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Parramatta
New South Wales
Parramatta skyline from the west August 2017 1.jpg
Parramatta viewed from the west
Parramatta is located in Sydney
Parramatta
Parramatta
Location in Sydney
Population 25,798 (2016 census)
 • Density 4,870/km2 (12,600/sq mi)
Established 1788
Postcode(s) 2150
Elevation 18 m (59 ft)
Area 5.3 km2 (2.0 sq mi)
Location 24 km (15 mi) west of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) City of Parramatta
Region Greater Western Sydney
County Cumberland
Parish St. John
State electorate(s)
  • Parramatta
  • Baulkham Hills
  • Granville
Federal Division(s) Parramatta
Suburbs around Parramatta:
Northmead North Parramatta Oatlands
Westmead Parramatta Dundas Rydalmere
Merrylands Holroyd Harris Park Camellia Rosehill

Parramatta is a suburb and major commercial centre in Greater Western Sydney, located in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located approximately 24 kilometres (15 mi) west of the Sydney central business district on the banks of the Parramatta River. Parramatta is the administrative seat of the local government area of the City of Parramatta and is often regarded as the main business district of Greater Western Sydney. Parramatta also has a long history as a second administrative centre in the Sydney metropolitan region, playing host to a number of state government departments as well as state and federal courts. It is often colloquially referred to as "Parra".

Parramatta, founded as a British settlement in 1788, the same year as Sydney, is the oldest inland European settlement in Australia and is the economic centre of Greater Western Sydney. Since 2000, government agencies such as the New South Wales Police Force and Sydney Water have relocated to Parramatta from the centre of Sydney.

History

Aboriginal culture

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", 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.

White settlement

Parramatta 1812
View of Parramatta in 1812
SLNSW 796769 Birdseye View Parramatta
Parramatta in the early 20th century

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 George Rose, Secretary for the British Treasury. In 1791 he changed the name to Parramatta, approximating the term used by the local Aboriginal people. A neighbouring suburb acquired the name Rose Hill.

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 amount of kangaroos and emus.

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. The house, Old Government House, is currently a historic site and museum within Parramatta Park and is Australia's oldest surviving public building.

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".

Places of worship

(1)St Patricks Cathedral Parramatta-1
St Patrick's Cathedral
(1)St Johns Cathedral Parramatta
St John's Cathedral

Church Street takes its name from St John's Cathedral (Anglican), which was built in 1803 and is the oldest church in Parramatta. While the present building is not the first on the site, the towers were built during the time of Governor Macquarie, and were based on those of the church at Reculver, England, at the suggestion of his wife, Elizabeth. The historic St John's Cemetery is located nearby on O'Connell Street.

St Patrick's Cathedral (Roman Catholic) is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Australia. Construction commenced in 1836, but it wasn't officially complete until 1837. In 1854 a new church was commissioned, although the tower was not completed until 1880, with the spire following in 1883. It was built on the site to meet the needs of a growing congregation. It was destroyed by fire in 1996, with only the stone walls remaining.

On 29 November 2003, the new St Patrick's Cathedral was dedicated. The historic St Patricks Cemetery is located in North Parramatta. The Uniting Church is represented by Leigh Memorial Church. Parramatta Salvation Army is one of the oldest active Salvation Army Corps in Australia. Parramatta is also home to the Parramatta and Districts Synagogue, which services the Jewish community of western Sydney.

The Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of St Ioannis (St John The Frontrunner) Greek Orthodox Church was established in Parramatta in May 1960 under the ecumenical jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia to serve the predominantly emigrating Greek population of Greater Western Sydney. Originally, the liturgies where held in the hall of St John's Ambulance Brigade in Harris Park until the completion of the church in December 1965 located in Hassall Street Parramatta. The Parish Community of St Ioannis continues to serve over 5,000 Greek parishioners.

A Buddhist temple is located in Cowper Street, Parramatta. Parramatta's Mosque is in an apartment building on Marsden Street, Parrmatta. The district is served by Hindu temples located on Eleanor St, Rosehill, and a Murugan temple in Mays Hill, off Great Western Highway.

Parks

Lakeparramatta
Lake Parramatta, a recreational area near the suburb.
(1)Parramatta River
Parramatta River

Lake Parramatta, situated in the northern edges of the suburb, is a recreational area and a nature reserve which features walking tracks, a restaurant and a swimming hole within the scenic bushland.

Parramatta Park is a large park adjacent to Parramatta Stadium. It was formerly the Governor's Domain, land set aside for the Governor to supply his farming needs. As the Governor's Domain, the grounds were much larger than the modern day Parramatta Park, extending from Parramatta Road to the south, evident by a small gatehouse adjacent to Parramatta High School.

Furthermore, there are a number of small parks and reserves on the edges of Parramatta River, which feature seats, walking tracks and playgrounds.

Climate

Parramatta has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa) with mild to cool winters and warm, sometimes hot summers, and rainfall spread throughout the year.

Depending on the wind direction, summer weather may be humid or dry, though the humidity is mostly in the comfortable range, with the late summer/autumn period having a higher average humidity than late winter/early spring. Summer maximum temperatures are quite variable, often reaching above 35 °C (95 °F), on average 8.1 days in summer, and sometimes remaining in the low 20's, especially after a cold front or a sea breeze, such as the southerly buster.

Northwesterlies can occasionally bring hot winds from the desert that can raise temperatures higher than 40 °C (104 °F) mostly from November to February. Parramatta is slightly warmer than Sydney CBD in the summer due to the urban heat island effect and its inland location. In extreme cases though, it can be 5 – 10 °C (9 – 18 °F) warmer than Sydney, especially when sea breezes do not penetrate inland on hot summer and spring days. For example, on the 28th November 2009, the city reached 29.3 °C (84.7 °F), while Parramatta reached 39.0 °C (102.2 °F), almost 10 °C higher.

Rainfall is fairly evenly divided between summer and winter, but is slightly higher during the first three months of the year, when easterly winds dominate. The second half of the year tends to be drier (late winter/spring), that is when westerly winds dominate, which bring drier conditions. Thunderstorms are common in the months from early spring to early autumn, occasionally quite severe thunderstorms can occur. Snow in virtually unknown, having been recorded only in 1836 and 1896 Parrammatta gets 106.6 days of clear skies annually.

Climate data for Parramatta North
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.5
(113.9)
44.5
(112.1)
40.5
(104.9)
37.0
(98.6)
29.2
(84.6)
25.5
(77.9)
25.9
(78.6)
30.6
(87.1)
35.4
(95.7)
40.1
(104.2)
42.7
(108.9)
43.9
(111.0)
45.5
(113.9)
Mean maximum °C (°F) 39.0
(102.2)
37.4
(99.3)
33.9
(93.0)
30.1
(86.2)
26.0
(78.8)
22.1
(71.8)
22.2
(72.0)
25.1
(77.2)
30.0
(86.0)
33.8
(92.8)
35.8
(96.4)
37.5
(99.5)
40.7
(105.3)
Average high °C (°F) 28.5
(83.3)
27.9
(82.2)
26.3
(79.3)
23.8
(74.8)
20.6
(69.1)
17.8
(64.0)
17.4
(63.3)
19.1
(66.4)
21.7
(71.1)
24.0
(75.2)
25.5
(77.9)
27.5
(81.5)
23.3
(73.9)
Average low °C (°F) 17.6
(63.7)
17.6
(63.7)
15.8
(60.4)
12.9
(55.2)
9.9
(49.8)
7.6
(45.7)
6.3
(43.3)
7.1
(44.8)
9.4
(48.9)
12.0
(53.6)
14.1
(57.4)
16.3
(61.3)
12.2
(54.0)
Mean minimum °C (°F) 12.8
(55.0)
12.9
(55.2)
11.0
(51.8)
7.7
(45.9)
4.8
(40.6)
2.7
(36.9)
1.7
(35.1)
2.6
(36.7)
4.5
(40.1)
6.6
(43.9)
8.7
(47.7)
11.0
(51.8)
1.4
(34.5)
Record low °C (°F) 10.1
(50.2)
9.2
(48.6)
6.8
(44.2)
4.0
(39.2)
1.4
(34.5)
0.8
(33.4)
−1.0
(30.2)
0.7
(33.3)
0.7
(33.3)
3.6
(38.5)
4.0
(39.2)
7.7
(45.9)
−1.0
(30.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 101.4
(3.99)
123.5
(4.86)
107.9
(4.25)
94.8
(3.73)
70.7
(2.78)
86.6
(3.41)
45.5
(1.79)
55.8
(2.20)
52.4
(2.06)
67.7
(2.67)
86.6
(3.41)
73.6
(2.90)
964.4
(37.97)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 12.0 12.1 12.6 9.6 9.8 10.6 8.2 7.9 8.0 10.1 11.6 10.3 122.8
Average relative humidity (%) 57 59 59 58 60 59 55 46 46 49 49 55 55
Source: Bureau of Meteorology (1967-)

Transport

In contrast to the high level of car dependency throughout Sydney, a greater proportion of Parramatta's workers travelled to work on public transport (45.2%) than by car (36.2%) in 2016.

Trains

Parramatta railway station is a major transport interchange on the Sydney rail network. It is served by Sydney Trains' Cumberland Line, Inner West & Leppington Line and North Shore & Western Line. NSW TrainLink operate intercity services on the Blue Mountains Line as well as services to rural New South Wales. The station was originally opened in 1855, located in what is now Granville, and known as Parramatta Junction. The station was moved to its current location and opened on 4 July 1860, five years after the first railway line in Sydney was opened, running from Sydney to Parramatta Junction.

The current station was upgraded, with work beginning in late 2003 and the new interchange opening on 19 February 2006. The original station still exists within the over-all structure as part of Platform 4.

Bus

Parramatta is also serviced by a major bus interchange located on the south eastern side of the railway station. The interchange is served by buses utilising the North West T-Way to Rouse Hill and the Liverpool-Parramatta T-Way to Liverpool. Parramatta is also serviced by two high-frequency Metrobus services:

  • M91 – Parramatta to Hurstville via Granville, Bankstown and Peakhurst (Transdev NSW)
  • M92 – Parramatta to Sutherland via Lidcombe, Bankstown and Padstow (Transdev NSW)

A free bus Route 900 is operated by Transdev NSW in conjunction with the state government. Route 900 circles Parramatta CBD. A free bus also links Parramatta Stadium to Parramatta railway station during major sporting events.

ParramattaWharf1
Charles Street Ferry Wharf

Ferry

The Parramatta ferry wharf is at the Charles Street Weir, which divides the tidal saltwater from the freshwater of the upper river, on the eastern boundary of the Central Business District. The wharf is the westernmost destination of Sydney Ferries' Parramatta River ferry services.

Light rail

The Parramatta Light Rail project was announced in 2015. Lines originating from Carlingford and Olympic Park via Wentworth Point will form a combined route at Rydalmere or Camellia and pass through Parramatta before terminating at Westmead. The line will open in 2023.

Metro

Sydney Metro West is a planned metro line between the Sydney central business district and Westmead. The line was announced in 2016 and would include a station at Parramatta.

Road

Parramatta Road has always been an important thoroughfare for Sydney from its earliest days. From Parramatta the major western road for the state is the Great Western Highway. The M4 Western Motorway, running parallel to the Great Western Highway has taken much of the traffic away from these roads, with entrance and exit ramps close to Parramatta.

James Ruse Drive serves as a partial ring-road circling around the eastern part of Parramatta to join with the Cumberland Highway to the north west of the city.

The main north-south route through Parramatta is Church Street. To the north it becomes Windsor Road, and to the south it becomes Woodville Road.

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
2001 17,982 —    
2006 18,448 +2.6%
2011 19,745 +7.0%
2016 25,798 +30.7%

According to the 2016 census conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the suburb of Parramatta had a population of 25,798. Of these:


Notable residents

  • Keith Agget (1931–2017), rugby league player
  • Bernie Banton (1946–2007), builder and social justice campaigner
  • Richie Benaud (1930–2015), cricketer and commentator
  • Allan Cunningham (1791–1839), explorer and botanist
  • Greg Dyer (born 1959), cricketer
  • Gerry Hazlitt (1888–1915), cricketer
  • Paul Hogan (born 1940), comedian and actor
  • Harry Hopman (1906–1985), tennis player
  • David Lennox (1788–1873), colonial bridge builder
  • John Lewin (1770–1819), first professional artist in New South Wales
  • Bruce Mann (1926–2007), rugby league player
  • George McIver (1859–1945), science fiction writer
  • Rev. Samuel Marsden (1765–1838), known as the "flogging parson"
  • Mary Cover Hassall (1799–1825), Methodist missionary to Tonga Island
  • Dowell Philip O'Reilly (1865–1923), poet and politician
  • Todd Payten (born 1979), rugby league player and coach
  • J. C. Wharton (1853–1929), editor of Parramatta Times (defunct) and a local history

Culture

As the centre of the City of Parramatta, as well as the centre and second largest business district of Sydney, Parramatta hosts many festivals and events. Riverside Theatre is a performing arts centre located on the northern bank of Parramatta River. The city hosts the following events:

  • January - Sydney Festival and Australia Day
  • February - Lunar New Year
  • April - Anzac Day
  • June - Winterlight
  • July - Burramatta Day
  • October - Parramasalla - a festival celebrating Parramatta's multiculturalism, in particular, South East Asian culture, and Parramatta Lanes
  • November - Loy Krathong, Christmas in Parramatta and Parramatta Day
  • December - New Year's Eve

Parramatta Park contains Old Government House and thus Parramatta was once the capital of the colony of New South Wales until Governors returned to residing in Sydney in 1846. Another feature is the natural amphitheatre located on one of the bends of the river, named by Governor Philip as "the Crescent", which is used to stage concerts. It is home to the Dairy Cottage, built from 1798 to 1805, originally a single-room cottage and is one of the earliest surviving cottages in Australia.

The remains of Governor Brisbane's private astronomical observatory, constructed in 1822, are visible. Astronomers who worked at the observatory, discovering thousands of new stars and deep sky objects, include James Dunlop and Carl Rümker. In 1822, the architect S. L. Harris designed the Bath House for Governor Brisbane and built it in 1823. Water was pumped to the building through lead pipes from the river. In 1886, it was converted into a pavilion.

The Parramatta Advertiser and the Parramatta Sun are the local newspapers serving Parramatta and surrounding suburbs.

Heritage listings

Old Government House - Parramatta Park, Parramatta, NSW (7822320214)
Old Government House, Parramatta, erected circa 1799

Being one of the older regions of Sydney and an area of greater cultural heritage, Parramatta has a number of heritage-listed buildings on the Register of the National Estate, including:

  • Elizabeth Farm, Alice Street
  • Experiment Farm Cottage, Hassal Street
  • Lancer Barracks, Smith Street
  • Former Post Office, Church Street
  • Centennial Clock, Church Street
  • Lennox Bridge
  • St John's Cathedral, Church Street
  • St John's Cemetery
  • St Patrick's Cathedral and Presbytery, Marist Place
  • Parochial School, Elizabeth Street
  • Brislington, Marsden Street
  • Hambledon Cottage, Hassall Street
  • The former King's School, O'Connell Street (later Marsden Rehabilitation Centre)
  • Roman Catholic Cemetery in North Parramatta
  • Parramatta Psychiatric Centre (Cumberland Hospital)
Parramatta Town Hall 2015
Parramatta Town Hall
  • Parramatta Park – including Old Government House
  • Macquarie Street Gatehouse in Parramatta Park
  • All Saints Church Group, including church, grounds and trees, corner Victoria Road and Elizabeth Street.
  • Parramatta Gaol was Australia's oldest operating prison until it closed in 2011 Located on O'Connell Street, the Gaol was formally proclaimed on 2 January 1842.
  • Woolpack Hotel, George Street, claims to hold Australia's oldest pub licence (dating to 1796).
  • Paramatta Public School, a brick building in Victorian Gothic style, was built in 1875. It has a state heritage listing. It was originally known as Arthur Phillip High School.
  • Parramatta Town Hall, a two-storey building in Victorian Free Classical style, was built in 1880. It is heritage-listed.

Culture and sport

Pitch level halfway looking NE
Bankwest Stadium
(1)Parramatta River
Various events are held on the Parramatta River

As the centre of the City of Parramatta, as well as the centre and second largest business district of Sydney, Parramatta hosts many festivals and events. Riverside Theatres is a performing arts centre located on the northern bank of Parramatta River. The city hosts the following events:

  • January - Sydney Festival and Australia Day
  • February - Lunar New Year and Tropfest
  • April - Anzac Day
  • July - Winterlight and Burramatta Day (Naidoc)
  • October - Parramasala and Parramatta Lanes
  • November - Loy Krathong, Christmas in Parramatta and Foundation Day
  • December - New Year's Eve

Parramatta Park contains Old Government House and thus Parramatta was once the capital of the colony of New South Wales until Governors returned to residing in Sydney in 1846. Another feature is the natural amphitheatre located on one of the bends of the river, named by Governor Philip as "the Crescent", which is used to stage concerts. It is home to the Dairy Cottage, built from 1798 to 1805, originally a single-room cottage and is one of the earliest surviving cottages in Australia.

The remains of Governor Brisbane's private astronomical observatory, constructed in 1822, are visible. Astronomers who worked at the observatory, discovering thousands of new stars and deep sky objects, include James Dunlop and Carl Rümker. In 1822, the architect S. L. Harris designed the Bath House for Governor Brisbane and built it in 1823. Water was pumped to the building through lead pipes from the river. In 1886, it was converted into a pavilion.

Cultural events

  • The Rosehill Race Course holds various race meets throughout the year, including: Derby Day, Golden Rose Day, and Rosehill Gardens Race Day.
  • The Parramatta Farmers Markets occurs every Friday, and has local produce.

Sporting teams

Parramatta is the home of several professional sports teams. These teams include the Parramatta Eels of the National Rugby League and Western Sydney Wanderers of the A-League. Both teams formerly played matches at Parramatta Stadium that has since been demolished, and replaced with the 30,000-seat Western Sydney Stadium. Parramatta Stadium was also home to the now dissolved Sydney Wave of the former Australian Baseball League and Parramatta Power of the former National Soccer League. The newly built Bankwest Stadium opened its gates for the community on 14 April 2019 with free entry for all fans. Located on O’Connell Street, the stadium is in proximity of the Parramatta CBD. The opening sporting event was the 2019 Round 6 NRL clash between Western Sydney rivals the Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers on Easter Monday 22 April. The Eels won the match by a score of 51-6. It is being predicted that the new stadium will boost Western Sydney economy by contributing millions of dollars to it.

Events

Duran Duran films “Union of the Snake” video with Russell Mulcahy, in Parramatta -using 35mm film.

Education

Macarthur Girls High School, Parramatta
Macarthur Girls High School

Parramatta is home to several primary and secondary schools. Arthur Phillip High School is the oldest public school in the district (it is in buildings which have been continuously used as a school since 1875), established in 1960 in its own right. Parramatta High School was the first coeducational school in the Sydney metropolitan area established in 1913. Our Lady of Mercy College is one of the oldest Catholic schools in Australia. Macarthur Girls High School is successor to an earlier school 'Parramatta Commercial and Household Arts School'. Others schools include Parramatta Public School, Parramatta East Public School, Parramatta West Public School, and St Patrick's Primary Parramatta.

Several tertiary education facilities are also located within Parramatta. A University of New England study centre and two Western Sydney University campuses are situated in the suburb. The Western Sydney University Parramatta Campus consists of four sites: Parramatta South (the main site), Parramatta North (including the adjacent UWS Village, the Parramatta City campus located at 100 George Street and the Flagship Parramatta City Campus located at One Parramatta Square. Parramatta South campus occupies the site of the historic Female Orphan School. Alphacrucis College is a national vocational and higher education college is also located in the suburb. The University of Sydney has also announced that it intends to establish a new campus in Parramatta.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Parramatta para niños

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