Victoria Barracks

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    Paddington (View suburb)
    Botanic, Historical, Social, Visual,
    Year Planted
    c. 1860
    Commonwealth of Australia

    Scheduled Significant Trees

    Qty Common Name Species Locations
    4 Moreton Bay Fig Ficus macrophylla Find more locations
    4 Norfolk Island Pine Araucaria heterophylla Find more locations
    12 Blackbean Castanospermum australe Find more locations
    25 Brush Box Lophostemon confertus Find more locations
    20 Canary Island Date Palm Phoenix canariensis Find more locations


    Most of the trees are all in fair to good condition.

    The most visually prominent Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrphylla) is approximatley 18-20m in height with an impressive spread of 30-35m and trunk diameter of 3.5-4.0m above the root buttresses.

    Avenues of the Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus) and Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis) are more modest in size but create a distinctive landscape feature.

    The Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus) are typically 14-16m in height with a spread of 10-12m and a trunk diameter at 1.4m above the ground of 0.6-1.0m.

    The Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis) have clear trunk heights between 6-8m.


    Victoria Barracks Group is scheduled in the City of Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 and are classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW). This highly significant historic site was the former Soldiers Barracks and Parade Ground dating from the 1840s. The Group includes sandstone Colonial regency and Colonial Georgian style buildings and later additions, including perimeter sandstone walls and entrance gates. British garrison regiments were stationed at Victoria Barracks until 1870. During the twentieth century’s two World Wars and other conflicts the site continued to be used as army headquarters for NSW (Australian Heritage Places Inventory).

    The formal open space layout and landscape features are integral components of the site. The scheduled collection of trees and palms are considered to have group significance at the City/ LGA level in terms of its aesthetic, historic, social values.

    Historical notes

    Victoria Barracks Group includes various sandstone Colonial Regency and Colonial Georgian style buildings and later additions, perimeter sandstone walls, entrance gates, parade grounds, and site with landscaping that are significant heritage items and listed in the City of Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012.

    The history of the Barracks began in 1836 when it was decided to move the barracks from George Street in the centre of the city to the current “sandy rock strewn site”. (Aust. Council of National Trusts 1982). Work commenced in 1841 with the barracks completed in 1848. Australian forces took over the site in 1871. Historic photos of the site show numerous fig trees adorning the parade ground infront of the main barracks building in 1870 and 1885. These trees, although young appear well established and suggest planting of figs around the site occurred very soon after completion of the buildings in 1850-1860. Pines (possibly Norfolk Island Pines) and figs (Moreton Bay Figs) are recorded from this period. The sizes of the figs observed in 1943 aerials would also support this.

    The large specimen Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) and Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) near the entrance may date from this earliest period. In addition, the two massive Moreton Bay Fig specimens located in the north-western corner may also be from this earliest period (part of a group of three figs – see Oxford Street Reserve). The collection of Blackbean (Castanospermum australe) along the northern boundary (including a formal row plantation) is a highly significant group. These trees date to the Post War period as they are not present in the 1943 aerial photos. This ornamental native rainforest species was often used as a single component of larger mixed planting schemes but rarely as a single row plantation.

    It is believed that following realignment of the central roadway in 1912, two separate formal row plantations of differing species were planted using Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus) and Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis). Both of these species were used extensively during the Inter-War period (c.1915-1940). The 1943 aerial photo of the site would support this period planting as they are both evident as young plantings at this time.


    Last modified: 4 March, 2014