History of Fig Lane Park

History of Fig Lane Park

Fig Lane Park

Fig Lane Park is bounded by Upper Fig Street, Jones Street, Fig Lane, and Bulwarra Road, Ultimo.

This land was part of the Ultimo Estate, a block comprising 232 acres made up of land grants to Dr John Harris between 1803 and 1806. Harris lived in ‘Ultimo House’ which he built on the south side of Harris Street.

In 1879-1880 the first development occurred here with the construction of two-storey brick terrace housing in Fig and Jones Streets. They were typical of the speculative terrace housing built during the 1880s boom for working class rental accommodation.

The houses fronting Jones Street (320-334) were known as Rochester Terrace, and were demolished in 1919 to make way for a wool store. The Upper Fig Street terraces (67-85) survived until the 1970s resumption for the North West freeway, which was stopped by protest action and green bans. Nevertheless the houses were demolished and the land used for car parking, site offices and gravel storage.

Fig Lane Park is opposite the Ultimo Centre. The centrepiece of the park is a Port Jackson Fig which was planted when the park was established in 1996/97.

Main image: Rochester Terrace, 320-334 Jones St, 1919. (City of Sydney Archives, CRS 51/752).

Further reading

Damaris Bairstow, ‘Fig Lane Park Historical Archaeological Assessment’, 1996.

Last updated: Thursday, 27 October 2016