Parramatta

Western suburb built on the land of the Burramattagal people. Sydney's second European settlement, it began as a government farm in 1788 and has many heritage listed sites. It is now the commercial hub of Greater Western Sydney.

Name
Aboriginal
Burramatta
Alternate
Rose Hill
Property
Administered by
Administered by
Part of
Part of
Type

Parramatta

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2008

Named for its traditional owners, the Burramattagal, Parramatta was the site of the second European settlement in Sydney, and an early successful farm. Until the 1850s many governors preferred to live in Parramatta Government House. The railway arrived in 1857 and the town became prosperous, with its own suburbs by the 1870s, business and industrial districts, and large medical and educational institutions.

Parramatta's General Hospital

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

Parramatta's General Hospital for convicts was located on Marsden Street overlooking the Parramatta River from 1789 to 1818. Initially two thatched sheds that were known as the Tent Hospital, these were replaced in 1792 by a Brick Hospital. However, conditions continued to be woefully inadequate and led to the construction of a third hospital for convicts, the Colonial Hospital, on the same site in 1818.

Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

In colonial times, the area known today as Prince Alfred Park contained the colony's gaol and was known as 'the Gaol Green' and 'the Hanging Green.' Regular public punishments occurred there until the 1840s when the gaol moved to a new location and the area became a public reserve. A visit by the Duke of Edinburgh in the 1860s saw the area renamed Alfred Square. The park took on grander elements in the twentieth century, eventually transforming into the vibrant civic space it is today.

The Crescent

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

Governor Phillip established Australia's first inland settlement, Parramatta, on a site called 'The Crescent' an area of flat alluvial ground contained by a bend in the river in the Burramattagal's traditional hunting grounds. The first Government House in Parramatta stood within The Crescent, and later the Governor's Dairy. The area was redeveloped in 2014 to host public events.

Factory Above the Gaol

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

Australia's first female factory at Parramatta (known as the 'Factory Above the Gaol') was Governor King's attempt at finding a solution to the problem of accommodating the colony's abundance of unemployed convict women at the same time as protecting them, and the young colony, against corrupt influences. In its industrial capacity, the factory in excelled in its early years. As a refuge-cum-guardian of public morality, it fell considerably short with severe over-crowding and deteriorating buildings.

The Colonial Hospital

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

At the request of Governor Macquarie, a new convict hospital was built at Parramatta and opened in 1818. Designed by John Watts, the building was based on a military hospital and proved grossly inadequate: only half the expected number of patients could be treated there, men and women were placed side-by-side, and diseases such as dysentery, tuberculosis and syphilis were rife. The hospital officially closed on 31 March 1848, reopening as Parramatta District Hospital in June the same year and bringing the era of convict healthcare to a close.