Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Observatory Hill

Hill at the top of The Rocks, west of Sydney Cove, which is the highest point overlooking Port Jackson. With commanding views both east and west, it was the site of one of Sydney's first windmills from 1796 before being replaced with a fort in 1803. By 1849 an observatory had also been constructed which can still be visited.

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Flagstaff Hill
Windmill Hill
Commemorated by

Sydney Observatory building

CC BY-SA 2.0

William Dawes established the first observatory in Sydney at the western point of Sydney Cove in 1788, not far from the eventual site of Sydney Observatory on the hill above. Built in 1856, the Observatory remained an important contributor to astronomy, as well as shipping and meteorology, until 1982.