Newcastle in 1887 – The Knaggs Map

Plan of the Port of Newcastle: reduced from recent surveys by officers of the Harbours & Rivers Department ; outer soundings by Captn. F.W. Sidney, R.N. ; inner soundings corrected to June 1879 / Lithographed by Forster & Co., 2 Crow Street, Dublin, Ireland. Courtesy of the National Library of Australia
Plan of the Port of Newcastle: reduced from recent surveys by officers of the Harbours & Rivers Department ; outer soundings by Captn. F.W. Sidney, R.N. ; inner soundings corrected to June 1879 / Lithographed by Forster & Co., 2 Crow Street, Dublin, Ireland. Courtesy of the National Library of Australia

 

This is an excellent plan of the City and Port of Newcastle (Australia) in 1887 and published by R.C.Knagg’s & Co., Nautical Stationers and Chart-sellers, Newcastle, N.S.W. It shows the soundings of the harbour, the various harbour and earth works underway, details of the vegetation and landscape of Newcastle.

This plan is an excellent key to understanding the Aboriginal landscape of Newcastle as it shows the ancient dune system that ran from Cottage Creek, around Steel Street with its central point being the Cook’s Hill (on Laman Street). The swamps later became the site of the No 1 Sports Ground and is where Aboriginal people hunted for food. On the surrounding dune they were born, lived and were buried over millenia. In 1881 a set of Aboriginal burials was unearthed on Parry Street and on the edge of the ancient dune system. More on this story is here: https://coalriver.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/aboriginal-burial-ground-discovered-on-parry-street/

The original map is held in the National Library of Australia http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/1671314

Gionni Di Gravio
University Archivist and Chair, Coal River Working Party
11 April 2013


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