Hawthorne Canal Stormwater Channel No. 62 (& Leichhardt Branch)

  • Number
    4570001
  • Other name
    Hawthorne Canal SWC (& Leichhardt Branch)
    Long Cove Creek
  • Primary address

    22, Hawthorne Parade, Haberfield to Canterbury Road Leichhardt, . NSW
    LGA: Ashfield
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Alternate Address

    23, Canterbury Road Leichhardt, . NSW
    LGA: Ashfield
    LGA code: ASHF
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Alternate Address

    152, Canterbury Road Leichhardt, . NSW
    LGA: Leichhardt
    LGA code: LEIC
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Owner
    Sydney Water
  • Current use
    Stormwater Channel
  • Former use
    Stormwater Channel
  • Item type
    Built
  • Item group
    Utilities - Drainage
  • Item category
    Storm Water Drain
  • Curtilage/Boundary
    The operational curtilage of Hawthorne Canal includes the channel beds, walls and coping. The visual curtilage of the channel will vary along the length of the channel depending on the surrounding landuses and can be described as follows: 1) The stormwater channel west of Parramatta Road is an underground structure. Therefore the upper reaches of the stormwater channel has no visual curtilage. 2) North of Parramatta Road through to Marion Street Leichhardt, the open cut section is flanked by urban and industrial development and can only be observed by the general public from the roadways. 3) From north of Marion Street to the discharge point at Iron Cove the curtilage is defined by the streetscape of Hawthorne Parade, Canal Road and The Lilyfield/Leichhardt Goods Railway Line. The Richmond Marden Reserve flanks the canal and adds to the visual curtilage.
  • Statement of significance
    Of particular historical significance as one of the first nine purpose built stormwater drains constructed in Sydney in the 1890's. Prior to this period the watercourses which served to carry stormwater were entirely in their natural state and were receptacles of sewage from the large population which had settled in the suburbs. In 1890, the then Minister for Public Works, the Hon. Bruce Smith, MLA., appalled at the extremely unhealthy conditions prevailing at the time, proposed a separate system of stormwater drains be built to help alleviate the problem. By 1897 nine had been built including Hawthorne Canal. Of the nine stormwater channels Hawthorne Canal is the best example as it is the most intact. It provides a good representative example of the early stormwater drains built in Sydney in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The operational curtilage of Hawthorne Canal Stormwater Channel includes the channel beds, walls and coping. The visual curtilage of the channel will vary along the length of the channel depending on the surrounding landuses. To formulate a specific curtilage statement that includes details of surrounding landuse and encroachment of various developments would require further investigations and is beyond the scope of this study. However, the general visual curtilage can be described as follows: 1) The stormwater channel west of Parramatta Road is an underground structure. Therefore the upper reaches of the stormwater channel has no visual curtilage. 2) North of Parramatta Road through to Marion Street Leichhardt, the open cut section is flanked by urban and industrial development and can only be observed by the general public from the roadways. 3) From north of Marion Street to the discharge point at Iron Cove the curtilage is defined by the streetscape of Hawthorne Parade, Canal Road and The Lilyfield/Leichhardt Goods Railway Line. The Richmond Marden Reserve flanks the canal and adds to the visual curtilage.
  • Endorsed significance
    Local
  • Designer
    Department of Public Works / Sydney Water
  • Builder
    Department of Public Works / Sydney Water
  • Year started
    1890
  • Year completed
    1938
  • Circa
    Yes
  • Physical description
    Hawthorne Canal Stormwater Channel extends from Dobroyd Point at Iron Cove to Canterbury Road at Lewisham with branches along Smith Street at Summer Hill. The channel is constructed from unreinforced concrete. Upstream of Parramatta Road there is a section that is paved brick along the floor of the channel. Just over 67% of the total length of the stormwater system was constructed pre-1896. 74% of the stormwater system is constructed of concrete and 20% of brick. There are several branches to this system which include: Leichhardt, Leichhardt Amplification, Petersham, Petersham Park, Smith Street, Henson Street, Victoria Street and Grove Street. All of the branches except some parts of Leichhardt Branch and Leichhardt Amplification were constructed prior to 1900. The Leichhardt branch extends from the main channel immediately on the downstream side of Marion Street, Leichhardt. It drains an area of 43 hectares situated on the eastern side of the main channel and is comprised entirely within the municipality of Leichhardt. This branch was originally constructed under the following contracts: (a) Gov. Contract 89 - this section extends from the main channel upstream to near the intersection of Flood and Lord Streets. It was constructed by PWD in 1892 and transferred to the Board in 1898. The channel size ranges from 55" - 30" circular. (b) Council Section - this section extends from Flood Street, Leichhardt, upstream to the termination at Excelsior Street, Leichhardt. The channel size is a 3'2" x 2'10" box. Most of the channel is covered transition or pipe, and made from either concrete or vitrified clay. A major part of the Hawthorne Canal Stormwater Channel is evident as an open channel. There are some small sections of the system which are below ground. It is evident under the stone arch bridge ‘Battle Bridge’ at Parramatta Road, and a remaining section of the ‘Whipple Truss’ bridge. The Lewisham Aqueduct runs over the system and SPS 15 is located along side the canal at Haberfield. The main section of the system was completed by 1938, under 4 separate contracts. In 1964 the Leichhardt Branch was amplified by a parallel channel for its entire length. This was constructed by the Board. The combined capacity of the old and new channel render the Branch adequate in its capacity for its entire length. Further channels were constructed after this time and the entire channel was completed around 1977.
  • Modifications made
    The main section of the system was completed by 1938, under 4 separate contracts. In 1964 the Leichhardt Branch was amplified by a parallel channel for its entire length. This was constructed by the Board. The combined capacity of the old and new channel render the Branch adequate in its capacity for its entire length. Further channels were constructed after this time and the entire channel was completed around 1977.
  • History
    Hawthorne Canal Stormwater Channel extends from Dobroyd Point at Iron Cove to Canterbury Road at Lewisham. The section between Iron Cove and Marion Street was built as a navigable canal. This channel itself is owned by the Waterways Authority, while the walls of the channel are owned by Ashfield and Leichhardt Councils. The section between Marion Street and Parramatta Road was commissioned in 1891. By 1895 it was in a highly polluted state. The channel was one of the first nine stormwater/sewer channels constructed in Sydney (along with Beattie Street Balmain, Dobroyd, Rushcutters Bay, Homebush Creek, North Sydney, Wentworth Park, Munni Street Erskineville and Iron Cove Creek extension) built according to the principle of the Secretary for Public Works, Bruce Smith. There was a proposal by the Sydney Water Commission in 1867-9 to construct a dam at Summer Hill which would be supplied directly from Warragamba Dam. The Upper Nepean No.1 1200mm main runs near the canal and at one stage was clearly visible over the canal. The Pressure Tunnel scour discharges into the canal at Weston Street. There are several branches to this system which include: Leichhardt 62A, Leichhardt Amplification, Petersham, Petersham Park, Smith Street, Henson Street, Victoria Street and Grove Street. All of these branches except some parts of Leichhardt Branch and Leichhardt Amplification were constructed prior to 1900 and are considered to be of heritage significance.
  • National
    Economy
  • State
    Technology
  • Local
    (none)
  • National
    Economy
  • State
    Health
  • Local
    Water Supply
  • National
    Economy
  • State
    Environment - cultural landscape
  • Local
    (none)
  • National
    Settlement
  • State
    Utilities
  • Local
    Drainage
  • Local description
    Relates to the planning, development, expansion and provision of drainage and stormwater services.
  • National
    Phases of Life
  • State
    Events
  • Local
    (none)
  • a) Historical
    The channel was originally built as a stormwater channel which was capable of taking some sewerage waste until the sewerage system was in place. It was one of the nine original stormwater channels in Sydney (along with Beattie Street Balmain, Dobroyd, Rushcutters Bay, Homebush Creek, North Sydney, Wentworth Park, Munni Street Erskineville and Iron Cove Creek extension).
  • c) Aesthetic
    A major part of the Hawthorne Canal Stormwater Channel is evident as an open channel. There are some small sections of the system which are below ground. It is evident under the stone arch bridge "Battle Bridge" at Parramatta Road, and a remaining section of the "Whipple Truss" bridge. The Lewisham Aqueduct runs over the system and SP0015 is located along side the canal at Haberfield.
  • d) Social
    Of social significance to the general community for its function as it helped improve public health in the early 1900's. Prior to this period the watercourses which served to carry stormwater were entirely in their natural state, and this led to unsanitary public health conditions. The construction of this system was an important feature in reducing illness in the area and is likely to be valued by the general community for the function it serves.
  • e) Research
    One of the first canals built for the rational dispersal of stormwater (and effluent) and it is tangible evidence of that historically successful method of collection and dispersal.
  • f) Rarity
    One of the first nine purpose built stormwater channels constructed in Sydney in the 1890's.
  • g) Representative
    Representative of what became a standard method of stormwater collection.
  • Integrity assessment
    Considerably intact.
  • List name
    Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register
  • Reference number
    000140
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • List name
    Within a conservation area on an LEP
  • Name
    Ashfield LEP
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • Title
    Sydney Water Heritage Study
  • Author
    Graham Brooks and Associates Pty Ltd
  • Published
    1996
  • Item reference number in study
    000140
  • Hawthorne Canal - 48'''' Main - Potts Hill to Crown St crossing Hawthorne SWC at Lewisham. Historic photo, 6/6/1910.
    Hawthorne Canal - 48'''' Main - Potts Hill to Crown St crossing Hawthorne SWC at Lewisham. Historic photo, 6/6/1910.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 06 June 2010
  • Data entry status
    Basic
  • Entered
    03 June 1998
  • Updated
    17 February 2014