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Parramatta Police Barracks, c1890

Parramatta Police Barracks, c1890, now located at 2 Smith St. Parramatta.

When Governor Macquarie arrived in New South Wales, he found that much of the military accommodation was in a bad state of repair due to being constructed with poor quality materials.

As the settlement in Parramatta grew due to the fertile lands and proximity to the river, it was important for the military to be positioned here to maintain control over the local convict population.

Lieutenant John Watts was selected to be the barracks’ architect and engineer. He’d already established a strong reputation in the colony from the military hospital he designed in Sydney’s Observatory Hill. In Parramatta, he also designedthe military hospital, the towers of St John’s Church, and parts of Government House.

Completed in 1820 were Bob’s Hall (the British Commanding Officer’s office and quarters) and the two-storey barracks block to house British soldiers.
The Parramatta Lancer Barracks precinct to be built to provide better quality accommodation for 100 British soldiers.

The site was also used as the Police Barracks between 1867-1897 before returning to the military again. It has since been home to the NSW Lancers (an active Australian Army Reserve Cavalry regiment).

You can take a tour of the facility where they detail how the property was connected to the Boer War, and First and Second War. The museum contains over 7000 heritage-listed items.

The site should be preserved.

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