Hyde Park Obelisk

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Hyde Park Obelisk
Hyde Park Obelisk 1.jpg
Hyde Park Obelisk, as viewed from Bathurst Street.
Alternative names Thornton's Scent Bottle
General information
Status Complete
Type Obelisk, sewer vent
Architectural style Victorian Egyptian
Address Junction of Bathurst and Elizabeth Streets, Sydney, New South Wales
Country Australia
Coordinates 33°52′29″S 151°12′36″E / 33.874682°S 151.209946°E / -33.874682; 151.209946Coordinates: 33°52′29″S 151°12′36″E / 33.874682°S 151.209946°E / -33.874682; 151.209946
Opened 1857
Client Sydney Municipal Council
Owner Sydney Water
Height 22 metres (72 ft)
Technical details
Designations NSW State Heritage Register

The Hyde Park Obelisk is an obelisk in the Victorian Egyptian architectural style located in Hyde Park in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The obelisk sits at the intersection of Elizabeth Street and Bathurst Street. The obelisk was built as a sewer vent.

It was modeled on Cleopatra's Needle on the banks of London's River Thames. The overall structure is 22 metres (72 ft) high, which comprises a square sandstone base 6.5 metres (21 ft) high. The vent at the top is a filigreed bronze pyramidion.[2]

It is also jokingly referred to as Thornton's Scent Bottle.[3]


Unveiled in 1857 by the then Lord Mayor, George Thornton, it served as a sewerage duct vent to allow the escape of noxious gases from the sewer (although it now ventilates the stormwater system, following works to separate Sydney's sewerage and stormwater systems).[4] The Hyde Park Obelisk was the first special sewer ventilation shaft built in Sydney and New South Wales, and is the only example of a sewer ventshaft constructed of sandstone within the Sydney Water system.[4]

On 7 November 2014, the Hyde Park Obelisk was covered with a giant pink condom as a temporary installation to raise awareness about HIV, primarily in Sydney's LGBTIQ community.[5][6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sewer Vent". NSW State Heritage Register. Office of Environment & Heritage, Government of New South Wales. 30 November 2001. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  2. ^ Sydney A to Z - Hyde Park Obelisk, 8 November 2014.
  3. ^ Home Page :: Sydney Media :: City of Sydney, The Sweet Smell Of Success - Hyde Park Obelisk Celebrates 150 Years Archived 24 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine., 19 February 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Heritage detail - Sewer Vent (The Obelisk)". Sydney Water. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  5. ^ The Vine, A giant hot pink condom is currently covering Hyde Park's Obelisk Archived 7 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine., 7 November 2014.
  6. ^ Yahoo!7 News, Giant condom in Sydney goes global, 7 November 2014.

External links[edit]