Saturday, July 14, 2012

Looking Glass Bay

Looking Glass Bay - July 2012
At the end of Punt Road at Gladesville (Sydney, New South Wales), looking up the Parramatta River is a bay with beautifully clear water which reflects its surroundings. It is known as Looking Glass Bay.

How did it get its name?

On its western shore (near the Shore School Rowing Shed), there is a plaque which reads:
Plaque commemorating CaptainArthur Phillip''s Landing
Just after the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove, Captain Arthur Phillip, Lieutenant William Bradley and James Keltie (Master of the Sirius) were taking a party up the River to explore the area that Bradley had previously named "The Flats" (present day Homebush Bay). Lieutenant Bradley explains in an extract from his journal about their stop at Looking Glass Bay:

We stopped at a Neck of Land for breakfast. We were soon met there by a Native arm'd. He laid down his spear as soon as he joined us, & had more curiosity than any we had met with. He examined everything attentively & amp;and went into all our boats from one to the other...The Governor gave this Man a hatchet, & a looking-glass, which, when he looked into, he looked immediately behind the Glass to see if any person was there, & then pointed to the Glass and the Shadows which he saw in the Water, signifying that they were similar.
[Lieutenant William Bradley, 15 February 1788']

In its later life, Looking Glass Bay was home to :
1) Rock End Cottage, built in the late 1830's as an inn and from 1866 to 1909 home to  the grandmother of the Australin poet, A B (Banjo) Paterson: and

Rock End Cottage at Looking Glass Bay - July 2012
2) Harold Meggitt Limited a leading producer in the edible vegetable oil industry from 1923 to its closure in 1973. 

The Harold Meggitt Story


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