What is significant? The Camp Hill Central School was built in 1877 on the Police Camp site in Bendigo. Sixty six acres were set aside for police purposes here in 1852, providing the base for military and police presence during the 1850s, when an enormous number of people were attracted to the goldfield. The Gold Commissioner's Headquarters were also located on this site and the government viewed it as a suitable site for a much needed central school.
The school, which opened in 1878 with an enrolment of 1290 students, was designed by Henry Bastow of the Education Department and built by contractor, Thomas Corley. Located on a steeply sloping site, it is an imposing two storey, red brick building with slate roof and substantial bluestone base, designed in the Early English Gothic style. The principal south facade is highly asymmetrical with a dominant central entrance bay which incorporates a tower and two bay windows, including one which corbels out above the entrance. These bays reflect the importance of the rooms internally; those of the Principal and the Board of Advice. Classroom wings, which flank this central section, are dominated by rows of lancet windows.
Particularly distinctive features include the expression of the internal staircase externally in a series of windows and stringcourses, the Romanesque corbel table under the eaves, highlighted in contrasting brickwork, and the tower with crowning fleche. The latter was constructed as a fire tower, and incorporated a fire bell and elevated balcony with glass protected observation room.
How is it significant? The Camp Hill Central School is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it Significant? The Camp Hill Central School is of architectural significance as one of the most substantial and finely designed school buildings constructed in Victoria. Its vast scale, intact facades and unusual detailing make it an important example of the work of Henry Bastow of the Education Department. In the design of schools, details such as the corbel table are rare, the only other example being at Windsor Primary School (1877), and the inclusion of two bay windows is unique to this school building. The expression of the staircase externally is also unusual.
The Camp Hill Central School is of historical significance as an important landmark in the City of Bendigo. Due to its size, siting and central position, it became regarded as the most important school in the city. The incorporation of the city's fire tower, and its use as both lookout and warning bell, are important. [Online Data Upgrade Project 2004]
The Camp Hill Central School was built in 1877 on the Police Camp site in Bendigo. Sixty six acres were set aside for police purposes here in 1852, providing the base for military and police presence during the 1850s, when an enormous number of people were attracted to the goldfield. The Gold Commissioner’s Headquarters were also located on this site and the government viewed it as a suitable site for a much needed central school.
The draft statement of significance and the above history were produced as part of an Online Data Upgrade Project 2004. Sources were as follows: G. Butler & Assoc. Eaglehawk and Bendigo Heritage Study. 1993
R. Peterson. Survey of Historic Schools in Victoria. 1993
L. J. Blake. Vision and Realisation. A Centenary History of State Education in Victoria. Melbourne 1973
L. Burchell. Victorian Schools. A Study in Colonial Government Architecture 1837-1900. Melbourne 1980
CAMP HILL CENTRAL SCHOOL NO.1976 - Permit Exemptions
General Conditions: 1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object.General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of works that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such works shall cease and Heritage Victoria shall be notified as soon as possible. Note: All archaeological places have the potential to contain significant sub-surface artefacts and other remains. In most cases it will be necessary to obtain approval from the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria before the undertaking any works that have a significant sub-surface component.
General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan all works shall be in accordance with it. Note:A Conservation Management Plan or a Heritage Action Plan provides guidance for the management of the heritage values associated with the site. It may not be necessary to obtain a heritage permit for certain works specified in the management plan.
General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this determination prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.General Conditions: 5. Nothing in this determination exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authorities where applicable.Minor Works : Note: Any Minor Works that in the opinion of the Executive Director will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the place may be exempt from the permit requirements of the Heritage Act. A person proposing to undertake minor works must submit a proposal to the Executive Director. If the Executive Director is satisfied that the proposed works will not adversely affect the heritage values of the site, the applicant may be exempted from the requirement to obtain a heritage permit. If an applicant is uncertain whether a heritage permit is required, it is recommended that the permits co-ordinator be contacted.