Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Circular Quay

Quay built between 1837 and 1855 and originally known as Semi-circular Quay, because of the shape of the stoneworks built with convict labour to stabilise the new shoreline reclaimed from mudflats.

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Semi-Circular Quay
Commemorated by

East Circular Quay

CC BY-SA 2.0

The area that is now East Circular Quay was quickly seen as the governor's side of Sydney Cove after colonisation in 1788. The first house built on the point belonged to Bennelong. When the semi-circular quay was constructed from 1837, the eastern side of the bay was used as a quarry. From the 1860s, wool stores and warehouses were built that dominated the landscape until after World War II, when taller buildings were allowed.