This broad range of planting is of varying age structure and overlays. A particularly large Port Jackson Fig (Ficus rubiginosa f. rubiginosa) is located in the gardens adjoining the Main Quadrangle (18 metres in height and 25 metres canopy spread). This is an exceptional size for this fig and it is likely to be one of the earliest planted specimens in the College. A further Port Jackson Fig occurs in the south-eastern car parking area however the integrity of this significant tree has been severely compromised by past heavy pruning and it is in serious decline.
There are at least 36 remaining Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus) that are identified as part of the Colleges early plantings dating to the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. This includes the double row planting associated with the City Road frontage (15) and the main driveway and pedestrian walkway in the northeast leading to the Edward Ford Building (18) as well as some between the driveway and the south-east most building of the St Paul’s College group of buildings (3). These latter mentioned trees appear to be slightly older than the other Brush Box planted along the driveway, judging by their sizes in the 1943 aerial photos. The single Brush Box located in the southern car park, although now very large, appears to have been planted after the other Brush Box and is not included in the above listings.
The 2 Jacarandas (Jacaranda mimosifolia) on the western side of the buildings appear to date from the late 1940’s or early 1950’s as they are visible as well established trees in 1958 photos. It is unclear if they were present in the 1943 aerial photos. These are significant trees due to their size and early planting time. The Jacarandas in the central courtyard were not planted until after 1965. These are visually significant and certainly contribute to the current character and history of the St Paul’s College development. There is no evidence, however, of any relationship of these Jacarandas with that in the University of Sydney’s Main Quadrangle which was reportedly planted in the late 1920’s (Curtis 1981).
The grounds of the University of Sydney contain an exceptional collection of significant trees, many of which are important elements in association with heritage listed buildings and road precincts. A number of places and items are scheduled on the Register of the National Estate, the State Heritage Register, City of Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 and classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW). At a group level, the significant trees within the University are considered to be one of the City of Sydney’s more important collections in terms of the special combination of aesthetic, scientific, botanic, historic, social and commemorative values.
Many of these trees are of exceptional value, creating landscapes of high visual and aesthetic quality and a unique sense of place. The University’s significant trees are typically associated with the curtilage of historic buildings, building facades, boundaries to colleges and along the campus boundaries, ovals and sportsgrounds, internal roadways and pedestrian walkways, courtyards and a broad range of ancillary spaces. These trees tell the stories and aspirations of people. They also provide historic markers in the landscape, describing the way the campus developed over time and its close links with Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Victoria Park (refer to other listings in this Register).
In 1854, land comprising 120 acres was chosen at Grose Farm for the University and four affiliated colleges, with 16 acres sub-granted by the University for the site of St Paul’s College in 1855. Edmund Blacket’s design for the College was approved in January 1856 and the foundation stone was laid that month. The design for the structure drew on the Oxbridge tradition and incorporated a quadrangular college arrangement, similar to that proposed for the University’s Main Building.
Most of the building was completed between 1858 and 1864. The Wardens Lodge was completed in 1887 to a design by Blacket Brothers and the East Wing (Radford Wing) was remodelled by the Blacket Brothers in 1915. The oval was built on formerly low lying swampy gorund in 1916 and was first used for sporting events in the 1920’s.
The addition to the Eastern Range of St Pauls College was designed by Cyril Blacket in 1914. Cyril Blacket prepared plans to enclose the quadrangle in 1920 and also designed the Garnsey Wing which was completed in 1921. In the 1930’s a tree planting programme was commenced. The addition to the Northern Range was designed in 1947 by Stephenson & Turner. Many other additions were added in subsequent years including the; Chapel Wing (1961), Arnott Wing (1962), Tower Wing (1966), Mansfield Memorial Library (1968), which were all designed by the architecture firm Fowell Mansfield Jarvis and Maclurclan and in 1985 the Southern Cloister of the West Wing was completed by Peter Reed, it was donated by Professor C Salisbury.