Heritage at Parramatta Square

Written by Graham Shirley

Rose Hill Packet at Parramatta Square [Photo: G. Shirley]

While many RAHS members will be familiar with the colonial-built heritage of Parramatta, we would also like to draw their attention to permanent historical displays in the lobbies of two newly opened buildings in the Parramatta Square precinct. These buildings are 3 and 6 Parramatta Square, and their lobbies are open to the public between Mondays and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A $2.7 billion complex of mostly high-rise buildings, Parramatta Square is bounded by the western railway line and Parramatta’s Church, Smith, and Macquarie Streets. Before its recent construction, the site of 3 Parramatta Square (3PS) was investigated for its archaeological evidence including that of its Indigenous history and CBD Parramatta’s evolution. The historical artefacts found during this investigation have been incorporated into the 3PS Archaeology Display in the building’s ground floor lobby. As well as Indigenous artefacts, the display includes household items and coloured tiles from Harriet Holland’s c. 1883 villa, ‘Cranbrook’.

The most eye-catching historical display in the 6 Parramatta Square (6PS) lobby is a suspended 3-tonne replica of the Rose Hill Packet. The packet was the first European boat built in Australia, designed to ferry supplies from Sydney Cove to Rose Hill, which was an early name for today’s Parramatta. In the 6PS lobby we also find Badu Baraya: Water Song, an artwork featuring Indigenous and post-Contact artefacts excavated from the 6PS and adjacent 8PS construction sites. Badu Baraya: Water Song was designed by GML Heritage in collaboration with Darug artist and educator, Leanne Mulgo Watson.

Detail about these archaeology and artwork displays is available on the Parramatta Square Passport app.

Further useful information can be found at:

Badu Baraya display at Parramatta Square [Photo: G. Shirley]

First published in 9 June 2022 e-newsletter