NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Heritage Stoneworks

Heritage Stoneworks is comprised of a skilled workforce that practice the ancient trade of stonemasonry masterfully handcrafting sandstone to maintain and preserve our state’s most historic and impressive buildings.

Their work ensures the 800+ heritage significant sandstone buildings across NSW are safe and continue as both culturally significant and operational as schools, hospitals and courthouses.

Heritage Stoneworks is also the major employer of stonemason apprentices future proofing the heritage stonework industry.

Heritage Stoneworks' services

  • Stonemasonry preservation, restoration, replacement and protection.
  • Intricate carving and shaping of stone.
  • Heritage roofing, including slate and metal deck roofing, copper and lead work.
  • Heritage refurbishment and building maintenance work.
  • Providing expert advice on heritage maintenance, as well as project and/or construction management services.
  • Providing expert advice on a range of stone and slate selection as well as its processing to suit heritage requirements.
  • Stone processing (cutting and shaping) at the Alexandria stone yard.

Minister’s Stonework Program

Heritage Stoneworks manages heritage building projects and collaborates with the Minister’s Stonework Program. The NSW Government owns a significant portfolio of buildings and structures, dating from the early 1800s onwards, which are wholly or partly built of sandstone.

Launched in 1991, the Minister’s Stonework Program (MSP) provides a state-wide strategic approach to the maintenance of heritage buildings through conservation planning, condition analysis, prioritisation and budget development. Managed by the Public Works Advisory Heritage Asset Advisory (HAA), the Program’s objective is to bring the structures to a condition where planned maintenance programs can take over.

The MSP has a responsibility to achieve the ‘best conservation outcome’ for the government’s assets from a whole-of-government expenditure viewpoint. The program is also noted as an exemplary conservation initiative and for developing traditional masonry and other trade skills for the heritage industry throughout NSW and beyond.

Heritage Stoneworks recent conservation projects

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Image credit: Michael Nicholson

Australian Museum National School (established 1849)

Project completed: Early 2022

Work completed:

  • Replacement of deteriorated sandstone that has reached the end of its functional life or is structurally unsound.
  • Patch stone and pin cracked/damaged stone being retained insitu.
  • Repoint sandstone and brick joints.
  • External cleaning to remove biological growth, pollution and dirt.

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Bathurst Courthouse (established 1880)

Project to be completed: Mid-May 2022

Work completed:

  • Masonry and stone repointing.
  • Replace decayed sandstone to base courses on the West and East wings (ground level), cornice course of the dome, balcony cornice West and East wings. Sandstone to be Sydney Sandstone to match the original.
  • Synthetic stone repairs.
  • Reconstruct missing lead gargoyles to match existing on copper lantern gutter.
  • Provision of lead weatherings to protect replacement sandstone.
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Tarpeian Way (established 1847)

Project completed: April 2022

Work completed:

Phase 1 - Stabilization works for the Sydney Opera House forecourt’s Rock face:

  • Significant built and landscape elements are protected during site preparation and the works from potential damage.
  • Insure the wall has a low risk for Sydney Opera House visitors.

Phase 2 – Palisade Fence repairs:

  • Stone replacement is performed like for like to maintain the heritage significance of the fence.
  • Waste are minimized by reusing most of the extracted stones.
  • As of to date not environmental impact was reported on the surrounding facilities.

Contact the Heritage Stoneworks team

If you have considered a career in a specialised trade such as stonemasonry, talk to the team and see if you are interested to carve out your future as an apprentice stonemason.

For general enquiries about Heritage Stoneworks or the Minister’s Stonework Program please call us on 02 9565 9025 or send an enquiry to the Heritage Stoneworks team via the contact form.

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