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Archives Outside - For people who love, use and manage archives

Can you date this photo of [not Hyde] Victoria Park?

The last photo post showing two views of Parramatta has most of us guessing the date at the 1930s. We’ll leave comments open for a while longer on that one as it is still receiving a high number of visits.

In the meantime here is another photograph to brood over – Hyde Park Sydney. This one may be difficult as there are no cars or people to give us any clues but plenty of buildings in the background to be identified. Having said that it may be a cinch!

Click on the image for a larger huge version. Also, we’ve added an even larger version to Flickr – take advantage of the notes feature over there as you identify buildings and other items of interest. Good luck!

We have many other undated photographs in Photo Investigator and on our Flickr account. If you know the dates or any other interesting facts about these images please let us know.

  • beachcomberaustralia says:

    A hint – Hyde Park it ain’t!

    August 23, 2010 at 1:53 pm
  • Anthea Brown says:

    Holy misleading cataloguing, Batman! Looks like our item list is incorrect.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm
  • Melissa says:

    I keep thinking that the picture sure looks like Victoria Park ….

    August 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm
  • Robert Mills says:

    This is Victoria Park and the aspect is looking East along the original entrance road to Sydney University (recently restored). Broadway is on the left and the duck pond (Lake Northam) sits in the NE corner of the park.

    As to a likely date …hmm … that requires more thought and examination. First guess is late 19th early 20th C. Blackfriars school is present in the middle ground in line with the centre roadway and the Broadway is well evolved in terms of buildings. The park is also well developed with extensive vegetation….


    August 23, 2010 at 4:01 pm
  • Robert Mills says:

    No sign of Grace Bros (flagship) Broadway store at the City Rd intersection yet. It evolves between 1904-23. So perhaps this image predates 1904….. more research needed I think.

    The view is taken from the Carillion Tower at Sydney University.


    August 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm
  • Iain Stuart says:

    I think this has been the funniest one of the lot – you were correct it was a cinch. There are on line maps of this area that can be looked at to help with the dating.


    August 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm
  • Rhonda Cetta-Hoye says:

    An advertising sign for Aitchison’s Chariot Brand Ale can be seen on a building.
    Two randon adverts from Brisbane courier Tues 20th Nov 1888 and S.M.H. 5 th. April 1893 for this ale.
    As I have mentioned before this isn’t proof of era as signs can remain after bussiness no longer exist. So it would be at least pre 1888
    Regards Rhonda

    August 24, 2010 at 11:05 am
  • Anthea Brown says:

    Looks like everyone is in agreement about this being Victoria Park…except for our *blush* catalogue.

    @Robert Mills, thanks for locating from where the image was taken. You are familiar with that area from the extra detail you provided (certainly not Hyde Park!).

    There are some interesting comments on the Flickr version giving the photo a date range of 1892-1901.

    @samdefranc has noted “…The Victoria Park Bowling Club was established in 1892…” (see middle right of image)

    @beachcomberaustralia has spotted the Benevolent Asylum amongst the buildings (demolished 1901) and also the Anthony Hordens warehouse which burned down July 1901.

    August 24, 2010 at 11:18 am
  • Iain Stuart says:

    I have accessed the Water Board Plans which are on line at the State Library. The url for them is
    as it is almost impossible to find them using the catalogue.

    The Uni of Sid is in Camperdown and mapped on Sheet 16 which is dated to 1891. The 1891 plan doesn’t show the Lake which is obviously a later feature so this pushes the date range up to post c1891 (allowing for time between survey and map production).


    August 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm
  • Fiona Sullivan says:

    Thanks for the that link @Iain Stuart , the map is great and I certainly wouldn’t have found it on my own. Also a good suggestion on the Flickr account that the circular building (background left) may be the cyclorama.

    I was interested to read the follow up information on Aitchison’s Chariot Brand Ale @Rhonda Cetta-Hoye. I wonder what it tasted like!

    August 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm
  • Robert Mills says:

    Just a few additional observations …

    Telephone lines are present along the Broadway. This may be a clue as well.

    A large wooden tramway passenger shelter appears to be lurking behind the trees at the intersection of City Rd and The Broadway …. can’t see any tramway overhead present in City Rd though so the image is taken during the pre electric era.

    Perhaps the late 1890s is the most likely period given the comments made by others….

    August 24, 2010 at 4:11 pm
  • Bob Meade says:

    Although it does not assist in dating the photograph any further than the information above there is a good view in the Tyrrell photographic collection which shows a reverse view up the main drive to the University and Medical Hall. A good perspective can also be gained about the vantage point by the photographer of this great view.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm
  • Anthea Brown says:

    @Robert Mills Telephone lines? Well spotted!

    @Bob Meade Every little bit helps.

    Our initial date range of 1892-1901 looks to be on track. Over on Flickr @beachcomberaustralia has added:

    “…The enormous size view is great, but I can’t see any tramway pylons on the small section of George Street between Railway Square and Harris Street, which implies it is before late 1899.”

    which would narrow the date range even further…

    August 30, 2010 at 9:23 am
  • claus says:

    I think this is around the time of 1900

    January 22, 2011 at 9:47 am