Parramatta Correctional Centre | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Parramatta Correctional Centre

Item details

Name of item: Parramatta Correctional Centre
Other name/s: Parramatta Correctional Centre; Parramatta Gaol; Parramatta Jail; Parramatta North Historic Sites
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Gaol/Lock-up
Location: Lat: -33.7981108269 Long: 150.9994660870
Primary address: 73 O'Connell Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150
Local govt. area: Parramatta
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Hectares (approx): 8.743
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
ALLOTMENT64   
ALLOTMENT65   
PART LOT6627  
LOT1 DP58773
LOT1 DP618753
LOT1 DP625886
LOT2 DP734689
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
73 O'Connell StreetParramattaParramatta  Primary Address
Dunlop StreetParramattaParramatta  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Corrective Services NSWState Government28 Jul 97

Statement of significance:

Up until its closure in 2011, the Parramatta Correctional Centre was the oldest gaol in original use in Australia. It is the most intact of the pre-1850's gaols of Australia. The constructional character and quality of the early buildings, in particular the stone slab floors, ashlar walls and timber roof trusses, are exceptional. It is significant in its physical and spatial quality as an enclosed complex. The fabric reflects the shifts in penal philosophy and changes in use from the 1830's to the construction of Long Bay in the early twentieth century (Kerr 1995: 46).
Date significance updated: 28 Jul 97
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.

Description

Designer/Maker: George Barney and Mortimer Lewis
Builder/Maker: Houison and Payten
Construction years: 1835-1842
Physical description: Parramatta Gaol is a tooled sandstone structure of several wings, enclosed by high sandstone walls topped with observation towers. Designed in Old Grecian style, it consists of six cell blocks, two storeys in height. To the rear are three radiating semi-circular or rectangular two storey prison blocks. A number of cells have been enlarged to house two prisoners. Uniformity of materials used during times of addition contribute to the cohesion of this group of sandstone buildings. Talls are generally hand dressed, with slate clad timber roof structure.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical condition is good.
Date condition updated:28 Jul 97
Modifications and dates: 1865 - Perimeter wall extended. Cookhouse and additional cells added to existing wings. Underground water tanks installed.
1883 - 1889 - The perimeter is further extended and three new wings are built in the resulting area.
1899 - 32 unit radial exercise area built. Cells are converted from associated to single.
1906 - 1908 - Chapel built and sewerage upgraded.
1927 - Internal refit. Single cells are converted back to associated cells.
1970's - Parramatta Linen Service, an auditorium and gatehouse extensions are built.
1985 - 32 unit radial exercise area demolished.
1993 - A new entrance and areas for administration and reception are built.
1997 - being disestablished.
2011 - The jail was closed at the end of 2011. It has been the site of several film crew projects since that date. The jail is expected to be transferred to NSW State Property Authority by the middle of 2012 (Kembrey/Parramatta Sun, 8/3/12).
Current use: Correctional Centre
Former use: Gaol

History

Historical notes: The current Parramatta Correctional Centre was the third gaol to be built in Parramatta and was completed in 1842. The original design was submitted by Mortimer Lewis for Governor Bourke in 1835, however the buildings were commenced to a design by Captain George Barney, the Commanding Royal Engineer. When the first building was completed in 1842 by (James) Houison and Payten, Thomas Duke Allen was installed as the gaoler, with his wife Martha acting as matron for the female prisoners. (Kerr 1995: 1-45)

Between 1842 and 1861, a number of improvements were made to conditions within the prison, but major extensions were not undertaken until 1862. As a result of the population boom caused by the gold rushes, both Victoria and New South Wales were forced to expand their penal facilities between 1858 and 1865. During this time, the perimeter wall of the original gaol was extended to enclose a portion of land equal in size to the existing allotment. In August 1863 as the wall was nearing completion, William Coles, the first clerk of works for the Colonial Architect, initiated a substantial works programme in both the original and new areas of the gaol. This included demolition of the portion of wall separating the new and old sections of the gaol and the construction of various workshops, a cookhouse and extra cells in existing wings, as well as the installation of new utilities including underground water tanks.

Three further extensions of the gaol perimeter wall were carried out during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Within the new enclosure, three cell wings were slowly built between 1883 and 1889, largely with prison labour. Owing to overcrowding of the observation ward at Darlinghurst Gaol part of one of these wings was set aside for prisoners who had been deemed insane. In 1899, a 32 unit radial exercise yard was constructed in the space formed on three sides by the recently constructed wings. At this time the cells were also converted from associated cells to single cells, under the influence of comptroller general, William Frederick Neitenstein. (Kerr 1995: 1-45)

The period from the end of the nineteenth century to WWI was devoted to the improvement of auxiliary facilities - industrial, spiritual and hygenic. In 1906 - 1908, a chapel was constructed within the prison walls while sewerage and ablutions blocks were upgraded.

Due to declining entries into the penal system, the gaol was disestablished on 15 September, 1918 and the property given over to the inspector of mental hospitals. At this time the western sandstone perimeter walls were demolished and much of the equipment and internal fittings removed. By 1927 however, with an increase in demand on the system, the gaol has been rehabilitated and was re-established in 1927. Notably, this rehabilitation involved the conversion of the single cells back to associated cells. Parramatta became a centre for re-training and re-habilitation. (Kerr 1995: 1-45)

The 1940's began a period of official mistreatment of nineteenth century institutional establishments and a number of unsympathetic buildings were approved for construction. In the 1970's, the Parramatta Linen Service, a large auditorium and an extension to the gatehouse were built. This period also saw the opening of periodic detention centres for males and females.

A new development scheme completed in 1993 included a pedestrian and large vehicle entry off Dunlop Street and new adjacent buildings for reception, administration and visiting facilities. These new designs attempted to match the form and scale of the original precinct, with hipped roofs and bricks which complemented the sandstone. (Kerr 1995: 1-45)

Parramatta Correctional Centre is currently (July 1997) being disestablished.

The jail was closed at the end of 2011. It has been the site of several film crew projects since that date. These included TV series 'Home & Away', 'Underbelly' and a film project 'The Convict' by George Basha of Guildford, maker of the 2009 film, 'The Combination'. The jail is expected to be transferred to NSW State Property Authority by the middle of 2012 (Kembrey/Parramatta Sun, 8/3/12).

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council lodged a land claim on the former jail site (as decommissioned Crown Land) on 24 February 2012. THe Crown Lands Division of NSW Trade & Investment is preparing a submission on the claim to Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner to consider (Bartok, 16/1/13).

The jail reopened to the public for the first time in five years on 15 October 2016, as centre court for 400 basketball players and fans. The Red Bull Reign state heat resulted in a Parramatta team winning and proceeding to the next weekend's final game in Melbourne (Parramatta Sun, 20/10/2016, 1).

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 Convict barracks-
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 Gaol Town: How does the eighteenth-century gaol town of Parramatta compare with Sydney and the later, free town?-Convicts Convict; Control
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 on government farms and stockyards-
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 Experiencing secondary punishment-
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 Administering the convict system-
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 Demonstrating convicts' experiences and activities-
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 Housing convicts in communal or shared accommodation-
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 Unseen but Present-
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 Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
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 Different Places: What different places exist within Parramatta? Are they visible archaeologically? Can discreet cultura-Monuments and Sites
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 industrial production-
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. Can archaeological evidence of convict barracks at Parramatta be used in conjunction with evidence of barracks in Windso-Housing Convict; Control
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. Building settlements, towns and cities-National Theme 4
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. Adapted heritage building or structure-
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 convicts-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Can archaeological analysis of existing or subsurface building remains assist in dating Parramatta's built heritage more-Land Tenure
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Stone Wall-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Administering and alienating Crown lands-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to suburban-
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 19th century suburban developments-
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 Order and Amenity: How does the layout of Parramatta reflect existing values relating to order and amenity?-Townships Control
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 19th Century Infrastructure-
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 suburbia-
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 Planning relationships between key structures and town plans-
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 Planned towns serving a specific industry-
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 Institutions-
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 Creating landmark structures and places in regional settings-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working at enforced labour-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working on public infrastructure projects-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working in the Justice System-Includes work practices and organised 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. Providing foreign government embassies-
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. 19th century government - a regional centre-
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. Colonial government-
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 - building and operating public infrastructure-
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 - jailing prisoners-
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 - administering the justice system-
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 - managing the convict system-
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. Public works-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Prison colony-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Administration of justice-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Corrective services-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Jail-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Incarcerating prisoners-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Policing and enforcing the law-
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 structures to emphasise their important roles-
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. Architectural styles and periods - Victorian (mid)-
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. work of stonemasons-
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. Applying architectural design to utlilitarian structures-
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. Interior design styles and periods - Victorian-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with James Houison, colonial 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 Mjr.-Gen. (later Gen., Sir) Richard Bourke KCB, 1831-7-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Mortimer Lewis, Colonial Architect, 1796-1879-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Up until its closure in 2011, the Parramatta Correctional Centre was the oldest gaol in original use in Australia. It is the most intact of the pre-1850's gaols of Australia. (Kerr 1995: 46) It has strong, documented, century and a half associations with people who have shaped its fabric and regimes and with those who have been shaped by it. (Kerr 1995: 46) The complex is also of value to Parramatta as an element in a group of early institutions linked by a parkland setting along the left bank of the Parramatta River, including the Cumberland Hospital (former Female Factory 1822) and the Norma Parker Centre. (former Roman Catholic Orphan School of 1841-43) (Kerr 1995: 46)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The constructional character and quality of the early buildings, in particular the stone slab floors, ashlar walls and timber roof trusses, are exceptional. (Kerr 1995: 46) It is significant in its physical and spatial quality as an enclosed complex: in particular the character established by its coherent architectural form and predominent sandstone and slate materials. (Kerr 1995: 46)
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The fabric reflects the shifts in penal philosophy and changes in use from the 1830's to the constrcution of Long Bay in the early twentieth century. (Kerr 1995: 46) The fabric is an educational and archaeological resource, as a continuing document of Australian social history and a potential source of information about the cultural past of the colony since 1788. (Kerr 1995: 46)
Integrity/Intactness: Much of the original precinct remains intact although many of the internal fittings have been removed.
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.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementConsolidated Conservation Management Plan Parramatta North Historic Sites - Cumberland District Hospital Group/ Norma Parker Correctional Centre/ Parramatta Correctional Centre  
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementCMP for North Parramatta Government Sites adopted with revisions. The Heritage Council's State Heritage Register Committee endorsed the CMP subject to certain revisions to the satisfaction of the Director, Heritage Office, for a period of 5 years (expires 18/5/2005). May 18 2000
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

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0081202 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register  09 Feb 95   
Local Environmental PlanParramatta Correctional Centre I00812 I00812 I00812 I00812 I 20 
Register of the National Estate  14 May 91   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Parramatta Heritage Study1993414Meredith Walker  No
Department of Corrective Services: Interim Heritage and Conservation Register1995005State Projects Heritage Group  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenBartok, Di2013'Land Claim on jail complication for government'
WrittenGeoffrey Britton & Colleen Morris1999North Parramatta Government Sites Landscape Conservation Plan
WrittenHeritage Group, Design Services, Department of Public Works & Services2000North Parramatta Government Sites Conservation Management Plan
WrittenJames Semple Kerr1995Parramatta Correctional Centre: Its Past Development and Future Care

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: 5000657
File number: S90/06416; H00/00112


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