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Mosman's Heritage

Mosman’s unique visual character is shaped by the interplay of its harbour setting, topography, vegetation and architectural expressions within the built environment. Today’s challenge is to establish a robust basis by which this vibrant local character can be protected into the future whilst at the same time establishing a framework for modern development within the Municipality.

Mosman Heritage Strategy

The Mosman Heritage Strategy outlines the comprehensive framework in place to manage heritage in this Local Government Area. 

Conservation and Maintenance

In addition to the information available in these publications, the Heritage Branch of the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage is a source of further assistance.

See also:

This information provides general principles designed to be read in conjunction with Council‘s Development Control Plans.

Further advice is available also from Council‘s Heritage Advisor.

Aboriginal Heritage

Aboriginal Heritage Study of the Mosman Local Government Area (2005)

Mosman is exceptional in its Aboriginal archaeological heritage.

Evidence of Aboriginal occupation can be found in all landforms across the municipality, especially in areas where little development has taken place. The rock art found around Mosman exhibits an impressive range of engraved and painted figures including hand stencils, whales, fish, macropods (kangaroos) and ancestral beings. Shell middens are found around Mosman‘s foreshore, offering us glimpses into the past.

There are very few areas in metropolitan Sydney where it is possible to view such a magnificent concentration of Aboriginal heritage.

This study was designed to bring together archaeological values (identified through background research and survey) and cultural values (identified through consultation with the Aboriginal community and oral history) in a holistic assessment of Mosman‘s Aboriginal landscape.

The heritage study was prepared for Mosman Council in partnership with National Parks and Wildlife Service (now part of the Department of Environment and Heritage), Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council and Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.

Aboriginal Heritage of Mosman (2010)

A guide on the Aboriginal Heritage of Mosman, providing information on geology, flora and fauna, the indigenous people of Mosman, culture, the use of the landscape and archaeological sites.

Aboriginal Heritage of Mosman Teachers’ Kit (2010)

Following the completion of the Aboriginal Heritage Study of Mosman (2005), the National Parks and Wildlife Service Harbour Area North Office, with support from the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and Mosman Council, commissioned the production of a Teachers Kit to assist in providing resources in educating children and young people of the rich Aboriginal heritage of Mosman.

The Teachers’ Kit is made available by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Other resources on Mosman’s Aboriginal heritage are available from Barry O’Keefe Library.

Architectural Heritage

Written by Robert Staas, heritage conservation architect and Heritage Advisor to Mosman Council, this book explores the distinctive architectural styles that are part of Mosman’s rich cultural heritage.

In particular the following styles are discussed and illustrated:

  • Victorian Italianate 1850 -1900
  • Federation Arts & Crafts 1900 – 1920
  • Federation Queen Anne 1885 – 1915
  • 20th Century Church Buildings in Mosman
  • The Californian Bungalow 1914 – 1939
  • Inter War Georgian Revival 1915 – 1940
  • The Spanish Mission & Mediterranean 1924 – 1940
  • The Ocean Liner & Streamlined Moderne 1925 – 1950
  • The Stockbroker Tudor 1925 – 1945
  • The Sydney Regional Style1950 -1975

Mosman‘s Architectural Heritage was published by Mosman Council in 1999.

Short Documentary – Mosman‘s Built Heritage

Four short programs about architecture

Mosman Council presents this award-winning four-part look at the built heritage of Mosman written and presented by the well known architect, architectural historian, author and former academic, Robert Irving OAM.

Whether you are planning to carry out building work, or own a heritage property, or are just interested in Mosman‘s beautiful buildings and landscape, you will enjoy, and learn from, viewing this excellent production.

1. What do we value about Mosman‘s Heritage?

2. Mosman‘s Federation Past

3. Mosman Between The Wars

4. Today‘s Buildings: Tomorrow‘s Heritage

Heritage Studies

Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) Photographic Surveys

The surveys include photographs of individual buildings within the streetscape, and provide explanatory notes indicating street address, building title, business name/s, and the heritage status of each building.

Glover Street and Belmont, Cabramatta, Bardwell and Cowles Roads – Heritage Assessment

Two studies were prepared for Council investigating the heritage significance of the area that includes Glover Street, Belmont and Cabramatta Roads and parts of Bardwell and Cowles Roads. A recommendation of the studies was for a heritage conservation area to be created.

Other Heritage Studies

Conservation Management Plan for Boronia and Surrounds

Boronia is a Council owned state heritage item built in 1885 in the Filigree Victorian style. In 2007 Council engaged consultants to prepare a Conservation Management Plan for Boronia and its surrounds.

Heritage Walks

Balmoral Self Guided Heritage Walk

The Balmoral Self Guided Heritage Walk is a short walk along Balmoral Beach highlighting points of interest. The brochure provides a map and gives information on items of heritage significance that can be seen as points of interest on the Balmoral walk.

Curlew Camp Artists’ Walk

The Curlew Camp Artists’ Walk was developed by Council and Taronga Zoo. The walk is over 1.6 km long and extends from the South Mosman ferry wharf at Musgrave Street and continues along to the Taronga Zoo ferry wharf, following the route used by visitors to the Camp during the 1890s.

The site of the Camp is located on the foreshore below Taronga Zoo and contains a viewing platform with interpretative signage which tells the fascinating story of the artists who lived and painted in this idyllic setting, developing a unique style of painting now known as the Australian School of Impressionism. The natural beauty of the area which inspired many well known Australian works of art by prominent artists, including Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts, is still evident today as you follow the route around Mosman’s foreshores.

It should be noted that the route is partly on road and does include steep sections and stairs. Please refer to the map below for details of the route:

Other walks

For information on other walks in Mosman, please see this page:

Last updated Thursday 24 June 2021
Last updated Thursday 24 June 2021