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Newcastle Government House and Domain

Item details

Name of item: Newcastle Government House and Domain
Other name/s: Newcastle Military Barracks & Hospital, Girls' Industrial School, Reformatory for Girls, Lunatic Asylum for Imbeciles, James Fletcher Hospital, Fletcher Park
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Landscape - Cultural
Category: Defence Base Army
Primary address: 72 Watt Street, Newcastle, NSW 2300
Parish: Newcastle
County: Northumberland
Local govt. area: Newcastle
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP1069317
LOT10 DP1087691
LOT7059 DP1116454
PART LOT1 DP1199904
LOT2 DP1199904
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
72 Watt StreetNewcastleNewcastleNewcastleNorthumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The Newcastle Government House and Domain site forms a complex, multi-layered cultural landscape, physically transformed by convict labour and providing evidence of the early colonial settlement of Newcastle as well as of the subsequent technical, economic and social development of the city and the state.

The curtilage comprises the James Fletcher Hospital site and Fletcher Park. The former includes two coal mine shafts and an adit (1804), the remains of a convict-built parsonage (1819) and a former military hospital, military barracks and parade ground (1840s). Fletcher Park was the location of Newcastle Government House and includes archaeological evidence of its flagstaff and a statue of James Fletcher who was a significant figure in the later evolution of the site as a medical facility. Together, the James Fletcher Hospital site and Fletcher Park make up the Domain of the original Government House, established in 1804.

The site has been in continuous Government ownership and use since 1804 and was important in the convict system in NSW as a place of secondary punishment. The two vertical mine shafts on the site Australia's first coal mines, dug by the first convicts sent to Newcastle, following their involvement in the Vinegar Hill rebellion. The quarried wall of the parade ground, the military barracks, gatehouse and former military hospital are intact and tangible evidence of convict labour under military supervision.

Other elements on the site evince significant changing uses over time. The place was the first Industrial School for Girls in NSW and later, the first hospital in NSW for "Imbeciles and idiots". Reflecting the evolution of mental health care from the introduction of "Regulations for the Insane" in the 1870s to contemporary mental health policies, the site continues to operate as a mental health facility.

The site has been identified as being of National significance to Australia and New South Wales (NSW Department of Commerce, CMP, 2004, 7.13).
Date significance updated: 21 Sep 10
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

Construction years: 1804-
Physical description: "Newcastle Government House & Domain" includes the area currently occupied by the James Fletcher Hospital located east of the CBD of Newcastle and is bounded by Ordinance Street to the south, Newcomen Street to the west and Church Street to the north. The east boundary of the hospital is Watt street and this nomination will include Fletcher Park that is situated opposite the hospital entrance. This nomination is a 'cultural landscape'and contains various permanent buildings and structures, including convict coal mines from 1814-17.

Historic Convict Coal Mines & Adit (1814)
Two convict coal mines exist on the current hospital grounds, one is approximately 20-25 metres inside the main Watt Street entrance, named Asylum Coal Shaft No. 1. This shaft has been filled and sealed. Asylum Coal Shaft No.2 is in the courtyard behind the former military hospital, south west corner of the site; it is capped but not filled (Archeological Management Plan). Both of these shafts are connected to horizontal workings at the coal seam below and to drainage adits running to the nearby seaside cliffs. They are well hidden and have been covered over, but not built on. One adit is visible in the cliff at Newcastle South beach (hand-hewn), it is a horizontal shaft and has been cut into the rock face of the cliff, in an ovoid shape. The adit is located about 5 metres above the ground and approximately 1.5 tall x 0.5 mtrs wide at the top and 0.75 metres wide at the bottom. The cliff where the adit is located is cracked, and fenced off. It is unknown where the adit leads, however it does go west towards the nominated site and possibly is linked with the known vertical shafts (asylum shafts). The adit drains water from the mine by gravity, it would appear from the outside that the adit has minimal obstructions and often has water draining from it.

The Parsonage (1819)
The Parsonage (recently Kirkwood House/Reception House) was demolished in 2008 and an archeological excavation took place in March 2009. Remains of the old Parsonage (1819) were found, including sections of wall, a cellar and other relics as evidence of the convict period. The size of the remains (foundations) is approximately 12x10 metres.

Compound Wall (1842)
The hospital is a walled site within an excavated quarry. The wall has enclosed the buildings on the site since the military buildings were first constructed in 1842. With exception of the northern boundary, the south, east and west sides all have walls. Originally built as a retaining wall for the excavated site, then it was later retained for privacy for patients of the mental institution.

Landscape
The landscape of the current hospital grounds shows an exposed quarried landform on the south side, approximately 20 metres high. The exposed rock has eroded somewhat due to environmental conditions; however this landscape remains a noticeable and strong feature of the site, the quarried section that formed a wall runs the full length of the southern boundary. A large expanse of the grounds was levelled to build the military barracks and parade ground. The topography was originally a gentle slope from the ocean cliffs towards what is known today as the 'The Hill'. The area is relatively underdeveloped compared with the surrounding area of the city of Newcastle.

Former Military Parade Ground
The parade ground remains an open parkland and grassy area that has not been hindered or interrupted with significant development (except in the case of the Shortland Clinic, which although is not built directly on the oval, does detract visually from the openness of the former military establishment). Significant vistas remain across all areas of the site because the recreation ground is in the centre of the collection of buildings.

Fletcher Park
This park is situated directly across the road (Watt Street) from the current James Fletcher Hospital, on the east side of the precinct. The park is bounded by a fence on the seaside and there is a steep cliff drop off. It has recently been landscaped by Newcastle City Council (2005) and has a path running through the middle of the park. There is also a statue of Mr James Fletcher that stands predominantly on the uphill slope, facing down to the city.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Historic Convict Coal Mines & Adit (1814)
The site has the potential to reveal the archaeological remains of the first commercial coal mining in Australia by mine shaft (vertical shaft). Asylum Mine Shaft No.2 is in good condition; it was opened in 1987, and then resealed. Asylum Mine Shaft No.1 has been filled and capped. There has been minimal archaeological research carried out on these mine shafts. The mines were apparently begun in 1814 and were worked from 1817 and 1831. There was minimal mining in this area after this time. There is a high archaeological potential (particularly at No.2) for finding information relating to colonial mining techniques. It is suggested in the Newcastle Archaeological Plan that these shafts may also be associated with other Government mines shafts on the southern side of Ordnance Street (Bowling Green shaft) and that there is potential to find relics related to the convict/Macquarie periods.

Coal Adit
The mine adit, if confirmed to be associated with convict mining, would have a very high archaeological potential. Further research to understand how it is associated with the convict mine workings is highly recommended.

Parsonage
A recent archaeological excavation on this site found a significant portion of the original building (parsonage) intact. The final archaeological report is still underway, however from preliminary reports it is known that the parsonage site contained relics of high archaeological value relating to the convict period in NSW. This evidence of convict occupation and labour, highlights future archaeological potential elsewhere on the site. A section of the wall of the parsonage has been demolished (June 2009), however brickwork that remains in situ includes a large portion of the foundations and a corner (south west of the parsonage building). A section of the original parsonage exists and this was confirmed during the demolition process and archaeological excavations have taken place (Demolition of Kirkwood House, James Fletcher Hospital. AMAC for Dept of Commerce Feb 2008). A full archaeological assessment has been undertaken (March 2009) as archaeological deposits relating to the convict era below the current footprint of Kirkwood House (and Reception House) were found. Other relics may also be found including evidence of paths, gardens or outbuildings pertaining to the Parsonage - or simply occupational debris such as discarded bottles, broken ceramics and, if so, these would be rare in Newcastle. The material fabric from the parsonage makes it the earliest visible fabric in Newcastle. Sub-surface examples of convict era fabric are also rare with the only known examples limited to footings well beneath the convict lumberyard surface. Examples of convict Newcastle outside the Coal River Precinct would be highly significant and rare.

Compound Wall
Sections of the compound wall were damaged in the June 2007 floods and after extensive assessments will be repaired. There are currently supports in place to secure the collapsed section of the wall, particularly the south west corner. The foundation of the inside wall appears to be built from possibly sandstone. The wall runs from north to south and is relatively intact. However much of the upper sections of the wall built from brick have collapsed and are in need of repair. The Department of Commerce may have current heritage/archaeological reports pertaining to recent assessments of this wall. Archaeological potential is high, given that the site was 'prepared' for construction of the barracks using convict labour.

Landscape
General condition of the landscape is good with minimal disturbance. There is a high potential that archaeological relics may be found in any future investigations. There is also the research potential to interpret the 'quarrying' techniques and methods used in the colonial period.

Former Military Parade Ground
There has been very little disturbance to this area since it was levelled in the 1830s for use as a parade ground; it has remained open space and currently used as a recreation ground.

Fletcher Park
The park is reasonably well-maintained by Newcastle City Council; much of the open space has remained undisturbed, with the exception of the garden beds on the west side (Watt Street), which were replaced in 2005. This work may have disturbed archaeological remains of the former Newcastle Government House (also known as Commandant's Residence) that existed on the site. Archaeological potential is high in this area, as it is related to the earliest visually recorded built heritage in the settlement of Newcastle (1804). Relics could be found in this area, including remnants of the flagstaff and foundations of Government House and outbuildings. There is evidence of a wooden post in the park; however no research has been untaken to investigate its provenance. Further archaeological evidence includes a wooden post at the top end of the park that is one of a few marks placed by surveyor DM Maitland to fix the alignment of the streets of Newcastle in 1864.
Date condition updated:21 Sep 10
Modifications and dates: Coal Mines
1814- Begun
1817-in operation 1831-ceased operation

Adit
1814-17? History uncertain, possibly associated to coal shafts (more research is needed.

Parsonage
1819- Built
1886-two storey addition to parsonage (known as Kirkwood House)
1902-new Reception House built using original fabric of parsonage.
2008-Kirkwood House and Reception House demolished (parsonage left intact)
2009 June- significant remains of parsonage demolished, some remains are left in situ.

Compound Wall 1830-40
- originally built 1840
-2006- numerous repairs and modifications
2007-09 - awaiting repairs after storm damage

Landscape
1830s- Quarrying took place
1830-2009 - no extensive changes to landscape

Fletcher Park
1804- Government dwelling, flagstaff and gardens
1814?-larger Government House built and flagstaff
1830s- Government House ceased to exist on the site
1850- ? 1878- Recreation Reserve? opened to the public.
Further information: The Thwaites building, Tara Lodge and the former Shortland Clinic building are non- contributory items. However Gate House (circa 1842) is a significant heritage building related to the military phase of the hospital and contributes greatly to other building on the site. Gate House is currently not on the SHR, however the Former Military Barracks, military hospital and James Fletcher statue are on the SHR.
Current use: James Fletcher Hospital - Mental Health Facility; Fletcher park - Public park
Former use: Aboriginal land, Government House and Domain; Military post

History

Historical notes: PENAL SETTLEMENT
The Newcastle Government House and Domain has significant associations with convictism in Australia as a site central to the management of convict labour, early coal mining technology and the development and growth of the Australian economy. The earliest European use of the site was the Commandant's Residence (also known as Government House) where the Commandant, Lieutenant Charles Menzies controlled the penal settlement. The site has remained in Government management since European occupation from 1804 to the present day. A sketch by Ferdinand Bauer (1804) shows the flagstaff and the only small house on the area. The same location is also shown in artworks by Joseph Lycett, Walter Preston and Edward Close and these are particularly significant because they show Newcastle's Government House and gardens. Bauer's sketch also shows tents on the hillside of the site. The site is also figures significantly on the Macquarie Chest being depicted on one of its panels.

CONVICTS
The first attempt at settlement in Newcastle failed in 1802 (Turner 1973) and the settlement, also known as 'Kings Town' and 'Coal River' was re-established in 1804, providing hard labour for re-offending convicts following the Irish rebellion at Vinegar Hill. The second settlement (1804) was prompted because of the prospect of coal as a vital resource for the Colony (O'Donnell 1969). After Newcastle was established as a penal settlement, it remained under Colonial administration until 1823. After this time free settlers were introduced into the settlement. Convicts sent to Newcastle endured harsh living standards, intense manual labour in the coal mines and were under constant surveillance (Turner 1973).

After 1823, most of the convicts were transferred to Port Macquarie, however many prisoners remained in Newcastle until 1855 to carry out public works projects such as the construction of Macquarie Pier and other works. Convict labour was used to build the pier, beginning in 1818 and this work was not completed until 1846 (Rosen, 2008).

The military were stationed at the military barracks site to manage and supervise the work of the convicts. Furthermore, the association between the former military barracks buildings and the port initiative (the pier) is of significance to capital works programs of the Colonial Government, convictism and early technology in Australia. The employment of convicts to construct Macquarie Pier was in the economic interest of the Colony and this site was significant in supporting this progress. "It had a small population until about 1814, with approximately 100 convicts and guards, but over the next few years it became the principal penal settlement of the Australian colonies, accommodating up to one thousand prisoners at a time." (Rosen, 2008)

CONVICT LABOUR AND COAL
Newcastle is the birthplace of Australia's coal mining industry and the first modern coal mining undertaken in the Southern Hemisphere (Hunter 2001). Coal mining in Newcastle provided the first profit ever made in the fledgling Colony of New South Wales of - 2 pounds, 5 shillings - in 1801. Convict labour was used to work mines at Colliers Point (horizontal drifts) and on the hillside near Government House, the first working vertical shaft sunk for the production of coal in Australia (on the current James Fletcher Hospital site). One is named the Wallis shaft, after the Commandant of Newcastle at the time. The site is also associated with Benjamin Grainger who was sent to Newcastle in 1812 to assist in coal mining in the area, later becoming Superintendent of the coal mines, in 1820. The military was present in the settlement to manage the convict population and to supervise work in the mines and the construction of the Macquarie Pier.

Mining on the site was primitive and labour-intensive with loads of coal initially brought to the surface in baskets. A small rail system for haulage was used to take coal to the port directly downhill from the mine site to be loaded onto ships for export. Much of the export went around the world, and was often traded for rum. The transport of coal to the port forged a thoroughfare which then became the main street of the township, George Street (now known as Watt Street). The Commandant had his residence in a prominent place at the top of this street where he was able to view what was happening in the settlement, including work at Collier's Point and Nobbys Island.

The Commandant's residence was both a place of authority and a convict work place. Convicts worked on the site until the Australian Agricultural Company took over mining in Newcastle. There is evidence of intensive early mining practises on the cliff opposite the site's entrance. The two convict coal mines on the James Fletcher Hospital site were later referred to as the "Asylum Shafts". The Wallis shaft is thought to have been excavated between 1814 and 1817 (Eklund 2004). Particularly interesting is the evidence that Bigge (1822 p.114-118) provides, "Twenty seven men are employed in the working of the mine, and the mouth of the shaft immediately adjoins offices of the Commandant's House". After these mines became disused there was very little reference made to them during the 1800s. It was not until the 1900s that a mine subsidence report provided more detail about the existence of the convict mines, (Report of the Royal Commission on Earth subsidence at Newcastle 1908).

In the 1940s Mr Jonathon Dixon carried out research on the site and attempted to locate the position of the first convict coal shaft by surveying an early map (Draft of the town of Newcastle 1822). Dr B W Champion (1949) also supports Dixon's location of the convict coal mine, adding that it was sunk approximately 20 yards inside the Mental Hospital gates (Newcastle & Hunter District Historical Society, 1949). Further subsidence within the hospital grounds in 1943 revealed a convict mine shaft. This shaft is thought to be the Wallis Shaft and was described as being, " inside the gates of the hospital" (Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners Advocate July 21, 1943). Dixon (1949 p.35) argues that the subsidence revealed both the position of the old convict mine shaft and the position of the Commandant's House or Government House. Evidence of the shaft was later covered up and is not obvious today, although it is reported to be under the roadway of the main road leading into the hospital. The position of the former Wallis Shaft inside the asylum entrance is shown on a plan by the Colonial Architect James Barnett in 1880. ("Plan of Hospital for the Insane" labelled 'pit').

GOVERNOR LACHLAN MACQUARIE
Lachlan Macquarie on his tour to the northern settlements in 1821 stated in his journal that he stayed at Government House in Newcastle, finding it very comfortable (Macquarie's Journal, 1973, 217). He made several visits to Newcastle and in 1812 stated "...immediately on my landing respecting the inspection of the settlement, I went with Mrs. M. & c. to view the coal mines..." (ibid. p.86). The future of the mining industry was important to Macquarie as is shown in his laying of the foundation stone to build the Macquarie Pier in 1818. This was a major colonial public works project, undertaken to join the mainland with Nobbys Island and establish a safe port entrance to facilitate the coal export trade. Newcastle's commercial coal mines were integral to Macquarie's plan to promote the colony as self-supporting.

ABORIGINAL AND NON-ABORIGINAL INTERACTIONS
During Macquarie's visit in 1818 he recorded he was entertained by Jack Burigon, King of the Newcastle tribe along with about forty men, women and children who performed a "Carauberie" (Corroboree) in the area at the rear of the Newcastle Government House. There are numerous colonial artworks showing Aboriginal occupation in and around the Government House site and as well as Corroborees. (See works by Edwards Close and Joseph Lycett).

PARSONAGE
Newcastle Government House and Domain contains the original site of the Church of England parsonage erected in 1819 and home to Reverend George Augustus Middleton, Newcastle's first chaplain (NSW Department of Commerce, 2004). Macquarie noted that the parsonage was a "neat brick-built, stuccoed, one-storied parsonage house with a verandah and all necessary out-offices, and a kitchen garden and grazing paddock attached thereto, both enclosed with a paling" (Turner, History of the James Fletcher Hopsital.p.1). Part of the original parsonage remains and this adds to the significance of the site.

In the 1830s part of the land granted to the Church of England as a glebe was returned to the Government for building a new military barracks (Hunter 2001, 34-38).

Reception House and Kirkwood House have recently been demolished (June 2008) to make way for the construction of a new 20-bed mental Health facility. Reception House was a direct and tangible link to the convict-built Parsonage and nearby Christ Church Cathedral buildings and a significant purpose-designed mental health facility which marked an innovation in mental health care. Kirkwood House was designed by the prominent local architect James Henderson. It was a two-storey annexe to the Parsonage. Architect Frederick Menkens supervised a later skillion addition. Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon kept some of the original fabric of the old parsonage in the structure of the new additions to Kirkwood House.

Walter Liberty Vernon (1846-1914) was both architect and soldier. Born in England, he ran successful practices in Hastings and London and had estimable connections in artistic and architectural circles. In 1883 he had a recurrence of bronchitic asthma and was advised to leave the damp of England. He and his wife sailed to New South Wales. Before leaving, he gained a commission to build new premesis for Merrrs David Jones and Co., in Sydney's George Street. In 1890 he was appointed Government Architect - the first to hold that title - in the newly reorganised branch of the Public Works Department. He saw his role as building 'monuments to art'. His major buildings, such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales (1904-6) are large in scale, finely wrought in sandstone, and maintaining the classical tradition. Among others are the Mitchell Wing of the State Library, Fisher Library at the University of Sydney and Central Railway Station. He also added to a number of buildings designed by his predecessors, including Customs House, the GPO and Chief Secretary's Building - with changes which did not meet with the approval of his immediate precedessor, James Barnet who, nine years after his resignation, denounced Vernon's additions in an essay and documentation of his own works. In England, Vernon had delighted his clients with buildings in the fashionable Queen Anne style. In NSW, a number of British trained architects whow were proponents of hte Arts and Crafts style joined his office and under their influence, Vernon changed his approach to suburban projects. Buildings such as the Darlinghurst First Station (Federation Free style, 1910) took on the sacale and character of their surroundings. Under Vernon's leadership, an impressive array of buildings was produced which were distinguished by interesting brickwork and careful climatic considerations, by shady verandahs, sheltered courtyards and provision for cross-flow ventilation. Examples are courthouses in Parkes (1904), Wellington (1912) and Bourke, Lands Offices in Dubbo (1897) and Orange (1904) and the Post Office in Wellington (1904)(Le Sueur, 2016, 7).

MILITARY BARRACKS & CONVICT LABOUR
"During the early 1800s Newcastle entered the coal industry and, in order to protect Newcastle's precious coal resources which were important for NSW's economy, as well as to control the growing convict population, there was an increase in military protection at Newcastle from the 1830s..."(Rosen. Review of Items of Potential State Significance in the Newcastle City Area, 2008). The Governor visited Newcastle to lay foundation stone for the new barracks on the hill near the parsonage house in 1836 (Sydney Gazette, 1836). Lieutenant Colonel George Barney, recently arrived from England was appointed Colonial Engineer in 1836. One of Barney's first tasks was to report on steps that needed to be taken in order to protect the colony from attacks by foreign vessels and he recommended that batteries and blockhouses be constructed in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Port Macquarie and Port Phillip (Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition). The first projects undertaken by Barney were for the construction of new barracks at Paddington in Sydney (Victoria Barracks) and Newcastle." (Rosen. Review of Items of Potential State Significance in the Newcastle City Area, 2008).

The Newcastle Military Barracks were completed earlier than the Victoria Barracks. A Convict chain gang in Newcastle was employed to build the foundations for the Officers Quarters and Soldiers Barracks in 1838, as well as to create the military parade ground. (Hunter River Gazette 15 January 1842) Excavation of the hillside by convict iron gang took place in 1842 so that outbuildings could be constructed. (Hunter River Gazette- 15 January 1842) "In a letter to Lord Stanley in London, Governor Gipps stated his intention to start reducing troop numbers at the barracks. This was part of an overall policy in NSW aimed towards redistributing troops following the cessation of convict transportation to the Colony of NSW (Department of Commerce, 2004, p. 16). Further reducing the need for a strong military presence in Newcastle was the relocation of prisoners in 1848. Only 1000 troops were to remain in NSW to protect the colony. In June 1848 and the 99th regiment left Newcastle (Maitland Mercury 24.6.1848), however convicts returned to Newcastle for renewed public works and a military guard returned to take up accommodation in the new barracks (1848)." (ibid, 2008)

LUNATIC ASYLUM
The barracks remained in use for civil service accommodation until 1867 when it became the Girls' Industrial School and later the Reformatory for Girls until 1871. "On September 13, 1871 the NSW Government established a 'Lunatic Asylum for Imbeciles and Idiots' at this site. It was the first asylum for imbeciles and idiots to be established in NSW (NSW Department of Health, p.39)." (ibid, 2008) Frederick Manning was the Inspector General of the Insane and oversaw all Lunatic Asylums in NSW; he is credited with implementing many improvements to the site and with the introduction of moral therapy. "He believed it crucial that those patients classified as being young, imbecilic and idiotic were separated from those classified as insane because the former annoyed other patients and were too impressionable (NSW Department of Commerce, 2004, p.24).

Newcastle was the fourth main government-run asylum to be opened in NSW, the others located at Tarban Creek, Parramatta, the first being at Castle Hill, which later become a gaol (Stephen Garton, Medicine and Madness, p. 38). "During the 1880s and 1890s, the Department of Lunacy (established 1878) under the leadership of Manning, reached a decision that young patients should be placed under the supervision of the matron, and away from the older patients. In order to enact this change, extra space was needed in both the male and female quarters. This decision coincided with an increase in patient numbers, due in part to the effects of the 1890s depression. Manning had intended to have the younger patients housed on a separate site, but the NSW Government's funding was limited because of the depression and instead additional wards were constructed. The first of these was constructed for girls in 1892 and was located on the northern end of the asylum grounds, behind the Court House. It could accommodate 24 patients. (NSW Department of Commerce, 2004, p.30)." (ibid, 2008).

"In 1916, the name was changed to Newcastle Mental Hospital. A visit from the Deputy Inspector General of Mental Hospitals in 1918 found the newer wards of a high standard but determined that the older buildings were in poor condition. Such problems were addressed during the mid to late 1920s, and included improvements in bathroom facilities, the removal of single rooms in the women's section to create a spacious dining and day room and the creation of a larger space in the men's division by removing two of the single rooms. A common theme throughout the life of the asylum was community dissatisfaction with having such an institution located in the centre of the city. When an asylum was first suggested, Novocastrians were so opposed to the plan that they held a public meeting which consisted of 400 Newcastle residents at the Newcastle Court House (NSW Department of Commerce, 2004, p. 1).

On 4th December 1866 the Colonial Secretary's Office notified the Bench of Magistrates in Newcastle that the proposed plan would not go ahead (NSW Department of Commerce, 2004, p.19 20). When it was suggested for a second time, a Newcastle newspaper, the Chronicle stated that it was dangerous to have insane people living in such close proximity to residents. It claimed that the use of the former barracks for this purpose was wasting valuable real estate (NSW Department of Commerce, 2004, p.22 23).

In 1962, the hospital was renamed Newcastle Psychiatric Centre. In 1965, work commenced on a new building for outpatients which was called Shortland Clinic, on which other hospital buildings have been modelled such as at the Royal North Shore. In 1983 the name of the hospital changed to Hunter Hospital and in 1989 the name was again changed to be named the James Fletcher Hospital after James Fletcher, an important figure in Newcastle during the late 19th Century. Fletcher was responsible for improving the conditions of miners. An example of this was his establishment of the Australian Agricultural Co.'s sick and accident fund (ADB Online). (ibid, 2008)

FLETCHER PARK
Fletcher Park was formally known as Lower Reserve and Ordinance Park. Its use as a public park was promoted in 1878 after Mr Frederick Cane the Superintendant of the Asylum for Imbeciles had undertaken to make the park more attractive by planting ornamental shrubs and trees (Newcastle & Miners' Advocate, 15 Jan 1878) The park was originally the site of Government House and its flagstaff and is identifiable in many colonial artworks. There were numerous outbuildings to Government House and an artwork completed in1820 (artist unknown) shows these as well as a path to the left of the building leading uphill. There are numerous other works showing the early area (see http://www.newcastle.edu.au/service/archives/coalriver/pdf/hardy2006.pdf).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Parks-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Other open space-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Cultural - Coasts and coastal features supporting human 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 Convict labour-
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 for the Crown-
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-
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 Significant Places: How are significant places marked in the landscape of Parramatta by, or for, different groups?-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 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 Landscapes of institutions - productive and ornamental-
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 and parklands of distinctive styles-
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 demonstrating styles in landscape design-
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 passive recreation-
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 military activities-
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 urban amenity-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Developing local landmarks-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Health-Activities associated with preparing and providing medical assistance and/or promoting or maintaining the well being of humans Operating public hospitals-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Health-Activities associated with preparing and providing medical assistance and/or promoting or maintaining the well being of humans Caring for the sick in hospitals-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Health-Activities associated with preparing and providing medical assistance and/or promoting or maintaining the well being of humans Encouraging public recreation in parks-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Health-Activities associated with preparing and providing medical assistance and/or promoting or maintaining the well being of humans Operating mental health facilities-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Mining-Activities associated with the identification, extraction, processing and distribution of mineral ores, precious stones and other such inorganic substances. Mining for coal-
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. Marine villa-
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. Housing (inner city)-
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. Housing governors and vice-regal families-
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 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. early settlement or worker's cottage-
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. Housing public servants and officials-
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. Housing the clergy and religious-
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 Early land grants-
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 suburban to urban-
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 Townships-
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 Suburban Centres-
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 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-
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 community park-
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 Cultural Social and religious life-
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 Shaping coastal settlement-
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 ports-
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 Suburban Consolidation-
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 Creating landmark structures and places in urban 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 Developing and operating manorial 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 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 Decentralising metropolitan activities to provincial cities-
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 Developing suburbia-
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 public service-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Servants quarters-
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 in mines and quarries-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Education associated with Welfare institutions-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Trade education-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Educating people in regional locations-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Primary education-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Public (primary) schooling-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Industry training and education-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. Industry training and education-
7. Governing-Governing Defence-Activities associated with defending places from hostile takeover and occupation A Military Town: The Welfare of the Military-
7. Governing-Governing Defence-Activities associated with defending places from hostile takeover and occupation Military Parade Ground-
7. Governing-Governing Defence-Activities associated with defending places from hostile takeover and occupation Military 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. 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. 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. State 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 - administration of land-
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. 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 - 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 - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
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 education-
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-
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 Dispensing justice-
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-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Establishing law and order in the Hunter Valley-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Children in need-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Providing care for mentally disabled youth-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Hospital-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations rehabilitation of female offenders-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Hospital/nursing home phase-
7. Governing-Governing Welfare-Activities and process associated with the provision of social services by the state or philanthropic organisations Welfare-Includes charitable and self-help institutions.
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. 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. Parks and public gardens-
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. Building in response to natural landscape features.-
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. Landscaping - Federation period-
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. Landscaping - Victorian period-
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. Landscaping - colonial period-
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. Landscaping - 20th century interwar-
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. Landscaping - 20th century post WW2-
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 - colonial homestead-
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. Vernacular structures and building techniques-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1788-1850-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Convict housing near workplaces-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Kitchens and servants-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in, adapting and renovating homes for changing conditions-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting heritage places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going to a museum-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gathering at landmark places to socialise-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Enjoying public parks and gardens-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation community park-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Religious worship-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Anglican Community-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Glebe or church lands to support priest-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship parsonage, manse, vicarage-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Adaptive new use-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship rectory-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Practising Anglicanism-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Places of informal community gatherings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Local adaptive reuses of military sites-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Developing local clubs and meeting places-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Walter Liberty Vernon, Government Architect 1890-1911, private architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Lt. Charles Menzies, Commandant of Newcastle settlement-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
It meets this criterion of State significance because it demonstrates patterns of economic and social development of the early colonial period from government-controlled and convict-worked industry, to the arrival of free labour and the beginnings of private enterprise. The place expresses tangibly the way its landscape has changed over time to meet changed uses (military and welfare). It represents a convict penal settlement directly related to the beginning of Australian industry. The place is an exceptional example of the forced migration of convicts (Vinegar Hill rebels) and the development associated with punishment and reform, particularly convict labour and the associated coal mines. The place exemplifies convict labour (quarrying out of landscape, laying of foundations & filling of military parade ground). The place was a site of early contact between Aboriginal and European people during the Macquarie period. It exemplifies Australia's early position at the forefront of applied coal mining technology in the early 1800s. The place is culturally significant because of its representation in historical records and visual sources from the early 1800s, showing the changes in the landscape. Its former military buildings are closely associated with the military history of the Colony during the 1830s and 1840s. It demonstrates an important aspect of law and order through its history as a military barracks and as the source of supervision required for the prisoners who remained in Newcastle to complete the Macquarie Pier. This association with Newcastle's defence history is indirectly related to aiding the growing economy and coal export of the Colony. Convicts were an important part of this accomplishment (1830-40). The James Fletcher Hospital site is unique as a coastal urban Lunatic Asylum (1871- present) and is representative of Australian Colonial asylum culture.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site exemplifies Governor Macquarie's determination to promote a self supporting Colony. The place exemplifies the beginning of Australia' coal mining industry (its first vertical shafts) completed during the Macquarie period. The place is closely associated with re-offending convicts following the 1804 Irish rebellion at Vinegar Hill. The place is closely associated with Governor Macquarie who implemented Colonial public works projects like coal mining that later sustained the economic growth of the Colony. The place has a strong association with the Commandants of Newcastle from 1804-23, including Lieutenant Charles Menzies, Charles Throsby, Commandant Wallis and Major Morisset. The site is also significant for its association with Captain George Barney, one of Australia's most important Colonial Engineers during the mid 19th Century, (whose works include the Victoria Barracks in Paddington and the design of Circular Quay) and with Dr Frederick Manning Norton, who made a considerable contribution to the welfare of the insane and the improvement of mental health care in NSW.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The site has a high degree of aesthetic significance for its position toward the top of the eastern side of the Hill area and has remained virtually intact since first dedicated. Many individuals have found creative inspiration from its landscape since 1804 and their artistic works have documented the transformation of this unique place shaped by human intervention (e.g. Ferdinand Bauer and Joseph Lycett)The place is an early example of a Colonial public works project (Military Barracks) as well as the natural landscape transformed by convict labour. The James Fletcher Hospital site has a rare amalgamation of 1840s Military Barracks buildings, including the Parade Ground surviving in an excavated and walled site. The Parade Ground, with its open space, textures, plantings and other features, adds aesthetic value to the military buildings. The following buildings on the James Fletcher Hospital site show technical innovation in construction methods: the Military Barracks (surviving original timber roof structure, lining boards and original masonry elements, verandah and columns), the surviving original fabric of the former Officer?s Quarters, the surviving original fabric of the former Guard House, the surviving original fabric of the former military outbuildings and underground brick water tanks, the former Military Hospital (surviving timber shingle roof and other masonry elements, original and early timber joinery).

The place shows technical achievement and innovation in introducing the first coal mining (vertical shaft) in the Southern Hemisphere and marks the use of the transfer of the 'bord and pillar' coal mining techniques from across the world to Australia. The site contains the first vertical mine shafts used for commercial mining of coal in Australia, a valuable insight into the mining techniques and knowledge used in the Colony. The place offers research opportunities in the area of colonial mining. The place shows innovative and technical achievement related to masonry and quarrying techniques to build the military establishment, as well as skillfulness of design in the reshaping of the landscape to construct these buildings.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
An important site of early interaction between Aboriginal and European people, the place may have potential to contribute new knowledge about the relationship between these two cultures in the colonial period. Features of this cultural landscape, including the early convict coal mines, have the potential to provide new information about colonial and convict life in NSW. The place has potential contribute to a better understanding of the nature of construction techniques used in the convict-era, of early Australian industrial convict sites, of convicts as a cultural group and of the contribution made by their forced labour.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The place is rare in NSW because its landscape was physically shaped by convict labour, a landscape that remains visible today. The place is nationally rare because it possesses Australia's oldest surviving mining heritage (vertical shaft). The place is nationally rare because if possesses an intact military barracks and military hospital and parade ground, both constructed using convict labour.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The site is typical of a Military Barracks site with a preserved Parade Ground and Military Barracks. It can be compared with Victoria Barracks in Sydney, as it was constructed around the same time. The place is also representative of colonial lunatic asylums in NSW and was the first regional lunatic asylum in the Colony. The place reflects work of the various Government/Colonial architects.
Integrity/Intactness: Generally, much of the built heritage remains in good condition and adaptive reuse of many of the buildings was common in the nineteenth century. The Military Barracks is a good example of this, later used as a “Lunatic Asylum” in 1871. “The site currently reflects a long period of evolution, as it has been adapted for a series of significant uses. Several of the main features of the military establishment remain recognizable and the overall layout reflects the original 1840s military compound. Significant buildings and landscape features from a number of different phases of its use are intact.” (Rosen. Review of Items of Potential State Significance in the Newcastle City Area, 2008).

Coal Mines
Heritage features of the coal mines cannot be fully ascertained until further investigations are completed, information is limited due to the lack of research. Although it is thought that shaft No.1 has been filled and sealed, mine shaft No.2 has been reported to have been capped but not filled and would offer an excellent opportunity to open up the shaft for inspection and recording. Shaft No 2 is reported to be in good condition when opened in 1987 and therefore offers an opportunity for research and interpretation. Shaft No.2 has the potential to demonstrate integrity and intactness if opened once again and accurately recorded. It is highly likely from the limited accounts of shaft No 2 that original features may have survived, therefore restoration may be viable.

Adit
The integrity and intactness overall of the mine adit is excellent and it has retained features. It would appear that there has been a minimal change to this item since it was established, and it is accessible.

Parsonage
Although the overall building has not remained intact, there is significant surviving fabric from the original building that shows the brickwork and size of two rooms of the parsonage building. The front of the original building was demolished in the mid 1800s for the realignment of Church Street; however a significant portion of the parsonage was retained when additions were made to Reception House by Architect Walter Vernon. The convict brickwork (floor/foundations) appears to be in excellent condition (for its age), and represents building methods and techniques used in the convict era.

Compound Wall
The integrity of the compound wall is better in some sections than others. The Department of Commerce has conducted investigations into the extent of storm damage. There is a significant length of sandstone wall that exists on the west side of the site, behind outbuildings. The section of wall in the south west corner suffered more extensive damage that elsewhere, however significant sections have also been retained. The walls were constructed from brickwork dated at different periods, and the significant sections of the stone wall in the lower sections of the compound wall may relate to the 1830s when the site was quarried using convict labour.

Landscape
The general landscape of the hospital site is intact and mostly undisturbed by extensive development (except in area of Thwaites Building and former Shortland Clinic). The quarried landscape remains visible. The integrity and intactness of the quarry is in excellent condition and is stable, the only blot on its integrity is the visual impact of the former Shortland Clinic that stands set back from the quarried wall and whose demolition (as planned) would add to the integrity of the landscape.

Fletcher Park
The open park land has been landscaped and the general integrity and intactness of the landscape is fair. The park reflects the early European occupation of the area (an open area not heavily built on) and although Newcastle Government House ceased to exist after the 1830s, the overall feature of the open parkland is significant because of the earlier position of the flagstaff and view to the ocean. The park’s current namesake reflects the life of Mr James Fletcher, his statue erected in 1897 demonstrating the importance of the site. The statue stands prominently where the former Government House once stood. The statue remains in relatively good condition.
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:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementReview a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementProduce an Archaeological Zoning Plan (AZP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for commentJames Fletcher Hospital Site CMP, prepared by Department of Commerce for Hunter Health, dated April 2005 Jun 3 2005
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.
Mar 22 2011
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act - Site Specific Exemptions Recent site landscaping:
Allowing removal of landscaping planted since 1970, such as the landscape barrier between the Men’s Barracks and the guard House that screens the view to and from the Parade Ground.
Removal of buildings of no heritage significance:
Allows progressive removal of structures of no heritage significance and no longer in use, as identified in the Conservation Management Plan of April, 2005
Removal of intrusive items:
Allows progressive removal of infill structures, as identified in Conservation Management Plan of April, 2005, still in use that have a negative impact, as they become redundant.
Installation of air conditioning units:
Allows Installation of small air conditioning units in buildings other than those identified in the Conservation Management Plan of April, 2005 as being of exceptional significance, provided there is no damage to significant fabric and the location of their machinery will have minimal impact.
Internal alterations to buildings of no heritage significance:
As identified in Conservation Management Plan of April, 2005.
Mar 22 2011

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0184122 Mar 11 292271

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Newcastle Archaeological Management Plan  Suters Architects et al.  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1943Old Convict Mine Shaft Revealed: Subsidence at Mental Hospital.
WrittenBigge, J. T.1822Report of the Commissioner of Inquiry into the State of New South Wales.
WrittenBranaghan, D.F.1972Geology and Coal mining in the Hunter Valley 1791-1861
WrittenCarr, John2005Conservation Management Plan for the James Fletcher Hospital site
WrittenChampion1949Early Coal Mining in Newcastle.
WrittenDelaney, J2004Vinegar Hill to Coal River: the Irish rebellion and the settlement of Newcastle, NSW 1804.
WrittenEklund, J http://www.newcastle.edu.au/news/media-releases/2004/eklundcoalmines.htm View detail
WrittenGarton, Stephen1988Medicine and Madness: A Social History of Insanity in New South Wales 1880-1940.
WrittenGoold, W.J.1949„Watt Street and its historical associations?
WrittenHardy, Ann2005Government House: Newcastle, NSW.”
WrittenHunter, Cynthia2001Coal River Tourism Project: Coal River Historic Site (stage one). Historical Analysis of Sites & Related Historical & Cultural Infrastructure. View detail
WrittenLe Sueur, Angela2016Government Architects - part 2
WrittenMacquarie, Lachlan1979Lachlan Macquarie Governor of New South Wales, Journals of His Tours in New South Wales and Van Diemen?s Land 1810-1822.
WrittenNSW Department of Commerce1984Newcastle Reformatory School for Females (1869-1871) / Biloela Reformatory School For Females (1871-1880) Shaftesbury Reformatory (1880-1904)
WrittenO'Donnell (ed)1969The History of Early Newcastle 1800-1870.
WrittenRosen, Sue and Associates Heritage Assessment and History (HAAH)2008Review of Items of Potential State Significance in the Newcastle City Area,
WrittenScanlon1985Chimney Sucking up air.
WrittenSilver, Lynette1983The Battle of Vinegar Hill.
WrittenTurner, J.W. (ed)1973Newcastle as a Convict Settlement: The Evidence Before J.T. Bigge in 1819 – 1821.

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 NSW
Database number: 5060998


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