I have lived in Parramatta for awhile now and it is only today that I got to visit The Lancer Barracks and the Lancers Memorial Museum..home to the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers..The oldest continuous serving regiment in Australia.. a regiment going back to 1885..The Regiment dates from the inauguration of the Sydney Light Horse.and holds more battle honours (21) than any other regiment and is the most highly decorated unit in the Australian Army ...
..and as my father was a trooper in the Australian Light Horse..This is a place I have long time wanted to visit...Often seeing the Lancers dressed as Light Horsemen and marching (horsed)with their "feathered hats".. in the Anzac day march commemorations..always stirred the desire to visit their barracks in Parramatta..
The Lancer Memorial Museum here is a great detailed history of The Lancer Regiment from the Boer War till now (from when they were Lancers with horse... to the mechanised regiment of today)..The Memorial Museum is situated in a two storey sandstone building called "Linden House"(built 1828) originally was an officers quarters..till 1840 when it became a school.. (that building used to be outside the barracks area)...and as it was in private hands it was donated to the regiment in 1963 and was moved from an area 500 meters away.. it was then demolished and..brick by brick rebuilt on its present site by the parade ground...The Lancer Barracks today is a working military establishment and The 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancer Regiment is a mechanised regiment with some personnel currently serving in the middle east..being a working military base..one has a volunteer guide to show you around the area..which includes the Parade Ground ...The Museum..and many old military vehicles parked nearby by the paradeground..The Museum is not run by the Australian army but by volunteers..There is a small charge for entry..and well worth it..
The Linden House building was dedicated on March 1st 1981 as a Memorial to the members of The New South Wales Lancers ..(campaigns) South Africa..1899-1902
1st Light Horse Regiment AIF.. Gallipoli,Sinai-Palestine 1914-1918
1st Armoured Regiment (RNSWL) AIF ..New Guinea,Borneo 1939-1945..
OPEN EVERY SUNDAY FOR INSPECTION FROM 10..AM TILL 4.00 PM
John Macarthur was a soldier that arrived in Sydney in 1790 with the infamous and notorious second fleet..He was accompanied by his wife Elizabeth and their infant son..being a resiliant soldier he worked his way through the system to be The Inspector of Public Works and in 1793 was given a grant of 100 acres .. his then position and being in charge of convict labour and building materials he had no trouble having built this marvellous old classic home for his wife Elizabeth and their infant son..This is a great example of an early colonial bungalow..building commenced in 1793.He so named the house and farm after his wife .so succesful were the Macarthurs with their early flock of sheep..they became the pioneers of the Australian wool industry..Parramatta in the early 1790's was a very prosperous agricultural area..
The gardens here are vast and well cared for they are a re-creation of an 1830's garden..The house being under National Trust is in amazing condition and is a real museum ..but with no barriers ..you can walk through all of the house and even sit in the chairs ..The house was clearly built for the Australian heat in mind and all windows and doors I noticed open right out to let in the breeze ..and all have shutters also..There was a fire burning in the wood stove and a big kettle on the boil...the kitchen was large ..and all the antique furniture here is an exact replica of the original furniture..The house stayed in the hands of the Macarthurs for nearly a century when it was sold and the land subdivided..then it had many different owners..Today it is in the hands of the National Trust..
There is a Tea roon where you can obtain light refreshments..there are tables and chairs under trees and umbrellas..that were nearly all occupied...I had the freshly made "hot"scones with strawberry jam and cream....couldn't resist the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen...they were ..I must admit a little self indulgent ..but why not!!..but I wasn't the only one...smile...
Access to the house is available for wheel chairs everywhere except the kitchen..which can be viewed from the doorway..
OPEN FRIDAY TO SUNDAY TO THE PUBLIC..THERE IS A SMALL ENTRY FEE..
CLOSED GOOD FRIDAY AND XMAS DAY.....CONCESSIONS ARE AVAILABLE..
As I mentioned in another tip on Parramatta was a walk by the river and also along the river further east is the memorial dedicated to the H.M.A.S.Parramatta..The first ship built for the Commonwealth of Australia..later to be known as the RAN.. the Royal Australian Navy.This was the last of this class of naval vessel built with an external rudder..There has been four HMAS Parramatta's serve with the RAN..the latest is a guided missile frigate currently in service.Their is a good history of the ship displayed here..The memorial is located right on the banks of the river in a lovely shaded treed area on Queens Wharf Reserve one of the most important parts of Parramattas early history..not far from the Ferry wharf.This is part of the "HERITAGE WALK"..maps can be had from the tourist information centre..(see my tip )
PARRAMATTA...When in Parramata and its a nice day organise a picnic day and bring along some steaks and sausages and have a BBQ in the park...There is a large BBQ area with free large BBQ's that are free..There are large grass areas with tables and bench seats and also a very large undercover area if the weather happens to change..close by this area is The" Old Government House" the oldest in Australia..and the Boer War Memorial ..Large garden areas..
When arriving in Parramatta by ferry..do the riverwalk along by the river..really nice quiet way to spend some time and bypass the traffic and any crowds..follow the river to the old stone "Lennox Bridge" (circa 1802) at Church St..The main street for outdoor restaurants and cafes...The tourist information centre can be found at the northern end of the Lennox Bridge on Church St..
PARRAMATTA ..the Park in Parramatta would have to be one of Sydney's major open urban parklands..The park has many wonderful well kept gardens and is a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping precinct just a few streets away..So..just sit down and relax..with something to eat from the many good local food takeaway outlets..some lovely gardens...take time..smell the flowers..
This oasis of open space provides a fascinating record of Parramatta’s history and contains some of the last remnants of native woodland in
The Park also features several scarred trees and other Aboriginal artefacts, giving an insight into pre-European times.
As one of the earliest sites of Aboriginal and European contact, there is also evidence how the fertile soils became the salvation of the early
colony following the failure of crops at Sydney Cove.
The Park also contains two of Australia’s oldest buildings that reflect its role as the seat of Colonial Government from 1788 until 1857 when it was handed back to the people of NSW as a park.
This is a real interesting historical place to visit.
Other things to see are : .......
The Bath house,..... was designed by a Convict architect in 1822, and built for the Governor of Brisbane to soothe his Arthritis in 1823. Water was pumped to the Bath House through pipes from the nearby river, while used water was run off through drains of tunnelled brickwork and into a nearby duck pond. On 25 April 1976, the Bath House was classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW)
Boer War Memorial, .......Located on the high ground on top of the Crescent area, this Memorial was unveiled in 1904. The Cannons are from the shore batteries that protected Port Jackson in the 1850's. The cannon on top of the memorial is one of six nine-pounder field guns acquired by New South Wales in 1856 intended to be part of the defence of Port Jackson also.
The four Doric columns and the entablature blocks and the cornice are from the Parramatta Courthouse and the broken pillar in the centre of the memorial signifies "life broken short" to remember the lives lost in the War.
The memorial is an important example as the Lancer Barracks which is still located in Parramatta. They were the first Australian troops to arrive in Africa in 1899 to serve in the Boer War. 100 Lancers including several from Parramatta and surrounding districts served there.
check the website for details how to reach Parramatta.
This evocative artwork incorporates a painted pathway, interpretive plaques and native plantings, meandering 800 metres along the river.
The Walk tells the rich history of the region and its people from an Aboriginal perspective. The story culminates in a soundscape where voices, music, and other sounds make a strong call for reconciliation.
This is one of the earliest sites of Aboriginal and European contact and is one of Australia's most important cultural landscapes.
Its history is the story of our Nation...'AUSTRALIA'
I found quite a few interesting historic buildings here, archaeological zones, nice lawns just beckoning me to stay and have a picnic lunch!
There are 4 Entrances (gates) into the park. These all were of interest!
The Tudor gatehouse was built in 1885 and the Macquarie street gatehouse in 1887. Through one of these gates, you enter the park.
You will see Old Government House, Australia's oldest surviving public building. It was built by Governors John Hunter and Lachlan Macquarie between 1799 & 1818
OPEN......Gates open 6 am to 6pm (6 am to 8 pm during Daylight Savings).
The Queens Road gate opens 10 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday.
Either take the Train or the Ferry from Sydney.
The Old Goverment House in Parramatta is the oldest surviving Government building in Australia. Located in Parramatta Park this lovely old building has been restored and is caringly originally furnished in the Maquarie period who was the then Govenor (1810-1821).
This large building of the time was built over a period of nearly twenty years (1799-1818). This period was shared by two Govenors being Governor John Hunter and Governor Lachlan Maquarie.
This is a very historical Australian building and can be enjoyed by everyone. The intereior of the building is well restored and is a step back in time as to how the landed gentry lived.This is a fine example and one of the best collections of early colonial Australian furniture in the country..
Located in the heart of Parramatta is the site of the first market ever held in Australia on the 12th January 1813. Parramatta being the site chosen for its fertle soil and most of all its access to water was where the food came from to feed the new Colony. The Colony was due to fail because of its lack of water.There was an abundance of water in the city but had not been found.The majority of the fruit and vegetables grown in the area were taken to the city of Sydney for sale. Much of this food was sold at the market place in Parramatta.
The site today is directly outside the Parramatta Town Hall. so if/when you are in Parramatta have look at this local historical site.
Experiment Farm Cottage takes you back to the first years of European settlement in New South Wales. In 1789 Governor Arthur Phillip placed the former convict James Ruse here "in order to know in what time a man might be able to support himself". By 1791 Ruse was self sufficient. His industry was rewarded with a grant of thirty acres of land, the first in Australia. Known as Experiment Farm the property was purchased by Surgeon John Harris in 1793 who built the present cottage. This charming Indian bungalow contains a fine collection of Australian Colonial furniture while the cellars house a museum about the life of James Ruse, Australia's first private farmer.
Governor John Hunter laid the original foundation stone for St John’s in 1799. It was not completed until 1803 and opened on Sunday 10th April by the Reverend Samuel Marsden. The Sydney Gazette described the church as “one of the finest buildings in the colony”.
Additions during Governor Macquarie’s time transformed the simple Georgian Building to one of Gothic style. It was lengthened, re-roofed, the twin towers added and a new chancel built. This building served until 1852.
The present building is the second church to be erected on the site. With the exception of the twin western towers, this building dates from the major rebuilding begun in 1852. James Houison rebuilt the nave and the chancel between 1852- 1858 and architect Edmund Blacket added the transcept in 1883.
Bicentennial Park is part of Sydney Olympic Park and offers visitors recreation, nature-based tours, environmental education and outdoor event experiences.
The Park offers free entry, BBQs, picnic areas, playgrounds, pathways and cycleways, parking, access to the wetlands, salt marsh and bird hides. Additional features include Lake Belvedere, Peace Monument, Treillage Tower, Sundial, 'Cyrus the Great' statue, the Silent Hearts Memorial Garden and water features.
I first visited this park when my son was in Year three and I volunteered to help his class in their school trip. So it was a different experience then, something more exhaustive, exploring the mangroves and looking for wildlife like birds and other animals in the attached forest. It was a good experience too for the class as a whole!
Bicentennial Park has numerous open spaces and shade structures available for a variety of functions and events; including social and family picnics and barbeques, community events, wedding ceremonies, school picnics, corporate events and other special events. By booking your space in advance it makes it easy for your group to find you on days when the Park is busy. Site hire fees do apply.