893 with 1,600 residents, breaking away from the North Sydney municipality.  At the turn of the century, Mosman prospered as rows of shops and magnificent federation style homes were built by the increasing population.   Above: 46 Parriwi Road, Mosman  Below: Buena Vista, Mosman built 1876 by Harnett Sr. Elamatta House Mosman.jpg  Below: The Manor, viewed from Iluka Road Mosman's Federation Heritage, Sydney NSW         There are around 500 Heritage Items and Archaeological Sites and 13 Heritage Conservation Areas listed in Mosman.      The North Shore's new residents created and maintained the social character of Mosman. It drew artists, writers, intellectuals, businessmen and professionals who strongly rejected proposals which may be likely to undermine the residential nature of their home.      Council policies zealously maintained parks and reserves with constant effort to enhance the beauty of the natural landscape.      Federation era houses predominate in Mosman. Mosman became known as the Federation suburb, as its first major population explosion and building boom was around 1901, at the time of Australia’s Federation.  ​​ The Manor, viewed from Iluka Road.JPG Monterey 2.jpg  Above: Monterey Apartments, 1 Avenue Rd Mosman  Below: Alma House, 114 Belmont Rd Mosman 114 Belmont Road Mosman 2.jpg Clifton Manor, 42 Kardinia Road Cnr of B Federation Era Heritage Mansions of Mosman  ​      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. Manor Heritage Register Listing.      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. Monterey Heritage Register Listing      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. Alma Heritage Register Listing       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. Clifton Manor Heritage Listing.  Mosman's Federation Past   by Architectural historian Robert Irving.  Above: Clifton Manor, 42 Kardinia Road, Mosman Map of Mosman.jpg Federation Styles found in Mosman  Mosman council has commissioned a comprehensive heritage guide "Mosman's Architectural Heritage" by Robert Staas which you can download and read. Below are extracts from this guide for Federation Queen Anne and Arts and Crafts styles: Federation Queen Anne in Mosman Queen Anne style.jpg Queen Anne style in Mosman.jpg Queen Anne style characteristics 1.jpg Queen Anne style characteristics 2-1.jpg Queen Anne style characteristics 2-2.jpg Queen Anne style characteristics italic. Queen Anne style in Mosman 2.jpg 81 Muston Street Mosman 2060331b1.jpg Jump to:      Ardagh, 19 Prince Albert Street Mosman      Curraweena, 6 Buena Vista Avenue Clifton Gardens      Queen Anne mansions in Bradleys Point  Ardagh, 19 Prince Albert Street Mosman
Four Federation Era Heritage Mansions of Mosman​

Monterey Apartments, Mosman NSW
  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.


Map of Mosman from NSW State Library (for sale)

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


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