Palisade Fence and High Steps | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Palisade Fence and High Steps

Item details

Name of item: Palisade Fence and High Steps
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Urban Area
Category: Boundary Feature
Location: Lat: -33.8614173917394 Long: 151.201671989835
Primary address: High Street, Millers Point, NSW 2000
Local govt. area: Sydney


The listing is palisade fence 300m from Argyle Place along the western edge of High Street, and including the "High Steps".
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
High StreetMillers PointSydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

The High Street sandstone wall and palisade fence are of historical significance for their association with the Sydney Harbour Trust's redevelopment early in the 20th century. They are aesthetically significant as a dramatic landmark feature that defines the edge of the village of Millers Point. The open steps at the southern end of High Street between High Street and Hickson Road are of heritage significance as an integral part of the pedestrian network of Millers Point that connected the wharfs to the suburb above.The remnant elements of the closed steps at the northern end of High Street between High Street and Hickson Road are of heritage significance as an integral part of the pedestrian network of Millers Point that connected the wharfs to the suburb above. They are of historical significance for their association with the Sydney Harbour Trust's redevelopment early in the 20th century, they form part of the well designed and extensive network of stairs and access routes designed to move large numbers of workers to and from the wharves, and display a fine level of detailing for their period of construction.
Date significance updated: 14 Apr 11
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: 1920-1920
Physical description: The Palisade fence and High Steps start 300m from Argyle Place and run along the western edge of High Street. Listing Includes palisade fence, decorative cast iron posts and sandstone posts that flanked the bridges over Hickson Road (most of these bridges have been demolished). General Details:Refer to Archaeological Zoning Plan.
Modifications and dates: 1920
Further information: Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are constantly updated by the City as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently, it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conservation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.


Historical notes: The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora. There is no written record of the name of the language spoken and currently there are debates as whether the coastal peoples spoke a separate language "Eora" or whether this was actually a dialect of the Dharug language. Remnant bushland in places like Blackwattle Bay retain elements of traditional plant, bird and animal life, including fish and rock oysters.

With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today. All cities include many immigrants in their population. Aboriginal people from across the state have been attracted to suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe and Redfern since the 1930s. Changes in government legislation in the 1960s provided freedom of movement enabling more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney.

(Information sourced from Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City )

Erected to fence the cutting of Hickson Road earlier this century.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Industry-Activities associated with the manufacture, production and distribution of goods (none)-

Recommended management:

The building should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement, or a Conservation Management Plan, should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. There shall be no vertical additions to the building and no alterations to the fa├žade of the building other than to reinstate original features. The principal room layout and planning configuration as well as significant internal original features including ceilings, cornices, joinery, flooring and fireplaces should be retained and conserved. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, should not be visibly prominent and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney Local Environmental Plan 2012I88214 Dec 12   
Heritage study     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City

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: 2424625

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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