Prince Alfred Square and potential archaeological site | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Prince Alfred Square and potential archaeological site

Item details

Name of item: Prince Alfred Square and potential archaeological site
Other name/s: Prince Alfred Park, Alfred Square, Village Green, Gaol Green, Hanging Green, Old Parramata Gaol, First Female Factory, First and Second Parramatta Gaols
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Parks, Gardens and Trees
Category: Urban Park
Location: Lat: -33.809236 Long: 151.004400
Primary address: 353 Church Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150
Parish: Field Of Mars
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Parramatta
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP724837

Boundary:

Bounded by Church St (east), Victoria Rd (north), Marist Place (west) and Market St (south). The site includes the eastern half of Market St.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
353 Church StreetParramattaParramattaField Of MarsCumberlandPrimary Address
Market StreetParramattaParramattaField Of MarsCumberlandAlternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
NSW Department of Primary Industries - LandsState Government 

Statement of significance:

Prince Alfred Square is of state heritage significance as an intact representative example of a square or public park layout from the Victorian era, embellished in the Edwardian, inter-war and post-war eras. It is a rare example of the early Public Parks Movement in NSW. Significant for the age and maturity of its tree plantings. The oldest, including Moreton Bay figs, a camphor laurel and a Bunya pine, date from the mid Victorian period (c.1869-70s), and are reinforced by Federation-period plantings and later plantings (c1930s).

The site has historical values at a state level as it is the site of Parramatta's second gaol (1804 - 1841), first female factory (1804-1821), as a village green since 1837 and for associations with the Royal Visit of Prince Alfred in 1868. The site has exceptional archaeological research potential related to the above events.

Prince Alfred Square is the only civic park in Parramatta. It is significant for demonstrating the provision of public amenities & services - evidence of local Parramatta initiatives separate from Sydney. The site possesses potential to contribute to an understanding of early urban development and Government administration in Parramatta. The item is of state heritage significance for its association with notable people (Government Farm superintendent Henry Dodd, Governors Phillip, Hunter, King & Bourke, the Reverend Samuel Marsden, HRH Prince Alfred) and events (Castle Hill Rebellion).

The Square with its collection of monuments and mature trees are dominated by surrounding (State and Local heritage) sandstone churches and C19th schools which provide a high quality urban precinct evocative of the various periods of development of Parramatta.
Date significance updated: 22 May 17
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Division intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.

Description

Construction years: 1790-1954
Physical description: 1. Setting
Prince Alfred Square is bounded to the east by Church Street, to the north by Victoria Road, to the west by Marist Place and to the south by Market Street. The parkland is relatively flat, sloping very gently from north to south. It is formed on Wianamatta shale series geology which forms clayey soils of poor fertility. The original vegetation of the area would have consisted of open woodland composed of species such as forest red gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) and grey gum (E.moluccana). The square is connected to the town water supply.

Key elements that enhance the setting of the square are the former St. Peter's Congretational Church (1871) on Church/Palmer Streets to its east, St Patrick's Catholic Cathedral (1854-1936) and Our Lady of Mercy College (1889) on the northwest corner of Victoria Road and Marist Place, the Old King's School/Marsden Rehabilitation Centre (1836-1970s) and Murphy House (1904) on Marist Place to the south-west, and the Parramatta Riverside Theatres (1988) to the south on Market Street facing the river.

2. Layout
The layout consists of a square divided by two diagonal paths formed into avenues by trees. The current style of the square is predominantly Federation, however there are some Victorian period elements and later twentieth century elements present.

3. Designed elements:
The two diagonal paths are paved with herringbone brick paving. The southeast-northwest path has a sandstone rusticated edging.

At the north-west corner of the square is the Anderson fountain, a granite drinking fountain, which was a bequest from Dr Anderson erected in 1882. It is square at the base, with large corner pedestals supporting short, vaguel Doric corner columns. Stumpy obelisk cap, topped with a large stone ball. Inscription on the west face, in a panel between the columns - "Anderson Fountain - a bequest from the late Dr Anderson to the inhabitants of Parramatta. Erected February 1882 Trustee James Pye Esq. Rocky Hall. Below the inscription is a drinking fountain set into a curved niche (no longer working).

East of the centre of the square, close to Church Street, is a band rotunda (1891), octagonal, cast iron columns, iron lace valence, capped with a facetted copper roof with a central turret pyramid raised above an encircling collar, and wooden soffit lining. This delicately modelled structure floats, seemingly weightless, on an octagonal concrete paved dais.

On the eastern side facing Church Street/opposite the Former St Peter's Church is the Parramatta War Memorial, a large trachyte obelisk, about 5m hight, on a dais slightly elevated above surrounding gardens. Four steps lead up from the footpath to the dais and the obelisk with its inscriptions and bronze plaque. "Erected to perpetuate the spirit of those who served their country in the cause of freedom 1914-1919." Foundation stone laid by Alderman L A Simpson, Mayor, 25 November 1922. Unveiled by Lord Forster, Governor General of Australia.

At the north-east corner of the square, terminating one of the diagonal paths, is a sandstone clock tower monument that was erected to commemorate the services to the district of the Honourable G C Gollan MLA and former cabinet minister. The monument was completed in 1954 and stands in a circular sandstone paved setting and box hedging (Buxus koreana).

The only building in the park, an open bus shelter, is located on the southern boundary facing Market St. It is constructed of sandstone and appears to have been added in the 1960s.

4. Plantings
The earliest surviving plantings in the park are the 7 large Moreton Bay figs (Ficus macrophylla) on the western and southern boundaries, a large camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) near St. Patrick's church and the large Bunya pine (Araucaria bidwillii) on the south-west corner near the Old King's School, that date from the Victorian period.

The south-west / north-east diagonal path is lined with brush box (Lophostemon confertus) to the north and jacaranda (J.mimosifolia) to the south of the central path intersection. These plantings appear to date from the 1930s (a 1938 aerial photograph shows young 4-5m tall trees in this position). The south-east / north-west diagonal path is lined by an avenue of mature Canary Island date palms, (Phoenix canariensis) dating from the Federation period.

Symmetrical inter-war period plantings (1922) north and south of the War Memorial are 2 cotton palms (Washingtonia robusta), 2 jelly /Yatay palms (Butia capitata), 2 lemon scented gums (Corymbia citriodora) and 2 firewheel trees (Stenocarpus sinuatus). (A 1938 aerial photograph shows young 2-3m tall trees in this position).

Possibly later (1930s-50s) twentieth century plantings are the numerous specimens of lemon-scented gum, (Eucalyptus citriodora), Tasmanian blue gum (E.globulus) and the Abelia hedge (A.floribunda) along the northern boundary.

A 1935 memorial planting of Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) on the eastern side of the park was made by the President Emeritus and founder of Rotary International, Paul P Harris, of Chicago, along with Australian Rotary President R P Lukins and H Ohlsen, Mayor.

Over 2005-6 further infill detail shrub plantings have been made on both cross-axes - of azaleas (Rhododendron indicum cv.s), Hydrangea macrophylla cvs., Camellia sasanqua cv.s, kaffir lilies (Clivea miniata cv.s) and liriope (L. muscari).

5. Details
The square was once surrounded by sandstone wall, removed at some point (vestiges of its stone base remain (south-west corner near Marist Place).

There is a stone horse trough near the corner of Church Street and Victoria Road which is listed on the State Heritage Inventory (2240585). George and Annis Bills were animal welfare philanthropists.

At the south-west corner of the square, marking the entry to one of the diagonal paths, are two circular sandstone gate posts that date from the Victorian period.

WAR MEMORIAL:
Is on the eastern edge of the square opposite Palmer Street on Church Street. It is a trachyte stone obelisk, 5m high, set on a dias slightly elevated above gardens of rosemary. Bronze plaque 'Erected to Perpetuate the Spirit of those who served their Country in the Cause of Freedom 1914-1919'. Foundation stone laid by Ald. Simpson, Mayor 25 November 1922. '

ANDERSON FOUNTAIN:
A granite monument, square at the base with large corner pedestals supporting short, vaguely Doric corner columns. A drinking fountain set into a curved niche. Inscribed 'ANDERSON FOUNTAIN A bequest from the late Dr Anderson to the inhabitants of Parramatta Erected February 1882 Trustee James Pye Esq Rocky Hall.
Archaeological Site: AZP Cross Reference: PN 89
PHALMS Ref: AMU 3110

BAND ROTUNDA:
East of the centre of the square, close to Church Street, is a band rotunda (1891), octagonal, cast iron columns, iron lace valence, capped with a facetted copper roof with a central turret pyramid raised above an encircling collar, and wooden soffit lining. This delicately modelled structure floats, seemingly weightless, on an octagonal concrete paved dais. Erected by Ald. Noller, a building contractor, for the Parramatta Borough Council in 1891. Renovated in 1996 and restored in 2016.

6. Perceptual elements:
The collection of monuments and mature trees in the square and its setting dominated by 2 historic sandstone churches, the Old King's School complex, the Sisters of Mercy complex and modern Riverside Theatres complex provide a high quality urban precinct evocative of the various periods of the development of Parramatta.

The square provides a valuable open space resource to the many residents, workers and visitors of the Parramatta town centre district. The park functions as a 'Village Green' and important civic space, forming an entry to the city from the north fronting the main street (Church Street), two major churches, a convent and the former King's School.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Archaeological Site Data
Lease: Pre 1823 James Williamson.
18 Oct 1799 (LTO Book 2B. No 338) "Gaol" and "Gaol Yard"

Sites of Buildings and Village Green:
c.1804 map: "Gaol" Range of 4 buildings. Meehan drawing of Evans' survey, UK National Archives CO700 NSW22
1814 map: "Goal" & "Land reserved for the Goal and Factory" MitchellLibrary SLNSW 811.1301/1814/1.
c1819 plan: Plan of Gaol, part of Bigge Report Appendices MitchellLibrary BT36-14
1823 map: 2 buildings, same "Gaol Yard" G.C. Stewart, Plan of the Township of Parramatta, SRNSW P.1.1022, Map No. 4907
1831 map: two buildings & "GOVERt RESv" SRNSW AO Map 4812
1844 map: Vacant "Crown Land" with no structure, 'Plan of the Town of Parramatta', W. Meadows Brownrigg, ZM3 811.1030/1844/1, SLNSW
1853 map: "Public Green" CrownPlan 110-750 LP1
1895 map: "Alfred Square" SLNSW Z/M Ser 4 811.1301/1

Extant Buildings: Small sandstone bus shelter
Modifications and dates: c.1790-96 Government Farm (farm to west, from 1788)

1802-4 brick gaol built, Linen & woollen factory added to north of it - worked till 1807 fire

1804-c.1829 site of public hangings

12/1807 fire damaged complex.

1809 factory reopened.

1802-30s constant repair and reconstruction.

1837 area authorised a public reserve, levelled and fenced (3 acres)

1850s a 'rubbish tip'.

1869 tree plantings by Councillors (the Moreton Bay figs and Bunya pine probably date from this time).

1888 Anderson Fountain (1882) relocated to the park.

1880-95 Sandstone /iron picket perimeter wall removed (sections of base remain).

1891 Bandstand erected.

1890-1920 (Federation period) The main features of the park, such as the avenue of Canary Island palms (Phoenix canariensis) were added by Council during the Federation period.

1901-2 Lennox Bridge and Church Street north widened to accommodate tram line to Castle Hill.

1922 War memorial obelisk and memorial plantings unveiled.

1934-5 Lennox Bridge/Church Street widened further, impacting on the park's eastern edge.

1956 Parramatta Children's Library structure added (later Tourist Information Centre 1970s). Demolished 1990s

1960s Sandstone shelter, on southern edge.

2001/2 Abelia hedge on northern boundary on Victoria Road removed.

2002/3 - Council installed irrigation pipes through lawns and some perimeter beds, a new semi-circular service road in off Marist Place (west side), new bench seats, new concrete bed edgings, new sandstone path edgings, raised mulched beds around all avenue trees (radial paths) and filled lawns up to the new edging heights and re-turfed lawns.

2005-6 further infill detail shrub plantings have been made on both cross-axes - of azaleas (Rhododendron indicum cv.s), Hydrangea macrophylla cvs., Camellia sasanqua cv.s, kaffir lilies (Clivea miniata cv.s) and liriope (L. muscari). Low 0.5 m steel palisade fencing has been erected on the Victoria Road and Church Street sides of the park, and standard red 'Iceberg' roses and Lomanda ground cover plantings added to these edges. (Read, S., pers.comm., 9/06).

28/11/2009: a holy cedar of Lebanon, (Cedrus libani) that country's national tree and symbol on its flag planted by Lebanese-born Parramatta Lord Mayor, Cr. Tony Issa, Consul-General of Lebanon, Robert Naoum and Bishop Ad Abi Karam, on Lebanon's National Day to commemorate 65 years of its independence (Parramatta Advertiser, 3/12/08). The tree was since vandalised, but has been replanted with a strong tree guard (Stuart Read, pers.comm., 7/12/2010)

2015 trench work near War Memorial to provide two light poles and power to the Bandstand/rotunda

2016 Band Rotunda restored
Further information: CPS
Current use: Prince Alfred Square - recreational park and commemoration place
Former use: possible Aboriginal gathering site; Government farm; gaol; textile factory; Gaol green, Village green

History

Historical notes: Occupation of Parramatta by the Aboriginal People
Aboriginal people have occupied the Parramatta region for tens of thousands of years. Evidence of their occupation can be found in the form of rock shelters with deposits, open campsites, middens, axe grinding groove sites, scarred trees, hand stencils and drawings. In pre-colonial times, Parramatta would have been very attractive to Aboriginal people as the landscape would have supported a wide variety of plant and animal life. The City of Parramatta is located on Parramatta River at what is effectively the head of Sydney Harbour. Permanent fresh water was available in the river upstream of the tidal limit and fresh water would also have been available from creeks and surface waterholes, in more clayey parts of the sand terrace. Aboriginal people living in this location would have had access to freshwater and saltwater food resources such as: ducks, eels, shellfish, crayfish, fish and turtles. Terrestrial resources in the Parramatta area included woodland and grassland mammals such as: kangaroos, possums and flying foxes. The grassy woodlands would also have provided access to smaller animals and insects and to native fruits, berries, seeds, yams and roots.

Parramatta CBD, at the time of European settlement, is thought to have been the territorial lands of the Burramattagal (also spelt Boromedegal, Boora me di-gal, Booramedegal and Burramedigal). The Burramattagal appear to have belonged to a larger cultural group that extended across western Sydney, although exact language group affilitations of pre-contact groups in the Parramatta region is open to some debate. Much of our knowledge about the traditional life style of Aboriginal people living in the Parramatta CBD area is reliant on archaeological investigation, as the Burramatta People (as a distinct population group) disappeared very soon after European settlement of the area.

European settlers, attracted to Parramatta for its fertile soils and its suitability for water transport, began arriving in the region in the late 18th Century. Parramatta quickly became the focus of residential, commercial and industrial development. The establishment of the town of Parramatta and cultivation of the surrounding land, would have resulted in many Aboriginal sites being disturbed or destroyed without being recorded. To date only a relatively few Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the Parramatta Local Government Area.

It is believed the site of Prince Alfred Square was a Burramatta womens site.

Early Colonial
This area is indicated as the site of Governor Phillip's government farm 'Land in Cultivation' on a plan of Parramatta c1790 (Bonwick transcripts, reproduced in Kass et al, 1996, p 2). The Government Farm was run by superintendent Henry Dodd, and produced some of the first successful crops in the colony. It is uncertain how long this portion of land remained under cultivation before it was chosen as the site of Parramtta's permanent gaol in 1802.

In 1796, Governor John Hunter was committed to building much-wanted gaols in Sydney and Parramatta. Lack of masons and the need for urgent action convinced him to build in double log and thatch and he issued a 'General Order' which required every settler and householder to furnish and deliver 'ten logs weekly each'. The first formal gaol in Parramatta was in George Street was probably complete by May 1797. The construction of the 100ft long building was basic but the plan, with individual cells for prisoners (twenty-two), was up with the latest English concept. It was destroyed by fire on 28 December 1799.

Construction of a new Parramatta Gaol finally began in August 1802 . It was located on the north side of the river, slightly away from the town, on what is now the Prince Alfred Square/Market Street site.
The plan was a modest variant of an army barrack; a symmetrical plan with a central transverse corridor and wards to the left and right and cells at both ends with external access. The rear wall of the gaol formed part of th perimert wall so there was no external access. The construction of the gaol was the responsibility of Rev Samuel Marsden. Of all the early ashlar stone buildings in NSW, the second Parramatta Gaol was probably the one that deteriorated the most rapidly and required the most frequent repair and reconstruction (Kerr, 1995, pp 1-2).

At some time during construction, Governor King decided to add a 'linen and woollen manufactory' to the gaol. The layout of the complex consisted of two functionally separate precincts; gaol to the south and factory to the north. Access to the second floor factory was via a yard that also contained auxillary workrooms and sheds set against the perimerter wall, and was the domain of female convicts. The gaol and factory was completed in 1804. Poorly constructed of sandstone for the ground floor of the Gaol and timber upper floor for the Factory, with a sandstone perimeter wall. Sheds and subsidiary buildings used as work areas, particularly as 'rope walks' for spinning flax rope.

The second floor of the second gaol built at that location " a two-storey stone structure consisting of two, 80 by 20 foot (5.5 by 6 metre) rooms " was allocated to female convicts and was called 'The factory above the gaol'. It was a wool and linen factory where women worked by day and it served as their refuge by night. From its inception, then, the factory was intended to be a place where women who had not been immediately assigned to masters upon arrival in New South Wales were gainfully employed in tasks that were beneficial to the colony, and where corrupting influences could be kept at bay. In reality, this space was inadequate for achieving all of its aims as the majority of factory women could not find shelter there.

Floggings took place within the gaol yard and executions took place outside the gaol, probably in the empty ground to the north of the complex. Stocks at the entrance were used to punish minor offenders. (McCormack 2008 Dictionary of Sydney) Hangings took place at the gaol 1804 -c1829, including on 8 March 1804 three men identified as ringleaders in the Castle Hilll Rebellion (Battle of Vinegar Hill) - convicts Samuel Hughs, Samuel Humes and John Place, as well as free settler Charles Hill for his participation in the rebellion. (NSW Capital Convictions Database research.forbessociety.org.au). Samuel Humes was also gibbeted, in which the body is hung in chains from the gallows as a deterence to others.

The factory continued to function until December 1807 when both factory and gaol were damaged by fire (Kerr, 1995, pp 3-4).

The factory reopened in May 1809. The following decades included a series of reports regarding the structural deficiencies of the building.

A larger space for the women was not forthcoming until 1817 when Governor Macquarie started arranging the design and construction of a new purpose-built barracks for female convicts. In 1821 the women were transferred to the new Female Factory designed by Francis Greenway and located further up the Parramatta River on land previously grantto Governor Bligh.

Before 1823 James Williamson had the area on a lease.

By 1830, Major Lockyer applied for land near the gaol on behalf of the School of Industry for the site of an institution, but Surveyor-General Major Mitchell opposed the alienation of the land for this purpose. In 1833, the gaol was described as in a 'falling state'. Rather than undertaking major work, the building was shored up until a new gaol could be built (Kerr, 1995, pp 5-7).

Victorian era:
In 1837, Governor Bourke decided that the land should be measured for a reserve for the townspeople. It was authorised as a 'village green' on 27 November 1837 and covered an area of more than three acres. Local still referred to it as Gaol Green or Hanging Green.

From 1836-9 Lennox Bridge was built nearby, linking Church Street north and south.

1842 the new Parramatta Gaol opened and all prisoners are transferred from the old gaol.

The land was levelled and fenced but complaints were made in 1853 that this ground which was set aside as a promenade was being used as a rubbish dump. The difficulty of maintaining and developing communal spaces was soon to be improved by the introduction of the new Municipalities Act 1858 , which localised government and gave the subsequent council the authority to allocate funds to improve community services and spaces. On 27 November 1861, the Municipality of Parramatta was proclaimed and by January 1862 Parramatta had its first mayor. (Kass et all, 1996 p180)

On 10 February 1868 Parramatta was visited by Prince Alfred, Australia's first Royal visitor, as part of a six month tuor of Australian colonies. Alfred was the second son of then Queen Victoria, and Duke of Edinburgh (he lived 1844-1900). On 31 August 1869 the 'Old Gaol Green' was re-named 'Alfred Square' to commemorate his visit.

In September 1869, the land known for many years as the 'Gaol Green' was planted with trees by members of the'tree planting committee' comprising Councillors and local school children. The Bunya pine (Araucaria bidwillii) , Pepper tree (Schinus areira), Camphor laurels (Cinnamomum camphora) and Moreton Bay figs (Ficus macrophylla) seen today were probably planted at this time or soon after.

By 1871, the council also opened tenders for Alfred Square 'for the purpose of depasturing stock' and 'carting'. The council even considered the area for the location of the greatly desired and much needed Parramatta Town Hall before the current site (the old market site in Church St ) was deemed more suitable. (Kass et all 1996 p182)

In 1874, the Council was gazetted as Trustees of the reserve. (Jervis, 1961, p 53). Since its foundation at this time the square has been managed by Parramatta City Council.

Alfred Square was a vibrant community space that hosted a wide range of local events. In the 1880s, for example, events included open-air moonlight and afternoon concerts, a 'great...go-as-you-please' 48-hour tournament in a 'monster marquee' capable of holding 3,000 people and 'brilliantly illuminated each evening,' as well as a 'Words of Grace Tent' where locals could attend evangelistic services. In late 1889, council discussed the construction of a bandstand in Alfred Square for the local band concerts that had become a regular occurrence. The beautification of the reserve, however, was not without its challenges. Freak storms led to the costly damage of railings and 'trespassing cattle' tore and bruised the park's only oak tree. Young 'Sunday Larrikins' and 'hoodlums' were also known to be 'violently opening the large gates...defacing the palisade fence,' and throwing rocks at the trees, causing them - as well as innocent bystanders - serious injury. The fences were in a constant state of dilapidation but limited funds meant temporary repairs were favoured over replacements and when new fences were authorised, the contractor could not be compelled to finish the work in a timely manner. (Variety of newspaper reports as referenced by Cameron, 2015, Dictionary of Sydney)

1882 The Anderson Fountain was erected as a bequest from the late Dr Anderson. It was transferred from near the Town Hall to Alfred Square in 1888 when the larger Centennial Fountain was constructed (Evening News 6 Aug 1888). Its location was opposite Palmer Streeet. In 1922 it was relocated once again to its current position to make way for the War Memorial.

The riverbank side of the site was the location of Parramatta's first public Baths, c.1888 (where Riverside Theatres now stand).

The recognisable diagonal footpaths of today were first asphalted at the end of 1889.

1891 The bandstand was completed specifically in the shape of a late Victorian rotunda featuring decorative cast iron posts, brackets and valance capped with a copper roof.

Federation to 1950s
c1900 Lennox Bridge and Church Street north widened to accommodate tram line to Castle Hill.

In the Federation era, particularly, the park began to adopt its current visage with the inclusion of an avenue of Canary Island palms (Phoenix canariensis), along the south-east/north-west diagonal pathway in 1918.

1922 the War Memorial Foundation stone laid. Unveiled by Lord Forster, Governor General of Australia.
In 1923 the Parramatta Soldiers' Memorial was completed, with a stone obelisk and platform base, to commemorate World War I and, eventually, other subsequent conflicts.

In 1921 Parramatta City was allociated a 105mm field gun by the Commonwealth War Trophies Committee. This was placed in Prince Alfred Park some time later although not near the War Memorial. A single photograph from 1933 shows the gun in the north-western quarter of the park towards a large Moreton Bay fig tree and the Anderson fountain. The gun has since been relocated although its whereabouts are not known (Mills, in Parramatta Sun, 15/7/10, 11).

The second, south-west/north-east diagonal avenue was planted with brush box (Lophostemon confertus) and jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia), along with other later tree plantings such as lemon scented gum (Corymbia citriodora), camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora), jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia), Yatay palms (Butia capitata) and firewheel trees (Stenocarpus sinuatus) being added c1930s-50s.

April 1935 A commemoritive Illawarra Flame tree (Brachichyton acerifolius) was planted by international founders of Rotary Club, Paul and Jean Harris on the occaision of their visit to Parramatta.

1930s A Bills Horse Trough was installed on Victoria Road side of Prince Alfred Park. George and Annis Bills were animal welfare philanthropists. Upon the death of George Bills in 1927 a trust fund was set up to build and distribute horse troughs throughout NSW and Victoria to provide relief for working horses.

During World War 2 Prince Alfred Park was the site of community air raid shelters cut in a zig-zag pattern on the southernside of the the south-east/north-west diagonal pathway.

1954 The Gollan Memorial Clock Tower was erected by the citizens of Parramatta in appreciation of the services of G.C. Gollan, the Parramatta Member of the Legislative Assembly 1932-1953.

1956 Parramatta Childrens Library constructed on southern side (facing Market St). Re-purposed as an Information Bureau in1970s. Demolished 1990s.

The square has been known by many names - Village Green, Hanging Green, Gaol Green, Alfred Square. During the twentieth century the preeferred name was Prince Alfred Park. 2014 the name of the park was offically changed through the Geographical Names Board of NSW to Prince Alfred Square.

For all its superficial changes, Prince Alfred Square has retained its fundamental function as a space where locals can enjoy festive events such as being the hub for Sydney Festival, Parramasala, and Winterlight, just as it was over one hundred years ago.

NB: Many documents and reports cite Prince Alfred Square/Market St as the location (or maybe the location) of the first gaol in Parramatta 1797-1799 (particularly J Kerr "Parramatta Correctional Centre: Its Past Development and Future Care" 1995 and T Kass, C Liston and J McClymont,"Parramatta: A Past Revealed " 1996 and subsequent documents and reports relying on these sources). Graham Wilson - Senior Heriatge Advisor, Extent Heritage has provided evidence to the Heritage Division (9 May 2017) confirming the location of the first gaol. "James Meehan's field book of a survey conducted in Parramatta on 5 April 1804 provides clear evidence for two separate locations for the first and second gaols - Meehan refers to the 'Goal' (sic) located on the north side of the river on what is now the Prince Alfred Square/Market Street site, and the 'old Goal' (sic) located on George Street on the southern side of the river. Wilson redraft the a portion of Meehan's field book data to locate the first gaol and confirmed the George St location. Wilson wrote "In Meehan's 1804 drawing of Evans' survey Number 30 in the key is marked 'Goal' (sic). Number 30 appears in two locations on the plan - in George Street (old gaol) and in the Prince Alfred Park locality (new gaol)."

Archaeological Site Data
Lease: Pre 1823 James Williamson.
18 Oct 1799 (LTO Book 2B. No 338) "Gaol" and "Gaol Yard"

Sites of Buildings and Village Green:
c.1804 map: "Gaol" Range of 4 buildings. Meehan drawing of Evans' survey, UK National Archives CO700 NSW22
1814 map: "Goal" [sic] & "Land reserved for the Goal [sic] and Factory" MitchellLibrary SLNSW 811.1301/1814/1.
c1819 plan: Plan of Gaol, part of Bigge Report Appendices MitchellLibrary BT36-14
1823 map: 2 buildings, same "Gaol Yard" G.C. Stewart, Plan of the Township of Parramatta, SRNSW P.1.1022, Map No. 4907
1831 map: two buildings & "GOVERt RESv" SRNSW AO Map 4812
1844 map: Vacant "Crown Land" with no structure, 'Plan of the Town of Parramatta', W. Meadows Brownrigg, ZM3 811.1030/1844/1, SLNSW
1853 map: "Public Green" CrownPlan 110-750 LP1
1895 map: "Alfred Square" SLNSW Z/M Ser 4 811.1301/1

Extant Buildings: Small sandstone bus shelter

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Working for the Crown-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Farming wheat and other grains-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Clearing land for farming-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Experimenting with new crops and methods-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Market gardening-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Farming by detainees and prisoners-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes of food production-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Manufacturing foodstuffs-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods Manufacturing textiles-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing for farm and station hands-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Accommodating prisoners and internees-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing industrial workers-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing towns in response to topography-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working in factories-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working at enforced labour-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Local and municipal self-governance-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - parks and open spaces-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - facilitating agriculture-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Incarcerating prisoners-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing landscapes in an exemplary style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscape of Remembrance-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Federation period-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Enjoying public parks and gardens-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Places of formal community gatherings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Local adaptive reuses of military sites-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Lt.William Paterson-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Donald Gazzard, Architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor The Earl of Belmore, 1868-1872-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Rev. Samuel Marsden, archbishop of colony-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Bourke, 1831-5-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Arthur Phillip, 1788-1792,-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This item is of state heritage significance for its historical values and has the potential to contain archaeological remains from the early development of Parramatta since 1789 into the early 20th century. The site was part of the Government Farm (1789), used as the second Parramatta gaol (1802-1841) and first Female Factory and early textile factory/manufacture industry (1804-1821). It was the site of Parramatta hangings from 1804-c1829. Since 1837, the site has been authorised as a public reserve (one of the earliest in NSW) and remains a public park to this day, demonstrating the shift in land use on the north side of the river from a penal settlement to community and residential uses.
The site has the potential to provide evidence of a range of historical processes and activities relating to the history of Parramatta, including the development of Parramatta as a penal settlement, and its civic spaces.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Prince Alfred Square meets this criterion of state significance because of associations of the site with the male prisoners and convict women who occupied the site from 1804 to 1841, and with the numerous men who agitated for the construction of the gaol and the welfare of its inhabitants, including Governors King, Bligh and Macquarie, and the Rev. Samuel Marsden.
It is associated with the Castle Hill Rebellion as the site of four hangings - three of the nine rebellion ringleaders and one free settler.
It is associated with Governor Bourke who decided the land should be measured for a reserve for the townsfolk.
It is one of only two parks in NSW re-named and re-made for the first Royal visit to Australia by Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1868.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This item is aesthetically significant at a state level as a formal urban open space, built on an early (1837) village green, from later memorial plantings in 1869/70s, Federation and interwar periods. The square is rare intact, early example of the Public Parks Movement in NSW.
The collection of monuments and mature trees and its setting dominated by (State and Local heritage) sandstone churches and C19th schools provides a high quality urban precinct evocative of the various periods of development of Parramatta.This item is aesthetically significant at a state level as a formal urban open space, built on an early (1837) village green, from later memorial plantings in 1869/70s, Federation and interwar periods. The square is rare intact, early example of the Public Parks Movement in NSW.
The collection of monuments and mature trees and its setting dominated by (State and Local heritage) sandstone churches and C19th schools provides a high quality urban precinct evocative of the various periods of development of Parramatta.

.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Prince Alfred Square is of importance for the local community's sense of place, however, it has the potential social value for the people of Sydney/Western Sydney given its role and use for events and commemorations.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The archaeological resources this site will most likely present evidence of past human culture and activity, and therefore have potential to yield scientific and historical information. Prince Alfred Square and potential archaeological site is likely to comprise relics of state significance, demonstrating the nature of life within the second Parramatta gaol (1804-1841) and first Female Factory (1804-1821).
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Prince Alfred Square and potential archaeological site meets this criterion of state significance because the civic park is rare for its age, and for its representative formal layout and plantings, of the Victorian, Federation and interwar eras.

Any archaeological remains would be scarce physical evidence relating to the early history of Parramatta with archaeology associated with the gaol and factory complexes (1802-1841) which would be considered a very rare example of an early penal institution in NSW and Australia.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Potential archaeological resources from this site is of state significance and would provide a physical chronicle of the history of Parramatta. Any archaeology associated with the gaol and factory complexes (1802-1841) would be considered representative of the convict experience within early correctional institutions, albeit part of a rare group of structures.
Prince Alfred Square is a representative (and as relatively intact, also rare) surviving example of the Public Parks Movement in NSW, of the first major 'wave' of public park 'making' by elected municipal or city councils in NSW.
Integrity/Intactness: Archaeological evidence at this site is likely to be intact. The Victorian landscaping is relatively intact.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Prepare a CMP, including attention to the site's archaeological resources. Archaeological testing before any major excavations. Arborial work to maintain trees. Landscape Management Plan required.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act - Site Specific Exemptions ORDER UNDER SECTION 57(2)
TO GRANT SITE SPECIFIC EXEMPTIONS FROM APPROVAL

Prince Alfred Square and potential archaeological site

SHR No. 01977

I, the Minister for Heritage, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, in pursuance of section 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, do, by this my order, grant an exemption from section 57(1) of that Act in respect of the engaging in or carrying out of any activities described in Schedule “C” by the manager/owner of the land described in Schedule “B” on the item described in Schedule “A”.


The Hon Gabrielle Upton MP
Minister for Heritage


Sydney, 22 Day of August 2017

SCHEDULE “A”

The item known as Prince Alfred Square and potential archaeological site, situated on the land described in Schedule “B”.


SCHEDULE “B”

All those pieces or parcels of land known as Lot 1 DP 724837 and the eastern half of Market Street in the Parish of Field of Mars, County of Cumberland shown on the plan catalogued HC 3136 in the office of the Heritage Council of New South Wales.

SCHEDULE “C”

1. All Standard Exemptions

Prince Alfred Square
2. General maintenance and repair.
(i) Suppression of fire.
(ii) Removal of trees considered a danger to the public or staff on the provision of a full report by a suitably qualified arborist, horticulturist or tree surgeon, provided a concurrent proposal for a replacement species is submitted and provided that the Prince Alfred Square Reserve Trust is satisfied with the proposal.
(iii) Implementation of erosion or compaction control measures and repair of damage caused by compaction or erosion.
(iv) Minor maintenance and minor repair of any building, structure, furniture, fixture, artwork, monument, fountain, roadways, pathways, retaining walls and fences or work within the Square where the Prince Alfred Square Reserve Trust is satisfied that the works will not materially affect heritage fabric, the heritage significance of the Square as a whole or that such works do not entail new excavation (i.e. where such maintenance is in an existing trench or disturbed ground).


3. Management of lawns, garden beds, hard landscaping and living collections.
(i) Removal and replacement of existing small plantings, and removal, construction or alteration of garden beds, hard landscaping and plantings where the Prince Alfred Square Reserve Trust is satisfied that the activity will not materially affect heritage fabric, the heritage significance of the Square as a whole or that such works do not entail new excavation (i.e. where such plantings are in an existing trench or disturbed ground).
(ii) Routine horticultural curation, including development, planting and management of displays of annuals and perennials.
(iii) Extension of irrigation system as necessary to areas in disturbed ground currently without this infrastructure.

4. Management of interpretive, information and directional signage.
(i) Installation, removal and alteration of information and directional signage and labels where the Prince Alfred Square Reserve Trust is satisfied that the proposal is appropriate, and that such works do not entail new excavation (i.e. where such installations are in an existing trench or disturbed ground).
(ii) Maintenance and repair of existing interpretive signage.

5. Management of temporary events.
(i) Temporary installation of artworks, statues and monuments for temporary exhibitions or events will be erected within and used for a maximum period of 40 days per installation (including removal), where the Prince Alfred Square Reserve Trust is satisfied with the proposal and that such works do not entail new excavation.
(ii)Temporary use of a section of the Square, and the installation of temporary fencing, facilities, crowd control barriers, lighting, sound and public address equipment and signage will be erected within and used for a maximum period of 40 days per installation (including removal), where the Prince Alfred Square Reserve Trust is satisfied with the proposal and that such works do not entail new excavation.
(iii) Temporary installation of artworks, statues, monuments, exhibitions, events, fencing, facilities, crowd control barriers, lighting, sound and public address equipment and signage is not to be located where it could damage or endanger significant fabric including landscape or archaeological features of its curtilage or obstruct significant views of and from heritage items.
(iii) Tree protection measures as nominated in Australian Standard AS 4970 -2009 should be installed for events, to prevent soil compaction and damage to trees.
(iv) Height and weight of access vehicles and installations will not create soil compaction, damage to trees or damage to heritage fabric.

6. Furniture and fixtures.
(i) Installation, relocation, removal and maintenance of park furniture and fixtures where the Prince Alfred Square Reserve Trust is satisfied that the proposal is appropriate and will not materially affect heritage fabric, the heritage significance of the Park as a whole or that such works do not entail new excavation (i.e. where such works are in an existing trench or disturbed ground).

Market Street (eastern half)
7. Maintenance of services and utilities.
(i) Maintenance and repair of services and public utilities including communications, gas, electricity, water supply, waste disposal, sewerage, irrigation and drainage where such works do not entail new excavation.
(ii) Upgrade of services and public utilities where the activity will not entail new excavation (i.e. where such works are in an existing trench or disturbed ground).




8. Maintenance of road
(i) Ongoing servicing, maintenance and operation of the roadway, kerb & gutters, street signs and street lights, stormwater drainage and footpaths and other street furniture where such works do not entail new excavation (i.e. where such works are in an existing trench or disturbed ground).

9. Management of temporary events.
(i) Temporary installation of artworks, statues and monuments for temporary exhibitions or events will be erected within and used for a maximum period of 40 days per installation (including removal).
(ii)Temporary use of Market Street (eastern half), and the installation of temporary fencing, facilities, crowd control barriers, lighting, sound and public address equipment and signage will be erected within and used for a maximum period of 40 days per installation (including removal).
(iii) Temporary installation of artworks, statues, monuments, exhibitions, events, fencing, facilities, crowd control barriers, lighting, sound and public address equipment and signage is not to be located where it could damage or endanger archaeological features of its curtilage or obstruct significant views of and from heritage items.
Aug 29 2017

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0199728 Aug 17 2017-954590-2
Regional Environmental PlanREP No 28 schedule 6 part 1(state items)12020 Aug 99 956161
Regional Environmental PlanPrince Alfred Park101962 (a/14/028/0106)   
Local Environmental PlanHorse Trough (353a adj Church Street)58521 Dec 97 20949
Local Environmental PlanAlfred Square (353c Church Street)12021 Dec 97 20886
Local Environmental PlanHorse Trough (353a adj Church Street)2121 Dec 97 20912
Archaeological zoning planNorth 89   49-50
Potential Heritage Item  15 Jul 10   
National Trust of Australia register  9357   
Professional Historians Association (NSW)CHECK DETAILS    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Parramatta Heritage Study1993120Meredith Walker  Yes
Parramatta Heritage Study1983 Walker, M. & Kass, T.  No
Parramatta Historical Archaeological Management Study (PHALMS)2001 Godden, Mackay, Logan  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Map 1791Hawkes River, showing the towns of Parramatta and settlements at Rose Hill, Field of Mars, Toongabbie
WrittenAustralian Heritage Register Prince Alfred Park- Indicative Place View detail
WrittenCasey & Lowe2015Archaeological Assessment, Parramatta War Memorial, Prince Alfred Square
WrittenContext Landscape Design1994Prince Alfred Park Parramatta - site analysis and evaluation report
MapDetail Survey Branch, Department of Lands, Sydney, NSW1895Detail Survey Series of Parramatta
MapG.C. Stewart1822(not stated)
MapG.C. Stewart1822Town of Parramatta Showing Urban Settlement (redrawn 1926 by Campbell)
WrittenGallagher Studio; in collaboration with Casey & Lower Archaeology & Heritage2016Prince Alfred Square - Landscape Master Plan
WrittenGraham Wilson, Senior Heritage Advisor, Extent Heritage2017Re: First Parramatta Gaol Site
WrittenHowlett, Scott2008Migrants Celebrate, in The Parramatta Advertiser
WrittenJames Semple Kerr1995Parramatta Correctional Centre: Its Past Development and Future Care
PhotographLand and Property Information1998Aerial Photographs
PhotographLand and Property Information1951Aerial photographs
WrittenMeredith Walker1993Parramatta Heritage Study
WrittenMichaela Ann Cameron2015Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta View detail
ElectronicNSW Government Gazette2017NSW Government Gazette View detail
MapSurveyor G.W. Evans1804Plan of the Township of Parramatta (later annotated)
MapSurveyor General's Office, Sydney1871Plan of the Environs of Parramatta, County of Cumberland, NSW
WrittenTerry Kass, Carol Liston and John McClymont1996Parramatta - A Past Revealed
MapW. Meadows Brownrigg1844Plan of the Town of Parramatta and the Adjacent Properties, as surveyed by W. Meadows Brownrigg, Surveyor

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5053902
File number: EF10/03498; H00/66/1


Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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