Insite recently completed a Heritage Study of Yarranabbe Park (within Rushcutter’s Bay, in Sydney’s east). This was commissioned by the Darling Point Society.
A fascinating site, the history of which has been largely overlooked by locals, tourists and Woollahra Council.
During the mid 1800s consideration by surveyors was being given to the issue of sea access along the eastern side of Rushcutter’s Bay and the provision of wharves.
The Sydney Evening News from the 8th November 1875 contained an article regarding a petition signed by 500 residents urging reclamation of land to the low water mark at Rushcutters Bay for the purpose of creating a public reserve. Also in November 1875 a deputation to the Minister for Lands requested that marsh and the head of the bay be reclaimed and used for public recreation. In 1878 an Act was passed providing for the reclamation of the bay and six acres were set aside for a park. Work commenced in the same year and was completed in 1883.
Yarranabbe Park was formed as a result of the second phase of harbour reclamation works carried out along the eastern side of Rushcutters Bay (the site of the Park appearing to not have been included in the Rushcutters Bay Act of 1878). The Thursday 1 October 1891 edition of the Sydney Evening News contained an article which referred to a deputation from local residents regarding the resumption of a further strip of land on the eastern edge of Rushcutters Bay park for the purposes of extending the reserve.
During 1883, the development of the original ballast dyke seawall around the Rushcutters Bay Park foreshore had been extended along the eastern foreshore of the Bay. The first phase of ballast dyke-edged resumption along the eastern foreshore was complete by 1885.
Plans were drawn up in c.1895 for a new sea wall to replace the dyke wall. The new seawall was constructed in chiseled and staggered sandstone blockwork.