Liverpool Weir | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Liverpool Weir

Item details

Name of item: Liverpool Weir
Other name/s: Liverpool Dam
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Water
Category: Water Supply Reservoir/ Dam
Location: Lat: -33.9269 Long: 150.9272
Primary address: Georges River (near Haig Avenue), Liverpool, NSW 2170
Local govt. area: Liverpool


Northern end of Heathcote Road, off Newbridge Road
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Georges River (near Haig Avenue)LiverpoolLiverpool  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Liverpool Weir demonstrates the history of the origins and development of an important urban utility in Liverpool. It is associated with prominent engineer Lennox and is a rare surviving example of his work, as built by Capt Christie in the mid 19th century. The Dam exhibits a level of technical achievement in its design and construction and is now a rare intact 19th century water supply structure. Extensive repairs were undertaken early in 2008 to arrest structural decline.
Date significance updated: 17 Apr 08
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.


Designer/Maker: David Lennox
Builder/Maker: Captain W H Christie
Construction years: 1836-
Physical description: Liverpool Dam is located directly east of Liverpool Railway Station, on the George's River. Access to the Dam is gained via the eastern bank of the watercourse. The access point is reached by heading east of Liverpool city centre on the Newbridge Road. On crossing the George's river a slip road (part of Heathcote Road) branches off immediately to the left (north) and leads directly to the riverbank.
The Dam is constructed of (probably) a clay base faced with large sandstone masonary blocks. The blocks are semi-circular on the downstream and on the upstream side a sloping surface crosses the river at an oblique angle.
The dam raises the water level in the river by c.2m and can provide an access across the Georges River.

The Dam is (probably) constructed with a clay base and faced with large sandstone blocks. Described in 1855 as raising level of water in the river by 2m. Repairs and additions made at various times, concrete road partly built across in 1973 but part of wall was washed away.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Both faces in good condition after reconstruction. A new surface has been laid across much of the weir.
Date condition updated:10 Jul 08
Modifications and dates: Extensive repairs in early 2008 undertaken by dnr following partial collapse late 2007
Former use: Dam/weir


Historical notes: The Liverpool Dam was constructed in 1836 to supply water to the town of Liverpool and served as a causeway across the George's River. It was designed by Australia's first major bridge builder/engineer the Superintendent of Bridges, David Lennox and constructed under the supervision of Capt. Christie of the 80th Regiment. Christie was then the assistant engineer and superintendent of Ironed Gangs in the Town of Liverpool. The Dam is one of few surviving works designed by David Lennox.
The weir remained the town's only crossing until the first bridge was built in 1894. A wharf and ship basin were constructed at the weir and boats upto 140 tons displacement carried timber and farm produce to Liverpool via Botany Bay.

The structure was originally a stone outer shell, covering a clay interior. Eventually the decades of floor-water caused considerable erosion and it has need repairing on several occasions with a major rebuilding in 1973.

The structure no longer serves its original purpose but by dividing the salt water from freshwater it maintains the ecology of the Upper Georges River.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences Bridge design and construction-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Providing a water supply-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site demonstrates the history of the origins and development of an important urban utility in Liverpool.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site is associated with the prominent engineer David Lennox and constructed by Capt Christie.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The site as an example of an intact early 19th century water supply structure, exhibits the standard and character of dam construction during this era. It indicates a level of technical achievement in its design and construction.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
There is the potential to gain more information on the site from further architectural, archaeological and documentary research.
SHR Criteria f)
The site is a rare example of a surviving engineering project design by David Lennox and is also rare as an intact 19th century water supply structure.
Integrity/Intactness: 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:


Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementDevelop a Statement of Heritage Impact25 Jul 05
Recommended ManagementCarry out an Archaeological Assessment25 Jul 05


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanLiverpool LEP 20088729 Aug 08   
Local Environmental Plan - Lapsed 025125 Mar 94 0501330

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
National Trust Suburban Register1986 National Trust of Australia (NSW)  No
Liverpool Heritage Study1992LP0005Neustein & Associates  No
Liverpool Heritage Study Review20041970179FORM architects aust pty ltdHelen Davies & Cathy Fisher Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenBeverly Donald1997"Liverpool The First Macquarie Town, An Historic Guide"
WrittenS Clarke1976National Trust Classification report, Liverpool Dam

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

rez rez rez rez
(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: 1970179

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.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.