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