03 February, 2020

Looking from the Other Direction : Sydney 1834

Old Saint Mary's Cathedral Sydney
Saint Mary's Road, a watercolour of 1834.Image : National Library of Australia.

Standing on what is now Saint Mary's Road, an artist painted this watercolour in July 1834, looking towards what we know as the site of the ANZAC Memorial in the southern precinct of Hyde Park. It is the opposite view to that shewn in our previous post.

In the centre of this painting is Saint Mary's Catholic Chapel, whose exterior walls of light-coloured stone had only been completed in the previous year.  A year later, it would become the Cathedral Church of the newly-arrived Bishop Polding.  The proportions of Saint Mary's are not quite accurately portrayed in this painting : it was of a much more "squat" appearance.

Away on a hill in the distance is the same building - possibly a private residence or an inn - that was shewn in the foreground in our previous post of an 1837 painting by Robert Russell.

The focus of these paintings is a collection of buildings which were constructed in stages during the 1820s and included a temporary chapel, a schoolroom and the residence for the various pioneering priests.  In a further post, we will discuss these buildings in more detail.


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