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Marsden Street Weir, Parramatta NSW
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member 3l diesel
S 33° 48.633 E 151° 00.169
56H E 315141 N 6257056
Quick Description: Marsden Street Weir is located on the site of an early dam built for water supply purposes.
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Date Posted: 11/27/2010 4:11:29 AM
Waymark Code: WMA79Q
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lenron
Views: 11

Long Description:
There is little that this writer has found concerning many aspects of this weir. What is the cross-section of its construction including the roadway above? How does the weir outlet water when not overtopping?

A general history is found though in Aird's "The Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage of Sydney", Published 1961.


Earliest reference to a supply of water for public use in the Parramatta district appears in an old record disclosing that on June 20, 1815, a payment of 15 Pounds was made to John Barker for sinking a well for public use in the town of Parramatta. Then, in 1818, on orders of Governor Macqauarie a Town Dam was built at the foot of Marsden Street, approximately where the salt water in the Parramatta River met the fresh. It held back about 30 million gallons of water. By 1847, when the population of the district had reached about 4,500, 20 water carts were operating from the dam, averaging 15 loads each per day. The timberwork of the dam gradually decayed, and constant repairs were necessary until a big flood in the ‘seventies did considerable damage to the structure, following which the work was underpinned with masonry in cement. The dam still stands midway between Lennox Bridge and The King’s School holding back the water through Parramatta Park.


The quality of the water impounded in the Town Dam was never very good, and as the township grew there was serious pollution. In 1849 a public meeting petitioned the Governor ... to provide a more wholesome supply,... A Committee of Water Commissioners (generally known as the water Committee) comprised of selected Parramatta citizens was appointed to carry out the work, and a site was chosen on Hunt’s Creek. "

The weir was used as a river crossing until the 1970's when the adjacent and better aligned Marsden Street bridge - more recently named "Bernie Banton Bridge" in honour of an asbestos diseases sufferer - was constructed. As a weir and roadway it frequently closed in wet weather as the water overtopped the structure - sometimes in very spectacular fashion! (Photographs of this weir in flood would be appreciated!)

In recent times, the weir has been altered with the addition of a fish lift to enable native bass to travel upriver.

It is to be noted that the King's School mentioned above is no longer at this location.

Taken from the opposite side of the river from the waymark is a rather spectacular video during wet weather Parramatta River in flood

Waterway where the dam is located: Parramatta River

Main use of the Water Dam: Water Supply (Drinkable)

Material used in the structure: Masonry/Concrete

Height of Dam: 4m

Date built: 1/1/1887

Fishing Allowed: yes

Motor Sports Allowed: no

Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Grahame Cookie visited Marsden Street Weir, Parramatta NSW 6/4/2017 Grahame Cookie visited it
Rikki visited Marsden Street Weir, Parramatta NSW 3/8/2013 Rikki visited it
HansJJ visited Marsden Street Weir, Parramatta NSW 1/26/2013 HansJJ visited it
Riblit visited Marsden Street Weir, Parramatta NSW 12/3/2010 Riblit visited it

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