Heritage and conservation register

Item

Field Value
Name of Item Lennox Bridge, Parramatta
Item Number 4300301
Type of Item Built
Item Sub-Type Masonry Arch
Roadloc  
Address 349-351 (adj) Church Street Parramatta 2150
Local Government Area Parramatta City 
Owner Local Government
Current Use Road bridge
Former Use Road bridge

Statement of significance

Field Value
Statement of significance The Lennox Bridge is of State significance, as one of the oldest extant bridges in Australia, and survives as a rare example of early nineteenth century civil engineering technology. It is probable that some of the stones from which is built originally formed part of an even earlier structure. The original portion of the bridge is significant as one of the foremost examples of the work of the colony's first Superintendent of Bridges, David Lennox, renowned for his engineering works and innovative bridge designs. Lennox Bridge has been an important feature of the Parramatta townscape for over one hundred and fifty years, and as such is directly associated with the historical development of Parramatta since the 1830s. Alterations and modifications to the bridge structure are the result of the changing needs of the local community over time, and reflect the important role of the bridge in the growth of the town/city. Successive changes made to the bridge fabric over a long period of time mean that the existing bridge structure has considerable archaeological potential. Historically it is a conspicuous element of grace and repose in a picturesque Arcadian landscape. The Lennox Bridge, due to its visual prominence and aesthetic qualities, today enhances the scenic amenity of that section of the Parramatta River which flows through the city centre. Widespread recognition of its historic and social importance has resulted in Lennox Bridge having many times achieved the status of a symbol for the Parramatta locality. The cultural significance of the Lennox Bridge is recognised by numerous individuals and conservation-oriented organisations throughout Australia.

The siting of the bridge, where Church Street crosses the Parramatta River, is historically significant as the site of the earliest documented river crossing in the Parramatta district, dating from the earliest years of colonial settlement. Three bridges have been built on or immediately adjacent to this site which consequently possesses a high degree of archaeological potential.

Date Significance Updated 14 May 2009

Description

Field Value
Designer David Lennox, 1788 - 1873
Builder ****
Construction years 1836 - 1839
Physical description Lennox Bridge is a single span stone elliptical arch bridge over Parramatta River on the line of Church Street. Lennox Bridge is the third oldest surviving masonry bridge in NSW and is a fine example of convict built Colonial Architecture in Australia designed by David Lennox. The sandstone arch has a clear span of 23.16m (80feet). In 1912 the western parapet was removed to provide a cantilevered pedestrian way; this in turn was removed 1934 when the Department of Main Roads widened the western side of the bridge adding a reinforced concrete arch faced with sandstone and replaced the original balustrade with an open concrete balustrade. The Lennox Bridge is constructed of sandstone sourced from the Female Factory quarry Parramatta.
Physical Condition
and/or
Archaeological Potential
Original condition assessment: 'Archaeological Significance: The structure and fabric of Lennox Bridge have considerable archaeological potential. An archaeological investigation of the bridge fabric will undoubtedly provide more useful information about the construction and historical' (Last updated: 19/05/1999.) 2007-08 condition update: 'Good.' (Last updated: 17/4/09.)
Modifications and dates The Bridge was strengthened in 1902 to take weight of trams. The sandstone parapet on the western side of the Bridge was replaced by handrail in 1912 and on the eastern side during the widening in 1934. Sections six feet in length have been cut out of the balustrade on the north east, south east and south west approaches to accommodate stairs down to the riverbank. In 1961 a section 22 feet long was removed in the south east corner and a concrete slab 10 feet 4.5 inches in length was constructed at the expense of David Jones Limited to bridge the space between the wing wall and the store entrance. A new section of balustrade was built over this slab by F.T Eastment & Sons in imitation of the section that had been removed.
Date condition updated 17 April 2009

History

Field Value
Historical notes The Lennox Bridge was designed by David Lennox, NSW Superintendent of Bridges for the Colony of NSW, in 1833 and built between 1836 and 1839 by convict labour. It was named Lennox Bridge in 1867 by Parramatta Municipal Council in honour of its designer as it was the last bridge built by Lennox in NSW.

In 1901-2 a width of 10 feet of the stone arch was strengthened internally for the purposes of carrying the Parramatta-Castle Hill Tramway. The parapet on the western side was removed in 1912 and a continuous footway 5'3" wide was added.

In 1934-5 the bridge was widened. The western footway was removed and a new reinforced concrete structure erected. A brass plaque, erected by HH Newell, Commissioner for Main Roads on the western side of the bridge (footway) records this work.

For more historical information, see Heritage Assessment Report (1990).

Listings

Field Value
Heritage Listing Reference Number Gazette Number Gazette Page
Local Environmental Plan    185  10363 
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order  00750  142  8822 
Local Environmental Plan  119  20  886 
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register       
Register of the National Estate       
Local Environmental Plan    084  4633 
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register  00750  27  1546 

Assessment of Significance

Field Value
Historical Significance The Lennox Bridge at Parramatta is one of the oldest existing bridges in Australia. It was designed and built by David Lennox, the celebrated pioneer bridge engineer in the colony. The bridge largely exists in its original form despite subsequent modifications and extensions, and partial concealment occasioned by the construction of adjacent buildings. Incorporated in the concealed stone construction of the ribbed bridge interior are a number of tooled and margined stone blocks, finished as though they were intended for exposed face work. These could conceivably have been cut for the piers of the second bridge on the site. The bridge is directly associated with the historical development of Parramatta as firstly a town and later a burgeoning city. Lennox Bridge is a physical representation of the social and economic factors affecting Parramatta at the time of its construction. The changes to its fabric likewise represent the changes to the town and the role of the bridge within the town.
Historical Association ****
Aesthetic/Technical Significance The original shape and appearance of the bridge with its single graceful arch, gently curving walls and two-tone stone colouring give it a picturesque quality as evidenced in many early photos and sketches. This aesthetic essence is still apparent despite the interference and intrusion of later alterations and additions. Landscape significance: Although not seen in a picturesque rural setting, Lennox Bridge still possesses important landscape and scenic qualities and remains a prominent feature of its environment.
Social Significance Lennox Bridge embodies the historical continuity of the growth of Parramatta from a semi-rural township to a major regional centre and reflects the changing needs of the local community for more than 150 years. The bridge has often been used as a popular symbol for Parramatta.
Research Significance Lennox Bridge is a remarkable engineering achievement for its period, and a rare, surviving example of early nineteenth century civil engineering technology
Rarity ****
Representativeness ****
Integrity/Intactness ****
Assessed Significance State

References

Field Value
Type Author Year Title
Written  Travis Partners Pty Ltd  1990  Lennox Bridge, Parramatta - Heritage Assessment Report 

Study details

Field Value
Title Year Author Inspected by Guidelines used

Custom fields

Field Value
Roads and Maritime Services Region Sydney
Bridge Number 360
CARMS File Number ****
Property Number Bridge
Conservation Management Plan No - but Heritage Assessment Report, 1990 (Copy held in Environment and Community Policy Branch, RTA)

Images

Lennox Bridge, Parramatta
Lennox Bridge, Parramatta
Lennox Bridge, Parramatta
Lennox Bridge, Parramatta


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