All walks start/finish at the Pioneers
Memorial in Thompson Square
The walk is divided into two sections. The first section
covers points 1 to 13 and will take approximately 75 minutes
to complete without stops.
The second section covering points 14 - 29 will take approximately
90 minutes to complete.
Points of Interest in Windsor
Thompson Square is the centre of one of the
earliest settled districts in Australia. Its collection of
colonial buildings has remained largely intact since being
built in the period between 1815 and 1880.
The Square was refurbished as a Bicentennial project, ensuring
that it remains a tribute to the pioneers of the district.
The anchor at the top of the Square on the Pioneer Families
Bicentennial Memorial is an appropriate symbol for the districts
early days. It serves as a reminder that the majority of craft
that plied the Hawkesbury River were made or sailed by local
pioneers for the transport of the life-saving grain grown
by other Hawkesbury pioneers.
Together, these early Hawkesbury settlers ensured the survival
of the colony of NSW. This monument contains plaques listing
pioneer families who in 1988 contributed to the cost of erecting
this to all Hawkesbury pioneers.
Andrew Thompson arrived in NSW as
a convict but after a period of time, during which he was
a constable of "Green Hills" he became a rich emancipist
land owner and entrepreneur, running a store on land he leased
in the Square from 1799. Governor Macquarie made Thompson
a magistrate just prior to Thompsons death in 1810.
Standing at the monument, look towards the
main commercial centre. At the corner of the Square is...
1. Macquarie Arms
This hotel, the oldest building in Thompson Square, owes its
origin directly to Governor Macquarie. In his journal of January
12 1811 he wrote "I gave Mr Fitzgerald a large allotment
in the Square on the express condition of his building immediately
thereon a handsome commodious Inn of brick or stone and to be
at least two storeys high". Although the oldest Inn in
Australia (1815) it has not continuously operated as such. It
was used as a private home from 1840 to 1873. Note the verandahs
stone flagging and the cedar joinery and doors. Later additions
mask the original architecture, but much remains of interest.
Richard Fitzgerald, having been
transported to NSW as a convict, rose to hold government positions,
including superintendent of convicts and works at Windsor. He
built the inn and a cottage for his family next door (where
the present day Fitzgerald House stands). On his death in 1840
he was one of the Hawkesbury's richest residents.
A plaque on the wall of the hotel, near the Hawkesbury Museum,
denotes the height of the great flood of 1867, the greatest
flood recorded in the district. The wall to which the plaque
is affixed was made of bricks rejected from ST Matthews Church
of England is Moses Street.
Start to walk down towards the Hawkesbury River. Next to the
Macquarie Arms is the...
2. Hawkesbury Museum
This is a brick, two storey Georgian building. Its iron balustrading
was added during the Victorian period. Originally, the building
had a shingle roof.
Recent archaeological evidence shows that the present museum
building was erected in the 1820's on John Howe's allotment.
Later it was known as Coffey's Inn and, later still, the Daniel
O'Connell Inn. The land was part of an allotment made in 1811
to Howe, who was Chief Constable at Windsor from 1812 to 1821
and a man of some standing in early Windsor.
In 1876 it was sold to George Davies a printer who published
the Australian until the 1890's. The building was brought
by the now Hawkesbury City Council some years ago and houses
the Museum of the Hawkesbury Historical Society. Interesting
displays depict materials and lifestyles from the areas past.
The museum is also a tourist information centre and is open
for the public inspection.
Nestler between the larger two storey building is...
3. Number 5 Thompson
A delightful little cottage built around 1850, it was acquired
by the State Planning Authority and restored. It is now privately
To the river side of the cottage is...
4. The Doctors
So called because doctors have occupied parts of it since 1876.
The site was originally occupied by an inn called The Lord Nelson
which was built in 1819. The present building was constructed
in 1844 and is one of the finest examples of a colonial terrace
building in Australia. Of architectural note are the fanlights
above the two main doors, the columns flanking each side of
these doorways, the sandstone verandahs, the delicate wrought-iron
railings and its bricks, which are ruddy and mellow with age.
Continuing towards the river, follow the roadway as we temporarily
leave Thompson Square. Cross over the Terrace and turn right
onto the walkway. This will take you via a set of stairs under
the busy Windsor-Singleton roadway and beside the river. A
you emerge from under the bridge, Windsor Wharf can be seen.
It was from this wharf that much of the produce was sent to
the parent colony in Sydney. Today, the wharf is used fro
pleasure craft which carry tourists along the river. Walk
up the hill to re-enter Thompson Square. On your left will
5. Number 6 Thompson Square
Built around 1860, this cottage was also restored during the
Bicentennial year. Originally it had a high pitched shingle
At the crest of the hill on the corner of George Street is...
6. Number 10 Thompson Square
Built in 1856 this largely unaltered building was restored
in 1988. It was the residence of Dr Joshua Dowe before becoming
a school. The Sate member for Hawkesbury, Brinsley Hall, lived
here in the early 1900's.
Subsequently, the building became a maternity hospital, and
again a private residence.
One of the main features is the delicate wrought iron balustrading
and columns, which were quite old fashioned for the period.
Cross George Street and directly in front of you is the...
7. School of Arts
On the site of the old government store, the Italianate style
School of Arts was built in 1861. This was used as a community
centre until 1947 when it was sold, and has since been used
as a boot factory.
Walk along the residential section of George Street. Near
the junction of Arndell Street on the left is the site of
8. Old Government House
There is a sign erected to mark the house built in the 1790's
for the commanding officer of the Windsor garrison.
Turn into Arndell Street. At the end, you'll see a number
of interesting buildings. On the right is the Courthouse which
we will walk back to shortly. On the left are the...
9. North Street Cottages
These houses were built between 1840 an 1860 and provide an
excellent example of the streetscape of Windsor in this period.
Examples are rare now, partly because many of the central
blocks of Windsor were destroyed by fire in 1874.
The building on the corner was a former inn, once known as
the Courthouse Inn because of its close proximity to the Windsor
Courthouse, but known locally as The Swallows Inn. Under the
eaves are the nests of the fairy martins who nest here in
spring and summer.
The building will be recognised by viewers of "A Country
Practice" as the surgery of Dr Terrrence Elliot.
Number 35 North Street is the inly weatherboard cottage in
Numbers 33 and 31 - although two dwellings today - were once
a single building and probably another inn. The shingled roof
was recently added to resemble the original.
Numbers 29 and 27, a cottage of sandstone, brick adds character
top the streetscape. The brickwork shows the method of brickmaking
during the period: twigs and grass were used as part of the
brick which was scorched black during the firing. These bricks
were used for all but the most important civic buildings.
Numbers 25 and 23 are semi-detached cottages. The roof of
these dwellings is a feature commonly known as a jerkin-head
roof and it provided shelter for families during times of
flood - an important feature, given that the Hawkesbury is
prone to regular flooding.
Walking down the North Street offers a rural panorama. The
area directly in front of you is the site of the first farms
in the colony. The buildings of Pitt Town can be seen in the
distance. Turn right into Palmer Street. After crossing Pitt
Street you pass one of the many turf farms of the area. Continue
along Palmer Street and turn left at the letter boxes for...
10. John Tebbutt F.R.A.S. Observatories
There are a number of buildings on the site. The first observatory
built in 1863 has been demolished. By using a transit instrument,
Tebbutt was able to establish local mean time. The second
observatory (the circular building) was built in 1874 to accommodate
a larger telescope and finally the striking square building
was built in 1879.
Tebbutt himself became one of the worlds
most accomplished amateur astronomers. He was a "gentleman
farmer" who maintained a passion for astronomy. He discovered
the "Great Comet of 1861" and "Comet Tebbutt
of 1881" as well as many other important meteorological
phenomena. In 1873, Tebbutt was elected a Fellow of the Royal
Astronomical Society. The International Astronomical Union
honoured Tebbutt in 1973, some 57 years after his death, by
naming a Luna crater "The Tebbutt Crater". In 1984
he was depicted on the $100 note. The observatories are still
owned by his great grandson John Halley Tebbutt. He and his
family live in the original home built in 1845. Great grandson
Tebbutt has restored the observatories which house items of
scientific interest. They are open to the public.
Retrace your steps back to Pitt Street and turn left. South
Creek will be to your left, along with a panorama of the McGraths
Hill lowlands. At the corner of Court Street will be...
11. Windsor Courthouse
Built in 1822, this building was designed by the convict architect
Francis Greenway, who is featured on the $10 note. The courthouse
was once cement rendered, but this was removed in 1960. The
bricks beneath were cleaned to reveal the original brickwork.
Further plans exist to expose the delightful internal red
cedar joinery. Even the blinds are made of red cedar.
Hanging in the public gallery inside the courthouse is a portrait
of Governor Macquarie. The picture used to hang above the
,magistrates chair, but during one particularly rowdy public
meeting it was damaged when an egg was thrown at the speaker
in the courtroom. The painting was taken away, repaired and
hung in the public gallery for safety.
The courthouse is still in use today and holds interesting
records of the colonial era in Windsor. When court is not
in session, it is possible to enter the building for an inspection.
Nearby in Court Street toward the Police Station is a sign
which acknowledges the...
12. Site of the Old
The gaol was erected in 1859 and demolished in 1936. It was
surrounded by high walls, on top of which was broken glass.
At the end of Court Street a concrete footpath runs off to
the left toward South Creek. Following it you will find...
13. The Tollhouse
The likelihood of flooding of site has made the restoration
of the tollhouse very difficult. However it remains an interesting
reminder of a past era. A tollhouse was built here in 1814,
but the premises collapsed during a flood in 1864. The present
building was re-erected on the sandstone foundations in the
same year and was used to collect tolls until 1887. The three
sided bay window in from t was designed for easy observation
of the road. Early charges were one chilling for a four wheeled
carriage with two horses.
Walk back up the path and cross the road to the police station.
In front of you is the...
14. Site of the Guardhouse
These brick foundations belonged to the guardhouse, built
around 1830 for the military barracks which had been built
in 1818 on the site of the present police station. The foundations
were unearthed by roadworks in 1976 and preserved.
The guardhouse consisted of three small cells which were used
to confine soldiers who had breached military rules and a
passageway leading to the guardroom which was entered by a
flight of steps from outside. The guardhouse was the gateway
to the military barracks. The soldier on duty was responsible
for opening and closing the 2.5 metre high gates. The military
barracks were surrounded by a 4 metre wall which partly exists
today, although much reduced in height. The Barracks were
demolished in 1928 to make way for the present police station
At the traffic lights, cross the main road and then walk up
the hill to again re-enter Thompson Square. Should you wish
to continue, walk along George Street as far as the entrance
to the Mall and turn right into Baker Street. Head toward
the river and cross the Terrace to follow the path which meanders
through the leafy groves beside the river. Between Kable and
Fitzgerald Streets are the grounds of...
Sunnybrae was built in 1875 and today remains in the same
family. It is an impressive home set in expansive gardens.
A closer view of the home and stables can be obtained by walking
up Fitzgerald Street.
Directly opposite Sunnybrae is...
16. The Water Tower
Still in use today, the tower was in integral part of the
first water supply for Windsor. It was constructed in 1889
and has a capacity of about one million litres.
Back on the Terrace, the paved walkway ceases near the concrete
tower. Walk across the park following the line of power poles
to rejoin the western sector of the Terrace. At the corner
of New Street turn left to view...
17. New Street Buildings
Built around 1830, the two cottages at Number 1 and Number
7 have been restored and are well maintained.
The Anglican St Matthews Hall was built in 1880 to replace
an earlier hall located in George Street,
Retrace your steps back to the Terrace and turn left. Built
on a large block on your left is...
This was once the home of William Walker who was a local politician
and lawyer. The house was built in 1851. The coach house and
stables give some indication of the wealth of the family.
Today, the house remains in the ownership of the same family.
Turn into Catherine Street. On the corner of Little Church
Street is a charming building...
19. The Bell Inn
Built around 1845, the Bell Inn was operated by John Primrose
and continued as an inn untold the impact of the railway took
business from the area. The building is in very good condition
and shows a typical 8inn of the period. Note the window shutters
which are of a solid rather than louvred construction. Also
of interest is the front doorway, which is placed on a barrelled
corner. This has the effect of making the building "follow
round" the corner. It was a commonly used technique on
corner shops and inns.
Nearby buildings also provide interesting examples of early
houses, with some terraces and a duplex being represented.
At the end of Little Church Street on the left is...
20. The Rectory
A delightful complement to St Matthews Anglican church. The
Rectory - Georgian in style - was built in 1825 by William Cox
to the plan of an unknown architect. William Cox had shortly
before built the Windsor Courthouse (see No 10.) and built the
first road over the Blue Mountains in 1814. The Rev Samuel Marsden
- often referred to as "the flogging parson" - frequently
journeyed top Windsor to conduct services in the early days
of the colony. In 1838 he died at the rectory while visiting
Windsor. His body was taken to Parramatta for burial.
A little further along on the right is the grand...
22. St Matthews
Here is the very heart of colonial Hawkesbury. Built at Governor
Macquarie's direction on a site selected for that specific purpose,
it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Australia. The
corner stone was laid by Governor Macquarie in October 1817.
The church was consecrated in December 1822 with Samuel Marsden
conducting the opening service. It is the masterpiece of Francis
Greenway, the convict architect, who was retained by Governor
Macquarie to rectify the poor standard of building in the colony.
It is one of the few early buildings which is cluttered by its
modern surroundings. It can be seen from a great many parts
of the Hawkesbury, and is the district's famous landmark. In
the 1867 flood it was the chief point of safety for flood victims.
Even older than then church is the graveyard.
The earliest marked grave in Andrew Thompsons who died in 1810.
There are a number of other graves of prominent pioneers, including
a number who sailed to Australia with the First Fleet. These
graves are identified by a small plaque. William Cox is also
buried here, and of particular interest is the Tebbut family
vault, with its astrological features on each corner.
Continue walking past the graveyard
and into Claremont Crescent. A narrow laneway ahead will lead
you down to the well hidden...
23. Claremont Cottage
Built in the same years as St Matthews, Claremont Cottage
has been owned by prominent locals. These include William
Cox, Francis Beddeck, the Chaselings family and Philip Charley.
The cottage has been restored during the past decade.
Retrace your steps to the corner of Moses Street and Claremont
Crescent. Turn right into Moses Street and cross the busy
Richmond Road. Continue ahead into Cox Street and then turn
right into Fairfield Avenue. At the end you will find...
Fairfield is a splendid example of high Victoriana. The first
part of the house to be built was occupied by William Cox
in 1833. William McQuade built the two storey section in the
early 1880's. It was designed for entertainment on a large
scale and McQuade who was manager of Her Majestys Theatre
in Sydney at that time, did it full justice. The grounds included
a cricket oval, a pavilion and a private track.
Retrace your steps along Fairfield Avenue, cross over Cox
Street and walk along Brabyn Street until you reach George
Street. Turn left into George Street. A little way along the
25. Number 394 George
Built in 1897 as a general store by George Robertson. Its
ornate stonework was carved by an immigrant named O'Kelly
who apparently enjoyed the sight of his handiwork so much
that he bought the house opposite.
Continue along George Street, crossing Richmond Street at
the lights. There are a number of buildings of interest in
George Street. The second building on your right is...
26. Oxalis Cottage
The cottage stands between the Hawkesbury City Council Chambers
and the library. It was built by Peter Turner, a Wesleyan
missionary. Turner died in the cottage in 1873. His second
cottage, which stood adjacent, was demolished.
Further along George Street on the right is...
27. Number 312 George
The building is often referred to as "Mrs Cope's Cottage"
as it was once the home of Maria Cope. It stood on extensive
grounds before they were subdivided in 1839. Many houses in
the immediate are can therefore be dated in the 1840's One
of these is...
28. Number 265 George
This was a former inn built of Georgian style sandstock brocks
Opposite is number 266 George Street, better known today as...
29. The Windsor Antique
The extensive market is housed in the old Royal Theatre.
Continue walking up George Street and you will enter...
30. Windsor Mall
Windsor Mall is a pedestrian precinct which stretches for
two blocks through the main commercial centre of Windsor.
At the eastern end of the Mall is a waterwheel which symbolises
the importance of agriculture to the region and in particular
grain crops. These crops were often milled in tidal powered
mills. While the tide was rising, water would flow into a
reservoir and be held until the miller was ready. As the tide
dropped, water would run past a wheel which was linked to
a grinding block.
There are a number of renovated buildings in the mall and
the environment provides a pleasant mixture of old and new.
By looking above the street level awnings, many of the original
building facades can be seen.
Of particular interest
is Loder House, which today houses a restaurant. The home was
built in 1834 by George Loder, a member of the influential Windsor
district family. After Georges death the house was occupied
by Laban White until 1873.
In the later years the building deteriorated and was used as
a boarding house. By the 1960's, the building was derelict.
Salvation came in the mid 1970's when a three year restoration
program was supervised by the then Windsor Shire Council.
As you leave the mall, one block ahead of you will be Thompson
Square and the completion of the Windsor Walking Tour.
The department of Planing and Tourism Hawkesbury Inc hope
you have enjoyed your tour of these two historic towns and
that you'll return to the Hawkesbury area often.