Kyeemagh Market Gardens | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Kyeemagh Market Gardens

Item details

Name of item: Kyeemagh Market Gardens
Other name/s: Occupation Road Market Gardens, Chinese Market Gardens, Rockdale Market Gardens
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Farming and Grazing
Category: Market Garden
Location: Lat: -33.9490473495 Long: 151.1583371930
Primary address: Occupation Road, Rockdale, NSW 2216
Parish: St George
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Rockdale
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Hectares (approx): 8
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT2 DP17133
LOT3 DP17133
LOT4 DP17133
LOT4 DP529923
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Occupation RoadRockdaleRockdaleSt GeorgeCumberlandPrimary Address
Bestic StreetRockdaleRockdaleSt GeorgeCumberlandAlternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Department of Planning and InfrastructureState Government 

Statement of significance:

The Kyeemagh Market Gardens are of high significance for their association with the Chinese community and their demonstration of a continuing pattern of land use from the late nineteenth century to the present. Market gardens such as these were once typical in the Rockdale Municipality but are now becoming increasingly rare.
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: N/A
Construction years: 1892-
Physical description: The site comprises 8 hectares (20 acres) of land, bounded by the Cooks River, Occupation Road and Bestic Street, divided into four x 5 acre leasehold gardens. The site also contains seven buildings, some of which were originally dwellings, but which are now used for living, storage and packing.

Lot 4: contains a simply detailed weatherboard cottage with gabled corrugated iron roof (new). To the sides and rear, the building is clad in sheet metal, with the original split timber construction visible underneath. The verandah is timber floored. Paired windows flank the central, panelled door. Windows are timber, sashed, six pane and double hung. Joinery appears original. There is a sandstock brick skillion addition and separate recent, corrugated iron shed to the rear.

Between Lot 4 and 3: Contains a series of corrugated iron sheds in very poor condition. Some have almost completely collapsed.

Lot 3: contains a simple weatherboard cottage, similar to that on Lot 4. The verandah ends are enclosed with sawn timber. Similar joinery and detailing to Lot 4. There is a corrugated iron and timber skillion addition to one side. Both buildings appear to date from the late 19th Century.

Lot 2: contains a corrugated iron shed with gabled roof and skillion addition to the side. The age is difficult to ascertain from an initial inspection, as some of the corrugated iron has been replaced.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The site is still under production as a market garden and has some archaeological potential related to its continuing use as a market garden.
Date condition updated:26 Nov 98
Modifications and dates: Land resumed for open space approximately 15 years ago.
Further information: Very little is know about the history of the site. This site, along with the Toomevara Lane and Arncliffe Chinese Market Gardens warrant further investigation and assessment. Assessment of significance is difficult without further investigation of both these sites and other similar sites within the greater Sydney region, particularly to assess rarity. The site is most likely to be of Regional significance only, but may be of State significance.

At present, the side of the Occupation Road that the Market Gardens are on does not have concrete guttering. It is considered important that this side of the street is NOT kerb and guttered, as it would detract from the 'rural' impression given by the current situation. Some weed management is required along the verge.
Current use: Market gardens
Former use: Market gardens


Historical notes: The area east of Tabrett Street is believed to have been occupied by market gardeners since 1892-3, whilst other areas were still vacant. In later years, these areas were occupied by Italian and Maltese gardeners. The site has been leased by Chinese Market gardeners since its resumption for open space approximately 15 years ago.

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 Kyeemagh 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 and European immigration and the influence of enthnic communities on local industry.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Kyeemagh Market Gardens have aesthetic significance as a continually used market garden area which has survived the pressure of modern urban expandion. The weatherboard cottages on Lots 3 and 4 are excellent examples of Victorian period rustic vernacular architecture.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Kyeemagh Market Gardens are of high social significance for their association with early ethnic communities, especially the Chinese Community, 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 Kyeemagh Market Gardens have some technical/research significance for demonstrating early market gardening practices, particularly through some of the extant structures on the site relating to previous uses.
SHR Criteria f)
Market gardens such as this are becoming increasingly rare and the Kyeemagh Market Gardens are of particular importance for their demonstration of a continuing pattern of usage from the late nineteenth century through to the present day.
SHR Criteria g)
Integrity/Intactness: The Kyeemagh Market Gardens appear to be a largely intact site and include a number of extant structures which appear to be little altered since their erection.
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 Rockdale and Arncliffe Chinese Market Gardens requires a Conservation Management Plan to assist with guiding future changes.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementRockdale Market Gardens Conservation Management Plan (Architectural History Services, Dec 2001) CMP endorsed by Heritage Council 25 July 2002 for a period of five years, expires 25 July 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 0139302 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register  11 Feb 99   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Rockdale Heritage Study1990176Meredith Walker & Terry KassMeredith Walker & Terry Kass Yes
s.170 Register DUAP1999 Paul Davies Pty Ltd  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Rockdale Heritage Drive View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Rockdale Heritage Drive View detail
WrittenMeredith Walker & Terry Kass1990Rockdale Heritage Study

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: 5045758
File number: H00/00355; H99/00055 [S170]

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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