Arncliffe Market Gardens | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Arncliffe Market Gardens

Item details

Name of item: Arncliffe Market Gardens
Other name/s: West Botany Street Market Gardens, Rockdale Market Gardens, Banksia Market Gardens, Chinese Market Gardens
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Farming and Grazing
Category: Market Garden
Location: Lat: -33.9462059471 Long: 151.1515066590
Primary address: 212 West Botany Street, Banksia, NSW 2205
Parish: St George
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Rockdale
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP514811
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
212 West Botany StreetBanksiaRockdaleSt GeorgeCumberlandPrimary Address
Eve StreetArncliffeRockdaleSt GeorgeCumberlandAlternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Department of Planning and InfrastructureState Government 

Statement of significance:

The Arncliffe Chinese Market Gardens are of high significance for their association with the Chinese community and their demonstration of a continuous pattern of land usage since the late nineteenth century. They are one of only three such surviving market gardens in the Inner Sydney region and one of few similar surviving examples in the Sydney Metropolitan Region.
Date significance updated: 06 Apr 99
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: N/A
Builder/Maker: Sun Kuong-War
Construction years: 1892-1930
Physical description: A remnant market garden with associated asbestos cement building. The building sits on brick piers and has a hipped corrugated iron roof. The associated corrugated iron sheds are in a dilapidated state. The garden is divided into small strips, each of which has a different type of produce under cultivation.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The site consists of a market garden, under production, and an associated fibro building, in poor condition. The site has some archaeological potential associated with its use as a market garden.
Date condition updated:19 Jan 99
Modifications and dates: Unknown.
Further information: Very little historical data is available on the site, making any assessment of its significance difficult. Further investigation of this site, along with the Kyeemagh and Toomevara Lane Market Gardens, is recommended prior to any future work taking place on the site.
Current use: Market Garden
Former use: Market Garden


Historical notes: The site demonstrates prolonged and continuous use as a market garden. The site was first occupied as market gardens in 1892 by Sung Kuong War, Lee How and Sin Hop Sing. A 1930 aerial photograph shows the site still occupied as a market garden. Market gardens such as this played an important role in food production for the local and regional community, particularly during the Great Depression and Post and Inter-War periods. For much of the Great Depression, Chinese market gardens were the only source of vegetables for urban dwelling Australians.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Ethnic influences-Activities associated with common cultural traditions and peoples of shared descent, and with exchanges between such traditions and peoples. (none)-
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 (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Arncliffe Market Gardens are of historical significance for their demonstration of a continuous pattern of land use since the late nineteenth century. They are also of significance for their association with the development of local industry and for their association with early Chinese immigration and the influence of ethnic communities on local industry.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Arncliffe Market gardens are of aesthetic significance as an important area of productive open space, providing visual variety from the other types of open space in the area.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Arncliffe Market Gardens are of high social significance for their association with early ethnic communities, especially Chinese, and for the role they have played in helping to feed the local and regional population, particularly during the Inter-War, Depression and Post-War periods.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The Arncliffe Market Gardens have some technical/research significance for demonstrating early market gardening practices, particularly through the extant structure on the site relating to previous uses and remnant gardening equipment.
SHR Criteria f)
Market gardens such as this are becoming increasingly rare and the Arncliffe Market Gardens are of particular importance for their demonstration of a continuing pattern of usage from the late nineteenth century through to the 1930s.
SHR Criteria g)
Whilst there are market gardens elsewhere in the metropolitan region, there are few that have been used continually as these have.
Integrity/Intactness: In the context of an area which has been under cultivation for a century, the landscape appears to be intact. The associated buildings also appear to be intact but are generally dilapidated and structurally unsound.
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:

Continue use as market gardens. This site, along with the Kyeemagh Market Garden site needs a Conservation and Management Plan to assist with guiding future changes. The Conservation Plan should address both built and landscape elements and should incorporate all associated structures.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementRockdale Market Gardens Conservation Management Plan CMP endorsed by Heritage Council on 25 June 2002 for a period of five years, expires 25 June 2007. Jul 25 2002
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
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.

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


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0139502 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register  11 Feb 99   
Regional Environmental PlanSREP 33 Cook Cove Master Plan 03 Jul 04   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Rockdale Heritage Study1990177Meredith Walker & Terry KassMeredith Walker & Terry Kass Yes
s.170 Register DUAP1999 Paul Davies Pty LtdPaul Davies Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenArchitectural History Services2002Rockdale Market Gardens: Conservation management plan
WrittenArchitectural History Services2001Rockdale Market Gardens Conservation Management Plan
WrittenCity of Botany Bay Council, George Hann Memorial Museum & Library2003Valuable Swampy land! Market Gardens in Mascot & Botany
WrittenCity Plan Heritage2008Cooks Cove Project Stage 2 DA: Market Gardens Interpretation Strategy Cooks Cove project Stage 2 DA : market gardens interpretation strategy
WrittenCity Plan Heritage2002West Botany Street market gardens : heritage impact statements
WrittenHughes, Nathaniel2012Sydney Chinese Market Gardens, 212 West Botany Road, Banksia NSW: Photographic Archive (aka Arncliffe Market Gardens - SHR 1395)
WrittenMeredith Walker & Terry Kass1990Rockdale Heritage Study
WrittenMigration Heritage Centre2010Water from the Wells: Chinese Market Gardens in NSW 1850-2010
WrittenPaul Davies P/L2011Heritage Impact Statement - Conservation, Repair & Alterations, Arnclffe Market Gardens

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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045744
File number: H00/00356; H99/00055

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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