29. Sulphide Street Cottages - c1900

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The Sulphide Street Cottages are a row of five typical, single-fronted cottages built about 1900. They were constructed of corrugated iron, given the need for lightweight, easily transported building materials. At that time there was an almost universal use of galvanised iron for roofing, but the material was also used, along with weatherboard, for cladding in more basic houses. This row of cottages, with their return verandahs, is well-preserved.  

Earlier cottages were often built without verandahs, but the need for protection from the heat saw them later added: concave and bull-nose verandahs are still seen at the front of many Broken Hill houses.  

The typical cottage was, originally, a transformation from a simple miner’s tent: one or two rooms with rear lean-to kitchens added later as required. Interiors were usually lined with timber panelling, pressed metal ceilings, lath and plaster wall and ceiling linings, or sometimes Hessian, newspaper and wallpaper. Generally, only the front and back of iron houses were painted, leaving the galvanised iron sides and roofs unpainted.  

Although changes have taken place over time, like ‘fake brick’ cladding and flat verandah roofing, the original details of these cottages – once identical – are still visible, and the reinstatement of original detailing is actively encouraged in Broken Hill.

Audio transcript available.