Illustration: 'Miller's Point' by Joseph Fowles/ State Library of NSW

Windmill Street Quarry

Windmill Street was so named because it led to the windmill on Cockle Bay Point at its western end. Part of Windmill Street was a sandstone quarry site around the turn of the 19th century, which explains why it dips in the middle and is not as elevated as Argyle Place. Quarrying would have taken place all the way along the line of Windmill Street, and it is likely that the street itself was created out of abandoned quarries. There were numerous quarry sites in and around Millers Point, the major ones being in the vicinity of Windmill Street. Sandstone for buildings would have been quarried here from as early as 1790 until such time as the major buildings in the area had been completed, which would have been a 30 to 40 year period. Few of the buildings from this era survive.

Buildings made from its sandstone

Hero of Waterloo Hotel, 81 Lower Fort Street, Millers Point (1844): It is known that this hotel was built mainly from stone quarried in what is now referred to as the Kent Street quarry, however it is likely that stone from Windmill Street was used, given that it was probably built on an early quarry site. One of 14 hotels scattered throughout the Millers Point section of The Rocks, the Hero of Waterloo Hotel was a favourite drinking place of the military garrison stationed nearby. Built from sandstone excavated from the Argyle Cut, legend has it that the hotel was used by sea captains to recruit crew members - unsuspecting patrons who had drunk themselves into a stupor are said to have been pushed through a trap door and carried away through underground tunnels to waiting ships in nearby Walsh Bay.

Former Shipwrights Arms, 75 Windmill Street, Millers Point (1840): Though no records exist to verify the exact year of its construction, this two storey brick house dates from the Macquarie period as it was built as a residence for a free settler who arrived in the colony in 1815. Some of the sandstone used would have come from the nearby Kent Street Quarry which was a major source of sandstone for building constructed in the western end of Sydney during the Macquarie era, however a lot would have been sourced on-site as it was built on a quarry site. Its identity as one of five pubs in The Rocks to be called Shipwrights Arms had been lost until its restoration in 1968 when countless layers of paint were removed to reveal its former use. John Clarke its first licensee, operated the pub between 1833 and 1837.

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