St Matthew's Church:
A fine Georgian Church, constructed entirely by convict labour using sandstock bricks and sandstone. The dominant element is a sculptural square tower with octagonal cupola, axially arranged with a rectangular nave and semi circular apse. The interior contains much fine cedar joinery, including a coffered ceiling and gallery. Its siting is magnificent, on a hill above the town, and this reveals Greenway's sensitive appreciation of a building's relationship to the landscape (Edds & Co., ).
Mrs William McQuade (of Fairfield, Windsor)'s monument is the imposing, and largest at the front entrance of St.Matthew's Anglican Church, Windsor (HMAS Kuttabul, 1986).
St Matthew's Rectory:
An exceptional two storey sandstock brick house of symmetrical design with central front door and elegant fanlight surmounted by a carved timber cornice. An unusual feature for a building of this type in Australia is the central brick pediment breaking the simple line of the hipped roof. Sandstone is used for narrow string courses and flagging at the front porch. The internal joinery pieces are of cedar, as are interior folding window shutters and an elegant semi circular staircase. (Sheedy 1974)
The cemetery is older than the Church and contains many tombstones commemorating the early settlers of the Windsor District. The oldest tombstone (1810) was laid in memory of Andrew Thompson.
These are a rectangular two storey sand stock brick building with a hipped roof covered with corrugated iron. A loft divided into tow rooms is located above the current four room form below. The footings are sandstone, the walls solid brick of Flemish bond externally and English internally. The openings on the Eastern side comprise a mixture of windows, doors and two loft openings. The western side contains an original window including remnant joinery pieces and two doors. There are circular sandstone ventilation opening in these walls. There are no openings in the southern and northern walls. A chimney abuts the south wall.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
1817 - construction of Church commenced
1820 - Church completed
1822 - Rectory built
Stables: c. 1840s Change one of the carriage houses to living quarters by installing a brick partition wall changing a former window to a door and filling in the original double doors to the carriage house with a conventional door and window. A fireplace was also added to the front room.
C. 1950s - removal of the timber clad brick partition wall in the carriage house to create room for a car to be garaged in the former stables.
C. 1970s timber propping of the external walls to prevent further collapse.
(Edds & Co., 1999)
Physical condition is excellent. Archaeological potential is good (Edds & Co., 1999)
The lower Hawkesbury was home to the Dharug people. The proximity to the Nepean River and South Creek qualifies it as a key area for food resources for indigenous groups (Proudfoot, 1987).
The Dharug and Darkinjung people called the river Deerubbin and it was a vital source of food and transport (Nichols, 2010).
Governor Arthur Phillip explored the local area in search of suitable agricultural land in 1789 and discovered and named the Hawkesbury River after Baron Hawkesbury. This region played a significant role in the early development of the colony with European settlers established here by 1794. Situated on fertile floodplains and well known for its abundant agriculture, Green Hills (as it was originally called) supported the colony through desperate times. However, frequent flooding meant that the farmers along the riverbanks were often ruined.
1794: The study area covering allotments at 23 through to 39 North Street, Windsor, is located on land first alienated for European purposes in a grant made by Francis Grose of thirty acres to Samuel Wilcox, who named it Wilcox Farm. It is likely that land clearance and agricultural activities as well as some building works took place during this period and during the subsequent of occupation;
early 19th century: Former Wilcox Farm was incorporated into a larger holding of 1500 acres known as Peninsula Farm.
Governor Lachlan Macquarie replaced Governor Bligh, taking up duty on 1/1/1810. Under his influence the colony prospered. His vision was for a free community, working in conjunction with the penal colony. He implemented an unrivalled public works program, completing 265 public buildings, establishing new public amenities and improving existing services such as roads. Under his leadership Hawkesbury district thrived. He visited the district on his first tour and recorded in his journal on 6/12/1810: 'After dinner I christened the new townships...I gave the name of Windsor to the town intended to be erected in the district of the Green Hills...the township in the Richmond district I have named Richmond...' the district reminded Macquarie of those towns in England, whilst Castlereagh, Pitt Town and Wilberforce were named after English statesmen. These are often referred to as Macquarie's Five Towns. Their localities, chiefly Windsor and Richmond, became more permanent with streets, town square and public buildings.
Macquarie also appointed local men in positions of authority. In 1810 a group of settlers sent a letter to him congratulating him on his leadership and improvements. It was published in the Sydney Gazette with his reply. He was 'much pleased with the sentiments' of the letter and assured them that the Hawkesbury would 'always be an object of the greatest interest' to him (Nichols, 2010).
In marking out the towns of Windsor and Richmond in 1810, Governor Macquarie was acting on instructions from London. All of the Governors who held office between 1789 and 1822, from Phillip to Brisbane, received the same Letter of Instruction regarding the disposal of the 'waste lands of the Crown' that Britain claimed as her own. This included directives for the formation of towns and thus the extension of British civilisation to its Antipodean outpost (Proudfoot 1987, 7-9). St Matthew's Church was one of these buildings and its site was chosen by Macquarie when he formally established the town in 1810.
Tenders had been called in August 1816, plans had been drawn up, bricks had been made and material supplied. Henry Kitchen, builder, was paid a total of 800 pounds in the next two years for his work. But reports on the building's progress were disturbing, and finally, Macquarie requested Greenway to investigate the situation. To Greenway's mind, his plan was being ruined by poor materials and bad workmanship. He condemned the structure and recommended that it should be removed and the building commenced anew. A specially appointed committee also reached the same conclusion.
Greenway had appointed John Jones of Windsor as his building superintendent for St. Matthew's. Jones allowed for upward of 200,000 bricks to be made on his land and in return received 202ha of land beyond the Blue Mountains, just south of Kelso.
Governor Macquarie's prompt action in ordering the church to be pulled down and a fresh start must have spurred Greenway on to produce a new and grander design (Proudfoot, 1987).
Macquarie's leadership was investigated by an enquiry into the colony's affairs and the Bigg Report concluded that a free and penal society could co-exist but with tighter controls on convict management. Governor Macquarie resigned and retuned to England in 1822. Prior to departing the colony he visited the Hawkesbury with his successor Sir Thomas Brisbane. They inspected Francis Greenway's new St. Matthew's Church as well as other public buildings in Windsor. The Hawkesbury inhabitants presented Macquarie with a public address which commended him on his administration. The residents requested Macquarie sit for a portrait and flattered by the request, he agreed. The painting was completed in England and returned to Windsor and has hung in the Windsor Court House since the 1820s, in the district where he was so highly esteemed (Nichols, 2010).
The Rev. Samuel Marsden, principal Chaplain of the Colony, consecrated the Church on 8 December 1822 and the Hawkesbury settlers attended the service in large numbers.
The porch was added to the southern side of the Church in 1857, temporarily obscuring Macquarie's large commemorative stone which was later discovered and placed on the outer wall of the porch (Proudfoot 1987)
The Stables: The tenders for the 'office-house' attached to the Rectory was advertised on 7th and 14th October 1824 respectively. Built by William Cox, local builder and developer, the stables were completed during 1825 from plans prepared by either Francis Greenway or Standish Harris. From church records it is conclusive that by the 1890, the stables were in a dilapidated state as outlined by complaints by the then rector, D'Arcy Irvine. It appears that repairs were undertaken during the 1890s and involved possibly the changing of the roof from shingles to iron. In 1891 an additional expenditure to paint seven doors and windows and coat the building with 'Lime and Copperas' was incurred.
By 1936 the stables were again in a state of disrepair and there was a recommendation made to demolish them. The church Synod involved the then Professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney, Prof Leslie Wilkinson. It was decided not to demolish the stables, and the only works undertaken was the removal of a partition wall.
Verbal advice has dated as c1950, the removal of an internal brick wall of the coach-house to allow a car to be garaged and confirmed that in the 1970s the timber props were installed in an attempt to prevent further deterioration of the brick wall by Mrs Rawson from a personal legacy.
In 1960 Cherry Jackaman joined Dame Helen Blaxland on the Women's Committee of the National Trust of Australia (NSW). Jackaman chaired this committee from 1964-67 and by 1968 had raised more than $100,000, which was directed to Experiment Farm Cottage, Lindesay and the St. Matthews Anglican Church at Windsor Appeal (McGuiness, 23-24/9/11).
2002/3 Federal Heritage CHPP grant of $99,985 awarded for Stained Glass Window Restoration (Edds & Co., 1999).
In 2016 the Anglican Parish of St. Matthews, Windsor has launched a restoration appeal for proposed works which include a new columbarium wall, restoring the Church tower and Rectory windows. The first stage aims to raise $400,000 (National Trust of Australia (NSW), National Trust NSW News, Spring edition, August-September 2016, 4). Also in 2016 to celebrate 200 years since Governor Macquarie laid its foundation stone, the parish council commissioned a book on the Church, written by Ian Jack and Jan Barkley-Jack. The book was officially launched on 12 November 2016 by Professor The Hon.Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO.