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The Griffin-designed Grant House at 8 The Parapet. Walter and Marion Griffin lived in this house from 1925 until Walter's departure for India in 1935, so it is the building most closely associated with the Griffins.
The Griffin-designed Grant House at 8 The Parapet. Walter and Marion Griffin lived in this house from 1925 until Walter's departure for India in 1935, so it is the building most closely associated with the Griffins.

Property and Development

Many of Castlecrag’s residents have worked very hard over the years to conserve the unique character and heritage of their suburb. Fortunately, as outlined below, the national, state and local governments, along with heritage organisations, are increasingly recognising the significance of Castlecrag and placing controls over its management and development. Property owners and potential developers should be aware that existing and proposed planning instruments mean that property development, building extensions, streetscape alterations and landscaping are frequently more stringently constrained in Castlecrag than in most other suburbs.

Heritage listings

Walter Burley Griffin described himself as a “landscape architect”. His genius, backed by the artistic talents of his architect wife, Marion Mahony Griffin, created much of Castlecrag’s heritage. In the 1920s he developed the Castlecrag Estate, on the southern side of Edinburgh Road, as a “model suburb”. Buildings were to be kept subservient to the landscape and the natural bushland and topography were emphasised and preserved.

This Estate is the core of Castlecrag, but Griffin’s philosophies, which protect the natural landscape character and preserve open space, the bushland and water views, are increasingly influencing the development of the built environment in the entire suburb and beyond. In 1976 the National Trust listed the Griffin Estate, accelerating recognition of the international significance Griffin’s urban design at Castlecrag.

One of Griffin’s most famous houses is the Fishwick house in Castlecrag. You can visit its website here.

Recently there has been increased interest in the Griffins and their work by academics, architects and conservations architects, both in Australia and overseas. Consequently, the Australian Heritage Commission, the National Trust of NSW and Willoughby City Council have listed a number of buildings by Griffin and his partner Eric Nicholls. These listings can affect proposed developments nearby. Click here for a list of Heritage Listings in Castlecrag.

Willoughby LEP Heritage Listings

The built heritage items of Castlecrag are listed by Willoughby Council under its Local Environment Plan of 1995 (LEP95). There are currently Castlecrag 17 items of Regional or State significance listed under Schedule 6 – plus the Griffin-designed Incinerator in Small Street, Willoughby. Schedule 7, covering items of Local Significance, lists 18 Castlecrag items.

Click the sections below to expand:

  • ‘Wilson’ House (WB Griffin), 2 The Barbette, Castlecrag;
    Lot 197, DP 13306
  • ‘Creswick’ House (WB Griffin), 4 The Barbette, Castlecrag;
    Lot 196, DP 13306
  • ‘Duncan’ House, (WB Griffin), 8 The Barbette, Castlecrag;
    Lot 196, DP 13306
  • “Open Air” Theatre, The Barricade, Haven Estate, Castlecrag; Castlehaven Reserve; Part land in DP 431880
  • ‘Camelot’ House (Nicholls), 3 The Bastion, Castlecrag;
    Lot 294, DP 13306
  • ‘Guy’ House (WB Griffin) 23 The Bastion, Castlecrag;
    Lot 304, DP 13306
  • ‘Fishwick’ House (WB Griffin), 15 The Citadel, Castlecrag;
    Part Lot 331, DP 14804
  • GSDA No.1 House and curtilage (WB Griffin), 136 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag; Lot A, DP 373118
  • GSDA No.2 House (WB Griffin), 140 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag;
    Lot B, DP 373118
  • Castlecrag Private Hospital 150 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag;
    Lot 1, DP 701559
  • ‘Felstead’ House (WB Griffin), 158 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag;
    Lot 2, DP 334163 subject to drainage easement
  • House (Nicholls), 215 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag;
    Lot C, DP 362191
  • ‘Johnson’ House (WB Griffin), 4 The Parapet, Castlecrag;
    Lot 58, DP 11138
  • ‘Grant’ House (WB Griffin), 8 The Parapet, Castlecrag;
    Lot 56, DP 11138
  • ‘Moon’ House (WB Griffin), 12 The Parapet, Castlecrag;
    Corner Lot 54, DP 11138
  • ‘Cheong’ House (WB Griffin), 14 The Parapet, Castlecrag;
    Corner Lot 53, DP 11138
  • WB Griffin Incinerator “Incinerator”, 2 Small Street, Willoughby;
    Lot 2, DP 57586
  • Memorial Fountain to Walter Burley Griffin (Bim Hilder), Cnr Sortie Port and Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag
  • House 139-143 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag;
    Lot B, DP 388113, Lots 153, 154 and 155, DP 12497
  • House 144 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag;
    Lot 61, DP 11138 and Lot 1, DP 315876
  • House 156 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag;
    Lot 1, DP 334163
  • House 170 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag;
    Lot 105, DP 11138
  • House 173 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag;
    Lot A, DP 374516
  • House 183 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag;
    Lot 219, DP 12497
  • Waterfront cottage 217B Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag;
    Lot 2, DP 200606
  • Waterfront cottage 227 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag;
    Lot 101, DP 575195
  • Waterfront cottage 297A Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag;
    Lots B and C, DP 394155
  • Waterfront cottage 233 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag;
    Lot A and Reclamation Land Vo 70
  • House (Buhrich), 375 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag;
    Pt Lot 6, DP 2156
  • House 7 The Barbette, Castlecrag;
    Lot 187, DP 14703
  • House 2 The Bartizan, Castlecrag;
    Lot 389, DP 19826
  • Former Nurses Quarters, 6 The Battlement, Castlecrag;
    Lot 2, DP 621816
  • House 37 The Bulwark, Castlecrag;
    Lot 397, DP 19826
  • House 10 The Parapet, Castlecrag;
    Lot 55, DP 11138
  • Community Centre (Nicholls), 10 The Postern, Castlecrag;
    Lot 143, DP 17416

Legal and Planning Controls

All development applications in Castlecrag are reviewed against a variety of controls.

In 1987 Council adopted Development Control Plan No.3 – Castlecrag (DCP3) to protect the character and heritage of the entire suburb.

In 1993 Council designated the Castlecrag Conservation Area under Draft DCP No.73 Heritage and Conservation.

Its objective, which is influential across the entire suburb was to: retain the original subdivision pattern and linked system of public reserves and walkways
permit new development which blends in with and preserves the natural landscape, its remnant bushland and rocky terrain
restrict the height, scale, bulk, mass and proportion, site cover, location and visibility of new development using DCP3 controls so that it does not dominate the landscape, and ensure that garages and fences are designed and suited to retain the unique character of the roadways.

In 1995 Council adopted Willoughby Local Environment Plan (LEP95), listing the Conservation Area as having State heritage significance. Through Council’s DCP19 – Heritage and Conservation, buildings in LEP95 are subject to planning controls on their scale, setting, form and materials.

In 1997 a Plan of Management was developed for the reserves, walkways and traffic islands of the Griffin Estate. This plan is now being implemented with community input. New residents and property owners intending to lodge Development Applications are encouraged to familiarise themselves not only with the detailed requirements of Council’s planning instruments, but also with the spirit and intention of the community’s conservation efforts. This is best done before briefing an architect or builder. Copies of the relevant documents are available from Council.