Insiders Sydney: Suburban Memorials



James Cook's Landing Place
A stone cairn, erected in 1870 to commemorate the landing of Lieutenant James Cook in 1770 at Botany Bay, erected on the 100th anniversary of the landing. The sandstone monument was donated by land developer and politician Thomas Holt. On a rocky ledge in the waters of Botany Bay is another small cairn and plaque which identifies what is believed to be the exact spot where cook came ashore. Not far away is another plaque mounted on a rock near a stream (below), identifying it as the watercourse from which Cook obtained fresh water supplies during his stay at Botany Bay.


Sir Joseph Banks
A cairn honours Joseph Banks (later Sir), the leading British botanist who visited Botany Bay in April 1770 with James Cook on HMS Endeavour. From this time, Banks was actively involved in almost every aspect of Pacific exploration and early Australian colonial life. He actively supported the proposal of Botany Bay as a site for British settlement. Practically anyone who wanted to travel to New South Wales, in almost any capacity, consulted Sir Joseph Banks. He was the one constant throughout the first 30 years of white settlement in Australia, through changes of ministers, government and policy. Banks corresponded with the first four Governors of New South Wales who, while they reported officially to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, also reported privately and therefore more intimately and openly to Banks.


Carl Solander
A cairn at Captain Cook's Landing Place, Kurnell, honours Carl Solander, a Swedish botanist who visited Botany Bay in April 1770 on HMS Endeavour at the invitation of Joseph Banks. Hewn from a two-tonne block of Swedish granite, the monument was the initiative of a group of Swedes led by businessman William Kopsen. It was erected in 1914.


Forby Sutherland
Botany Bay is the resting place the first two Europeans to have been buried in marked graves on Australian soil. On the northern shore is another grave, that of French Franciscan friar Claude-Francois Joseph (Pere) Receveur, who came to Australia on La Boussole in January 1788 at the time of the arrival of the first fleet. On the southern headland at the bay's entrance is the grave of Scottish Seaman Forbus (Forby) Sutherland, of James Cook's Endeavour who died of tuberculosis on 30th April, 1770, the day after the vessel was brought to anchor in Botany Bay. His body was brought ashore and buried the following day near a watering place used by Cook (the small creek still flows today) who named the nearby headland Point Sutherland in his memory. The location is marked by a cairn.


Pere Receveur
On the shores of Frenchmans Bay is the grave of French Franciscan friar Claude-Francois Joseph (Pere) Receveur, who came to Australia on La Boussole in January 1788 at the time of the arrival of the first fleet. L'Astrolabe and La Boussole, commanded by La Compt de La Perouse, were on an expedition of discovery and exploration into the Pacific. They landed on 6th December 1787 at Maouna, in the Navigator Islands in the Samoan Group, where an exploring party was attacked by natives, 12 being killed and others wounded. Among the latter was Receveur, who was a chaplain, botanist and shoemaker. He succumbed to his wounds after landing on Australian shores.

His burial, on 17th February 1788 on the La Perouse headland, marks the third recorded death and burial of an European on Australian soil. Forby Sutherland died in 1770, William Dampier's cook, John Goodman, died in August 1699 whilst in Shark Bay and a Dutch sailor of the Duyfken is known to have died and been buried near Cape Keerweer on the Gulf of Carpentaria in March 1606, though his name was not recorded. Receveur's tomb was erected by Baron de Bougainville in 1825 near the grave site. It replaced a copper plate which Gov. Phillip had nailed to the tree under which Receveur was buried which in turn had replaced a board left by La Perouse that had fallen down.


La Compt de La Perouse
A stone obelisk with a globe on top which commemorates the visit to Botany Bay in January 1788 of French explorer La Perouse and his two ships L'Astrolabe and La Boussole. The two ships stayed at Botany Bay for six weeks before setting sail never to be seen again. More than a century later they were later discovered wrecked on reefs at Vantikoro off the Solomon Islands.

The monument was designed by Colonial Architect George Cockney to the instructions of the Governor, Sir Thomas Brisbane, and officially commemorated by Captain BH Bougainville in 1828. It is believed to be the oldest monument in Sydney and perhaps the whole of Australia. Several plaques have since been added which commemorate other French citizens in Australia.


William Ewart Hart
This memorial commemorates an early cross country flight from Penrith to Parramatta Park on 4th November 1911 by William Ewart Hart, the first Australian to fly a plane and the first qualified pilot in Australia. William Ewart Hart memorial, Parramatta Park.


Bass and Flinders
Overlooking the entrance of Port Hacking, this location marks the spot where explorers Matthew Flinders and George Bass where explorers George Bass and Matthew Flinders came ashore on 30th March 1796 during the first survey of Port Hacking. Location: Cowrie Street, Cronulla.


Sir Henry Parkes
A bronze statue of Sir Henry Parkes statue is to be found in Centennial Park just down from the Oxford Street gates near Paddington. In 1889 when Premier of New South Wales Parkes declared that the time had come to set about creating a 'great national government for all Australia'. His speech in the town of Tenterfield began a process of constitution-making that led eventually to the proclamation of the Australian Commonwealth. Although Parkes died in 1896 before his vision could be realised, his contribution was often remembered. Created by sculptor Alan Somerville and unveiled in 1996, this statue replaces the original which was destroyed by vandals in the early 1970s.


Vinegar Hill Uprising
On 5th March 1804 a group of convicts employed to clear 700 acres in the Castle Hill district revolted against their harsh conditions and treatment by setting farm buildings alight. Led by Irish political prisoner Philip Cunningham, the 200 strong group of mainly Irishmen overcame the guards and looted the district. Learning of the insurrection, Governor King sent Major Johnston from Sydney to Parramatta with two sergeants and 52 soldiers. They overtook and subdued the rebels at Rouse Hill with little effort as the mob was undisciplined, had only makeshift weapons and most were drunk. A further 100 convicts planned to join them but lost their way (perhaps they were drunk also!).

Official records refer to the location as Castle Hill however this name referred to the whole area we now call the Hills District, which encompassed Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, Rouse Hill, Round Corner, Kellyville, Glenhaven, Annangrove and Dural. The original Castle Hill farm, established by Gov. King in 1801, had 700 acres under cultivation by 300 mainly Irish convicts. While the exact location has never been positively identified, indications are that the Castlebrook Lawn Cemetery is built on the site of the uprising.

Vinegar Hill Road, which is near the cemetery, began appearing on maps drawn after 1804, and is a major clue in identifying the historic hill's actual whereabouts. A memorial recalling the incident has been built at the top of the hill in the cemetery grounds. The name Vinegar Hill was given to the location after the event and not before as the incident mirrored the Vinegar Hill Uprising of 1798 against British rule. Many of the Irish loyalists who were transported to Australia for their part in the Irish revolt against British rule were the ringleaders of the uprising. Location: Windsor Road, Rouse Hill.


James Cook
Captain Thomas Watson (1795  1879), owner of the Star and Garter Inn at Randwick in the 1870s, was the man responsible for the creation and erection of the statue of James Cook next to the Star and Garter . Watson was fascinated by the life of the explorer, James Cook, even naming his own house Cook s Lodge . Watson was first appointed as resident pilot of the Port of Sydney in 1833. He returned to sea as a trader in December 1837 and was reinstated as pilot in 1839. Watson was a familiar figure around the streets of Sydney until his death on 4th October, 1879.

The statue was designed to face Botany Bay and was sculpted from Pyrmont sandstone by Colonial Sculptor, Walter McGill (1826  1881).. The statue was unveiled on 28th October 1874, the Old Style date of Cook s birth, at a ceremony set for 5.00pm. The bells of St Judes Anglican Church pealed continuously from midday and flags decked Alison Road and Avoca Street. The unveiling was carried out by Commodore James Goodenough, whose relationship to James Cook, the subject of the statue, formed the basis for a series of bizarre coincidences. As well as having the same first names and the same professions, both Cook and Goodenough died as a result of injuries incurred when local inhabitants felt threatened by their presence: Cook in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), Goodenough at Santa Cruz, the year after the unveiling.


Lady Mary FitzRoy
Close to the George Street entrance to Parramatta Park is an obelisk which marks the location of a tree against which Lady Mary FitzRoy was thrown on 7th December 1847 and fatally injured. She and her husband, Governor FitzRoy, had left Government House Parramatta with a party to attend a wedding at St James Church, Sydney. Passing the spot, one of the horses bolted causing the carriage to strike the tree and overturn. The Governor's wife and the Governor's aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Masters, were killed in the accident. Governor FitzRoy escaped unharmed.


El Alamein Fountain
Looking like a dandelion in flower, this fountain commemorates the Australian Army's role in the World War II conflicts the siege of Tobruk, Libya, and the battle of El Alamein in Egypt. Fitzroy Gardens, Potts Point.


Manly Pathway of Olympians
The pathway runs from West Esplanade to the Art gallery, (come out of the Wharf and turn left). Commemorating Manly's sporting history. Over 100 years of Manly residents who represented Australia in Olympic Games. There are 80 plaques on the walk, which is a living history and is added to after each games.


Duke Kahanamoku
Freshwater Surf Club, Manly is home of the surfboard of Duke Kahanamoku, who visited Sydney in 1915 and demonstrated the art of surfing. Australia's first surfboard was made in a Sydney timber yard from sugarpine in 1915. Duke Kahanamoku had told some Australian swimmers about riding the waves on a wooden plank and drew a sketch of the board. When the shape was cut to size the Duke finished it by hand and then demonstrated his skills on the board at Freshwater beach. The board is on display at Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club. A statue of The Duke catching a wave sits on the headland above Freshwater Beach.
Australia For Everyone: Ph: 0412 879 698 | Email
Content © 2017, Australia For Everyone