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Cadmans Cottage Historic Building Sydney

Situated in The Rocks area of Sydney, Cadman's Cottage was originally built in 1816 and is the only remaining dwelling of this period, which possibly makes Cadmans Cottage one of the oldest building structures on mainland Australia, if not the oldest.

Open for public inspection between 10:00am to 4:30pm Tue-Sun, Cadman's Cottage is now the office of Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre.

Cadman's Cottage The Rocks Sydney

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Cadmans Cottage Sydney Harbour

Worn stone steps lead to the second floor of Cadman's Cottage.

Situated on The Rocks side of Circular Quay, close to the Sydney Ferry Terminal, Cadman's Cottage is a wonderful heritage building made from local sandstone and dates back to 1816. It is the oldest remaining building of that era and is certainly worth a visit due to the historical value and rich history.

Originally built on a small beach, due to land reclamation over the years it now stands back from the shoreline, on the Southern side of the International Passenger Terminal.

Cadman's Cottage is a two story sandstone structure of unusual design in that the entrance to the upstairs portion of the building is facilitated by a stairway outside and to the right of the cottage. The stairs in themselves are very unique and historic being hewn out of the original rocky foreshore and bear the wear and tear of many hundreds of thousands of feet that have tramped up and down, via these stone steps, over the last 2 centuries.

Inside the downstairs portion of the building, visitors are free to explore the cottages 2 rooms open for display. There are some historic artifacts dating back to the convict era on display and information regarding the history and those that inhabited the cottage from the time it was erected.

Around the back and up the stairs, the second floor is occupied by the Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre, where you can inquire and book tours of the harbour and in particular a historic tour of Fort Denison, formerly known as Pinchgut Island, built to defend the colony against a possible Russian naval attack.

Memorabillia inside Cadman's Cottage Sydney.

Interesting fact sheets inside Cadman's Cottage.

Luckily, Cadman's Cottage was constructed for the Government of the time and has remained in Government hands since it's completion, which has virtually ensured that it was never demolished, considering it's prime position and the price of land in the area. Originally used as the Colonies Coxswain's Residence, it took the name of Cadman's Cottage from John Cadman, who took up residence there in 1827 after being appointed as superintendent of Government Craft, which position he held for 19 years, between 1826 and 1845.

John Cadman was transported to Australia as a convict for stealing a horse at Bewdley, England in 1796. Originally sentenced to death, this was changed to transportation for life, as King George III began the population of his new territories. He was employed on the docks and received a conditional pardon in 1814. His appointment as Government Coxswain became official on the 1st January 1827 when he and his wife, Elizabeth took up residence in the cottage, where they resided for 19 years.

Cadman's wife was the former Elizabeth Mortimer, a servant woman who was transported to the colony for seven years for stealing 2 brushes and some knives. She married John Cadman on 26th October 1830 at St. Phillip's Church.


Upstairs image of Cadman's Cottage, The Rocks, Sydney.

The second floor of Cadmans Cottage now houses the Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre


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