Travellers Rest Inn Group | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Travellers Rest Inn Group

Item details

Name of item: Travellers Rest Inn Group
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Inn/Tavern
Location: Lat: -33.8151275979 Long: 150.9998240820
Primary address: 12,14,16 O'Connell Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150
Parish: St John
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Parramatta
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP234243
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
12,14,16 O'Connell StreetParramattaParramattaSt JohnCumberlandPrimary Address
12-14 O'Connell StreetParramattaParramattaSt JohnCumberlandAlternate Address
16 Hunter StreetParramattaParramattaSt JohnCumberlandAlternate Address

Statement of significance:

House group which makes a notable contribution to townscape due to similarities in age, design, use and materials. This group of cottages is the most intact and earliest group of cottages in all of Parramatta. Their site also possesses potential to contribute to an understanding early urban development in Parramatta

The group is typical of the Georgian style, rare in Australia and existing only in the very early colonies of NSW and Tasmania. It is representative of the many inns that were its contemporaries in the region and physically representative of others now lost.
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.


Physical description: Old Colonial Georgian group of single storey corner inn and two cottages of brick on a stone base. Hipped iron roofs covering original shingles to Nos 12 & 14, modern corrugated roof to No 16. Original brick chimneys extant on No 14.

This building also has its original verandah and front two rooms under a hip roof to O'Connell Street and two rooms behind, under a skillion. The verandah is included under the hip and has a flat ceiling. Existing in the verandah space is a fibro accretion, of unknown date, assembled so as to enclose a portion of the verandah and the simple timber posts typical of the style in that portion. (Rizos, Con Plan, Dec 1997:36)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The physical condition of the Travellers Rest Inn Group is currently
Date condition updated:15 Apr 98
Further information: CPS, NTL
Current use: offices
Former use: Hostel, private residence, offices.


Historical notes: The Travellers Rest Inn Group consists of three properties, two cottages at Nos 12 and 14 and the Travellers Inn at No 16.

The 1823 map of Parramatta indicates that this land was occupied in 1823 by Patrick Kirk (Hunter/O'Connell Streets) and Samuel Larkin (O'Connell/Macquarie Streets). Only Kirk's portion showed a building.

An 1831 map of Parramatta shows more clearly a building on Kirk's corner and indistinct shading indicating a building with a well on Larkin's corner. the area between, that is, directly facing O'Connell Street had been portioned off and was occupied by WH Bennett.

The 1844 map of Parramatta shows buildings on Kirk's corner and along O'Connell street which seem to correspond with the location of the existing buildings. There was also a building on the corner of O'Connell and Macquarie Streets, set further back from the street frontage.

Land ownership is confused in Parramatta because of the absence of survey and clear legal occupation of most oft he land until the 1840s. This was inpart clarified by the issue of 21 year leases in 1823. These leases could be converted to grants by the lessee or sold and converted by a subsequent lessee. In the case of the O'Connell Street land , Kirk obtained a lease for his corner portion, then transferred the lease to William H Bennett who converted it to a grant. Larkin did not obtain a lease to the corner of O'Connell and Macquarie Streets but a grant was subsequently issued to William H Bennett. Bennett thus had title to the entire frontage of O'Connell Street between Hunter and Macquarie Streets, probably in fact by 1830 with legal titles for various allotments issued from the mid 1830s-1840s.

An investigation of the Rate Books indicates that by the 1860s, after Bennett's death, three of the cottages were owned by John Champley Rutter in 1865, 1869, 1872 and 1875. Dr Robert Champley Rutter was one of Parramatta's more colourful medical practitioners. He died in 1882 after more than 50 years as a surgeon in Parramatta.

The Sands Directories for the 1880s and 1890s shows a constantly changing list of probable tenants - dressmaker, contractor, stonemason, plasterer, photographer, baker, gardener and blacksmith.

In the 1898 Sands Directory it is noted that the corner of O'Connell and Hunter Streets was then used for the Travellers Rest, with D Watsford as manager. Next to the Travellers Rest was The Wardley Home run by Miss Mary Brown. (LIston, Report to Heritage Council, 1993)

The introduction of the aged pension to NSW in 1901 reduced the role of the Benevolent Society and the Travellers Rest was closed as a hostel. In 1902 the service was reduced to only operating in the Winter months. It is also thought that the cottage adjacent to the inn was used to accommodate widows and was later let to one of the charity workers. This service ceased in 1910. Two elderly women continued to occupy the inn, and it was generally assumed by neighbours that they owned the property. However, on the death of one lady in 1955 it was discovered that the property was still owned by the Benevolent Society.

In 1955 the property was bought by Mr Kevin Orchard who used it until the mid 1980s as display storage and offices combined with a 1960s two storey commercial facing Hunter Street and sharing the site. The house was damaged by fire in 1986. In 1988 the house at No 14 O'Connell Street was occupied by Mrs Reece since 1943 and was previously owned by her parents.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Innkeeping-
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
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. (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 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 Subdivision of urban estates-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This item historically significant.
SHR Criteria f)
This item is rare.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is representative.
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:

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):
(1) The maintenance of any building or item on the site where maintenance means the continuous protective care of existing material; and
(2) Garden maintenance including cultivation, pruning, weed control, the repair and maintenance of existing fences, gates and garden walls, and tree surgery but not extensive lopping.
Sep 2 1988
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 0074802 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0074819 Apr 91 59 
Local Environmental Plan  27 Feb 97 20 
Local Environmental Plan  21 Jul 89 844635
Register of the National Estate  21 Oct 80   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
City of Parramatta Heritage Study1993407Meredith Walker  Yes

References, internet links & images


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: 5051404
File number: S90/04034 & HC 33150

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