Sunday, April 10, 2011

Of Boundary Stones and Markers

On a visit to the Museum of Sydney, I came upon a boundary stone which was one of at least nine that were set around Sydney in 1833 to mark its boundaries.

The inscription on these boundary stones reads:
Majr Genl Rd Bourke C B

This find led me into some research on the boundary stones in the early Colony of New South Wales and a trip out to Parramatta. While the Sydney stones have mainly been removed, there are five still existing in Parramatta in their original locations. Mary and I located four of these , after much footwork at :
1) Alfred Street between Alice and Weston Streets, Harris Park;
2) Domain Creek in Parramatta Park;
3) Corner Of Boundary Road and Balfour Street, Northmead, off Kleins Road; and
4) under the bridge over the Parramatta River along James Ruse Drive, off Thomas Street. This is the best preserved as shown in the photo above. The inscriptions on the Parramatta stones read:
Sir Geo Gipps Knight

These town boundary stones were erected by David Lennox, master mason of Lennox Bridge (Parramatta) fame in 1839 using convict labour.

In the vein of marking out boundaries, we also came across a cast iron council boundary ward marker in Sydney Square near St Andrew's Cathedral.

Dating back to the time that the Sydney Municipal Council was formed in 1842, this boundary marker has been relocated, but was one of a series supplied to the Council in 1843 by P.N. Russell's Sydney Foundry, to mark the boundaries of the Council's wards. The markers read "Hosking Mayor 1842" with the appropriate ward name. The marker's name was stamped at the bottom: "P.N. Russell, Sydney Foundry".

History Services NSW has over 200 records of Government contracts awarded to the engineering works of P.N. Russell & Co. up to 1900, one being the supply of a pair of iron gates for the Toll House on the Glebe Island Bridge.

If you are interested in finding out the details of any of these government contract records, you can go our website at:

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