Thursday, 12 November 2015

Richmond Park

Located in the centre of Richmond, the ‘great square’ has played a central role in the community for over 200 years. Governor Lachlan Macquarie named Richmond in December 1810 (one of five ‘Macquarie Towns’) and the market place was laid out by the surveyor James Meehan in January 1811. It started out as 4 hectares and was bounded by West Market and East Market Streets however was reduced to 3.2 hectares when the land along West Market Street was assigned for government purposes including the watch house in the 1820s. In later years the Police Station, Court House, and the Post Office were established on the Windsor and West Market Street corner whilst the School of Arts and the Presbyterian School were further along closer to the March Street corner. Various trees and gardens have also been established over the years.
Richmond Park 1879, Government Printing Office Courtesy State Library of NSW Digital order no. d1_06267

The park has been used by the community for a variety of purposes over the years including recreation and sports. Large athletic days were held in the late 19th and 20th century. In the 1950s/60s/70s local schools met for combined school sports days. Both cricket and football have been played in the park for many years. The Pavilion (or Grandstand) was built by Samuel Boughton in 1884. The ‘RICHMOND’ sign (opposite the Royal Hotel end) was constructed in Boughton’s memory in 1922.

When the railway line operated between Richmond and Kurrajong the train cut across the edge of the park then travelled along March Street. Opposite the railway station the war memorials are situated, commemorating those who served in various conflicts. In latter years markets, picnics, carols by candlelight have been held in the park, which is managed by Hawkesbury City Council. The playground area has been modernised for new generations of children to enjoy. 

Following the end of World War 1 the community erected a monument opposite the Railway Station which is where by those who fought in the First World War and subsequent wars and conflicts are honoured. Names have been transcribed and can be viewed here.

Although there have been a number of renovations and changes in the park over the years it still remains an integral part of the town.

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