AnnandaleLocation: Inner Suburbs
From a land grant given to first fleeter Colonel Johnston, and the earliest subdivisions commencing in 1876, Annandales beginnings can still be seen in fine examples of early 19th century architecture. They include the Abbey at the northern end of Johnston Street and the remaining Gothic Romanesque witches hats built by John Young between 1886 and 1889 for his daughters, using the earliest forms of reinforced concrete.
Many streets have well preserved single and double storey row houses using local quarried stone and bricks. Because Annandale's topography is flatter than other inner western suburbs, its founders were able to plan wider streets, setting its private and public buildings off to greater advantage.
A border with the Bicentennial foreshore parkland provides access to Sydney Harbour and many streets have lovely views to the city skyline. There are a number of smaller parks, churches which date back 200 years, a Buddist Temple, primary schools, a neighbourhood centre, post office, hotels and boarding house accommodation.
Cnr Parramatta Road and Nelson Street, Annandale
Trading: Last Sunday of the Month 11am 5pm
Phone: (02) 9550 1078
With 30 years supporting live music, Annandale Hotel's management reckons nothing makes more sense than they should hold the only exclusively music related markets in town.
A remarkable, extravagant, unusual house built in Federation Gothic style. The original building, a simple cottage, was added to with a front and rear building as well as a tower all made of Pyrmont sandstone. The number of steps, arrangement of the rooms, windows as well as the floor patterns and decorations indicate strong Masonic influences, being obviously patterned on the Scottish Abbey of Kilwinning, though no records exist to indicate it was ever used as a Masonic Lodge. It is believed that the building incorporates part of the old St Marys Cathedral. The Abbey, along with three whimsical houses next door which are known as The Witches Houses because of their witches-hat roofs, was built by architect John Young on land purchased from Commander Robert Johnston in 1876. The man known as the Father of Federation, Sir Henry Parkes, who lived in one of the Witches Houses, died there in 1896.
1881-82 - The Abbey, 272 Johnston Street, Annandale
Along with the White's creek Aqueduct, the Johnson's Creek Aqueduct was one of the first major reinforced concrete structures to be built in Australia. It is testimony to the foresight of W.J.Baltzer, the Chief Engineer whom instigated the use of the Monier reinforced concrete technique, which gave the structure durability and strength. It was a key component of the first extension of the BOOS system, constructed eight years after the System became operational. The Aqueduct presently carries the sewage derived from the Glebe/Balmain/ Annandale areas across White's Creek on its journey to the ocean at Bondi. Externally, it has a rectangular conduit with an internal U shape approx 0.9m wide by approx. 1.2m deep, and is carried by eight main brick arches, each of 25.6m centre to centre, and a number of minor arches. The total length of the span is 15 chains.
Johnston's Creek Sewer Aqueduct, Hogan Park, Off Taylor Street, Annandale/ Glebe
The former Uniting Church in Johnston Street, Annandale, looks as if it is built of stone but it is not. The church is actually a brick building faced with stone that originally adorned the premises of Bull and Company in Pitt Street, Sydney. After their premises were destroyed by fire, the Annandale church brought the stonework and modified it to face their building.
Jubilee Park is a large recreational area on either side of Johnstons Creek where it enters Blackwattle Bay. Here you can watch the boats chug in and out of one of the last remaing working parts of the harbour. The Inner West light rail runs along an aquaduct on the edge of the park so train spotting kids will keep the kids occupied. Lots of people bring their dogs for walks in the huge grassed area so it is ideal for family to share some time together in the outdoors. On the Annandale side of Johnston's Creek is Bicentennial Park, which has a large children's play area containing a slippery dip, sand pits with a castle and a bridge over the sand. Right next to the playground there is a large covered picnic area with gas fired barbeques and toilets.
The park includes the Glebe Foreshore Walk, which meanders along Blackwattle Bay. Jubilee Parks historic cricket pavilion provides clean and modern changing facilities for players. The sports field is also ideal for a game of AFL or hockey.
Location: Chapman Road, Glebe.
A railway viaduct, a long stretch of brick archways, crosses the Johnstones Creek and runs through the park. The arches closest to the oval have been enclosed to form rooms: the Glebe Hockey Club has had its headquarters here since 1960, and now the Big Fag Press and the Glebe Men s Shed reside here also. Other past uses of the arches include housing a flock of sheep, which were used to trim the grass on the oval. At night they were barricaded in under the arches.
A corner of Jubilee Park behind the oval which gives access to the arches of a railway viaduct has developed quite an evil reputation. Dubbed The Street With No Name, locals claim there is something inexplicably evil about the viaduct and surrounding park, particularly at night. Some say an eerie presence can be felt, others tell tales of bizarre behaviour displayed by small children and dogs that visiting the area.
In the late 1960's, the body of an elderly man was found the day after he had been seen walking around the railway viaduct. A railway worker named Jock who had gone to the rescue of an injured possum was killed by a train in the foggy darkness the day before the line was closed permanently to rail traffic in January 1966 (it has since been re-opened for light rail). Locals report that on some nights they can still hear Jock walking along the railway tracks searching for animals in need of help. Two years after the incident, the mutilated body of a three-year-old boy was found dumped not far from the railway viaduct. This murder remains unsolved.
The body of a twelve-year-old boy was found along the railway embankment in 1974. The boy had died of extensive head injuries inflicted with a large rock. Seven months later and only 50 metres away, the body of another boy the same age was found. He had suffered multiple stab wounds to the chest, stomach and leg. In 1977, a man was arrested, tried and found guilty of the murders of the latter two boys. A girl's body is reported to have been dumped in the car park in late 1976. Police investigations indicate she may have been the victim of Sydney's first Satanic murder. In 2000, a homeless man, Reg Malvin, ignored warnings not to sleep there and was found bludgeoned to death in the grandstand of nearby Jubilee Park. Two years later the body of an Asian man was found floating in nearby Rozelle Bay. Both murders remain unsolved.
The storage rooms that have been created by bricking in the arches have been dubbed The Tomb by one of the people who leases one. Night visitors to them have reported feeling anxious and queasy and sudden temperature changes and the smell of fresh paint when at times when no painting has been done. Ghostly footsteps have been heard coming from the exact spot that the body of the first murdered twelve-year-old boy was found.
Whites Creek, which also empties into Rozelle Bay, rose on the hillside to the south of Parramatta Road, Leichhardt. Parramatta Road crossed the creek via a bridge in the vicinity of Catherine Street. Whites Creek Lane follows the path of the water course to Booth Street, beyond which it passes through Whites Creek Valley Park. This park contains a rare remnant of native vegetation in Sydney's inner west. The Lilyfield goods line was built on the creek's northern bank and follows it until the creek enters Rozelle Bay. In 1793, the land between the Whites and Johnstons Creeks and the Harbour was granted to George Johnston, a Marine who had supervised the transportation of convicts in the First Fleet. The creek and White Bay are named after First Fleeter and surgeon-general John White who was granted land in the vicinity of the bay in 1789.
Orphan School Creek SWC Looking NW across end of Hereford Street in direction of Johnstons Creek Bridge, 1926. Photo: Sydney Water
Orphans School Creek, which rose in Grose Farm in the vicinity of the No. 2 Oval of the University of Sydney, is one of the casualties of urban development. Once a crystal clear steam, it only has water in it these days after heavy rain. For part of its length it is an underground drain. Sections above ground remain between Parramatta Road and Pyrmont Bridge Road. The creek was named because it flowed through land in the locality of Forest Lodge which was allocated for use by an orphans school set up by Governor King in 1800 to provide shelter for orphaned and abandoned children. He secured William Kent's house in Sydney as accommodation; established a regular income for it by way of port duties and provided for its long-term needs with a secular equivalent of the glebe - land reserves to support livestock from which the institution could earn an income.
A small locality wedged between Annandale and Glebem Forest Lodge named after the house of Ambrose Foss, a chemist and co-founder of the Congregational Church in New South Wales, who set up residence there at 208-210 Bridge Road in 1836. The house was demolished in 1912. It is assumed he named it thus as the area was originally open forest and perhaps it had yet to be cleared when he moved in. Part of The Glebe (land granted for use by the Church in 1789), a section of it to the west of Orphan School Creek was granted to Gov. William Bligh. By the 1850s, Forest Lodge and Glebe were being subdivided and the suburbs as we know them today began to be formed.
Ross Street and the intersecting St Johns Road, form the centre of the neighbourhood, with a small collection of bars, cafes and antique stores. The area is popular with students from the nearby University of Sydney and UTS. It is considered to be a quieter alternative to neighbouring Glebe, which shares many of its features. The housing stock is predominantly Victorian, a sizeable proportion of which has been converted into apartment houses in varying states of restoration.
Historic points of interest include the Forest Lodge Public School and the Chapman Steps. The former Alexandra Hospital is past the southern boundary in Camperdown and the Glebe Town Hall is just over the eastern boundary of the suburb at Mount Vernon Street, Glebe. At the intersection of Wigram Road and Minogue Crescent can be found the Lew Hoad Reserve, a small but pleasant park named in honour of Lew Hoad. Lew was born in 1934 and grew up at 43 Wigram Road. He learned to play tennis in the area and from the age of nine was a daily visitor to the Police Boy s Club next to the reserve where he participated in boxing, wrestling, gymnastics, athletics, cricket and rugby league. Hoad went on to be a member of Australia s four Davis Cup winning squads in 1952 to 1956, won Wimbledon twice and was the world s number one tennis player in 1956 before turning professional. The reserve was named after him in 1965.
The popular Forest Lodge Hotel has become an institution in the area, hailing multitudes of students and families alike. Having won the TimeOut Pub Awards in 2015, 2016 and being nominated in 2017. this local venue is quickly gaining a name for itself.
Annandale is taken from Annandale House, the home and estate of Colonel Johnston of the New South Wales Corps. Built in 1799, Annandale House was named after Colonel Johnstons home town in Scotland. Annandale was granted Governor Phillip to Colonel Johnston in 1799. Colonel Johnston played a pivotal role in the Rum Rebellion of 1808, in which the Governor, William Bligh, was overthrown and imprisoned in a military coup led by Johnston.
Extensive farming took place in Sydneys inner west until after the goldrush of the 1850s when its neighbour, Leichhardt, was subdivided and became home to many who came to the city from the diggings. John Young, a businessman, architect and Mayor of Sydney, bought the Annandale estate from Johnston's son, Robert, in 1877 and set to work on creating a model suburb with wide, tree-lined avenues. He set a standard he hoped other would follow by building four iconic houses in Johnston Street, two of which feature the picturesque witchs hat style of roof. One of these was Kenilworth, where Sir Henry Parkes died. The Abbey, where Young lived, is a stone Gothic Revival mansion, modelled on Scottish manors. Young gave his imagination a free rein and the house incorporates gables, arches, gargoyles, lions, quatrefoils, chimneys, turrets, a cloister and a tower with copper cladding (it was rumoured that Young may have stolen gargoyles from St Marys Cathedral, which he built, but there was no proof).
Johnstons Creek still follows roughly the same path as it did before the land was cleared and the streets constructed. In Sydney it is the water which has determined the topography, the erratic outline of the bays and inlets of the harbour. Creeks form boundaries and often a suburb s borders will run along the path of a creek. Annandale is enclosed by two creeks, Johnstons and Whites. Both now are concrete channels which drain stormwater into the harbour, running behind back fences, or through strips of parkland, until they reach Rozelle Bay. Of the two creeks Johnston is the longest and more visible.
When Parramatta Road was a dusty, but busy, thoroughfare in the 1840s there was a toll gate at Johnstons Creek. Orphan School Creek joins the flow of water alongside Booth Street. The streams meet behind what was once the Children s Hospital and now is a residential complex. This area was once eucalypt forest and the creek a natural freshwater stream running over rocks at the bottom of a gully. The Cadigal and Wangal people lived here, hunting in the forest, fishing in the bay. But by the 1790s this landscape had already changed as the land was cleared by convict labour. Before it was subdivided in the late 19th century, the Johnston estate occupied the area in between Whites Bay and Johnstons Creeks. In some areas of the estate the bushland had regrown, and by the time English economist Stanley Jevons lived in Annandale in 1855, he found a path over Johnstons Creek was more favourable than dusty Parramatta Road.
&the day before yesterday I found a delightful way to the town through woods and dales instead of along a dusty road. I start off in the wood at our back door, and walk through close tall gum-trees and over picturesque rocks for a full mile, when I come to a stream, an inlet of the harbour; this is crossed by a bridge formed of a large gum-tree which has been blown down and fallen across it, a long row of bullock skulls ábeing laid in the mud as stepping-stones on one side: the view here along the stream is also quite pretty, at least to Australian eyes.
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The following buses operate in the Leichhardt area:
433 Balmain to Millers Point
441 Birchgrove to Queen Victoria building in the City
440 Rozelle to Circular Quay via Lilyfield, Leichhardt, and Parramatta Road
445 Balmain Wharf to Campsie Station via Darling St, Lilyfield Light Rail, and Norton Street
370 Leichhardt to Coogee via Annandale
338 & 339 Mortlake to Circular Quay via Five Dock, Haberfield, Leichhardt, Annandale, and Parramatta Rd
500 series City via Anzac Bridge
L38 - Abbotsford to Circular Quay via Five Dock, Leichhardt and City.
NB This is a PrePay Only Service This means you will need to purchase tickets before you get to the bus stop.
Petersham Station is the closest CityRail train station for the Leichhardt and Annadale area. You can walk to Petersham in 15-20 minutes from Leichhardt Town Hall, cycle there in 5 minutes or catch a 445 bus that stops outside the station. Petersham Station is on the Inner West (purple line) and Bankstown Line (orange line).