The site comprises the land to the north to the Park Hyatt Hotel, to the harbour sea wall to the east, and to the south east covering the site of the original Campbell Stores building - see the site plan to this listing. The new Metcalfe Stores, on the site of the Campbell gardens, is a related site.
Campbell's Stores comprise eleven gable fronted, three storey high rectangular plan bays. The bays are oriented almost due east west and, when constructed, were built partially on reclaimed land and were only about 20 metres from the wharf edge. The building as a whole is oriented almost due north-south. The northern-most bay (Bay 11) is of different materials and construction to the other ten bays and was the last built being completed about 1890s. It abuts the homogenous series of ten bays which are immediately to the south. Bays 1-10 are almost identical measuring 8.1 metres wide and 15.8 metres long. Bays 1-10 have a continuous front (east facade) and rear (west facade) with openings in both. The ground floor in all bays is presently a concrete slab while Level 2 and Level 3 floors are timber boards on timber joists. The simple roofs are slate sheathed with lead capping and copper-lined trough gutters. Bays 1-10 are sandstone constructions both internally and externally to the top of Level 2, with brick above, including the gable ends.
The first five bays to be constructed were built in 1851/52 and are the present Bays 6-10. A further three bays, which are the present Bays 3-5 were completed around 1858 and the final three bays were finished by 1860. Of these last three bays, the southern-most and the final one to be completed was demolished in 1958 to make way for the first overseas shipping terminal at Circular Quay. This left two bays, now known as Bays 1 and 2, and the remaining eight to form the group known as the Campbell's Stores. The building was stepped up towards the south with a rise of about 0.3 metres between Bays 1 and 2 and Bays 4 and 5, the change in level being most evident by the string course at gable level and the second level sill course. When originally completed the building was only two storeys high.
(Godden Mackay 1996: 52)
Note: This building contains a hydraulic hoist and single cylinder gas engine which are important items located within the building.
Style: Maritime Georgian; Storeys: 3; Facade: Sandstone (Bays 1-10) to the top of Level 2, with brick above, including the gable ends. Bay 11 is brick.; Side Rear Walls: Sandstone; Internal Walls: Sandstone; Roof Cladding: The roofs are slate sheathed with lead capping and copper-lined trough gutters; Floor Frame: The ground floor in all bays is a concrete slab while Level 2 & 3 floors are timber boards on timber joists; Roof Frame: Timber
Sometime between 1882 and 1887, the third level was added to the stores. Unlike the lower two levels, this addition was in dry pressed, well consolidated brick, laid in English bond. The stone gable end was completely removed and replaced with brick. In c1895 or 1915 an additional bay was built on the northern end. In 1958, the southern bay was demolished for the construction of the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Since then, Campbell Stores have undergone at least two adaptations. The first was sometime before 1970 and little is known of it. The newly established SCRA oversaw the most fundamental change in usage of Campbell's Stores from commercial to tourist uses, and the greatest change in fabric since the addition of the third level in 1883. The restoration, commenced in 1974/75 and completed 1978/79 was one of the first major restoration projects in Sydney, and included replacement of damaged sandstone and construction of a service tunnel along the full length of the western side of the building. In general, the work done in the 1970s has remained unchanged until today. (Godden Mackay 1996:, SCRA Annual Reports 1975-79:) Some remedial work has been undertaken to stonework in poor repair since 1996. (P Wyborn)
Externally, the building is in fair condition: there are cracks in the walls and sandstone pointing is required (P. Wyborn 1999). Internally, some sections of sandstone walling on the lowest level are in a highly deteriorated condition. Also, much alteration which has caused damage to or obscured significant fabric and fitout work has been undertaken (Godden Mackay 1996: 146-148)
The Campbell's Stores site has potential archaeological, scientific and research significance relevant to earlier uses and the development of the site. (Ibid: 89)
Timber gantries have been removed and are in storage at 190 Cumberland Street. Preventative maintenance has been undertaken to the remaining timbers. (P. Wyborn 1999)
Archaeology Assessment Condition: Partly disturbed. Assessment Basis: Terraced into hill slope from Campbells Cove. Investigation: Archaeological Assessment
The Aboriginal name for Campbell's Cove is Melliyahwool and for Dawes Point is Tar-ra (Sydney City Council, 2019).
Robert Campbell was born in Scotland, and went to India in 1798 to join his elder brother in the Calcutta business partnership of Campbell and Co. The firm had sent a speculative cargo to Sydney Cove in 1796. Robert Campbell followed in 1798, with another cargo. He bought land at Dawes Point overlooking Sydney Cove from John Baughan and commenced trading gradually building up a reputation as a shrewd but honest merchant.
In September 1801, he married Sophia Palmer, sister of John Palmer, who became Commissary of New South Wales. By November, 1801, some of Campbell's Storehouses were complete, as was a stone wall and small wharf at right angles to the main warehouse. It was claimed to be the first privately owned wharf in Australia. In 1802, Campbell and Sophia moved into Wharf House which was then incomplete. Beneath their house, vaults to store goods were excavated in the sandstone rock face. John Lewin's watercolour of 1808 showed the jetty completed out from the vaults, a two-storey storehouse and an access road to Wharf House running behind this jetty.
Governor Lachlan Macquarie was anxious to grant land to settlers who were building large and substantial improvements on their Sydney leases. Hence on 29 June, 1814, Robert Campbell was granted 3 acres, 3 roods, bounded on the south by the premises occupied by the Naval Officer, on the southwest by a road leading to Dawes Point Battery, and on the east by Sydney Cove, 'in consequence of his having erected thereon several large and expensive Buildings'. A right to make streets was reserved to the Crown.
In May 1807, Campbell had been appointed Naval Officer and a magistrate. As a result of his sympathy for Governor Bligh, he was marked for persecution by the rebel administration after Bligh was deposed. Campbell was later restored to full control of his business by the arrival of Governor Macquarie in 1810, but he was forced to leave it in the hands of Charles Hook, when he went back to Britain to give evidence at the trials following the rebellion. He returned on 18 March 1815 to find his business bankrupt and many of his ships wrecked. He sought compensation from the government. Campbell operated as a commission agent until he was able to operate as merchant again.
On 4 January, 1822 Campbell formally received compensation from the government for the loss of his ships while he was in England from 1812-15. He built warehouses along the edge of the water, they were all complete by 1825 and they are shown in Stewart's 1825 copy of Harper's map of 1823. These are not the subject Campbell's Stores.
Robert Campbell, senior, signed a partnership agreement with his sons who were gradually coming into the management of the firm in 1828. By about 1830 his son, John Campbell, had virtually taken over the business.
Equipment for the wharf was also acquired. The Magistrates Returns of Manufactories, Mill etc, in 1831 showed Robert Campbell senior, of Campbell's Wharf, has one hydraulic pump at wharf. By 1838, R Campbell & Co was listed as possessing one crane.
John Campbell officially took over as head of the firm in 1836, when it was in financial difficulty. On 6 May 1836, Campbell's Wharf was advertised for sale in the press. It was followed by an injunction to prevent the sale of Campbell's Wharf shortly afterwards. Whatever further action was necessary seems to have been successful, since the wharf remained in the hands of the Campbell family.
Although control of the firm was largely in the hands of Campbell's sons, the title to the land on which the wharf was situated was in Robert's name, and so he continued to be involved in matters regarding the land. On 21 January 1841 Robert Campbell formally applied to the Colonial Secretary for permission to enlarge part of his wharf so that ships could unload at low tide, by using a large rock which could not be removed by dredging as the foundation for the enlargement of the wharf. The Colonial Engineer, George Barney, minuted that he could find no objection to the enlargement of the wharf. Over the years, the area of Campbell's Wharf increased as more land was reclaimed.
On 29 June 1843, Robert Campbell senior esquire, of George Street, Sydney, mortgaged the wharf to The Australian Trust Company for (Pounds)10,000 for three years with interest. The area was specified as being 3 acres 3 roods as in the 1814 grant. The need to mortgage the wharf indicated two alternative strategies being applied by the family to their interest. One was that they were mobilising all their available assets for improvements to their property and business to create a better liquidity. Alternatively, the dating of the mortgage, in the wake of one of the most devastating financial depressions in early Australia, may indicate an attempt to salvage their business using their land as a source of working capital. Whatever the reason for the initial mortgage, it was renewed again and again in following decades, so that the Campbell family did not hold complete equity in the wharf again. There eventually appears to have been some dispute between the Campbells and later mortgagees who took over the loan in later years. Only in 1877, after taking the matter to the Supreme Court, were the Campbells to regain possession of Campbell's Wharf again.
Robert Campbell senior was not to know anything of these travails regarding the wharf. On 11 October 1845, he drew up his will leaving his property in six parts to be divided amongst his sons John, Robert, Charles, George, and daughter Sophia Ives Campbell and Arthur Jeffreys, the husband of his daughter, Sarah. On 15 April 1846, Robert Campbell senior died at Duntroon.
The first rate assessment of the City of Sydney taken in 1845 showed the following structures on Campbell's Wharf: a house, stores, warehouse and wharf valued at (Pounds)1,000. At the 'north end of Campbell & Co wharf' were three stores plus an office and store, all of three storeys, with slate roofs, valued at (Pounds)150 each, two of which were vacant and two occupied by Smith and Campbell. Additionally, there was a cottage for the overseer George Atherden, and an empty timber woolshed. The stores identified here appear to be the older stone stores on the waterfront built in the 1820s and not the subject stores which were constructed in the early 1850s.
Between 25 August 1851 and 27 September 1852, the Sydney City Council Rate Assessment Book shows that on Campbell's Wharf, J Campbell had added five stores which were built of stone, with slate roofs, all provisionally assessed at a net value per annum of (Pounds)30. These are the first five bays of Campbell's Stores.
The 1858 Rate Assessment Book shows that the three-storey stone warehouses on the water's edge from the 1820s were still extant. Amongst the array of other wharf buildings were five warehouses of stone with slate roofs, built as two storeys with two rooms in them. Three operate as warehouses while two are conducted as a combined warehouse and office, with four rooms. Soon afterwards, construction of additional warehouse bays commenced. A photograph from the MF Moresby Album dated between 1856 and 1860 showed ten bays with the base of the eleventh bay under construction and awaiting its roof, as well as what appear to be construction materials in front of it. The construction of the additional bays is confirmed by the 1861 Rate Assessment Book which shows that a further six bays had been added to the five bays of the warehouse which were extant in 1858, making eleven bays in all. All bays are of two storeys with two rooms in each. This work is further confirmed by the 1865 Trig Survey of Sydney, completed by the City Council as the prelude to constructing sewers.
As construction work on the stores was being completed, Robert Campbell junior died at Duntroon, on 30 March 1859 leaving his elder brother John in charge of the firm.
A wide range of tenants took up warehouse space at Campbell's Wharf, some of them in Campbell's Stores. In 1858-59, Sands Directory lists the following at Campbell's Wharf: Campbell & Co; Sugar Company's stores; JC Dibbs & Co, commission agents and wharfingers; Robert Nash, storekeeper; WH Eldred, Capt, Chili Flour Co; Chilian Consulate - Consul, WH Eldred. In 1861, it shows: Campbell & Co; Colonial Sugar Refining Co, stores; Peruvian guano stores; George Lloyd & Co stores; Robey & Co's stores; George Lewis custom house officer; and WH Eldred, broker & general agent. In 1863, it shows: 4. Merry Willis and Co, merchants; 3. Henry Fisher & Son, sugar factors; 2. Brown & Co, merchants; 1. EM Sayers & Co, merchants; Robert Nash; WH Eldred, merchant; 4. Joseph Kendall, marine surveyor; JA Buttrey & Co, merchants; 5 and 6, Daniel Thacker & Co, merchants; 22 Campbell's stores; and John Campbell, merchant. Commercial tenants continued to occupy the stores. A photograph of 1870 showed the eleven bays of the completed warehouse. As late as 1875, the cemetery which had been established on part of Campbell's land in the 1790s before he took possession of the site was still visible at the rear of the store, where a tombstone of a marine, John Jones, who died in 1792 could be made out.
A description of Campbell's Wharf in November 1875 stated that it had a landing area of 100 feet which was backed by 22 very strong stone stores which, along with two sheds on the wharf, could hold 22,000 tons. An accompanying engraving based upon some of the extant photographs showed eleven bays of the stores which are two storeys high.
Negotiations for the purchase of Campbell's Wharf by the Australasian Steam Navigation Company appear to have been well advanced by early 1876. The company's old wharf at Sussex Street had become too small for its expanding trade and it needed a newer more central one. On 18 February 1876, the company applied to the Minister of Lands to extend Campbell's Wharf, which they had recently purchased, by running out jetties on piles into the harbour. An accompanying diagram showed that they had already reached the specified limit for reclamation from the harbour. Their application was approved on 1 May 1876. A plan was drawn by Surveyor Wansborough of reclaimed land claimed for purchase by Australasian Steam Navigation Company on 19 October 1877.
In May 1876, the Australasian Steam Navigation Company was stated by the company secretary to have bought Campbell's Wharf for (Pounds)100,000. Before the sale could be finalised there were some impediments in the title which the Campbells had to eliminate, most notably the outstanding mortgage from June 1843 now held by the Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Company of Sydney.
John Campbell applied for the purchase of reclaimed land in front of Campbell's Wharf, measuring 2 roods 5 perches on 6 January 1877. The plan by JF Mann dated 4 January 1877 which accompanied the application showed the water frontage and some buildings but not Campbell's Stores. The plan showed the original High Water Mark as being in front of the stores. Since no limit had been laid down for the High Water Mark in this area, the application was accepted.
A detailed press report of November 1877 outlined the changes made by the ASN company to Campbell's Wharf. It built a new wharf, under the superintendence of Thomas Macredie. A wharf 320 feet long was under construction with two jetties 250 and 350 feet long. A new road 50 feet wide was planned to join George Street running in front of the Mariner's Church. For construction of the wharfs, turpentine was used for all timber exposed to seawater, while ironbark and other hardwoods were used for the braces, beams and planking. A seawall was built from stone quarried from the company's old works at Pyrmont, as was stone for its new offices. An accompanying illustration showed Campbell's Store with eleven bays and two storeys. A proposal of 1878 to extend George Street North through the land of the Australasian Steam Navigation Company appears to have been linked with the development by the company. Between 1877 and 1878, the tenancy of the stores changed. In 1877, they were called 'Campbell's Bonded Stores'. In 1878, the Sands Directory showed the Australasian Steam Navigation Company's wharf here. On the site was 'The Metcalfe Bond and Free Stores' with D Murray as the warehouse keeper. The stores retained the name 'Metcalfe Stores' thereafter.
John Campbell was permitted to receive a Grant by Purchase of Reclaimed Land under the Crown Lands Act of 1 acre 1 rood and 22 perches of land reclaimed from Sydney Cove in front of Campbell's Wharf for (Pounds)100, and the grant was issued on 17 December 1878. On 4 July 1879, he formally transferred title to the reclaimed land to the Australasian Steam Navigation Company. In October 1879, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company leased the southern part of the wharf at (Pounds)1,750 per annum. On 15 February 1881, a further lease of part of the wharf to the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company was signed.
Parts of the land that had formed Campbell's property were hived off. In January 1880, a strip of land was sold to the City Council for (Pounds)4,000 to widen George Street North. Land facing George Street was put in the hands of various auctioneers for sale. Richardson and Wrench offered 19 lots between Horse Ferry Road and George Street for sale on 15 October 1880. To the east were shown 'Metcalfe Bonded and Free Stores' on the sale plan. The company secretary reported that in May 1881, the Australasian Steam Navigation Company had sold 'Campbell's Garden' for (Pounds)25,000.
The company let the former Campbell's Stores, now known as the Metcalfe Stores, to a variety of tenants. In 1882, J Upward appeared in the Sands Directories as the proprietor of the 'Metcalfe Bonded Stores'. A photograph of 'Metcalfe Bonded and Free Stores' dating from the early 1880s shows J Upward as the proprietor while the building still had two storeys. When a survey of the area was completed by Charles Bullock for the Surveyor-General in December 1882, his plan showed the buildings as 'Bonded and Free Stores' with the Branch Store of the Government Printing Office at the northern end.
In September 1884, the Australasian Steam Navigation Company accepted a contract for (Pounds)30,000 for the building of new offices and four stores on the site of Campbell's old house. The stores known as Campbell's Stores were not demolished, probably since they were still relatively modern in layout and design being then only a little over thirty years old. Probably to enable them to finance the work, the company took out a mortgage on 31 March 1885 to the Australian Mutual Provident Society of their land.
Rather than demolish Campbell's Stores, the company enlarged them. HP Dove's plans drawn for insurance companies about 1882 showed the Metcalfe Bond as a two-storey masonry building, with eleven bays, with each divided into two floors, bond or free. When the revisions to these plans were published in 1887, his plans showed the Metcalfe Bond as now being of three floors. It was still of eleven bays, but an extra level to each bay ensured there were three rooms. Interconnecting doors were shown within each group of three bays.
These works were completed before major changes in the ownership of the wharf. By 1886, the Australasian Steam Navigation Company had become over-extended due to its efforts to match the competition and prices of its rival shipping firms. A major tactical blunder had been the purchase of Campbell's Wharf and the subsequent cost of rebuilding the wharf. While it allowed the company to make some welcome profits from the capital values of the land, especially from the sale of the strip of land facing George Street, the relocation of the company away from its original base in Darling Harbour took it away from the hub of the coastal shipping trade. Additionally, it had to pay a higher cartage charge on its goods from Circular Quay. Matters became ever more difficult for the company so that it made an overture to the Queensland Steam Navigation Company on 30 October, 1886, which resulted in the amalgamation of the two companies to form the Australasian United Steam Ship Co Ltd. It took over all assets of the ASN Company except the engineering works. The company already had adequate wharfage and found Campbell's Wharf redundant. On 21 May, 1887, the Australasian Steam Navigation Company, then in liquidation, offered Campbell's Wharf to the government for (Pounds)300,000. It had sold all of its steam ships. Most of the wharf was described as leased. The description of the wharf included amongst its listing 'Eleven 3-story [sic] stores built of brick on stone', which were known as the Metcalfe Bond and were let to J Upward at (Pounds)1,650 with a lease running until July 1890. The government responded on 26 July 1887 that it was only willing to offer (Pounds)275,000 for the ASN wharf, an offer which was later accepted by the shareholders of the company.
On 27 September 1887, the Government Surveyor, SE Perdriau surveyed the land and found that it comprised 3 acres 10 perches, of which 1 acre 2 roods and 28 perches were part of the 1814 grant and 1 acre 1 rood 22 perches were included in the 1878 grant of reclaimed land. A plan which was filed with the papers for the sale to the government and probably prepared by Perdriau showed all the buildings on the site. The formal conveyance of the wharf from the Australasian Steam Navigation Company to The Crown occurred on 28 October 1887, for (Pounds)275,000. The plan accompanying the deed showed that part of Campbell's 1814 grant, along Lower George Street, had been sold to JW Cliffe and W Clarke. It also showed all buildings on the site. The Metcalfe Stores was shown as partially built on the reclaimed land and not wholly on the 1814 grant.
The government demolished most of the buildings to build a Navigation Board slipway, leaving only the Metcalfe Bond stores. It ejected the P & O Company from its lease and leased the land to Blackwall and Company who demolished the P & O buildings and built new ones, which were occupied in 1888 by Flood and Company.
The 1889 Detail Survey showed an outline of the Metcalfe Bond stores. The 1895 version of the survey showed the outline of the stores shown with Branch Office, Government Printing Office at the northern end. Re-decking of the old ASN wharf was undertaken by the Public Works Department in 1890 at a cost of (Pounds)454/1/3. Upward & Co, of Circular Quay, continued to lease the Metcalfe Stores, at least until 1901.
In 1901, the Sydney Harbour Trust took over the Stores. The 1901 Darling Harbour Resumption Plan shows the Metcalfe Stores as Bond and Free Stores with a branch of the Government Printing Office at the northern end. The survey appears to be based upon the 1895 Detail Survey. The same year, the Sydney Harbour Trust came to an agreement with Norddeutscher Lloyd to build it a new wharf measuring 1,000 feet and 40 feet wide, with offices and other buildings which the company would lease for three years at (Pounds)2,500 per annum. Associated with this work was the reconstruction of the twin piers into a substantial central jetty, with full length sheds. Also in 1901, the Sydney Harbour Trust compiled a Register of Assets, which described for the former Campbell's Wharf, '2 large store stone and brick, slate roof each 3 floors. NOTE The Southern Store has 11 divisions built of stone & brick. The Northern Store has 4 divisions built of Stone'. A memo regarding the Northern Store stated ''To be demolished'. The tenant of the Southern Store was given as 'Upward & Coy' at (Pounds)500 pa payable monthly. The Sydney Harbour Trust maintained the Metcalfe Stores and did not demolish it in the wholesale removal of buildings which accompanied the building of the Norddeutscher Lloyd wharf. In 1902, it undertook repairs costing (Pounds)7/15/- to Metcalfe's Bond Store. Small repairs were shown in later reports.
During the twentieth century, a series of other modifications have been made. In 1932, a fire broke out in the northern addition to the Metcalfe Bond stores which housed part of the Government Printing Office and the offices of Metcalfe and Upward. Metcalfe and Upward moved after the fire to the second floor in the centre of the stores. The brick section damaged by the fire was later rebuilt. In 1958, the southernmost bay of the Metcalfe Stores was removed to allow construction of the Overseas Passenger Terminal, leaving ten bays.
The move of commercial maritime activities out of Sydney Cove and into Darling Harbour and Pyrmont affected Campbell's Stores in the twentieth century. During the late nineteenth century, Circular Quay developed as a terminus for sightseers and day-trippers. The mix of commercial and recreational activities was causing Sydney Cove to become heavily congested, particularly at weekends. One of the first acts of the Harbour Trust after it gained control of the area in 1901 was an attempt to relieve congestion by the resumption of foreshore land and constructing two jetties and a longshore wharf on the eastern side of Bennelong Point. The eastern side of the quay was devoted to recreational traffic by the 1930s and was completely remodelled for that purpose in the 1950s, commercial activity continued in the vicinity of Campbell's Wharf into the late 1950s and early 1960s. Yet the importance of that area for commercial shipping had declined and this was reflected in changing use patterns of Campbell's Stores. After the erection of the Overseas Passenger Terminal in the 1960s, the area was no longer used as a commercial shipping area, as all such activity had moved to Darling Harbour and Pyrmont. Campbell's Stores subsequently came into the control of the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority (later Sydney Cove Authority) after being handed over by the Maritime Services Board (successor to the Sydney Harbour Trust) in the 1970s. The Sydney Cove Authority later redeveloped the stores and paved the way for the Store's current use as a restaurant area. In the mid-1980s, substantial works were undertaken in the vicinity of Campbell's Stores as part of the Bicentenary celebrations that included the removal of some of the wharfage near Campbell's Stores. In 1998, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority assumed control of the area including the Campbell's Stores. (Adapted from Godden Mackay Logan, 2004)