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Self Guided Illustrated Historical Walks

Each book in this series is a self guided historical walk through Annandale. Each walk explores the people and construction of Annandale. Each book covers two decades of Annandales History a hundred years apart. The first book in the series, 1890s Annandale: A Short Walk, covers the 1790s and 1890s.

1890s Annandale A Short Walk second edition Marghanita da Cruz with line drawing of Church with steeple Federation Annandale A Short Walk Marghanita da Cruz Annandale's Great War: A Short Walk Second Edition by Marghanita da Cruz with Annandale Viaduct and Soldiers 1920s Annandale A Short Walk  Marghanita da Cruz with line drawing of 1920s Flats 1930s Annandale: A Short Walk by Marghanita da Cruz with line drawing of an Art Deco Pub 1940s Annandale A Short Walk  Marghanita da Cruz with photograph of street with aircraft being towed. 50s Annandale A Short Walk,  Marghanita da Cruz

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A Brief History

Marghanita da Cruz

In 1805,the Governor’s Road Committee listed 10 bridges on the Parramatta Road, "as this road was a vital food supply route", from Johnston's Creek (Annandale), to A'Beckett’s Creek (Parramatta), to the following specification
"16 feet wide with Four Sleepers of at least a foot and a half in diameter, either of ironbark or blue gum, bedded on timber of the like dimensions, to be covered with three inch planks, 16 feet long and properly secured by treenails of 1 1⁄2 inch diameter (DMR 1976)." -Timber Beam Bridges Study of Relative Heritage Significance of RTA Controlled Timber Beam Road Bridges in NSW 2000 (1.1MB PDF viewed 20 Feb 2012)

Origin of the name Camperdown

In 1797, Bligh captained the HMS Director in the Battle of Camperdown against the Dutch...

etching of a mans head and shoulders
Captain William Bligh (State Records NSW, Reel 2786)

1835 Map

July 1835 Map show Bligh's grant, Johnston's Creek and "new turnpike" on Grosse Farm (Glebe) Parramatta Road upto George Street.
Digital Order No. a928466
Call No. M2 811.182/1835/2
Online at the State Library of NSW at;

Camperdown Land Grant

Camperdown, from the Eastern bank of Johnston's Creek to Parramatta Road was granted to William Bligh by Governor King on August 10, 1806.

The Rum Rebellion

By 1800 Johnston was commanding officer of the NSW Corps. When Bligh threatened six of his officers with treason, Johnston responded by leading the Rum Rebellion against Bligh who "needed to be removed from office for his own safety and for the good of the Colony"

Two years later, when Bligh as Governor, threatened to charge members of the NSW Corp with Treason. Johnston lead a mutiny and arrested Bligh, on 26 January 1808 and administered the colony until 28 July.

On the 26 January 1808, Lieutenant Colonel George Johnston arrested Governor Bligh and assumed Lieutenant Governorship. He administered the colony until 28 July 1808 -

"The public peace being happily, and I trust in almighty God, permanently established, I hereby proclaim the cessation of martial law." Proclamation issued by Major George Johnston on the day after the deposition of Governor William Bligh, proclaiming the cessation of martial law in the colony, dated from Head Quarters, Sydney, Jan, 27, 1808." -

painting three men in red jackets, pulling a fourth man from under a bed The arrest of Governor Bligh, 1808 (Mitchell Library State Library of NSW Call Number Safe 4/5)

"On 26th January 1808, officers and men of the New South Wales Corps marched to Government House in Sydney in an act of rebellion against Governor William Bligh. Bligh was arrested and the colony was placed under military rule..." -

In 1806, Governor King granted a parcel of land to William Bligh. The land was adjoining Johnston's Annandale Estate.([Grant to William Bligh, 10 August 1836 [i.e. 1806] 240 acres / P.L. Bemi, Surveyor

Court-Martial of Lieut.-Col. Geo. Johnston in England

In the course of the Court Martial, the role of the allocation of this land on the Parramatta Road was raised in the examination of Mr Grimes, the Surveyor General of the Colony.

"By the Prisoner[Lieut George Johnston]. "Do you know of any other ground, cleared at Government expense, being granted to Gov. Bligh? - There was a piece of ground, but I think that was cleared by Gen Grose, I do not apprehend itt was cleared by Government; it was cleared prior to my coming into the colony.
Where was that - Within about two miles of Sydney, on the Parramatta road, called the Orphan Ground.
Was that ground marked out by Gov. Phillip as the Orphan Ground? - Certainly it was, for the schoolmaster; there was the church land and schoolmaster's.
Ist it a large piece? - I think it is 1000 or 1500 acres the whole, but it has been dividied into a variety of parts since.
But that of Gov Bligh's? That of Gov. Blighs is not large, I think it must be under 100 acres; it is but a small tract of ground.
Examined by the Court.
Do you know for what reason Gov. Bligh deprived Mr McArthur of his leashold? - No, I do not.
Might not Mr McArthur have named various other situations beside the three you have mentioned? Why, he did not do it to me, when I pressed him to point out situation; but the Governnor wished me strongly to urge him to have a lease somewhere in Pitt's Row, which he strongly objected to for many reasons.
Might he not have named some others?
There was certainly a vast variety of situations unoccupied, but none perhaps that he deemed eligible. But were there no other good situations besides the three which he mentioned?
O! certainly, there were a great variety of other unoccupied situations in the town...."

Taken from pages 284/5 of Proceedings of a general court-martial held at Chelsea hospital : which commenced on Tuesday May 7, 1811 and continued by adjournment to Wednesday 5th of June following for the trial of Lieut.-Col. Geo. Johnston, Major of the 102d Regiment, late the New South Wales Corps, on a charge of mutiny ... for deposing, on the 26th of January, 1808, William Bligh ... /​ taken in short hand by Mr. Bartrum. National Library of Australia (viewed 6 February 2013)

"The ‘Rum Rebellion’ – a title later conferred on the event by Governor Thomas Brisbane; referred to as the ‘Insurrection’ by contemporaries – was an overthrow of the government, a mutiny against Governor William Bligh’s imperially sanctioned authority. It was not a rebellion over rum nor a popular rebellion by the people, but a forceful removal of a governor from office by sections of the colonial elite and the military." -

In 1811 George Johnston returned to England to face a Court Martial for his part in the Rum Rebellion. His journey co-incided with the passage of the newly appointed Governor Macquarie in the opposite direction. The two had been fellow officers and friends since the American War and it would have been awkward for Macquarie to have arrested Johnston.(Horsemen of the First Frontier (1788-1900) and The Serpents Legacy By Keith Robert Binney pg 27/28)

On 17 July 1812, Johnston wrote to Earl Bathurst:"I trust your Lordship will excuse me troubling you upon this occasion, which is to solicit from your Lordship an Order for a passage to New South Wales, for myself, my Daughter[probably Julia], and a Servant in the Ship Fortune.
I have spent much and the most active part of my life in the Service of that Colony. I have a numerous family there, and all that I possess in the World now, to enable me to provide for that family, is in that Country.
I therefore hope your Lordship will permit my return to my Family as a Settler, By the Fortune. - Transcript of Letter Book containing copies of correspondence between Major George Johnston and the Duke of Northumberland, 1811 - 12 Presented by Mrs E.C. Johnston ["Jeir"?] Nelson St., Lindfield. (This book was formerly among the papers of Mrs. Weston of Horsley, then passed into the possession of her daughter, Mrs. Smart, who presented it to Mrs E.C. Johnston.) HW. 1926.

IN spite of a certain weakness of decision, Johnston's character was an admirable one. He was "a well disposed good natured man." He had few if any personal enemies, and was popular with all persons he came in contact with. In his routine military administration he was methodical and just, and was the idol of the rank and file. His very good nature made him the easy tool of conspirators, and this was his undoing."....Mutiny; and the Trial of Lt. Col. Johnston
Author: Ned Overton (as editor),* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook, eBook No.:, Language: English, Date first posted: February 2013, Date most recently February January 2013

Annandale Turnpike

"TENDERS...Sydney Toll-At Twelve o'clock on Thursday, the 22nd September, 1842, will be put up to Auction, at the rear of the Colonial Treasury, Bent-street, Sydney, the lease for three mouths (commencing on the 1st day of October, 1942) of the Tolls and Dues authorised und imposed by the Act of the Governor and Council, 4th William IV , No 16, arising and to be collected at the Sydney Toll Gate near Annandale Bridge, on the road from Sydney to Parramatta. " - 1842 'TENDERS.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 20 September, p. 3, viewed 29 December, 2011,

Lithograph of Turnpike

Copy of original hand coloured lithograph held in the Mitchell Library at PXA 581 no.9 (Digital order no. d1_17284)

The hand coloured lithograph, RUSSELL, Robert J.G. AUSTIN & CO J.G. AUSTIN & CO, New Toll Gate, Parramatta Road can be viewed at (pointed out by Glenn Wells SLNSW 18 March 2015)

"A sketch of the neighbourhood of Grose Farm Shewing the new line of road applied for by the proprietors of Camperdown Estate 1842 [Sketch book 4 folio 106]" [\Image\19706] shows the curve of the original track, which curved north and south of current parramatta road from Johnston's Creek, east through Camperdown and Grosse Farm, before the construction of the straighter Parramatta Road. [Map pointed out by Rhett Lindsay, SRNSW, 15 April 2015]

"After John had rejected his tokens they were disposed of at a penny each by Thornthwaite to the toll gatekeeper at Annandale [Sydney], who passed them on in change to hapless wayfarers..." - Token - 1 Penny, John Allen, General Stores, Kiama, New South Wales, Australia, 1855

mapFitzroy Terrace NLA MAP F 570

Annandale, Leichhardt and Camperdown from an 1857 plan of part of Sydney and its environs [cartographic material] : showing the bridges & roads to be constructed by the Pyrmont Bridge Company / Allan & Wigley Litho.mapclick for source and larger image

Didliston & The Annandale Bicycle Club

map Choice Villa Sites, Pyrmont Bridge Road to be sold by auction on the ground, on Saturday, 19th August at 3 o'clock 1885. shows DIDLISTON F COOPER, CHESTER LODGE AJ WATT, QUARRY South of Booth Street Adjoining Johnston's Creek, MIDANGA MRS JB JONES, HON JOHN LUCAS

The Annandale Bicycle Club's rooms were at 141 Paramatta-road. Some of their meetings were held at "Didliston" the residence of their president (1905 'Advertising.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842-1954), 18 November, p. 22, viewed 31 May, 2012,


This map1850 Map on flickr from SRNSW Sketch books [Surveyor General] Series Number:13886 date range: 1827 to 1890 shows Parramatta Road, Camperdown, including old route, before it was straightened. Also Johnston's Creek, Gross Farm Creek and Camperdown Road.

Borough of Camperdown

Camperdown extended across Parramatta Road and comprised three wards:- Kingston, Cook and Belmore

Camperdown Borough:
Kingston Ward—Gilbert MacArthur, potter, of George-street,Camperdown.
Belmore Ward—John Cahill, soap manufacturer, of Johnston street, Annandale. - 1896 'BOROUGH OF CAMPERDOWN.', New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), 7 February, p. 840. , viewed 14 Jun 2017,

By 1899, in addition to Fowlers Potteries at the corner of Australia and Parramatta Road, McCarthur's Potteries directly opposite Pyrmont Bridge Road, on Parramatta Road - source: map

Fowlers Pottery

bits of sewer pipeFragments of Sewer Pipes

Salt Glazed Earthenware Sewer and Storm Water pipes have been in use in Annandale for over a 100 years.

Fowler Pottery, Camperdown, 1865 [picture]

Fowlers Pottery was located at Abercrombie Place on Parramatta Street, Chippendale, before it moved to Glebe and then Camperdown. They produced bottles, jars and pipes. Fowlers also had a Pottery near Lithgow..more where they produced clay pipes, quite likely salt glazed Earthware pipes.

Panorama of Fowler Pottery, Camperdown, Sydney, ca. 1910, 2 / EB Studios

In his 1858 social map of Sydney, Jevons describes "Camperdown is a place of some age, comparatively few of the Cottages having been built in the last few years. It is doubtless sustained to a considerable extent by the traffic along Parramatta Road, the main line of communication with the interior previous to the construction of the Railway. The timely subdivision of an estate into suitable & cheap allotments was probably its origin.
There is not a single residence in Camperdown of the first social rank; the majority are of the second with a large sprinkling of the third. Many of the dwellings are mere log huts sufficiently squalid in their appce. There is a corresponding number of the inhabitants of low character. A few manufacturing trades such as brick & earthenware making, Cart making etc. are carried on in Camperdown or the immediate neighbourhood. Pig feeding or offal from the slaughterhouses orange-packing or trading in horses & cattle are also among the employment of the place. which in turn proved to depend on the passing traffic. There are several public houses, of some a certain age, & some dozen shops; it is noticeable that of six public houses within a quarter of a mile of each other in Camperdown, three are closed & deserted. It is a place where sly-grog selling could easily be carried on.
There is a small church & a small brick Catholic Chapel" ... 1858 Social Map of Sydney, William Stanley Jevons

In his map, Jevons also describes the soil, noting the value of the clay, "This shale overlies the sandstone on the range afterward pursuing a westerly direction forms smooth swelling connecting hills of Grose Farm, Camperdown & Petersham. As might be expected such a soft shale rock yields soft & little durable rock is soon worn down by the weather into smooth swelling slopes & rounded summits, between which the drainage excavates small vallies. The surface of the ground is extremely infertile and usually is formed of a hard dry clay, so that the parts of the town built on shale is very bare & unprepossessing, but near on the top of the slopes, good earth & flourishing gardens prevail. Such clay or pipe clay as can be obtained near Sydney fit for making bricks or pottery (as at Camperdown) probably consists of alluvial debris of these hills of shale."

Sydney University from Parramatta Road with "Ashfield & Burwood" horse drawn carriage (pre 1874)

hole in bitumen

MS??C on round access point cover MWS&DB SV on metal access point coverSquare Metal Access Point Covers with PMG and Telecom Australia 1975 Logo

Pictures of Fowlers Pottery (Camperdown and Marrickville, 1911, 1920 etc.)

A Police Station

An map1890s Map show the former Annandale Turnpike, on the Northern Side of Parramatta Road, as a Police Station.

In 1899, the borough of Camperdown complained that they had spent £15,000 on sewerage system to improve the insanitary conditions resulting from the runnoff from the surrounding boroughs of Newtown, Petersham and Annandale flowed through dirty creek, the length of their municipality crossing Parramatta Road at the Toll Bar. Though the system worked well, it was not widely available and they were seeking funding from the Water and Sewerage Board to carry out further works. - 1899 'Camperdown.', Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), 18 November, p. 38, viewed 21 February, 2012,

In 1910, the secretary of the Albion Street Tennis Club in Annandale, wrote to the Lord Mayor of Sydney, former Mayor of Annandale, Allen Taylor, requesting the sweepings from Camperdown to be deposited on their Tennis court...more

Camperdown Post Office SRNSW

Post Office

Camperdown Post Office opened in 1853. In 2010 the post boxes were moved to the Annandale Post Office...more

Soap works

The Carher's Soap works, (possibly later known as the Australian Soap Works) are shown at the corner of Pyrmont Bridge Road and Parramatta Road, Camperdown at

"Burglars carried away an iron safe from Cahill soapworks at Camperdown but couldn't open it. The safe contained £3." (1914 'SUMMARY.', Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 - 1915), 31 December, p. 4, viewed 14 September, 2015,

Wine Merchants

In 1886 Plumber and Gasfitter J McGregor described their new larger premises as opposite Gehrig's Wine Stores in Pyrmont Bridge Road... more

Plague prevention April 1922 to July 1923

Photo of a "derelict wood and iron cottage with iron shed in a dirt yard littered with rubbish" in Gordon Street Camperdown, looking west with Susan and Nelson streets in background.

Ghost Homes and Trees Exhibition

Saturday 20th May 11am-3pm
Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Pidcock St, Camperdown

CRAW Meeting Air Pollution, Tunnels and Traffic - Expert Info, Not WestCONnex spin!

COMMUNITY MEETING ORGANISED BY CRAW (CAMPERDOWN RESIDENTS AWARE OF WESTCONNEX) Bring your questions and find out how WestConnex have already affected other communities, what we can do with people across Sydney to Stop WestConnex and alternative solutions to Sydney's traffic chaos. All welcome.

Bill Holliday, retired engineer.

EVERYDAY LIFE WITH WESTCONNEX CONSTRUCTION PART 2 Jozefa Sobski with postcards from Kathryn Calman on Escaping life with WestConnex.

AIR POLLUTION AND IMPACTS ON OUR HEALTH Dr Paul Torzillo, Head of Respiratory Medicine, RPA

SO I DO CARE, BUT WHAT CAN I DO ANYHOW? WestConnex campaigner, John Lozano, will provide more compelling information about why and how WestConnex, tollways and further use of fossil fuels MUST be stopped.

Sunday 21 May, 2017 at 3pm – 5pm
University of Sydney Nursing Ground Floor lecture theatre
88 Mallet St
Camperdown, NSW 2050

This page last updated 11 july 2022.