Thompson Square Conservation Area | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Thompson Square Conservation Area

Item details

Name of item: Thompson Square Conservation Area
Other name/s: Thompson Square Precinct; New Windsor Bridge Project
Type of item: Conservation Area
Group/Collection: Urban Area
Category: Townscape
Location: Lat: -33.6046136779 Long: 150.8231647740
Primary address: Thompson Square, Windsor, NSW 2756
Parish: St Matthew
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Hawkesbury
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP1011887
LOT7007 DP1029964
PART LOT1 DP1045626
LOT1 DP1127620
PART LOT2 DP1127620
LOT1 DP136637
LOTB DP161643
LOT1 DP196531
LOT2 DP223433
LOT2 DP233054
LOT2 DP239319
LOTC DP379996
LOTA DP381403
LOT1 DP555685
LOT2 DP555685
PART LOT1 DP60716
PART LOT1 DP60716
LOT10 DP630209
LOT10 DP630209
LOT11 DP630209
LOT11 DP630209
LOT10 DP666894
LOT345 DP752061
LOT1010DP759096
PART LOT1 DP864088
PART LOT1 DP87241
LOT1 DP995391

Boundary:

Refer to Heritage Council Plan No 383.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Thompson SquareWindsorHawkesburySt MatthewCumberlandPrimary Address
7 Thompson SquareWindsorHawkesburySt MatthewCumberlandAlternate Address
George StreetWindsorHawkesburySt MatthewCumberlandAlternate Address
82 George StreetWindsorHawkesburySt MatthewCumberlandAlternate Address
NEXT TO 7 Thompson SquareWindsorHawkesburySt MatthewCumberlandAlternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private 
 Private 
 Private 
Alkyen Pty LtdPrivate 
Hawkesbury City CouncilLocal Government 

Statement of significance:

Thompson Square is one of the oldest public squares in Australia and notable for the large number of Colonial Georgian buildings which surround it. It is the only public space remaining from the original town and has played an important part in the history of the town. It is the only remaining civic space as laid out by Governor Macquarie and is a vital precinct in the preservation of the early Colonial character of Windsor. The Square reflects Macquarie's visionary schemes for town planning excellence in the infant colony (Sheedy 1975).
Date significance updated: 30 Sep 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: Governor Macquarie
Construction years: 1811-
Physical description: Thompson Square consists of George Street, Bridge Street, Thompson Square and The Terrace. These streets surround a small turfed reserve with pleasant trees that helps to conserve an attractive frontage to the important surrounding buildings.

One large old hoop pine tree (Araucaria cunninghamii) over the cutting for the Putty Road is reputed to be all that remains of the mid-late 19th century plantings around the square. Once there were Norfolk Island pines (A.heterophylla) on the square's western side outside the Macquarie Arms Hotel and in front of the Fitzgerald wall. These were removed, as well as native fig tree species, after protests concerning acts of public indecency by people leaving the nearby hotel relieving themselves under the trees (Skinner, pers.comm., 2015). Also growing around the square are several silky oak trees (Grevillea robusta) and one kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus(Stuart Read, pers.comm., 2015).

Thompson Square is surrounded by a number of Colonial Georgian buildings including;

The Doctor's House - 1-3 Thompson Square
A fine, substantial two storey sandstone brick terrace building. It has a good joinery attic storey, fine front door flanked by engaged columns and a very well designed fanlight.

House & outbuildings - 5 Thompson Square
A brick Georgian single storey cottage of three bays with a corrugated iron roof and three bay timber verandah.

Hawkesbury Museum - 7 Thompson Square
A brick Georgian two storeyed house with corrugated iron roof, five bays wide with a five bay verandah. The balcony is a Victorian addition and has a fine cast iron balustrade.

Macquarie Arms Hotel - cnr Thompson and George Streets
A two storeyed stuccoed brick inn with attic storey and cellars and corrugated iron roof. The Colonial character has been impaired with the addition of box like protruberances to the corners of the building.

Vacant site - 60 George Street

Cottage - 62 George Street
A single storey Georgian cottage. A Victorian cast iron columns, balustrading and valance.

Shops - 64,66,68 George Street
A two storey stuccoed brick house and shop formerly occupied by Georgian single storey terraces.

70,72 George Street
Formerly Hawkesbury Garage, now a shop.

74 George Street (A.C Stearn Building)
Stuccoed two storey building with a parapet to the street front (Fisher Lucas 1981:5).

82 George Street
One storey house turned into a shop.

Vacant site - 4 Bridge Street

House & outbuildings - 6 Bridge Street
A brick Georgian cottage of five bays with a three bay timber verandah and balancing brick chimneys and corrugated iron roof.

House & outbuildings - 10 Bridge Street
A two storey brick Regency style building with a particularly fine cast iron verandah, balcony and stuccoed parapet.

House - 17 Bridge Street
A brick Georgian single storey cottage with corrugated iron roof, of five bays.

Former School of Arts - cnr Bridge Street and George Street
A single storey brick stuccoed Italianate hall with the later additions of side wings and a loggia.

Pioneer Families Bicentennial Memorial
Featuring an anchor, symbolising the importance of the river in the history of the town and the nation, with a plaque recording the names of many of the early families (Hawkesbury City Council, 2016).
Date condition updated:21 Aug 97
Further information: The centre of Thompson Square is spoilt by a main road which slices diagonally through it and into a cutting, destroying the visual integrity of the space as was originally intended (Sheedy, 1975).
Current use: Park, residential and commercial precinct
Former use: Aboriginal land, Town Square, park, residential and commercial precinct

History

Historical notes: INDIGENOUS OCCUPATION
The lower Hawkesbury was home to the Dharug people. The proximity to the Nepean River and South Creek qualifies it as a key area for food resources for indigenous groups (Proudfoot, 1987).
The Dharug and Darkinjung people called the river Deerubbin and it was a vital source of food and transport (Nichols, 2010).

NON-INDIGENOUS OCCUPATION
Governor Arthur Phillip explored the local area in search of suitable agricultural land in 1789 and discovered and named the Hawkesbury River after Baron Hawkesbury. This region played a significant role in the early development of the colony with European settlers established here by 1794. Situated on fertile floodplains and well known for its abundant agriculture, Green Hills (as it was originally called) supported the colony through desperate times. However, frequent flooding meant that the farmers along the riverbanks were often ruined.

1794: The study area covering allotments at 23 through to 39 North Street, Windsor, is located on land first alienated for European purposes in a grant made by Francis Grose of thirty acres to Samuel Wilcox, who named it Wilcox Farm. It is likely that land clearance and agricultural activities as well as some building works took place during this period and during the subsequent of occupation. In the early 19th century, the former Wilcox Farm was incorporated into a larger holding of 1500 acres known as Peninsula Farm.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie replaced Governor Bligh, taking up duty on 1/1/1810. Under his influence the colony propsered. His vision was for a free community, working in conjunction with the penal colony. He implemented an unrivalled public works program, completing 265 public buildings, establishing new public amenities and improving existing services such as roads. Under his leadership Hawkesbury district thrived. He visited the district on his first tour and recorded in his journal on 6/12/1810: 'After dinner I chrestened the new townships...I gave the name of Windsor to the town intended to be erected in the district of the Green Hills...the township in the Richmond district I have named Richmond...' the district reminded Macquarie of those towns in England, whilst Castlereagh, Pitt Town and Wilberforce were named after English statesmen. These are often referred to as Macquarie's Five Towns. Their localities, chiefly Windsor and Richmond, became more permanent with streets, town square and public buildings.

Macquarie also appointed local men in positions of authority. In 1810 a group of settlers sent a letter to him congratulating him on his leadership and improvements. It was published in the Sydney Gazette with his reply. He was 'much pleased with the sentiments' of the letter and assured them that the Haweksbury would 'always be an object of the greatest interest' to him (Nichols, 2010).

In marking out the towns of Windsor and Richmond in 1810, Macquarie was acting on instructions from London. All of the Governors who held office between 1789 and 1822, from Phillip to Brisbane, recieved the same Letter of Instruction regarding the disposal of the 'waste lands of the Crown' that Britain claimed as her own. This included directives for the formation of towns and thus the extension of British civilisation to its Antipodean outpost (Proudfoot 1987, 7-9).

The magistrate held a key position in the colonial towns. At Windsor, Andrew Thompson, an emancipist entrepreneur, had been appointed Chief Constable and then a Magistrate by Macquarie, who was impressed by his enterprise and zeal. Thompson was the richest man on the Hawkesbury, owning a large granary, a brewery and a salt-works. He was a builder of bridges and ships and a trader who had established links with the Pacific Islands. He died in 1810, and Macquarie named Thomspon Square at Windsor, where the town wharf was located in his memory. (Poudfoot 1987:7-9). Thompson was only 37 when he died and was buried in St. Matthew's Anglican Church cemetery, Windsor. During his short life he was variously a brewer, convict, emancipist, ferry owner, land owner, magistrate, police officer, salt manufacturer, sealer, ship builder, ship owner, tannery owner and wheat farmer. He also ate at the Governor's table and died a hero, having rescued a number of fellow citizens in one of the Hawkesbury's many floods. A marker of the Great Flood of 1867 is on the wall between Howe House and the Macquarie Arms Hotel (Hawkesbury City Council, 2016).

The Doctor's House - 1-3 Thompson Square
In 1819 James Doyle leased a dwelling and tenement known as the Freemason's Arms on the site of the Doctor's House from Charles Beasley. The 1828 census states Doyle as an inkeeper at Windsor. In 1830 Doyle was licensed to sell wine at the house known as the 'Lord Nelson' at Windsor Terrace. In 1831 Joseph Delandre is listed as the licensee of the 'Lord Nelson'. In 1837 Edward Coffey issued a notice stating that the 'Daniel O'Conner Hotel' at Windsor had opened for the reception of visitors. It adjoined the Kings Wharf, the premises formerly occupied by James Doyle. It has not been established that this was in fact the present Doctors House, though the building is certainly colonial in style. (Proudfoot 1987:20)

House & outbuildings - 5 Thompson Square

Hawkesbury Museum - 7 Thompson Square
The land on which this building stands was part of grant of 12 ha to William Baker in 1800. The site was then given as a town allotment to John Howe in 1811. The building is claimed to have been built about 1843. (Proudfoot 1987:24)

Macquarie Arms Hotel - cnr Thompson and George Streets
During Macquarie's tour of the district in 1811 he gave a large allotment in the square to Richard Fitzgerald on the express condtion that he immediately build a handsome commodious inn of brick or stone and to be of at least two stories high. It was built in 1815 and named in honour of Governor Macquarie (Sheedy, 1975).

Cottage - 62 George Street
Built 1830-1840 (Fisher Lucas 1981:16)

Shop - 66,68 George Street

Shop (formerly Hawkesbury Garage) - 70,72 George Street
Probably from the 1920s. (Fisher Lucas 1981:9)

Shop (A.C Stearn Building) - 74 George Street
Photographic evidence indicated that it was originally a single storey building with parapet and with a convex profile corrugated iron street awning. The existing urns and lion were originally on the single storey building. The second storey parapet is dated 1907 (Fisher Lucas 1981:5).

Sites - 4 Bridge Street & 60 George Street

House & outbuildings - 6 Bridge Street
Built c1830.

House & outbuildings - 10 Bridge Street
Built c1850.

House - 17 Bridge Street

Former School of Arts - cnr Bridge Street and George Street
Built 1861.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Agriculture-Activities relating to the cultivation and rearing of plant and animal species, usually for commercial purposes, can include aquaculture Clearing land for farming-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Wharf and shipping history-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements River Transport-
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 Expressing lines of early grant allotments-
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 Selecting land for pastoral or agricultural purposes-
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 Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Resuming private lands for public purposes-
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 (none)-
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 Developing towns in response to topography-
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 Creating landmark structures and places in regional settings-
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 Beautifying towns and villages-
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 civic infrastructure and amenity-
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 Indicators of early town planning and the disposition of people within the emerging settlement-
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 - providing rail transport-
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 - providing community facilities-
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 - parks and open spaces-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (later Maj-Gen.) Lachlan Macquarie, 1810-1821-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Andrew Thompson, master tanner, brewer, emancipist, ferry owner, magistrate, police officer, ship owne-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Thompson Square is one of the oldest public squares in Australia and noteable for the large number of Colonial Georgian buildings which surround it. It is the only public space remaining from the original town and has played an important part in the history of the town. It is the only remaining civic space as layed out by Governor Macquarie and is vital precinct in the preservation of the early Colonial character of Windsor. The Square reflects Macquarie's visionary schemes for town planning excellence in the infant colony. (Sheedy 1975)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Thompson Square is surrounded by a large number of Colonial Georgian buildings and sites that preserve the character of the square. (Sheedy 1975)
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Thompson Square is one of the oldest public squares in Australia. (Sheedy 1975)
Integrity/Intactness: Thompson Square preserves the early Colonial character of Windsor. (Sheedy 1975)
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
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 0012602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0012602 Jul 82   
Local Environmental Plan  18 Dec 89   
National Trust of Australia register   16 Jun 75   
Register of the National Estate  21 Oct 80   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Thompson Square conservation Area View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007  View detail
WrittenCarney, Martin & Fenella Atkinson2005Permit Application s60 & s140 Heritage Act NSW - 1977: Archaeological Assessment, Research Design, Test Excavation Methodology & Heritage Impact Statement: 16 Bridge Rd & 52 George St including portions of the original St Matthews, Windsor, NSW
WrittenComber, Jillian2004Statement of Heritage Impact for a Proposed Housing Development, 52 George Street, Windsor
WrittenD Sheedy1975National Trust Classification Cards - Thompson Square
WrittenFisher Lucas Architects1981Thompson Square Precinct Restoration Proposals
WrittenHawkesbury City Council2016Windsor Heritage Trail (Statement of Heritage Impact, Thompson Square interpretive sign installation) View detail
WrittenHelen Proudfoot1987The Historic Buildings of Windsor and Richmond
WrittenNichols, Michelle (Local Studies Librarian)2010Macquarie and the Hawkesbury District
WrittenSkinner, Dr.Stephen2015personal communication (email)

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: 5045195
File number: EF14/4730; S90/7461; HC30043


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