Local history fast facts - P

This information has been provided by the Local History Centre and the Woollahra History and Heritage Society.


PADDINGTON - The name came about when James Underwood subdivided in October, 1839, 50 acres of the 100 acres granted to him, Robert Cooper and Francis Forbes for the purpose of setting up a distillery. Underwood called his subdivision the Paddington Estate after the London Borough of that name and it covered the land from Oxford Street down to present day Paddington Street.

PADDINGTON VILLAGE - Comprising Gipps, Prospect, Shadforth Streets which came into being in the early 1840s to house those engaged on the building of Victoria Barracks this area was part of the grant in 1840 to the Australian Subscription Library.

PADDINGTON COURT HOUSE AND POLICE STATION - 16 Jersey Road, Paddington. The Court House and Police Station were built in 1888, the work of Colonial Architect James Barnet in Victorian Free Classical style - it was added to in 1910. The court served the eastern suburbs of Paddington, Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick, Kensington, Double Bay and part of Vaucluse. The courthouse closed in 1988 although the police station remained open.

PADDINGTON MUNICIPALITY - A petition for the creation of a municipality of Paddington was signed by 172 local residents in 1859. The Municipality of Paddington was proclaimed on 20 April 1860. The first meeting of the Paddington Council was held at the Paddington Inn, cnr Oxford and William Streets, on 25 May 1860 when William Perry was elected the first mayor (then chairman). A purpose built council chambers designed by architect Thomas Rowe was built on Oxford Street between Brodie and Young Streets in 1864. A new town hall, designed by architect John Edward Kemp, was built at 247 Oxford Street (cnr Oatley Road) in 1891.

The municipality of Paddington was absorbed into the City of Sydney Council in 1948 as part of the NSW Government's plans for a decreased number of local government areas. A portion of the old Paddington municipality, being that section north of Oxford Street, was transferred to Woollahra municipality in June 1968.

PADDINGTON WAR MEMORIAL - Oxford Street, Paddington. In 1922 the citizens of Paddington built a war memorial at the corner of Newcombe and Oxford Streets 'in honour of the Paddington men who fought and in loving memory of those who fell during the Great War 1914-1918'. The land was handed over to Paddington Council by the Methodist Church, and the memorial was unveiled by the governor of NSW, Sir Walter Davidson on 19 November 1922. With the widening of Oxford Street in 1940 the memorial was moved to the Oxford Street frontage of Victoria Barracks, near the Town Hall.

PALMERSTON STREET, Watsons Bay - Named after Lord Palmerston (full name: Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston) British Prime Minster.

PARADIS-SUR-MER - A house in Wolseley Crescent, Point Piper in Mediterranean Villa style (HARVEY FULLER) built in 1937 with a strong Moorish fiavour and standing on a 3/4 acre block (0.23 ha). It was demolished in April, 1990 , the land split and two large houses erected.


PARSLEY BAY - There are two popular versions of the origin of the name. One, that a hermit called 'Parsley' lived in early years in one of the caves at the head of the bay, the other is traditional and was probably used by the first exploratory parties (1788) to refer to an edible plant growing there, closely resembling parsley, which was used as an anti-scorbutic (scurvy) by the vitamin starved First Fleeters. The Bay was set aside for public recreation use in 1907 - it is one of Woollahra's best kept secrets. More information on Parsley Bay(PDF, 116KB).

PATTERSON STREET, Double Bay - was named in November 1923 after tennis champion Gerald Patterson.

PERCIVAL PARK, Rose Bay - named ( Council Minutes 12/2/1951) in honour of Mr C. E. Percival who was the Woollahra Council Engineer from November 1926 till early in 1952.

PHILLIP'S COLUMN - Demolished, previously on the cliff top at South Head near the original flagstaff as a marker for shipping. Daniel Southwell in his papers and Captain John Hunter in his journal refer to the building of a sandstone tower some 30 feet high and 16 feet square at the base a cable length from South Head - one cable is 1/10of a nautical mile. The column was erected in September, 1790.

PILOTS - Watsons Bay. Initially, there was just one pilot and he was required to go aboard an incoming vessel to guide it to safe anchorage. The service grew with shipping, the pilots using whale boats with a crew of 46 men- Portuguese and South Sea Islanders were often employed in this capacity. In 1862, the competitive system of pilotage was abolished in favour of a Government operation using two schooners - the station was located on the site of the previous Vaucluse Police Station. Reverting back to the private system in 1867, a subsequent maritime disaster in which 8 crew members were lost, forced the government to take full control and the PWD steamer was made available in 1871 for pilot use during bad weather. In 1875 the first of the 'Captain Cook' pilot vessels was introduced - No II in 1893 and No III in 1939. The present Pilot Station in Marine Parade, Watsons Bay was built in 1959 providing shore access to pilot boats previously having to anchor in the Bay - at the same time diesel powered pilot boats were introduced. The Service was contracted to private operators in 1992.

PILOTS HOUSE - located in Watsons Bay believed to have been the 'Old House' located where the roundabout is positioned on present day Robertson Place.

POINT PIPER ESTATE - In the 1820s business partners Daniel Cooper and Solomon Levey began acquiring land that included the substantial Point Piper Estate comprising 1130 acres in the Woollahra district that had been amassed by Captain John Piper since 1816. Following some financial difficulties Piper's land was conveyed to Cooper and Levey in 1826. Their title to the land was confirmed in 1830 and it became the sole property of Daniel Cooper in 1847. On Cooper's death in 1853, his nephew, also Daniel Cooper (later Sir Daniel Cooper), was appointed trustee of the Point Piper Estate which his uncle had bequeathed to his nephew's eldest son (also Daniel Cooper).

POINT PIPER GRANT - Now a prestige living area, it was part of a 190 acre (76 ha.) grant to Captain John Piper in 1820 who was 'Naval Officer' of the Colony at the time. After Piper found himself in financial difficulties the grant was bought in 1827 by Daniel Cooper who bequeathed it to the son of his nephew both also called Daniel. The son sold the grant to his brother, William, for 100,000 pounds who in 1883 built Woollahra House. The first subdivision on the Point took place around 1880 with the release of foreshore land around Woollahra House in 1899.

POINT PIPER ROAD - renamed Jersey Road in 1900.

PREVOST HOUSE - 67 Kambala Road, Bellevue Hill. Built in 1937 to the designs of partners Sydney Ancher and R.A Prevost, is in 'Functionalist' (International or nautical) style and was subject of a battle in the Land and Environment Court in 1988 resulting in it being saved from demolition.