Windsor and Old Windsor Roads | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Windsor and Old Windsor Roads

Item details

Name of item: Windsor and Old Windsor Roads
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Land
Category: Other - Transport - Road
Primary address: , Parklea, NSW 2768
Local govt. area: Blacktown


Between Meurants Lane and the proposed Castlereagh Freeway and from Caddies Creek 300 mtres southward.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
 ParkleaBlacktown  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The Windsor and Old Windsor roads , as first laid out in 1794 and realigned in 1812-1813 are of state and national significance. They incorporate the second road to be laid out in the colony and played an important role in the settlement of the Hawkesbury region and the development of the colony of NSW.

The Windsor and Old Windsor Roads retain characteristics evocative of the historic, rural character of the Cumberland Plain, both within the current road reserve and in redundant sections outside the reserve. Together they are vital in understandingg the cultural landscapes of the colony of NSW.

Remaining historic road fabric, both inside and outside the current road reserve demonstrates the methods of road constructin and maintenance over two centuries.

(From RTA Heritage Inventory 2005)
Date significance updated: 22 Nov 12
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Physical description: The portion of The Windsor Road and Old Windsor Road within the Blacktown LGA indicates the original alignment of Windsor Road from its first set down in 1794 to the present. The road remains a major arterial route through Western Sydney.

A number of significant former alignments remain within Blacktown LGA including :

* Rouse Hill House and School house precinct.
* Meurants Lane Alignment
* Stanhope Farm Alignment

The active road is currently a modern fully serviced multi lane road, with the former algunments in various states of road development / sealing and use.

The treed corridor of cumberland Plain endemic Eucalypts remains in place in Parklea and Rouse hill and provides a remnant pisture of the setting of the former rural road.

The road reserve contains the remains of former sandstone drainage structures. Sub surface areas may also contain former road constrction techniques including cobbles.
Current use: Reserve
Former use: Raod Corridor


Historical notes: Old Windsor Road dates from 1794 when land was gfiorst granted to settlers in the Hawkesbury district.

The Windsor Road dates from 1810 when the Macquarie townshhips were established.

1794 - Road laid out from Parramatta government Domain through the government Farm at Toomgabbie to the Hawekesbury This was "old" Windsor Road. It was a dirt track for horse back and foot travel.

1797 road increased to 20ft carriageway under the instructino of governor hunter who required landowners to do the work.

1802 a bridge was built over South Creek Paid for by toll.

The battle of vinegar hill erupted near the Castle Hill government Farm in 1804, and Old windsor Road provided the access for the military to quickly reach the site and quell the rebellion.

1806 a new alignment was being surveyed by James Meehan direct from Parramatta to kellyville through the government farm at Castle hill. This was to avoid the hills of Seven Hills.

1810 governor Macquarie Laid out the towns of Windsor, richmond, Pitt Town Wilberforce and Castlereagh, and engaged James Harrex to complete the new turnpike road. The contract was taken over by John howe in 1812 - 1813. The road included 70 bridges, 32 feet wide with alignment stones marking the carriage way.

1810 Macquarie establsihed a toll to pay for the road with toll gates at Rouse Hill.

1816-1825 Richard Rouse took up a grant at rouse hill and constructed his house and the Toll house on his land.

1824 Coach Services from Parramatta to Windsor commenced.

1827 The residents along Windsor Road were terrorised by "bold "Jack Donohoe.

1833 Windsor Road was proclaimed a Main Road, while Old Windsor Road was declared a Parish Road. Old Winsdor road deteriorated to a point where it was impassible.

Old Windsor Road was re surveyed surveyed in 1885 by Sruveyor McKenzie.

The main rescue of the Old Windsor Road did not occur until the 1`940's when the US Military upgraded the road as part of preparatiosn of evacuation routes out of Sydney in the event of a Japanese invasion.

The last unseald sections of the Old Windsor Road were completed in the 1981's by Blacktown and Baulkham Hills Councils.

The windsor road was maintained by teams of convicts until the end of transportation when in 1849 the Windsor Road Trust was established.

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 Pioneering and social pressures/settlement in the 19th Century-
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 Transport and Urbanisation-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Serving the Metropolis/Regional Functions-
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. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The alignment of the original Hawkesbury Road (now Old Windsor Road, and part of the Windsor Road) is of historic significance as the second public road alignment to be established in the colony of NSW.

The alignment influenced human activity in the region from its establishment in 1794, related to the earliest phase of expansion of the settlement beyond sydney to Parramatta. The alignment defined aspects of the settlement pattern(such as the laying out of grants and the consolidation of services at Green Hills), and provided the regions primary overland transport route, vital to the settlement of the north western Cumberland plain.

The realignment of the Windsor Road in 1812-1813 (after the foundation of the Macquarie towns in 1810) is historically significant as a component of Governor Macquarie's vision for the orderly settlement of the colony particularly for the Hawkesbury region and the Governors Domain at Parramatta. The new alignments avoidance of the hilly section of the original route provides evidence for the presence and naming of Seven Hills.
(RTS Heritage inventory 2005)

The Windsor Road is the first Turnpike system in the colony.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Windsor Road is assocaiated with numerous persons and events of historical signficance including the Battle of Vinegar Hill, Governor Macquaries and his vision for the colony, settlers of note such as Richard Rouse, and the Bush Ranger "Bold Jack Donohoe".

Windsor road is associated with the significant survey work of colonial surveyors James Meehan, Charles Grimes and Roderick MacKenzie.
(RTA Heritage inventory 2005)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The aesthetic significance of Windsor and Old Windsor Roads predominantly relates to the aesthetic experience of travel through the wider Cumberland plain and the strong visual and transport connections between the historic homesteads and landscapes of the colonial rural settlements. These are enhanced by the protection of the Rouse Hill Recreation Area and rural curtillage which forms a signficant landmark along the Route, and significant stands of Cumberland Pl;ain Eucalypts along the road alignments.

The former alignments remaining now as small lanes within treeed roasside reserve lanes, along with the remnants of fornmer road construction and infrastructure help to establish a strong image of the colonial road.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The Winsor Road and Old Windsor Roads are of high significance for their research potential as the location of the only alignment and boundary stones known to exist in NSW. These stones are rare evidence of colonial road making technology which have the potential to reveal more information about their purpose and history.

Numerous identified potential archaeological sites along the roads contrbute to the research signicance of the roads.

The fabric of the old Windsor and Windsor Roads themselves are of technical and research significance for their ability to demonstrate the development of road building and improvement technologies over two centuries.

(RTA Heritage inventory 2005)
Integrity/Intactness: Highly Modified
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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanAmend No 143 12 Apr 02 722262
Local Environmental Plan 5307 Jul 15 430 

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
In House Heritage Items Review2009 Margaret Fallon  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenRoads and Traffic Authority Section 170 Inventory Form2005Old Windsor Road and Windsor Road Heritage Precinct

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

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

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1140053

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