Parramatta Childrens Court

  • Storage pit

  • Early lead-glazed pottery, probably made in the Brickfields. Some of this came from the backfill of the storage pit.

  • Large hole for the cellar of the Emu Brewery with staff and student volunteers working.

  • Fernando Brambila’s view showing convict huts aligned along George Street (middle ground) and Government House (middle left), 1793. Image is catalogued in the British Library, Maps Library. Rosen 2003:44.


This archaeological site on corner of George & O’Connell Streets, Lots 102 and 103 of the 1823 town plan, was associated with early Parramatta residents, including:

  • Anthony Landrin, a French prisoner-of-war and one of two Frenchmen bought to New South Wales to establish viticulture. He arrived on the Royal Admiral in 1801 but knew little of viticulture and eventually became the Government cooper making casks to store wine and other produce. He lived in the hut on Lot 102W.
  • Samuel Larkin (Larken) arrived on the Minorca in 1801 with a life sentence. Once he received his pardon he became a successful emancipated convict and by 1823 held title to 20 separate properties by permissive occupancy. He and later his daughter lived in the hut on Lot 102W by 1823.
  • John Blakefield had arrived in the colony on the Ganges and in 1806 was listed as a prisoner and baker at Parramatta. He lived in the house on Lot 103.

Results of the Archaeological Excavation Archaeological remains found included:

Lot 102W

  • Storage cellar with important artefacts, many of which are thought to belong to emancipated convict Samuel Larkin: ­ early locally-made pottery ­ different type of early clay roofing tile, with double lugs ­ gun flint ­ French or American cowboy style spur ­ Chinese export porcelain, including hand-painted overglaze.
  • Remains of the Emu Brewery (c1840-c1865): ­ cellar backfilled with demolition material and quantities of artefacts ­ drain/sump from floor of the cellar which emptied into the eastern creekline ­ mortar bedding and robbed walls outlining the layout of the brewery.

Lot 103

  • Well with quantities of artefacts.
  • No substantial evidence survived for the tramway depot.

Lot 102E

  • Remains of an 1880s terrace house built with re-used sandstock bricks.
  • Only limited remains survived of this house.

Conservation Outcome

The Parramatta Children’s Court site is the first archaeological site in Parramatta where the archaeological remains of two convict hut/houses are conserved in situ under the new court building and the O’Connell Street footpath and are therefore protected in perpetuity. This outcome was achieved by negotiations between the Heritage Office, the Attorney-General’s Office and the Government Architect’s Office, Department of Commerce.


The Parramatta Children’s Court Site, is part of the Parramatta Justice Precinct. Our client on this site was the NSW Department of Commerce, for the NSW Attorney-General’s Office.


Photographs and plans on this page and in the attached reports are from the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, NSW State Records and Land Titles Office.

Archaeological Investigation Report – March 2006

Volume 1 – Main Report

Volume 2 – Subsidiary Reports

Volume 3 – Site Plans & Matrix Report

Volume 4 – Appendices


Parramatta Childrens Court


25 March to 29 April 2004