1902 Encyclopedia > Parramatta, NSW, Australia

(NSW, Australia)

PARRAMATTA, a town of New South Wales, at the head of the navigation of the Parramatta river, and 14 miles to the west of Sydney, with which it is connected by railway, was one of the earliest inland settlements, and the seat of many of the public establishments connected with the working of the convict system. Many of these still remain in another form (the district hospital, the lunaric asylum, the gaol, two asylum for the infirm and destitute, the Protestant and Catholic orphan schools), involving a Government expenditure which partly sustains the business of the town. Parramatta was one of the easliest seats of the tweed manufacture, but its principal industrial dependence has been on the fruit trade. With the exception of Prospect and Pennant Hills, where there is an outburst of trap rock, the surface soil is the disintegration of the Wainamatta shale, which is well suited for orangeries and orchards. The value of the annual fruit crop is estimated at £100,000. The earlier governors had their country residence near the town, but the domain is now a public park in the hands of the municipality. Close by was an early observatory where, in 1822, were made the observations for the Parramatta Catalogue, numbering 7385 stars, but it has long been abandoned. The Church of England grammar school (King’s school), which accommodated ninety boarders, is on the north side of the river. The population in 1881 was 8453.

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