Athelstane House, 4 Hobson Street, Queenscliff
4 Hobson Street QUEENSCLIFF, QUEENSCLIFFE BOROUGH
Hesse Street Commercial Precinct
Statement of Significance
Statement of Significance as recorded under the Queenscliff Heritage Study 2009
Athelstane is of local historical significance as a substantial residence from the earliest phase of development in Queenscliff, which was then remodelled into a guesthouse in the first half of the twentieth century. It is a prominent and imposing building and is of interest for its layered presentation, with a combination of Victorian and interwar fabric, notably its prominent interwar verandah. Its phased development reflects important themes in the history of the township. Athelstane also has significant associations with early Queenscliffe resident and prominent Victorian retailer William John Craig, who built the original nineteenth century house. It was later owned by Nicholas Ebenezer Cuzens. Both Craig and Cuzens served as Borough Councillors.
Athelstane House, 4 Hobson Street, Queenscliff - Physical Description 1
Craig had gradually improved his premises through the late 1860s and early 1870s, building up what exists as the corner building, today, minus the elegant concave verandah which had covered the street.(7)In those years Athelstane was a hip roofed stuccoed duplex, with a central chimney and a concave roof, divided return verandah, with timber posts and cast iron baluster panels. A picket fence with two gates enclosed the front yard and two bay windows adorned the ground floor wall.(8) It seems that the east and larger half was retained as a summer residence whilst the western half was leased.
Extract from the 2009 study
As constructed, Athelstane was a hip roofed stuccoed duplex, with a central chimney and a concave roofed, divided return verandah, with timber posts and cast iron baluster panels. A picket fence with two gates enclosed the front yard and two bay windows adorned the ground floor wall.[i] It seems that the eastern and larger half was retained as a summer residence whilst the western half was leased.
In its current form, Athelstane is a rendered brick Victorian hotel with a bellcast roof clad in slate tile. The Victorian building has an overlay of alterations and additions which have significantly altered its appearance, notably the two-storey timber verandah which extends across the Hobson Street (south) and east elevations. On the lower part of the verandah are brick pillars with clinker brick infill panels and the upper portion of the verandah has timber balustrading.
On the Hobson Street elevation there are two canted bay windows on the ground floor and on the upper level four pairs of timber French doors. The former single-storey service blocks at the rear have been extended upwards one level.
[i] Kruger Album (Davey)
Athelstane House, 4 Hobson Street, Queenscliff - Physical Description 2
The new owner Cuzens, who had in 1872 opened the first store in Sorrento, also became a Queenscliff Borough Councillor in 1875 in Craig's place, being elected as Mayor in 1883. He resigned in 1888.(1 J) Since then Athelstane has been altered externally and added to at the rear. A brick verandah has replaced the original (cl920-30) and part of the verandah has been enclosed although the substantial half-glazed double doors which open onto the upper level verandah from most rooms have been retained. The former one storey service blocks at the rear have been extended one level to provide more lettable rooms.
Athelstane House, 4 Hobson Street, Queenscliff - Physical Description 3
Internally cornices, roses, mantels and grates remain in the original section and a large room at ground floor level in the eastern section is noteable.
Athelstane House, 4 Hobson Street, Queenscliff - Intactness
Heritage Study and Grading
Queenscliffe - Queenscliffe Urban Conservation Study
Author: Allom Lovell & Associates P/L, Architects
Queenscliffe - Queenscliffe Heritage Study
Author: Lovell Chen