Parramatta Justice Precinct

  • Bone button manufacturing found in association with a convict hut c. 1792 to 1818. Scale grids 1cm.

  • Part of the Hospital Privy c 1818.

  • The Wellington Jug.

  • Convict hospital with surgeon's residence and outbuildings to the right, c. 1870, Society of Australian Genealogists 5/6249.


This is an archaeological site on the State Heritage Register and is of State heritage significance. Since March 2005 Casey & Lowe have undertaken a series of archaeological excavations to expose and record the remains on the site. The archaeological program exposed the extensive remains of the third Convict Hospital (1818-c.1844). These remains included:

  • The sandstock-brick footings of the 1818 hospital.
  • The c.1820 Surgeon’s Residence, including a cellar backfilled with demolition material and moulded plaster.
  • Remains of two phases of the kitchen/laundry buildings associated with the third hospital.
  • Remains of two phases of a privy system, probably 1818 and 1840s, and archaeological deposits used to backfill the privy pits as well as an associated drainage system running westwards to the creekline.
  • Remains of the landscape of the colonial hospital, such as boundary walls and garden, representing the middle stages of the life of the third hospital, the change from convict to free hospital.
  • Remains of the 1881 operating theatre.

Other archaeological evidence found on the site includes:

  • Convict hut on Marsden Street and the evidence for bone button manufacturing, part of a leg iron and other artefacts.
  • Evidence for the potential remains of a convict hut west of the c.1821 Brislington, on George Street.
  • The Wellington Jug, made in the Brickfields (Haymarket) by one of two convict potters, John Moreton or Jonathan Leak. It is decorated with three medallions, the Duke of Wellington, his brother the Marquis of Wellesley and Britannia. This jug is one of the most significant pieces of convict pottery made in Australia.
  • The rear yard of a house dating between 1830s to c.1900 which fronted onto George Street. Rubbish pits and a cesspit were found.
  • Some evidence for agricultural activity associated with a convict hut on George Street.
  • Pollen evidence for a herb garden at the rear of the c.1821 Brislington on the corner of George and Marsden Streets.

Conservation and Interpretation

The archaeology of the 1818 Convict hospital will be retained within the redevelopment and sections of it will be interpreted and visible to the public. The archaeology and heritage of the site will be interpreted throughout the precinct.


The building of the Parramatta Justice Precinct is being undertaken for the NSW Attorney-General’s Office by the NSW Department of Commerce and Multiplex.


Photographs and plans in the attached reports are from the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, Society of Australian Genealogists and NSW State Records.


Parramatta Justice Precinct


March 2005