Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The first bridge in Sydney

I was recently reading through the Sydney Gazette when I read a brief article published on 5 Jun 1803 stating that a new stone bridge was being built at the head of Sydney Cove. In other words, over the Tank Stream that fed into Sydney Harbour:


This map (with a German legend) from 1802 shows the layout of Sydney.


When we magnify in on Sydney Cover (now Circular Quay) item 22 ('Bridge' in German) is visible, the bridge at the head of Sydney Cove:


This painting from 1803 by John William Lancashire (dictionaryofsydney.org/image/40423) shows at the extreme right a STONE bridge, allowing water to pass under it, just as described in the newspaper article. Based on the article above, the painting with the stone bridge was surely rendered in the second half of the year!


Here is another painting from 'circa 1803', by George William Evans (http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemLarge.aspx?itemID=457903). In this case the wooden bridge can be seen, suggested it was rendered in the first half of 1803 (or earlier):


So you can see we can do a lot with just one small article in the Sydney Gazette.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Matt. I have previously suspected that the large RN ship depicted in the second (earlier) picture is the HMS Glatton which arrived in March 1803 and departed in September 1803. The article you found about the building of the stone bridge in June 1803 seems to confirm this.

    With your permission I would like to include a reference to your research in a post on my own blog about my ancestor who has transported on the HMS Glatton - with a credit given to you and your blog. Craig Smith

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Craig, if it is useful - go for it! It's amazing the details that different people pick up on. cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Craig I've just spent 15 minutes looking at the two - you can actually see the wood bridge at very extreme right on the newer of the two pictures, and it's amazing how many of the houses match up - even a lamp post!

    ReplyDelete