This mixed copse of five palms are located in a road side garden at the intersection of Cumberland Street, Lower Fort Street and George Street at the southern end of Dawes Point Park, adjacent to the Harbour Bridge and opposite the State Heritage Register listed Harbour View Hotel which was constructed in c.1924. There is one Washington Palm (Washingtonia robusta), one American Cotton Palm (Washingtonia filifera) and three Quen Palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana).
The palms are relatively substantial specimens with the Washington Palm (Washingtonia robusta) the tallest at approximately 16-17m clear trunk height. The American Cotton Palm (Washingtonia filifera) is smaller at approximately 12-13m clear trunk height. The Queen Palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana) range in height from 7m clear trunk height to approximately 14m. The palms all seem to be in good health and vigour and represent good examples of the species.
The palms are an interesting mixed species copse reflective of the planting that took place around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Rocks area in the 1930’s. They have significance from an aesthetic and historic perspective.
The construction of the Harbour Bridge approaches required significant demolition and modification of the Rocks and Dawes Point areas. Following the completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the nearby Dawes Point Reserve and Park was replanted during the 1930’s and 1940’s, often with exotic palm species such as Canary Island Palms, Senegal Date Palm and the Giant Bird of Paradise.
These palms are likley to be part of the palms planted during this time. The palms are visible in 1934 photos of the site. Aerial photos from 1943 show the palms as relatively mature specimens, supporting the early 1930’s planting date, and are representative of the palms popularised by Joseph Maiden, Director of the Botanic Gardens (1897-1924).