Sydney, New South Wales
Church Street, Parramatta
|Location||23 km (14 mi) west of Sydney CBD|
|Region||Greater Western Sydney|
Parramatta (//) is a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is located in Greater Western Sydney 23 kilometres (14 mi) west of the Sydney central business district on the banks of the Parramatta River. Parramatta is the administrative seat of the local government area of the City of Parramatta. Part of the suburb is shared with the City of Holroyd LGA.
Parramatta, founded in the same year as Sydney by the British in 1788, is the oldest inland European settlement in Australia, the economic capital of Greater Western Sydney and the sixth largest central business district in Australia. Since 2000, Parramatta has seen the consolidation of its role as a government centre with the relocation of agencies such as the New South Wales Police Force headquarters and Sydney Water, from the Sydney CBD. Simultaneously, major upgrades have occurred around the railway station with the expansion of Westfield Parramatta, the creation of a new transport interchange, and the ongoing development of the Parramatta Square local government precinct. It is colloquially known as Parra.
- 1 History
- 2 Commercial area
- 3 Health services
- 4 Transport
- 5 Places of worship
- 6 Schools
- 7 Parks
- 8 Culture
- 9 Sport
- 10 Population
- 11 Climate
- 12 Sister cities
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The Darug people who lived in the area before European settlement regarded the area as rich in food from the river and forests. They called the area Baramada or Burramatta ('Parramatta') which means "head of waters", "the place where the eels lie down", or "eel waters" To this day many eels and other sea creatures are attracted to nutrients that are concentrated where the saltwater of Port Jackson meets the freshwater of the Parramatta River. The Parramatta Eels Rugby League club chose their symbol as a result of this phenomenon.
Parramatta was founded in 1788, the same year as Sydney. The British Colony, which had arrived in January 1788 in the First Fleet at Sydney Cove, had only enough food to support itself for a short time and the soil around Sydney Cove proved too poor to grow the amount of food that 1,000 convicts, soldiers and administrators needed to survive. During 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip had reconnoitred several places before choosing Parramatta as the most likely place for a successful large farm. Parramatta was the furthest navigable point inland on the Parramatta River (i.e. furthest from the thin, sandy coastal soil) and also the point at which the river became freshwater and therefore useful for farming.
On Sunday 2 November 1788, Governor Phillip took a detachment of marines along with a surveyor and, in boats, made his way upriver to a location that he called The Crescent, a defensible hill curved round a river bend, now in Parramatta Park. As a settlement developed, Governor Phillip gave it the name "Rose Hill" after George Rose, Secretary for the British Treasury. In 1791 he changed the name to Parramatta, approximating the term used by the local Aboriginal people. A neighbouring suburb acquired the name Rose Hill.
In an attempt to deal with the food crisis, Phillip in 1789 granted a convict named James Ruse the land of Experiment Farm at Parramatta on the condition that he develop a viable agriculture. There, Ruse became the first person to successfully grow grain in Australia. The Parramatta area was also the site of the pioneering of the Australian wool industry by John Macarthur's Elizabeth Farm in the 1790s. Philip Gidley King’s account of his visit to Parramatta on 9 April 1790 is one of the earliest descriptions of the area. Walking four miles with Governor Phillip to Prospect he saw undulating grassland interspersed with magnificent trees and a great amount of kangaroos and emus.
Governor Arthur Phillip built a small house for himself on the hill of The Crescent. In 1799 this was replaced by a larger residence which, substantially improved by Governor Lachlan Macquarie from 1815 to 1818, has survived to the present day, and was used as a retreat by Governors until the 1850s, with one Governor (Governor Brisbane) making it his principal home for a short period in the 1820s. The house, Old Government House, is currently a historic site and museum within Parramatta Park and is Australia's oldest surviving public building.
In 1803, a famous incident occurred in Parramatta, involving a convicted criminal named Joseph Samuel, originally from England. Samuel was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging, but the rope broke. In the second attempt, the noose slipped off his neck. In the third attempt, the new rope broke. Governor Phillip was summoned and pardoned Samuel, as the incident appeared to him to be divine intervention.
Parramatta has many buildings on the Register of the National Estate, including:
- Elizabeth Farm, Alice Street
- Experiment Farm Cottage, Hassal Street
- Lancer Barracks, Smith Street
- Former Post Office, Church Street
- Centennial Clock, Church Street
- Lennox Bridge
- St John's Cathedral, Church Street
- St John's Cemetery
- St Patrick's Cathedral and Presbytery, Marist Place
- Parochial School, Elizabeth Street
- Brislington, Marsden Street
- Hambledon Cottage, Hassall Street
- Former King's School Group, O'Connell Street (later Marsden Rehabilitation Centre)
- Roman Catholic Cemetery in North Parramatta
- Parramatta Psychiatric Centre (Cumberland Hospital)
- Parramatta Park – including Old Government House
- All Saints Church Group, including church, grounds and trees, corner Victoria Road and Elizabeth Street.
- Parramatta Gaol was Australia's oldest operating prison until it closed in 2011 Located on O'Connell Street, the Gaol was formally proclaimed on 2 January 1842.
- Woolpack Hotel, George Street, claims to hold Australia's oldest pub licence (dating to 1796).
- Paramatta Public School, a brick building in Victorian Gothic style, was built in 1875. It has a state heritage listing. It was originally known as Arthur Phillip High School.
- Parramatta Town Hall, a two-storey building in Victorian Free Classical style, was built in 1880. It is heritage-listed.
Parramatta is a major business and commercial centre, sometimes called Sydney's "second central business district". Parramatta has many high density commercial and residential developments. It is home to Westfield Parramatta, which is the fifth largest shopping centre in Australia by gross leasable area. Church Street is home to many shops and restaurants. The northern end of Church Street, close to Lennox Bridge, features al fresco dining with a diverse range of cuisines. The southern end of Church Street features many Chinese restaurants and extends past Westfield to 'Auto Alley', named for the prevalence of car dealerships.
Immediately south of the CBD Church Street is known across Sydney as Auto Alley for the many car dealerships lining both sides of the street as far as the M4 Motorway.
Since 2000, Parramatta has seen the consolidation of its role as a government centre, with the relocation of agencies such as the New South Wales Police Force Headquarters and the Sydney Water Corporation from Sydney CBD. At the same time, major construction work occurred around the railway station with the expansion of Westfield Shoppingtown and the creation of a new transport interchange.
Parramatta Justice Precinct
The western part of the Parramatta CBD is known as the Parramatta Justice Precinct and houses the corporate headquarters of the New South Wales Department of Attorney General and Justice. Other legal offices include the Children's Court of New South Wales and the Sydney West Trial Courts, Legal Aid Commission of New South Wales, Office of Trustee and Guardian (formerly the Office of the Protective Commissioner), NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, as well as a branch of the Family Court. Nearby on Marsden Street is the Parramatta Courthouse and the Drug Court of New South Wales. The Garfield Barwick Commonwealth Law Courts Building (named in honor of Sir Garfield Barwick), houses courts of the Federal Magistrates Court and the Family Court of Australia.
Parramatta Square (previously known as Civic Place) is a proposed civic precinct located in the heart of the city, adjacent to Parramatta Town Hall. The proposal includes a redevelopment of the Parramatta Civic Centre, a culture and arts centre and a new plaza. The designs of the first two projects, a 65 storey residential skyscraper and an office building were announced on 20 July 2012.
A hospital known as The Colonial Hospital was established in Parramatta in 1818. This then became Parramatta District Hospital. Jeffery House was built in the 1940s. With the construction of the nearby Westmead Hospital complex public hospital services in Parramatta were reduced but after refurbishment Jeffery House again provides clinical health services.
Nearby, Brislington House has had a long history with health services. It is the oldest colonial building in Parramatta, dating to 1821. It became a doctors residence before being incorporated into the Parramatta Hospital in 1949.
On the northern fringe of Parramatta stands Cumberland Hospital, providing psychiatric health services.
Parramatta is the major transport hub for western Sydney, servicing trains and buses, as well as having a ferry service.
Parramatta railway station is a major transport interchange on the Sydney rail network. It is served by Sydney Trains' Cumberland Line and North Shore, Northern & Western Line. NSW TrainLink operate intercity services on the Blue Mountains Line as well as services to rural New South Wales.
The station was originally opened on 4 July 1860, five years after the first railway line in Sydney was opened in 1855, running from Sydney to Parramatta Junction (now Granville, New South Wales). It was recently upgraded, with work beginning in late 2003 and the new interchange opening on 19 February 2006. The original station still exists within the over-all structure as part of Platform 4.
The Parramatta ferry wharf is at the Charles Street Weir, which divides the tidal saltwater from the freshwater of the upper river, on the eastern boundary of the Central Business District. The wharf is the westernmost destination of the Sydney Ferries River Cat ferry service which runs on Parramatta River.
Parramatta Road has always been an important thoroughfare for Sydney from its earliest days. From Parramatta the major western road for the state is the Great Western Highway The M4 Western Motorway, running parallel to the Great Western Highway has taken much of the traffic away from these roads, with entrance and exit ramps close to Parramatta.
The main north-south route through Parramatta is Church Street. To the north it becomes Windsor Road, and to the south it becomes Woodville Road.
Parramatta is also serviced by a major bus interchange. This includes the North West T-Way to Rouse Hill and the Liverpool-Parramatta T-way to Liverpool. Parramatta is also serviced by five high-frequency metrobus services which include:
- M52 - Parramatta to City via Victoria Road
- M54 - Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Carlingford and Epping
- M60 - Parramatta to Hornsby via Castle Hill
- M91 - Parramatta to Hurstville via Granville, Bankstown and Peakhurst
- M92 - Parramatta to Sutherland via Lidcombe, Bankstown and Padstow
Parramatta is also serviced by Hillsbus (part of Westbus), Sydney Buses, Busways and, Veolia buses which service other suburbs around Parramatta.
A free bus Route 900 is operated by Parramatta City Council in conjunction with the state government. Route 900 circles Parramatta CBD.
Places of worship
Church Street takes its name from St John's Cathedral (Anglican), which was built in 1803 and is the oldest church in Parramatta. While the present building is not the first on the site, the towers were built during the time of Governor Macquarie, and were based on those of the church at Reculver, England, at the suggestion of his wife, Elizabeth. The historic St John's Cemetery is located nearby on O'Connell Street.
St Patrick's Cathedral (Roman Catholic) is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Australia. Construction commenced in 1836, but it wasn't officially complete until 1837. In 1854 a new church was commissioned, although the tower was not completed until 1880, with the spire following in 1883. It was built on the site to meet the needs of a growing congregation. It was destroyed by fire in 1996, with only the stone walls remaining. On 29 November 2003, the new St Patrick's Cathedral was dedicated. The historic St Patricks Cemetery is located in North Parramatta.
The Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of St Ioannis (St John The Frontrunner) Greek Orthodox Church was established in Parramatta in May 1960 under the ecumenical jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia to serve the predominately emigrating Greek population of Greater Western Sydney. Originally the liturgies where held in the hall of St John’s Ambulance Brigade, at the corner of Marion and Harris Sts,Harris Park until the completion of the church in December 1965 located in Hassall Street Parramatta. Fr Nicholas Tsouloukidis served the Parish Community faithfully and devotedly for over 48 years and following his retirement was succeeded by Fr Dimitri Kokkinos on 31 August 2008. The Parish Community of St Ioannis continues to serve over 5,000 Greek parishioners.
A Buddhist temple is located in Cowper Street, Parramatta.
Parramatta's Mosque is hidden away in an apartment building on Marsden Street, Parrmatta.
- Arthur Phillip High School is the oldest public school in the district (it is in buildings which have been continuously used as a school since 1875), established in 1960 in its own right;
- Parramatta High School was the first coeducational school in the Sydney Metropolitan area; established in 1913;
- Macarthur Girls High School Successor to an earlier school Parramatta Commercial and Household Arts School.;
- Macquarie Boys Technology High School
- St Olivers School;
- Parramatta Public School;
- Parramatta East Public School;
- Parramatta North Public School;
- Parramatta West Public School.
- St Patrick's Primary Parramatta;
- Our Lady of Mercy College (OLMC); One of the oldest Catholic schools in Australia
- Marist Brothers Parramatta, which is the oldest Catholic School in Australia began on the St Patrick Cathedral site before moving to Westmead;
- Our Lady of Lebanon (Maronite school);
- The King's School, Parramatta
- Redeemer Baptist School – situated on a heritage-listed area – former site of Burnside Orphanage;
- Tara Anglican School for Girls sister school to King's.
- The University of Western Sydney's Parramatta campus occupies the site of the historic Female Orphan School;
- Alphacrucis College is a national vocational and higher education college, located at 30 Cowper Street, Parramatta.
Parramatta Park is a large park adjacent to Parramatta Stadium. It was formerly the Governor's Domain, land set aside for the Governor to supply his farming needs. As the Governor's Domain, the grounds were much larger than the modern day Parramatta Park, extending from Parramatta Road to the south, evident by a small gatehouse adjacent to Parramatta High School.
Over time parts of the domain were re-allocated to make way for Parramatta High School, a golf course, the Western (railway) line, Parramatta RSL and Bowling Club, Parramatta Swimming Centre, and Parramatta Stadium.
The park contains Old Government House and thus Parramatta was once the capital of the colony of New South Wales until Governors returned to residing in Sydney in 1846. (Sydney also has a Governor's Domain adjacent to Government House). Another feature is the natural amphitheatre located on one of the bends of the river, named by Governor Philip as "the Crescent", which is used to stage concerts. Over 120 bird species have been recorded there. It is home to the Dairy Cottage, built from 1798 to 1805, originally a single-room cottage and is one of the earliest surviving cottages in Australia. It was built for ex-convict George Salter. Between 1814 and 1816 it was converted to a dairy. The Tudor Gatehouse, on O'Connell Street, was erected by the Park Trust in 1885 and designed by Gordon McKinnon. It was restored in 1980. The remains of Governor Brisbane's private astronomical observatory, constructed in 1822, are visible. Astronomers who worked at the observatory, discovering thousands of new stars and deep sky objects, include James Dunlop and Carl Rümker. In 1822, the architect S. L. Harris designed the Bath House for Governor Brisbane and built it in 1823. Water was pumped to the building through lead pipes from the river. In 1886, it was converted into a pavilion.
Lake Parramatta is a 10-hectare reserve, based around a former reservoir. The catchment area for the lake is bounded by North Rocks Road, Pennant Hills Road and Hunts Creek. The entrance is from Lackey Street, North Parramatta. Parramatta River runs through the suburb in an easterly direction.
Lake Parramatta served as a recreational spot for locals who enjoyed swimming. It has however been closed to swimmers for decades due to pollution.
- Riverbeats is an annual celebration of Parramatta River. The event includes the beautiful Loy Krathong (Thai Water Festival).
- Each October, the city hosts Parramasala; which is a festival celebrating Parramatta's multiculturalism, in particular, South East Asian culture.
- Riverside Theatre is located on the northern bank of Parramatta River.
- The Parramatta Advertiser and the Parramatta Sun are the local newspapers serving Parramatta and surrounding suburbs.
- Parramatta Park is a popular venue for walking, jogging and bike riding.
- The Parramatta Swimming Centre is a busy place in the warmer months. It is currently undergoing a $7 million redevelopment program and has opened after the redevelopment
- Rosehill Gardens Racecourse hosts some of the most important events on the Australian horse racing calendar, including the prestigious Golden Slipper.
- Parramatta City Raceway hosts national and international sprintcar championships
- Parramatta Stadium is home to the Parramatta Eels, a rugby league football club whose teams play in the National Rugby League premiership and the League's National Youth Competition. The Western Sydney Wanderers FC also play there.
- Bloc Climbing Centre is Sydney's only dedicated indoor bouldering climbing gym.
According to the 2011 census conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Parramatta had a population of 19,745 with the average age 30, compared to a national average of 37. Place of birth of 57.6% of residents was overseas, including 14.1% from India and 12.8% from China. Apart from English, the most common languages spoken were Mandarin (11%), Cantonese (6.5%), Arabic (5.5%), Hindi (5.1%) and Gujarati (3.2%). The religious affiliation responses were Catholic (21.3%), no religion (18.3%), Hinduism (13.3%), Anglican (7.4%) and Islam (6.8%).
The majority of dwellings in Parramatta were apartments (72%), compared to a national average of 14%, and 58% of all dwellings were rented compared to a national average of 27%. The average rent in Parramatta was $230 per week, slightly higher than the national average of $190, but then the average weekly wage of $482 was also slightly higher than average ($466).
- Richie Benaud (b. 1930), cricketer and commentator
- Allan Cunningham (1791–1839), explorer and botanist
- Harry Hopman (1906–1985), tennis player
- David Lennox (1788–1873), colonial bridge builder
- John Lewin (1770–1819), first professional artist in New South Wales
- Rev. Samuel Marsden (1765–1838), known as the "flogging parson"
- Mary Cover Hassall (1799–1825), Methodist missionary to Tonga Island
- Dowell Philip O'Reilly (1865–1923), poet and politician
Parramatta has a warm temperate climate shifting from mild and cool in winter to warm and hot in the summer months. Summer weather may come from north-east (hot and humid) or the north west (hot and dry). The latter usually brings hot winds from the desert that raise temperatures up to 40°C (over 100°F). Parramatta is slightly warmer than Sydney CBD, but in extreme cases it can be 5–10 °C(9–18 °F) warmer than Sydney. Rainfall is fairly evenly divided between summer and winter, but is slightly higher during the first three months of the year, when easterly winds dominate. The second half of the year tends to be drier (late winter/spring), that is when westerly winds dominate, which bring dry conditions.
|Climate data for Parramatta|
|Record high °C (°F)||45.5
|Average high °C (°F)||28.4
|Average low °C (°F)||17.5
|Record low °C (°F)||10.1
|Precipitation mm (inches)||102.3
|Avg. precipitation days||12.0||12.1||12.5||9.2||9.9||10.5||8.2||7.9||8.0||10.3||11.6||10.3||122.5|
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Parramatta (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 October 2008. Map
- "Suburb Search - Local Council Boundaries - Sydney Outer (SO) - Parramatta City Council". New South Wales Department of Local Government. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- "Parramatta (suburb)". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- "Suburb Search - Local Council Boundaries - Sydney Outer (SO) - Holroyd City Council". New South Wales Department of Local Government. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- "Parramatta". New South Wales Electoral Commission. 24 March 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- "Baulkham Hills". New South Wales Electoral Commission. 24 March 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- "Granville". New South Wales Electoral Commission. 24 March 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- "Reid". Australian Electoral Commission. 19 October 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- "Parramatta". Australian Electoral Commission. 19 October 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- Parramatta (New South Wales, Australia) - Encyclopedia Britannica
- "Parramatta". Land and Property Management Authority - Spatial Information eXchange. New South Wales Land and Property Information. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- "Visitor Strategy for Parramatta 2011–2016". City of Parramatta.
- Media Release
- Troy, Jakelin. "The Sydney Language". Macquarie Aboriginal Words. Sydney: Macquarie Library. p. 76.
- "Man of Honour - John Macarthur", Michael Duffy, Macmillan 2003, p. 81 ff
- "The romance of Australian place names.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) (1933 - 1982: National Library of Australia). 27 May 1964. p. 59. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- Flynn 1997, p 28
- The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollen, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8
- Discover Parramatta St Johns Cemetery
- Discover Parramatta Hambledon Cottage
- The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, pp.2/49-57
- "Prisons to close" (PDF) (Press release). Corrective Services NSW. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- Woolpack Hotel
- "Parramatta Archaeological Management Unit 2887". NSW Environment & Heritage. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- "Pictures". Macarthur House. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- State Heritage Register
- "Westfield Parramatta". Property Portfolio. Westfield Group. 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- Auto Alley at Discover Parramatta
- "Parramatta's urban renewal relaunched". Parramatta Sun. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- Jeffery House
- Brislington House
- CityRail. "Station Facilities - Parramatta". Retrieved 30 January 2008.
- Bozier, Rolfe. "New South Wales Railways:Parramatta Railway Station". Retrieved 30 January 2008.
- CityRail (14 February 2006). "Parramatta Transport Interchange - opening 19 February". Archived from the original on 20 December 2007. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
- Sydney Ferries (2007). "Sydney Ferries - Network Map". Retrieved 30 January 2008.
- Parramatta bus routes
- Route 900
- www.heritage.nsw.gov.au St John's Anglican Cathedral (Retrieved 15 July 2010). See also Reculver.
- St Johns Cemetery at Discover Parramatta
- St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish Parramatta History (Retrieved 11 January 2008).
- "Worship". Parramatta Mission. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- "Parramatta Synagogue" (in Japanese). Parramatta Synagogue. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Parish and Community of St Ioannis (St John The Frontrunner) Greek Orthodox Church - http://www.stioannis.org/
- Nan Tien Vihara
- Parramatta Mosque
- Shri Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir
- Murugan Temple
- Macarthur Girls High
- Parramatta Public School
- Parramatta East Public School
- Parramatta North Public School
- Parramatta West Public School
- Our Lady of Lebanon
- "Parramatta". Sydney.com. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Timeline Old Government House
- Parramatta Park Trust Website
- Riverbeats (Retrieved 10 January 2008).
- Parramatta City Council. (2006). Swimming Pools (Retrieved 11 January 2008).
- Parramatta City Council. (2008). Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway (Retrieved 11 January 2008).
- Bloc Climbing Centre. (2012). "About Bloc Climbing Centre" (Retrieved 10 August 2012).
- "Climate statistics: PARRAMATTA NORTH (MASONS DRIVE)". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Parramatta.|
Media related to Parramatta, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Parramatta.|