The Rocks


Suburb located north of the central business district on the western shore of Sydney Cove. Characterised by a precinct of restored nineteenth-century buildings which are a major tourist attraction, it was recognised as a separate suburb in 1993.

The Rocks 2007
27 Feb 1788

The Rocks

by Grace Karskens, 2008 Creative Commons License

Called Tallawoladah by the Cadigal, The Rocks was the convicts' side of town after Europeans arrived, and kept some of its unruly, disreputable air into the twentieth century. Residents' action saved it from destruction in the 1970s, and now a tourist attraction, The Rocks miraculously escaped both high-rise and grid.
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Just over a century ago, a unique collection of paintings opened a window to the urban life of the Rocks and Millers Point before their major transformation. No part of Sydney had been depicted so intensively. The Old Sydney Exhibition succeeded in bringing the loss of Old Sydney to the attention of the public, and so planted the seeds of the heritage conservation movement.
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The Rocks demographics

Cambridge and Gloucester streets, The Rocks 1900
Millers Point - from Fort Street to Dawes Point 1840s
The Rocks and Circular Quay 15 September 2003
View of part of Sydney c1804
Vue de George's Street a Sydney 1833
Plague Proclamation poster, 1 February 1905
Plan of the streets of the town of Sydney, 13 April 1832
Sydney Cove c1845
Lower Fort Street, The Rocks 4 January 1867
View from Flagstaff Hill, Sydney c1844
Some of the fever haunts of smallpox, June 29, 1881
Millers Point c1905-10
Rats in quarantine area, Sydney 1900
Cumberland Street, Sydney 1831
Cumberland Street, The Rocks c1860-1887
Cumberland Place, The Rocks 1901
Sydney Port Jackson, New South Wales, taken from the Rocks on the western side of the Cove, c 1803
Urinal Observatory Hill 1968
Dr Mitchell's residence, Cumberland Place, The Rocks 1842
Sketch and description of the settlement at Sydney Cove Port Jackson in the County of Cumberland...16th of April, 1788
Gloucester Street looking north from Essex Street, The Rocks c1900
Boy pushing pram on Gloucester Street, The Rocks,c1900
Observatory Hill Lands auction sale City freeholds : George & Harrington streets close to Circular Quay 1907
New shops, Argyle Street, The Rocks c1907
Children and washing on Harrington Lane, the Rocks c1900
Protesters against demolitions at the Rocks 23 October 1973
Korean Martial Arts, The Rocks, 2000
View from pulley-wheels of north side creeper-crane looking into box section of south side arch, Sydney Harbour Bridge May 1930
Sydney - Capital New South Wales c1800
Sydney from the western side of the Cove c1803
One of the architectural models submitted for the proposed redevelopment of the Rocks 3 April 1962
Looking south from end of Span No 1 at property to be demolished for the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 28 June 1927
Harrington Street, The Rocks 1901
Reynolds' Cottages at the Rocks c1989
32 Harrington Street, the Rocks c1989
Drinking fountain near Fort St School 1924
George Robinson of Harrington St, taken in Cambridge St 1924
Gloucester Street and corner of little Essex Street, Sydney 1902
Gloucester Street looking south from little Essex Street, The Rocks September 1901
The Spectre 1930
Sketch of Sydney Cove, Port Jackson in the County of Cumberland New South Wales July 1788, T Medland sculp, coastline by W Dawes, the soundings by Capt Hunter
The former Maritime Services Board building on the corner of George Street, and what was Barton Street, Circular Quay c1950
Sydney c1802
West view of Sydney Cove taken from the Rocks, at the rear of the General Hospital 1789
View of Sydney from the east side of the Cove c1811
Millers Point and Dawes Point coastline 1832
Western view of Sydney Cove 1797
The first government windmill 1797
Second Fleet commemoration plaque, The Rocks 23 August 2015
Gang of convicts working in a quarry around Millers Point c1821
Caraher Stairs, Lower Fort St c1901
Workmen's Dwellings in Lower Fort Street No 1 16 February 1910
View of houses on Lower Fort Street, The Rocks 31 October 1901
Argyle Cut c1872
Argyle Cut 1844-1866
'The Captain of the Push', a poem about Larry Foley recited by Clemency Press, from These Walls Have Ears: Infamous 2013The First Man Hanged, from These Walls Have Ears: The Artists 2013Death at the Gasworks, from These Walls Have Ears: My Place 2013The Miller at the Point, from These Walls Have Ears: My Place, 2013'Convict Theatre: A radio movie about a highway robber turned patron of the arts: Robert Sidaway', from These Walls Have Ears: The Artists, 2013