inHerit Logo



Shire of Mundaring

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


5-7 Lukin Av Darlington

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Leithdale Hostel

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1894

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List YES 08 Mar 2016
State Register Registered 17 Feb 2006 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 22 Apr 1997 1 - Exceptional significance

1 - Exceptional significance

Rare or outstanding example; essential to the heritage of the locality Expectations: The place should be retained and conserved. Any alterations or extensions should reinforce the significance of the place and be in accordance with a Conservation Plan if one is in place.

Statement of Significance

'Leithdale' has very high aesthetic, social and historic significance for the Shire of Mundaring and the people of Western Australia. Its aesthetic significance is contained in the authenticity of its style materials and setting. The social and historic significance is found in the association 'Leithdale' had with Allpike, Skinner and D.H. Lawrence and the example the house provides of an early hills residence/lifestyle, and various other social uses benefiting the community such as school, church and convalescent home.

Physical Description

Leithdale sits high on the steep hillside of the escarpment, overlooking Helena Valley, Darlington, and looking west towards the city and the coastal plain. The site has been largely obscured by trees and vegetation until recently when pruning and new landscaping has re-opened vistas to and from the property. Unfortunately, the busy vehicular use of Lukin Avenue, which curves very closely around the southern side of the house, intrudes on the original ambience of the site and the house. The surrounding grounds and gardens have been quite extensive at different times in the life of the house and remnants of stone retaining walls, ponds and other landscape elements variously remain. A fenced swimming pool, off to one side at the front of the house, was an intrusive element in the front gardens but has now been removed.
The house is high out of the natural ground level at the front (west) and side (south) requiring large flights of steps to give access up to the front entry and verandas that surround the house. The north side and rear are at ground level or cutting into the hill. Out from the rear veranda there is a small octagonal brick and stone outbuilding thought to have been the dairy or 'cool' room for storing milk etc. The wide timber boarded verandas have a shallow concave curved roof, supported on timber posts with cast iron Iacework to the beams and brackets and timber cross pattern balustrades at the front.
The house is basically symmetrical in plan but the external appearance has achieved a typical asymmetrical element of the Federation period with the projection of a bay window to the large living room on the north side of the entry. The half octagon bay window forces the veranda to radiate around the projecting bay, breaking up what would otherwise be a straight facade and, at the same time, giving definition to the entry. Generally the external walls are of local granite laid in random courses with brick quoins at corners and surrounds to openings with the exception of the bay window that is rendered and painted white. This gives further expression to the asymmetry and definition of the entry and appears to be an original feature as evidenced by the earliest photos in the collection of the current owners. There is a veranda enclosure of weatherboard and glass on the south side creating a conservatory effect which appears to be a fairly old, possibly original, feature. A similar enclosure on the north side appears to be a recent addition to provide attached laundry facilities (off the kitchen and scullery) which originally would have been in an external wash-house.
The entry into the house is through a large single timber panelled door with stained glass side and highlights and into the end of a wide, central hall running the length of the house. The entry end of the hall is defined by projecting piers with moulded corbels supporting an arch with label moulds and voussoir at the top. The piers either side have moulded capitals giving a belted column effect and have been painted to simulate marble (this appears to be original). The ceilings to the hall are tall and have deep cornices and large centre roses which are new and, one assumes, replace similar originals. Some of the cornices are cracked and coming away and several sections of the lathe and plaster ceilings have been badly water damaged by overflows from the central box gutter in the 'M' shaped roof above. These ceilings require urgent repairs or stabilization before they are beyond saving. (Conservation techniques are available that should allow the ceilings to be restored and not necessarily replaced.)
Rooms open off either side of the hallway. Although some of the rooms ar quite small by comparison to others in the house, all are similarly detailed with high ceilings, cornices,ceiling roses ad fireplaces with timber surrounds to virtually every room. The front living room on the north, with bay window, has a marble fireplace surround with detailing similar to the archway supports in the hall. The separate windows of the bay have raised sills whereas the other front room, and several others on the south side, have tall 'step through' double hung windows or French Doors opening onto, and protected by , the wide verandahs. Further down the hall a large kitchen and scullery opens off to the north.
The hall terminates with a second, plainly detailed arch at what has been described as a 'ballroom' and is now used as a very large, informal, family living room. Externally the stone work to the walls at the rear of the house indicate that it has been rebuilt or was a later addition. During it's convalescent home period it is thought the ballroom, which had fallen into disrepair, was subdivided into smaller spaces. Subsequently, this section of the house underwent alterations in the early 1980's to provide additional bedroom accommodation in the roof space. This approach was taken o avoid imposing a second storey into the original single storey fabric and external appearance of the house. However, it has been at the expense of creating an intrusion of a stair at the entry into the ballroom from the hall and a very low section of ceiling and vertical bulkhead that extends across about one third of the room.
Overall, the extensive 1980 alterations and restorations have been carried out sensitively, using sympathetic and sometimes recycled materials from other sources. However, there is generally little indication or definition between original and introduced fabric to guide future conservation work and this may lead to confusion with interpretation.


In 1894, John Allpike,manager of Padbury, Loton & Company's stores in Terrace Road, Guildford, built 'Leithdale' on part on part of the 19 acres of Lot 32. The house, said to cover 66 squares, and similar in design to 'Holmesdale', was reputed to have been built from stone quarried at nearby Smith's Mill. There were separate cellars, a manager's house known originally as 'Leithdale Cottage' and more recently, as 'Flagstaff'. In addition, the property had at one time contained an extensive vineyard (Established c.1890) and orchard, tennis court and a guest house, thought to have been built c.1919. as with all the area's original homes, periodic subdivisions have substantially reduced the size of the property.
As well as being a family home, 'Leithdale' has served the communiyt in many ways. Until it moved to it's present site in Glen Road, Darlington Primary School's 10 students were taught at 'Leithdale' from May 1912 to October 1913. At sometime after 1907, when Vickery K Jones became the owner and before there was a dedicated building, monthly church services were held at Leithdale. During the period 1922-1928, Mollie Skinner and Ellen Beakbane opened Leithdale as a guest house. In May 1922, on thier short visit to Australia DH Lawrence and his wife Freda stayed at Leithdale for two weeks. It is thought they stayed in the 1919 guest house (now in Brook Road) rather than the main residence. In 1924 DH Lawrence published hie re-worked version of Mollie Skinner's manuscript "The Boy in the Bush" under their joint names. In common with other large homes in the hills, such as Ballindown, Leithdale operated as a convalescent home. Between 1932 and 1955, this was operated by Matron Myra Wills. During the 1940's, the French Club from the University of Western Australia held weekends there. After Mollie Skinner died in 1955, the property was owned until 1980 by Dr and Mrs Chester. In 1980, extensive renovation and restoration, under the supervision of national Trust architect John Pigeon, were carried out by the Templeman Family. In 1996, the property changed hands and the present owners have removed the swimming pool.


Integrity: Very high - with most of the original fabric intact; some confusion may exist with introduced fabric.
Modifications: Rear of house modified to provide additional accommodation in the roof space.


Very good, but requiring constant upkeep


Name Type Year From Year To
John Pigeon (National Trust Architect) Architect 1980 -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
N Banner; "Leithdale: A History". 1993
I Elliot; ibid. pp 196-197, 201
MHHS File; "Darlington".
T Tuckfield; "Darlington from the Beginning". 1962

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
6999 Images CD No. 25 : Sacred Heart Church and School, Statham's Quarry, Darlington Quarry, Leithdale. C D Rom 2004

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence

Architectural Styles

Federation Filigree
Federation Queen Anne

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall STONE Granite

Historic Themes

General Specific
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Land allocation & subdivision
PEOPLE Early settlers
OCCUPATIONS Rural industry & market gardening
PEOPLE Famous & infamous people

Creation Date

18 Jun 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

10 Feb 2017


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.