8 Parramatta Square

1858 railway resumptions plan showing the creek line and expanded buildings. The study area is outlined in pink. SRNSW NRS 15244, item [1].

OVERVIEW

Casey & Lowe were commissioned by Walker Corporation to undertake the historical archaeological investigations at 8 Parramatta Square (8PS), 160–182 Church Street, Parramatta.  The archaeological resource of the site was assessed as being of local heritage significance

A program of excavation was undertaken across the study area in order to salvage any remaining significant archaeological resource.  Within the study area several historical construction phases were identified, sealed by concrete surfaces of the 1980s Connection Arcade and late 19th and early 20th-century terraces and shopfronts on Church Street.  These included the extensive remains of part of the early 19th-century sandstone ‘Town Drain’; remains of three early 19th-century houses fronting Church Street shown on Brownrigg’s plan of 1844 and the 1858 railway resumptions plan; sandstone footings from late 19th-century buildings with associated cesspits, a sandstock brick cellar and a sandstock brick beehive cistern; evidence for the early 20th-century widening of Darcy Street and the demolition and redevelopment of late 19th-century terraces to form Parramatta’s first arcade connecting Darcy Street and Church Street.

Brick well in the yard of Lot 20 associated with the later phase of the early house. View south. Scale 1m

ARCHAEOLOGY

A program of excavation was undertaken across the study area in order to salvage any remaining significant archaeological resource. Within the study area several historical construction phases were identified, sealed by concrete surfaces of the 1980s Connection Arcade and late 19th and early 20th-century terraces and shopfronts on Church Street.

These included the extensive remains of part of the early 19th-century sandstone ‘Town Drain’; remains of three early 19th-century houses fronting Church Street shown on Brownrigg’s plan of 1844 and the 1858 railway resumptions plan; sandstone footings from late 19th-century buildings with associated cesspits, a sandstock brick cellar and a sandstock brick beehive cistern; evidence for the early 20th-century widening of Darcy Street and the demolition and redevelopment of late 19th-century terraces to form Parramatta’s first arcade connecting Darcy Street and Church Street.

 

Timeline
  • 1799 – D’Arcy Wentworth obtained a lease for 14 years of 6 acres 20 rods on the east side of the main road leading to Sydney in the town of Parramatta.
  • 1804 – The study area shown as vacant land, part of Wentworth’s lease.
  • 1806 – Wentworth’s lease extended for a further 14 years ‘In consequence of the house and other improvements, Mr Wentworth has made on his lease’.
  • 1813 – Fairs held twice annually immediately to the north east of the study area in the Market Place.
  • 1814 – The first Annual Feast held by Governor Macquarie 28 December 1814.
  • 1819 – Portion 196, Parish of St. John comprising 31 acres in the District of Parramatta was formally granted to D’Arcy Wentworth, esquire.
  • 1823 –The study area is still shown as vacant land. Whereas buildings are shown immediately to the north of the study area at the Market Place.
  • 1827 – D’Arcy Wentworth dies leaving various properties to his son William Charles Wentworth including dwelling houses and premises on the 31 acres, then occupied by ‘Mr Bucknell’.
  • 1830s- William Charles Wentworth leased some land for 21 years on Church Street. These leases were all for parcels of land north of the current alignment of Argyle Street and north of the current railway line.
  • 1835 – Last Annual Feast (the event was abolished by Governor Bourke).
  • 1840 – The Town Drain is built within an existing creek line.
  • 1844 – Brownrigg’s Map of Parramatta showed that a series of buildings had been erected on Wentworth’s land along the Church Street frontage, including two just south of the Market (now Town Hall) (Figure 2.1). One of these buildings was the Star Inn.
  • 1861 – William Charles Wentworth conveyed the land for the railway to the Commissioners for Railways. A plan of 1858 showed the nearby buildings on Wentworth’s grant (Figure 2.2).
  • 1873 – After the death of W C Wentworth the Wentworth Estate was subdivided and sold. It had been subdivided into 73 allotments. Within the study area, the auction plan showed buildings on lots 19 and 20, Section 1, i.e. immediately south of the Town Hall.
  • 1895 – The study area is shown to have been redeveloped, with several new terraces and shopfronts either side of the Star Inn.
  • 1902 – Original Star Inn purchased by Tooth’s Brewery Co. is demolished and a new three storey Star Hotel built.
  • 1920s – The building on Lot 16 is reconfigured.
  • 1926 – Terraces to the south of the Star Inn were demolished and a new arcade connecting the train station with Church Street was opened.
  • 1938 – Tooths purchased an adjoining right of way and demolished the turn of the century Star Hotel. Then built a larger three storey Star Hotel with an extensive basement.
  • 1986s – The 1920s arcade is demolished and the Connection Arcade is constructed subsuming the terraces on Lot 17.
  • 1987 – The Star Hotel ceased trading.
  • 2014 – All buildings in the study area demolished for redevelopment.

 

CLIENT

Walker Corporation

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The photos used in this report are by Casey & Lowe. All other images are from SRNSW

Leather boots from the well in Area R., C&L 2017. Scale 100mm.
View of the drain facing northeast following removal of capping stones. Scale 1m.
PROJECT

8 Parramatta Square

DATE

2017 to 2019

LOCATION

Parramatta

RESOURCES
Tags
Parramatta