A sense of community
Places for people
Looking after our environment
High Cross Precinct, bounded by Avoca Street, Belmore Road, and Cuthill Street, Randwick

ROYAL HOTEL - built for Thomas Browne 1887.

'EDITH' and 'ESSEX' - private dwellings Cuthill Street built c.1890

HOSPITAL COMPLEX - dating from mid-19th century. Originally Destitute Children's Asylum. Used as military and repatriation hospital from 1915 to 1953 when renamed Prince of Wales Hospital.

Includes:

  • Edmund Blackett Block - designed by Edmund Blackett. Erected 1856-1864 for Society of Destitute Children, sheltered 6000 children between 1858 and 1915. Dr Cuthill, Medical Officer of Society bequeathed money for building.
  • Catherine Hayes Hospital - built 1870 as hospital for inmates of Asylum. Building named after famous Irish singer who donated funds for its construction.
  • Administration Building - designed by J. Horbury Hunt as residence for superintendents of Asylum. Erected 1863. Later used as residence for Medical Superintendents.

SITE OF RANDWICK ODEON - corner Belmore Road and High Street. Began operations as picture theatre named "Kismet" c.1922, later renamed "Odeon" - closed 6th June, 1980.

SITE OF "STAR AND GARTER" INN - erected c.1859 by William Ellis, Randwick Alderman, for use as "Star and Garter Inn". In 1869 acquired by Captain Thomas Watson. Tower erected 1870s. Accommodated various private schools until purchased in 1897 by Hannan family who owned property and operated butchery until 1985. Building extensively refurbished 1987.

CAPTAIN COOK STATUE - sculpted by Walter McGill and paid for by funds organized by Captain Thomas Watson. Erected 1874.

GOLDRING HOUSE - dwellings and business premises Avoca Street. Erected c.1886 by William Mears.

"CORONA" and "HYGEIA' - reputed to have been constructed in 1898 by Elizabeth Callaghan, wife of the late judge Thomas Callaghan.

The Royal Hotel was built to designs of architect John Kirkpatrick. The Randwick Volunteer Fire Brigade was stationed at the hotel before the official Fire Brigade headquarters were established in 1908 in The Avenue, Randwick.

Over the more than one hundred years of the Hotel's operations there have been sixteen licencees.

The Edmund Blackett Block of the Prince of Wales Hospital was named for its architect. Edmund Blackett (1817-1883) was born in Southwark, England and migrated to Australia in 1842. He set himself up in a private architectural practice and, in 1849, was appointed Colonial Architect of N.S.W., a position he held until 1854 when he left to commence work on the University of Sydney.

Blackett became a leading architect in Sydney, designing banks, shops, and commercial buildings in the city and country towns as well as many town and country houses.

The plans of the Catherine Hayes Hospital were the responsibility of Edmund Blackett, although most of the work was undertaken by Thomas Rowe, another eminent architect.

Catherine Hayes was born in County Limerick, Ireland on 25th October, 1825 and died in Sydenham, England on 11th August 1861. She made her operatic debut in Marseilles, France on 10th May 1845 and toured many countries including Australia during the 1850s.

While in Sydney, Catherine Hayes presented a special benefit concert at the old Victoria Theatre in Pitt St which raised $600 for the most popular charity of the day - the building of the Destitute Children's Asylum in Randwick.

A donation of $800 was given by Hayes to the Asylum for the construction of the hospital. The total cost of constructing the building was $6000.

The foundation stone was laid by the president of the Society for the Relief of Destitute Children, E. Deas Thompson, the Colonial Secretary, on 19th December 1868 and the building was officially opened on 9th March 1870.

The Administration Building displays a restrained Romanesque revival influence in its architecture and between 1863 and 1915 housed three superintendents.

The Randwick "Odeon" theatre was built on the site of a Victorian mansion and opened as a cinema in the early 1920s.

The final film screened at the cinema was "10" starring Bo Derek and Dudley Moore.

The "Star and Garter Inn" passed through many hands from the time of its construction. Residents included Mrs Shipway, proprietress of the inn, a bootmaker, Richard Cook and widow May Cook and Hannan's Butchery. A pizza restaurant now operates in the building.

Following the transfer of the title to Captain Thomas Watson, he constructed a tower which would give him views to Botany Bay.

Watson was fascinated by the life of the explorer, Captain James Cook, even naming his house "Cook's Lodge".

Captain Thomas Watson (1795 - 1879) was first appointed as resident pilot of the Port of Sydney in 1833. He returned to sea as a trader in December 1837 and was reinstated as pilot in 1839.

Watson was a familiar figure around the streets of Sydney until his death on 4th October, 1879.

Following his death, the land was subdivided and part of it used as the first official post office in Randwick, opening in 1878 and operating until 1898 on the corner of Short Street and Belmore Road.

During the 1880s and 1890s a portion of the building was used as the Lotaville Girls' School.

The Captain Cook Statue, adjacent to the site of the "Star and Garter Inn", was designed to face Botany Bay and was sculpted from Pyrmont sandstone. The statue was unveiled on 28th October 1874 at a ceremony set for 5.00pm. The bells of St Judes Anglican Church pealed continuously from midday and flags decked Alison Road and Avoca Street.

The unveiling was carried out by Commodore James Goodenough, whose relationship to James Cook, the subject of the statue, formed the basis for a series of bizarre coincidences. As well as having the same first names and the same professions, both Cook and Goodenough died as a result of injuries incurred when local inhabitants felt threatened by their presence: Cook in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), Goodenough at Santa Cruz, the year after the unveiling.

The land on which Goldring House is situated was part of a Crown Grant acquired in 1853 by Judge Thomas Callaghan, Chairman of the Court of Petty Sessions.

The Napper family conducted an old world grocery shop at no. 203 until the 1960s.

"Corona" and "Hygeia" also stand on land acquired in 1853 by Judge Callaghan and were used for many years by dentists and doctors as consulting rooms.

Bicentennial Commemorative Plaques