History. To be continued.
Parramatta Town Hall is a living testament to Parramatta’s history, demonstrating longevity and prominent social and civic significance.
Parramatta Town Hall was originally identified and marked out by Australia’s first Governor, Arthur Phillip in 1792. In 1870, Mayor John Good recognised the necessity for a dedicated Town Hall in Parramatta, envisioning a central building for entertainment, concerts, and meetings. Nine years later, the Council established Parramatta Town Hall, replacing the marketplace formerly used for public activities including cattle sales and agricultural shows.
150+ Years of History
Parramatta’s municipal buildings were completed in two stages, with the practical need for Council Chambers taking precedence over the ceremonial desire for a Town Hall. Mayor Charles Byrnes, who fittingly has a room named after him at Parramatta Town Hall, had the honour of laying the foundation stone for the Council Chambers on 19 November 1879 and the building was officially opened in August 1881.
In September 1882, the foundation stone for the Town Hall was laid, led by architects The Mansfield Brothers and builders Herbert Coates of Parramatta.
The completed Parramatta Town Hall officially opened in 1883, with the first public use of the venue epitomising the aims of its construction hosting a community event presented by the Parramatta Glee Club that also revealed the municipality’s aspiration to be a place of fashion and high culture.
Further additions were made to Parramatta Town Hall in 1932 with architect Benjamin Dunsmore McDonald including a meeting room and office additions at the southern frontage of the building. Seamlessly blending the past with the present, Town Hall has retained its original features, reflecting its local heritage significance.
Since its first public use in 1883 by the Parramatta Glee Club, Parramatta Town Hall has been a backdrop to a variety of performances, meetings, and activities. The walls of Parramatta Town Hall bears marks from the past and echoes of its rich history, welcoming travelling dramatic companies, playing host to the annual Butcher’s Ball and even hosting Australian icon, journalist, and author A B (Banjo) Paterson for his lecture about the Boer War.
Throughout its history, Parramatta Town Hall has played host to a multitude of exciting events including plays, civic receptions, flag-raising ceremonies, bridal expos, and festival performances. In 1955, the world-famous Trapp Family Singers - the inspiration behind The Sound of Music - graced the halls of Parramatta Town Hall. In 2016, Parramatta Town Hall was the backdrop for Australian singer Delta Goodrem and American rap artist Gizzle’s, music video for the song titled "Enough" representing its prestigious appeal, striking architectural features and cultural significance.
Want to learn more?
Explore the heritage archives and cultural collections as presented in Parramatta Town Hall.