Bicentennial Square and Adjoining Buildings | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Bicentennial Square and Adjoining Buildings

Item details

Name of item: Bicentennial Square and Adjoining Buildings
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Recreation and Entertainment
Category: Tourist Attractions
Primary address: 188,188R (part of Church Street road reserve) and 195A Church Street, 38 Hunter Street and 83 Macquarie Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150
Local govt. area: Parramatta
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
188,188R (part of Church Street road reserve) and 195A Church Street, 38 Hunter Street and 83 Macquarie StreetParramattaParramatta  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Bicentennial Square is of significance for the local area for historical and aesthetic reasons, and as a locally unique set of examples of various types of buildings that collectively and individually form local landmarks. The Square provides evidence of local and regional amenities and services in Parramatta.
Date significance updated: 04 Mar 02
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.


Construction years: 1888-1988
Physical description: This item comprises the Bicentennial square, the facades of the adjoining buildings which enclose it, Victorian Free Classical drinking fountain monument, the amphitheatre, the circular garden around tree with four memorial plaques, the memorial gates to St Johns and the vista to St Johns from Church Street. Many of the components are also individually listed (St Johns Church, Parish Hall, Town Hall, Centennial Memorial, Murray Brothers Buildings, Victoria Facade with Horse Parapet). The commercial buildings are mainly two storeyed, with one of the Murray Buildings (alongside the Town Hall and farthest from St Johns) are three storeys. The National Bank, typical of 1960s buildings, is important for its scale, which fits in with the other buildings around the Square. Note that structures in the Mall (north of Macquarie St) and landscaping have severely limited the appreciation of the vista to St Johns.
Modifications and dates: National Trust (Parramatta Branch) supplied Year Started and Year Completed.


Historical notes: The placement of St Johns Church closing the vista at the end of Church St (where the road changes direction to join the Parramatta Rd) was a deliberate act of civic design (as was the placement of Government House at the end of George St). Other works, which together combine to make it the centre of Parramatta include: the Town Hall (1883), the Centennial Memorial (1888), and the former Murrays Store and Horse Parapet. St Johns Square was landscaped in c. 1909 as a centrepiece of Parramatta. In the early 1960s, the height and scale of the National Bank was controlled to complement the scale of other buildings in the intersection and near St Johns. Bicentennial Square was created in 1988 by the closure of Church St (north of Macquarie St and in front of the Town Hall and St Johns), and the re-landscaping of the St Johns Square (now part of Bicentennial Square). The most mature trees from earlier landscaping were retained and plane trees were added. National Trust (Parramatta Branch): There are a number of plaques and memorials within the square which celebrate various historic events. | Architect Peter Freeman: Comprises Bicentennial Square formerly St. John's square, includes vista of St. Johns, facades of adjoining buildings which enclose the Square. National Bank is included in this list. A watch house was first erected on this site by Governor Macquarie c.1810. | 1870: George Peters Monument works was on the site of the watch house . Ref K. & S. Brown "A Town Caught in Time 1870" | Built on the site of original markets set out by Governor Macquarie, the first market fair held in Parramatta was here, in 1813. Also used to hold the annual feast for aborigines from 1816 to 1830. | Building erected by Hart & Lavors, local builders to a design by W. A. Mansfield in 1881. |

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This item historically significant.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This item is aesthetically significant.
SHR Criteria f)
This item is rare
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:

Review height controls to ensure that new buildings around the Square respect the existing character.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Regional Environmental PlanREP No 2810320 Aug 99 956161
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Parramatta Heritage Study1993103Meredith Walker  Yes
Parramatta Heritage Review2004 National Trust (Parramatta Branch)  No

References, internet links & images


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

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2240103

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