Life Along the Riverbank

Interpreting the colonial period of the early 1800s

Find the artworks along the river foreshore and reveal stories of hardship, love, loss, survival, order and punishment!

Life Along the Riverbank was created by historian Michael Flynn, artists Susan Milne and Greg Stonehouse and City of Parramatta Council’s Parramatta Stories Project.

These contemporary interpretations are designed to attract people and spark debate, insight and reflection on the heritage and the people who lived along the riverbank. They provide a dramatic and engaging experience for visitors as they begin their journey along the Harris Park

The characters of the1800s will be brought to life through four new soundscapes which can be downloaded to your mobile or ipod. Download the podcasts from Council’s Website or visit the itunes store. Start your walk at Parramatta Wharf.

Download the new podcasts!

 1  Storywalls ( 6.4 Mb)

 2  In the Backyard of Harrisford (1.5 Mb)

 3  Sentry Box (2.1Mb)

 4  Windmill Shadow (743 Kb)

Note: Files available in mp3 format, also available from Itunes store.

Life Along the Riverbank Brochure (pdf)

 1  Storywalls

Storywalls, Photo by Gary Trin
The story walls reveal threads of the lives of ordinary folk who lived on the riverbank in the early colonial period of Parramatta. These soundscapes reflect their emotions and attitudes towards grief, love, and survival.

Who was caught cattle rustling?

What happened to Elenore Magee and her child?

Why did they call the early passenger boat ‘the lump’?

 2  In the backyard at Harrisford

In the backyard at Harrisford, Photo by Gary Trin
Harrisford was a school for children in the early colony. Stand in the backyard marked by the row of pear trees and listen to the tales of the students who used to play in this very spot. This historic school went on to become the first King’s School in Australia and the building is now listed on the state heritage register.

What were the favourite pastimes of the children?

 3  Sentry Box

Sentry Box, Photo by Gary Trin
Located near the Gasworks Bridge the artwork is a re-interpretation of a colonial military Sentry Box which used to stand near this spot in the 1790s. This artwork is designed to remind us of a harsh period when Parramatta was a military garrison town.

 4  Windmill Shadow

Windmill Shadow

The black lines in the pavement represent approximately where the shadow of Howell’s mill would have once fallen on if it were still standing today. Howell’s mill was a dominant feature in the landscape of Parramatta in the early 1800s. Wind power was harnessed by the mill to grind grain to make flour which was vital for the colony’s survival. Howell’s Mill has a natural symbolic link to the beginnings of the agricultural industry in Australia.

Last updated on 31 Mar 2011