Convict Stockades
of New South Wales

Between 1815 and the mid 1840s, a large number of convict stockades were in operation across NSW to house convict gangs working on new roads, government buildings and other public works.

Originally the term 'stockade' was used to refer to a high fence that was built around the convict huts to prevent escapes. Mt Walker and Mt Victoria Stockades had fenced enclosures such as this. However, by 1834 the term 'stockade' was used to describe the whole group of buildings constructed on these sites, rather than just the fence itself. At some stockades, no fence was built and the convicts were housed in huts or portable boxes. Many sites also had barracks for the guards, officers' quarters, storerooms, kitchens etc.

Locations of a Selection of NSW Convict Stockades:

The Western Road Stockades
-- Glenroy (1815- )
-- Mount Walker (1832-c1839)
-- Mount Victoria (c1830-1836)
-- Hassan's Walls (1835-c1839)
-- Stoney Range (1832-c1839)
-- Honeysuckle Hill (1832-c1839)
-- Diamond Swamp (1833-c1839)
-- Bull's Camp, Woodford (1833-1848)
-- Bowen's Hollow (1835-c1838)
-- Mount Clarence (?)
-- Blackheath (1844-1849)

The Great North Road Stockades
-- Devine's Hill (c1827-1832)
-- Wiseman's Ferry (1827-1832)

The Great South Road Stockades
-- Razorback Range (c1830-1844)
-- Towrang (1833-1846)
-- Wingello, near Marulan (c1834-1843)

Sydney Region Stockades
-- Longbottom, Hen and Chicken Bay, Concord (1819-1842)
-- Cooks River (c1839)
-- Bowler's Bridge, Lansdowne (1832-1836)
-- Georges River Quarry (c1834-1838)
-- Parramatta (1830)
-- Goat Island (c1834)

Other Stockades
-- Newcastle (1801-1846)
-- Illawarra (1830s)
-- Wollongong (c1830s)

Source: The No. 2 Stockade Cox's River - its life and times. An historical and archeological investigation. Sue Rosen and Michael Pearson. (1997). Environmental Services, Pacific Power; combined with personal communications from Ollie Leckbandt.

Ironed convict gangs would work up to about three miles on either side of the established stockades. Road parties of more trusted convicts, not in irons, would also work at more distant locations, accommodated in huts or boxes.

Very little trace remains of the stockade buildings on most of these sites. However, artefacts such as military buttons, tools and domestic items found on these stockade sites can reveal much about the forgotten history of these establishments. Ollie Leckbandt has comprehensively documented a wide variety of artefacts found on five stockade sites near Lithgow, NSW.

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