Georgian Architecture in Australia

October 26, 2012

You might know this as the title of the definitive book, published in 1963, with photographs by Max Dupain and commentary by Morton Herman, Marjorie Barnard and Daniel Thomas.

The “historic” end of Queen Street, the main street of Campbelltown NSW 2560 is now a 10kph one-way street and this is the Coaching House, with its wide wooden doors permitting carriages to access the stables at the rear. Campbelltown, Liverpool, Penrith and Windsor – being Governor Macquarie towns – were all originally a day’s ride from Sydney in colonial times, so coaching houses and inns were most likely the first permanent buildings to be erected, apart from toll-houses; they all got post offices on 1 May 1850, for example. There are four Georgian houses of similar vintage in Queen Street which date from the 1830s (a short time before transportation of convicts ceased). This Coaching House was restored by Morton Herman in 1964, though I seem to recall the wooden gates were themselves still unrestored into the 1970s. Even in the 1970s, Queen Street was one long high street, without any distinction made for historic buildings. Campbelltown & Airds Historic Society dates them from the 1840s and indicates the columns of this Coaching House are of iron; I think by “iron” they mean the upper storey columns.

Today’s sketching was very much done “on the hop”, first thing in the morning; more a reconnaissance mission than a proper sketch. I’d entirely forgotten the houses were on the east side; obviously a better time would be in the afternoon, but not too late because of the shopping complex on the other side of the street.



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