Place:Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia

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NameParramatta
TypeInhabited place
Coordinates33.833°S 150.95°E
Located inNew South Wales, Australia     (1790 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Parramatta is a prominent suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia,[1] west of the Sydney central business district on the banks of the Parramatta River. Parramatta is the administrative seat of the City of Parramatta and is often regarded as the second Central Business district of Sydney.

Parramatta, founded by the British in 1788, the same year as Sydney, is the oldest inland European settlement in Australia and the economic capital of Greater Western Sydney. Since 2000, government agencies such as the New South Wales Police Force and Sydney Water[2] have relocated to Parramatta from the centre of Sydney. Established in 1799, the Old Government House is a world heritage site and museum within Parramatta Park and is Australia's oldest surviving public building.

Parramatta is a major business and commercial centre, and home to Westfield Parramatta, the ninth largest shopping centre in Australia. Parramatta is also the major transport hub for Western Sydney, servicing trains and buses, as well as having a ferry wharf and future light rail and metro services. Major upgrades have occurred around Parramatta railway station with the creation of a new transport interchange, and the ongoing development of the Parramatta Square local government precinct.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Aboriginal

Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity occurred in Parramatta from around 30,000 years ago. The Darug people who lived in the area before European settlement regarded the area as rich in food from the river and forests. They called the area Baramada or Burramatta ('Parramatta') which means "head of waters", "the place where the eels lie down"[1] or "eel waters". To this day many eels and other sea creatures are attracted to nutrients that are concentrated where the saltwater of Port Jackson meets the freshwater of the Parramatta River. The Parramatta Eels Rugby League club chose their symbol as a result of this phenomenon.

European

Parramatta was founded in 1788, the same year as Sydney. As such, Parramatta is the second oldest city in Australia, being only 10 months younger than Sydney. The British Colonists, who had arrived in January 1788 on the First Fleet at Sydney Cove, had only enough food to support themselves for a short time and the soil around Sydney Cove proved too poor to grow the amount of food that 1,000 convicts, soldiers and administrators needed to survive. During 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip had reconnoitred several places before choosing Parramatta as the most likely place for a successful large farm. Parramatta was the furthest navigable point inland on the Parramatta River (i.e. furthest from the thin, sandy coastal soil) and also the point at which the river became freshwater and therefore useful for farming.

On Sunday 2 November 1788, Governor Phillip took a detachment of marines along with a surveyor and, in boats, made his way upriver to a location that he called The Crescent, a defensible hill curved round a river bend, now in Parramatta Park. As a settlement developed, Governor Phillip gave it the name "Rose Hill" after British politician George Rose. On 4 June 1791 Phillip changed the name of the township to Parramatta, approximating the term used by the local Aboriginal people. A neighbouring suburb acquired the name "Rose Hill", which today is spelt "Rosehill".

In an attempt to deal with the food crisis, Phillip in 1789 granted a convict named James Ruse the land of Experiment Farm at Parramatta on the condition that he develop a viable agriculture. There, Ruse became the first person to successfully grow grain in Australia. The Parramatta area was also the site of the pioneering of the Australian wool industry by John Macarthur's Elizabeth Farm in the 1790s. Philip Gidley King's account of his visit to Parramatta on 9 April 1790 is one of the earliest descriptions of the area. Walking four miles with Governor Phillip to Prospect, he saw undulating grassland interspersed with magnificent trees and a great number of kangaroos and emus.

The Battle of Parramatta, a major battle of the Hawkesbury and Nepean Wars, occurred in March 1797 where resistance leader Pemulwuy led a group of Bidjigal warriors, estimated to be at least 100, in an attack on a government farm at Toongabbie, challenging the British Army to fight. Governor Arthur Phillip built a small house for himself on the hill of The Crescent. In 1799 this was replaced by a larger residence which, substantially improved by Governor Lachlan Macquarie from 1815 to 1818, has survived to the present day, making it the oldest surviving Government House anywhere in Australia. It was used as a retreat by Governors until the 1850s, with one Governor (Governor Brisbane) making it his principal home for a short period in the 1820s.

In 1803, another famous incident occurred in Parramatta, involving a convicted criminal named Joseph Samuel, originally from England. Samuel was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging, but the rope broke. In the second attempt, the noose slipped off his neck. In the third attempt, the new rope broke. Governor King was summoned and pardoned Samuel, as the incident appeared to him to be divine intervention.

In 1814, Macquarie opened a school for Aboriginal children at Parramatta as part of a policy of improving relations between Aboriginal and European communities. This school was later relocated to "Black Town".

Heritage listings

Parramatta has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


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