A year in the making for renovations

NEW LOOK: Libby Loneragan at her Chifley Heritage Award nominated house on Morrisset Street. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
NEW LOOK: Libby Loneragan at her Chifley Heritage Award nominated house on Morrisset Street. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

A NEW local component has been added to this year’s Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal – the Chifley Heritage Award. The award, which will be announced on May 6 at the Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal and Bathurst Regional Heritage Awards dinner, will go to the project that demonstrates the most outstanding contribution to the built, natural or cultural heritage of the Bathurst region. In the weeks leading up to the dinner, the Western Advocate will be profiling several of the nominations. 

Built in 1861, the house at 62 Morrisset Street has seen extensive renovations since Libby Loneragan purchased the building in 2013. 

It was the kind of restoration project she had been looking for, saying she had been wandering around Bathurst for something like this to do. 

Ms Loneragan said the building has been restored to preserve its structure and fabric.

“Specialised tradesmen used traditional techniques throughout to keep the character of the original house,” she said

“The original lean to the kitchen was in very poor condition and was replaced by an open plan living area and kitchen. The separate outbuilding was rebuilt to reinstate the original footprint and roof pitch using the original bricks for external walls and the floor.” 

Ms Loneragan purchased the property because she had a desire to protect and restore the Victorian-styled house, by making it habitable.

She also wanted to enhance the heritage aspects of the area and wants to encourage others to do the same.

“The aim was to create a comfortable family home, whilst maintaining the integrity of the original four roomed Victorian cottage,” she said. 

“Also, it was very important to be sympathetic to the streetscape of this urban conservation area.

“Much restoration work was required to preserve the structure and fabric of the cottage to safeguard it for many years.” 

The original four rooms were built on bluestone foundations, so the house can be predominantly sound.

Demolition was required of the original kitchen, which was in poor condition, as were the rotting additions at the back of the house. 

The replacement was an open plan living area and kitchen and all floorboards, ceilings, some walls and many of the rafters required replacing. 

Architraves and skirting boards were reused where possible, or replace to match. 

The entire front veranda was rebuilt using the old bricks in a herringbone pattern, edged by rounded concrete and new timber posts replaced the original ones. 

All roof and guttering was replaced with corrugated iron, maintaining the high pitch, and both chimneys required repointing. 

The separate outbuilding, which was under threat of demolition, now provides comfortable guest accommodation.  

Even though the property was purchased in 2013, restoration work did not begin until December, 2015, and was finished in December, 2016.

Ms Loneragan moved in just before Christmas and plans to live in the house.