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Windsor heritage Tour

Windsor Heritage Tour

Please click here for Windsor Heritage Map.
* The Peninsula Precinct
* Thompson Square Precinct
* The Mall Precinct
* McQuade Park Precinct

Windsor, a town that emerged along the banks of the Hawkesbury River became the third settlement in the Colony in 1794 and is the first Macquarie town. Originally called Green Hills Windsor was officially named in 1810 by Governor Macquarie after the town in England. The five Macquarie Towns are Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce, Pitt Town and Castlereagh. Windsor is famous for its many heritage buildings with some being designed by the convict architect Sir Francis Greenway, for example St. Matthews Anglican Church and the Windsor Courthouse. As you stroll through the streets you will find that you are taken back in time. Enjoy.

1. Thompson Square 1811

In 1811Governor Macquarie named Thompson Square after Andrew Thompson, the most successful, early, convict pioneer of the area. Noted for its fine Georgina and Victorian buildings, it is the best example of a colonial square remaining today, and as such is one of the oldest Public Squares in Australia.

Windsor Heritage Building

 2. Doctors House 1844


Built in 1819, an inn called The Lord Nelson originally occupied this site. The present building was completed in 1844 and is one of the finest examples of  a colonial terrace building in Australia. Since 1876 parts of the house have been occupied by doctors, the first being Dr. Fiaschi, hence the name ‘Doctors House’. Architectural features are the fanlights above the two main doors, the columns flanking each side of these doorways, the sandstone verandahs, the delicate wrought iron railings and its bricks, which are ruddy and mellow with age.


Windsor Heritage Building

3. Howe House – c1820


Now part of the Hawkesbury Regional Museum, Howe House was built for John Howe, who arrived as a free settler on the Coromandel (1802). In 1809 he came to Windsor to manage the business and farming interests of the district's most prominent citizen, ex-convict Andrew Thompson. After Thompson's death in 1810, Howe took over many of Thompson's affairs, and the house was both the Howe family residence and the headquarters of various enterprises, including major engineering projects and exploration. Howe also took over Thompson's roles as Government Appraiser, Chief Constable and Coroner. After Howe moved to the Hunter Valley, the house served a number of purposes, including inn, newspaper office and community museum.


4. Macquarie Arms Hotel 1815


This two storey stuccoed brick Georgian building is the oldest remaining building in Australia built as an Inn. Although there have been extensive additions to the front of the building, much of the original cedar woodwork is still visible inside.

A plaque on the wall of the hotel closest to the Museum indicates the height of the great flood of 1867, when the river reached a height of 19.3 metres, the greatest flood recorded in the district. The wall to which the plaque is affixed is made of 1817 bricks rejected from St. Matthews Church of England in Moses Street.


macquarie arms hotel windsor nsw

5. School of Arts – 1861 & Green Hills Memorial Store Site


On the site of an old government store, the Italianate-style School of Arts was the literary centre in the town and was used as a community centre until 1947 when it was sold.



6. Old Government House Site – 1790’s


The Government Cottage on the Peninsula at Windsor no longer exists, however, there is a sign that marks the site at the northern end of George Street.



7. Former Peninsula Inn – c1840


Once known as the Courthouse Inn due to its close proximity to the Windsor Courthouse, the locally known Swallows Inn is a good example of an inn of the period. In spring and summer fairy-martins nest here under the eaves. The building may be recognised by viewer’s of the well known Australian Drama ‘A Country Practice’, as the surgery of Dr. Terence Elliott.

Windsor Heritage Building

8. North Street Cottages – 1840-1860


As many of the central blocks of Windsor were destroyed by fire in 1874, the North Street Cottages provide an excellent example of the streetscape of Windsor in the period. The area at the end of North Street is the site of the first farms in the colony.



9. Peninsula House1845


John Tebbutt was a pioneer in the field of astronomy and lived his whole life in the Hawkesbury. In 1861 Tebbutt discovered the Great Comet which was named ‘Comet Tebbutt II’. In honour of his achievements Tebbutts also had a lunar crater named after him in 1973 by the International Astronomical Union.

Tebbutt’s first observatory (the circular building), built in 1863, has been demolished. The second observatory (the circular building) was built in 1874 to accommodate a larger telescope, the square building was built in 1879.


Windsor Heritage Building

9a. Tebbutt’s Observatories 1879 & 1894

Tebbutt’s first observatory (the circular building), built in 1863, has been demolished. The second observatory (the circular building) was built in 1874 to accommodate a larger telescope, the square building was built in 1879.

Windsor Heritage Building

10.  Windsor Courthouse – 1822


Renowned convict architect Francis Greenway, who was featured on the original $10 note, designed this building which was completed in 1822. An 1820’s portrait of Governor Macquarie hangs inside the courthouse in the public gallery. The picture used to hang above the magistrate’s chair, however, after a very rowdy public meeting it was damaged when an egg was thrown at a speaker in the courtroom. The painting was taken away, repaired and hung in the public gallery for safety. The courthouse is still in use today and when court is not in session, it is possible to enter the building for an inspection.


Windsor Heritage Building

11. Tollhouse


The original tollhouse was built here in 1814, however, the premises collapsed during a flood in 1864. The current building was rebuilt on the sandstone foundations in the same and was used to collect tolls until 1887. The three sided bay window in front was designed to observe the road from both directions. Early charges for a four-wheeled carriage with two horses, was four shillings.



12. Green Hills Burial Ground


Until Governor Macquarie dictated the use of a new burial ground in 1810, (now the cemetery surrounding St. Matthews Church of England, Windsor), Green Hills was the earliest burial ground in the Hawkesbury district used for burials from around the beginning of the 1800s. From 1810 until the 1840s, only criminals appear to have been buried here in unmarked graves. During the days of early settlement many of the residents were buried on their own farms.



13. Barracks Guardhouse - c1818


The military barracks at Windsor were commenced in July 1817 and completed in June 1818. These barracks remained as part of the scenery at Windsor for over a century till they were demolished in 1928 to make way for the present police station.

The Guardhouse was the gateway to the military barracks and was built around 1830.  It consisted of three small cells which were used to confine soldiers who had breached military rules. A passageway leading to the guardroom was entered by a flight of stairs from outside. The soldier on duty was responsible for opening and closing the 2.5 metre high gates. The 4 metre high brick wall which enclosed the area was lowered at the time of building the police station, but still exists.



 14. Loder House (1834)


One of the last examples of Australian Georgian architecture in Windsor was built in 1834 by George Loder, a local innkeeper whom together with John Howe also explored the route north from Windsor.


linden on george windsor nsw

15. Post Office (1879)


The original Post Office in Windsor opened in 1828 and was housed in a number of different buildings, including The Doctor’s House. This building was opened in 1880, with Thomas Cambridge II as postman at that time. His son Thomas III continued as postman until 1925.


Windsor Heritage Building

 16.  Thompson Terrace – c 1840



 17.  Former Inn – c1841



18.  New Street Cottage – c1830



 19.  Crescentville – c1851


Local Politician and Solicitor Mr. William Walker built Crescentville in The Terrace Windsor in 1851, the old home being continuously occupied by members of the family since that time. The attractive single-storeyed Colonial Georgian style home retains many of its original features, including the stone-paved verandah, the original stables, loft, and coach house. Four generations of the walker family were born in the front room of ‘Crescentville’ including the current owner.

The Walker family are noted for their contributions to the district in the administration of the Hawkesbury

District Hospital. Between them members of the family had the remarkable record of 108   years continuous service to the institution in various positions including chairman, secretary and vice-president.


Windsor Heritage Building

20. Old Hospital (1820)


The original building in Macquarie Street was erected as convict barracks. The barracks were then converted to a hospital for prisoners in 1823. In 1846 it was then converted by the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society to a facility for all poor, aged and sick. The first fee-paying patients being in 1879, the hospital continued to serve the district until 1996.


Windsor Heritage Building

 21. Trevallyn – 1857



22. St. Matthews Catholic Church – 1840      


Although the Foundation stone for St. Matthew’s Catholic Church was blessed by Archbishop Polding on the 28th December 1836, due to most of the congregation being impoverished farmers and convicts, having little spare cash to donate towards the building of a church, it was many years later that the church was commenced. Fortunately however, a bequest from James Doyle together with the local public subscription, allowed the construction to commence.

St. Matthew’s was officially opened by Dr. Polding and Rev. W. Ullathorne on 21st October 1840, with the 80th Regiment Band playing at the official ceremony. The church has been administering to the Catholic community ever since.


Windsor Heritage Building

 23. Little Church St. Cottages – c1840



 24. Fitzroy Cottage – 1879



25. The Anglican Rectory (1825)


This is the oldest rectory in Australia. Georgian in style, the rectory was built by William Cox to the plan of an unknown architect, possibly Greenway or Standish Harris. William Cox had shortly before been contracted to construct Windsor Courthouse. He also built the first road over the Blue Mountains in 1814.


Windsor Heritage Building

26. St. Matthews Anglican Church (begun 1817)


St. Matthews is the masterpiece of the convict architect Francis Greenway, who was retained by Governor Macquarie to rectify the poor standard of building in the colony and is one of only two Hawkesbury designed by him, the other being the Windsor Court House. The church which was built on a site selected specifically for that purpose under Governor Macquarie’s direction, is one of the most beautiful buildings in Australia. The corner stone was laid by Governor Macquarie in October 1817. The church was consecrated in December 1822 with Samuel Marsden conducting the opening service.

Predating the church is the Macquarie graveyard. Enterprising ex-convict, Andrew Thompson, was the first burial in 1810, and the stone covering his grave (to the north-east of the church), was commissioned by Macquarie and is well worth seeking out.
Moses St,
Phone: 02 4577 3193
For any bus group or tour bookings please phone: 02 4577 3193 or Email: kay.ryan@windsoranglican.asn.au

Website: www.windsoranglican.asn.au


Windsor Heritage Building

27. Former Currency Lad Inn & Brewery – c1835


Not having many public buildings of any consequence in the towns, inns became community and social centres, dances, dinners, meetings and auctions being held in the large rooms. The Currency Lad Inn, kept by Tom Norris was a favourite spot for cockfighting and boxing contests.



 28. McQuade Park (1810)


Together with Richmond and Wilberforce, this park remains as the only parklands set out by Macquarie in 1810, having grown directly from his ‘great square’, which was to stand in front of the church. Today it is no longer that shape having incorporated the land to Richmond Road. The park was controversially named after J. M. McQuade, Mayor in 1872 and 1874.



29. Old Station Masters House – 1880



30. Windsor Railway Station - 1883



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