1788Area explored by Governor Phillip and named Rose Hill

1792Charles Smith granted a 30 acres lying on the North side of the Creek above Parramatta

1796 – First Gaol built on ‘Gaol Green’, now Prince Alfred Square

1800-1802 – George Caley, botanical collector establishes a botanical garden near the oval.

1800-1804 – Government Mill near the site of the Roman Catholic Orphan School completed.

1806Marsden acquires Smiths grant; Governor Bligh granted adjacent 105 acres

1806 – Marsden builds a watermill near junction Parramatta River and Darling Mills Creek

1813 – Samuel Marsden acquired 36 acres of land and named it as “Mill Dam Farm”

1816– Francis Greenway report on first female factory in Prince Alfred Square

1816 – 4 acres of Bligh’s grant allocated for Female Factory site

1817 – January: Macquarie places the construction of a new Female Factory building on the list of essential public buildings

1817 – March: Greenway given orders to do ground plans and elevations for the original female factory building

1817 – December: Major Druitt called for tenders based on Greenway’s plans and specifications

1818 –contract to build the Female Factory given to William Watkins and Isaac Payten. Later that year the Female Factory Foundation stone is laid by governor Lachlan Macquarie

1820 –  Government Mill near the site of the Roman Catholic Orphan School demolished.

1820’s to 1830: A house constructed the land for Mary Betts nee Marsden

1821Second Female Factory designed by Francis Greenway was completed and occupied

1821Thwaites and reed turret clock installed in the new Female Factory building.

1823 – Governor Brisbane adds a two-story building in a separate yard to the north-west area of the Female Factory

1824 – Sleeping quarters for Female Factory 3rd class women built

1827 – Female Factory women riot breaks out

1828 – a pump and internal water system is installed at the Female Factory removing the need for women to go outside to get water. The height of the perimeter wall is also increased

1838 – Female Factory ‘3rd class gaol’ built with the help of the Royal Engineers under Colonel Barney

1838 – Samuel Marsden dies. His daughter Mary and her husband John Betts occupy this property

1839 – First purpose built Lunatic Asylum in NSW was opened. This was also known as Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum (1838 – 1868)

1839 – Sisters of Charity arrive at Female Factory

1840 – Transportation to NSW stops

1840 – Work starts on Roman Catholic Orphan School

1841 – Assignment of convict women ceased to the female factory ceased

1844Roman Catholic Orphan School occupied

1846 – There is now only 250 women in the factory and the government begins to move asylum inmates into the precinct

1847 – An accident at the Female Factory caused by faulty workmanship seriously injuries two women in the building

1848 – Female Factory proclaimed a Lunatic Asylum. The administrative positions of the ‘female factory’ including those of matron had been abolished

1850 – The Female Factory Precinct officially becomes the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum

1852 – The first Surgeon Superintendent, Patrick Hill appointed to the Asylum. But is replaced in March the same year by Dr Richard Greenup

1855– The asylum acquired twenty-three acres from the Government Domain

1856 – November: 16 ft high wall separating the refractory women from the gardens falls down

1857 Steam boilers were supplied to the Asylum to eliminate the need for a large number of open fire places. Work was also done on a number of walls and replaced with ‘slabbed fence’ and repairs were done on a number of roofs

1858 – The Asylum is given a total of 29 acres to the south side of the river and the land that would become Wistaria Gardens

1859 – Sisters of the Good Samaritan take over Management Roman Catholic Orphan School

1860 – Male shelter sheds’ are built and are used as a main dining areas and shelter. The larger of the two is known as the ‘Cricket Shelter Shed’ and is altered in 1933

1861 – Block of cells built for the criminally insane at the Asylum

1863 – A Female shelter shed is built used a mess hall

1866 – Purchase of forty-three acre ‘Vineyard Farm’ from George and Ellen Blaxland

1869 and 1871 Temporary timber buildings constructed at the Asylum for the male inmates

1870-1880s – separate male and female timber wards were constructed at the start of a building program to make buildings more appropriate for an asylum. These were changed to bricks in the 1930’s

1870-1880s – Female Asylum Stores building is built this is designed by the Colonial Architects Office

1872 – Mrs Betts’ house was occupied by the Medical Superintendent of the asylum

1876 – Starting in 1876 the older buildings in the Female Factory were replaced with brick and stone buildings. The first being Wards 2 and 3 Male Asylum These had dining, dormitories and single rooms

1878 – A name change to Parramatta Hospital for the Insane

1880’s – Various ha-has are built to allow barriers but also continuous views of Parramatta River

1880’s – A cottage is built for the Assistant Medical Officers and is later used as Matron accommodation. Is named Pine Cottage

1882 – approval given to destroy 1838-1839 ‘Female Factory’ cells constructed by Governor Gipps

1881-83 – A kitchen block and sheds are built in the Female section of the Asylum. These buildings are altered in 1928 and 1943

1883 – William Cotter Williamson appointed

1885 – New ‘Institute of Psychiatry Building’ completed, uses sandstone blocks from 1838-1839 cells and incorporates original 1821 ‘female factory’ turret clock

1885 – Dining Block behind the Psychiatry Building was completed

1885-1886main ‘female factory’ building demolished

1886 – Orphan School vacated

1886-87 – a recreation hall and chapel is built as it is believed that they would benefit the patients. The building was not entirely completed until 1892

1887 – Roman Catholic Orphan School site occupied as Girls Industrial School (1887 – 1912) by Department of Public Instructions. It accommodated 160 to 200 girls at a time

1887 – The Official Visitors address a special letter to the Colonial Secretary dated the 10th July 1887 related to the grievous conditions at the Parramatta Asylum

1889-90 – Ward 4 is built by Manning and Barnet

1899 – A small gardener’s cottage is built with additions in 1910

Late 1890’s to Early 1900’s – there was a variety of building words completed on the site, including ‘Frangipani’ gardener’s cottage, nurses quarters, additions to the Wards and repairs to the Medical Officers quarters

1890’s – A Male Hospital and Day room is built

1890 – Ward 8 is built for the ‘wet and dirty’ incontinent patient

1892 – New kitchens are built

1893 – The Asylum at Parramatta begins to train mental nurses

1895 and 1897 – Additional patient wards (Ward 2) constructed. This building was added to and changed again 1905, 1938 and 1945

1900 – Dr William Cotter became Medical Superintendent

1900 – New Nurses Quarters, a two story building that consisted of sitting rooms, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and verandahs. Added to in 1931 and becomes known as Jacaranda House

1901 – Nurses quarters building called Jacaranda House is constructed as well additions to Ward 4

1906 – New medical quarters (Glengariiff) completed. This house was called Wisteria House in 1964

1908 – A new Female Ward is completed, a long building with extended wings and verandah. Added to in 1933, 1962 and into the 2000’s

1909 – Male Ward no 7 is completed. Additions added in 1933 and 1964

1909 – A new Admissions block is completed with wards attached to it

1909 – A fountain is built near the main gates and moved in 1909 – (A rusticated fountain)

1910 – A new visiting and office block completed with the demolition of the old Female Factory entrance gates. This included a library and offices for various medical and administrative staff

1910 – A new Admission Block was also completed this year, with three dormitories’ and three day rooms as well as a staff dining room and kitchen. This was done by the Government Architects Office under the direction of WL Vernon

1910 – Wattle cottage built as what might have been waitress accommodation

1911 – The patients start a program of rehabilitation through gardening. At this time there was also a kangaroo park for the patient’s amusement. During WW1 these gardens provided the patients with vegetable

1912 – Parramatta Girls Industrial School was renamed Parramatta Girls Training Home (1912 – 1946) under State Children’s Relief Board. Parramatta Training Home was a house for girls charged with various crimes, who were on remand and not settled into foster homes. Parramatta Girls Training Home was accommodating girls as young as two years old until 1928.

1916 – The Hospital became known as The Mental Hospital, Parramatta

1920’s – Workshops are constructed for the electricians, carpenters, and plumbers who worked onsite

1920s – A number of patients were taken on outings and participated in cricket matches

1928 – A second Nurses Home is built on site

1929 – ‘Wistaria Gardens’ were opened to the public and crafts made by the patients were sold at a fete

1929-1932 –low rustic style stone fence is built by patients along the Fleet St side entrance

1930’s – Both the Male and Female Weather Board Divisions were gradually replaced by brick buildings

1931 – Land was taken from the Asylum

1935 – TB ward constructed

1939 – A new Dining Room was built for the Female Hospital

1946 – Parramatta Girls Training School (1946 – 1974). In 1946 Parramatta Training Girls Home was renamed Parramatta Training Girls School. This school was closed in 1974 and replaced with Kamballa

1947-50 – Gungarra/Kalindyi buildings are constructed

1948 – Mrs Betts House/former Medical Superintendents House is demolished and Rebuilt as Building 68 – Gungarra. Same disposition and orientation of the earlier structure

1948 – New male sick infirmary ward (Ward 6) built

1950’s – A Sport Pavilion is built in the precinct

1954 – Total renovation of bathroom and toilet facilities and food storage is completed

1956 – A canteen later known as Harriett Ward is built. It was built with bricks from the Sydney Exhibition Building (1882), donated by the Royal Australian Historical Society

1956 – New cottage built for the Medical Officer

1960 – The Ward built for the criminally insane is closed with the patients then moved to Morisset Hospital. This Ward building starts to be demolished

1961 – Hay Girls Institution established as Girls Industrial School / Parramatta Girls Home annex

1962 – The Mental Hospital is named the Parramatta Psychiatric Centre

1963 – ‘Criminal Lunatic Ward’ is completely demolished

1963 – Glengariff/the Former Medical Superintendents house becomes a patient hostel and activity centre

1966 – Alterations made to Former Medical Superintendents House/Wisteria House to house drug and alcohol dependant patients

1966 – A new medical centre is built to service the whole precinct

1966 – A swimming pool which started construction in 1964 is opened

1967 – Saw the closure of all farm activity on the central campus with the closure of a piggery

1971 – Weather board Wards are demolished

1974Parramatta Girls Training School was officially closed

1975 – Parramatta Girls Home renamed Kamballa (1975 – 1983). Kamballa was established in 1975 by Department of Youth and Community Services. It was a training school for girls having emotional or behavioural problems between the ages of 15 to 18. Taldree Children’s Shelter was also housed in the same building from 1974 to 1980

1980Norma Parker Detention Centre established in former Parramatta Girls Home building

1983 – Kamballa was closed in March 1983. Its functions and residents were transferred to Minda Remand Centre

1983 – The complex was named the Cumberland Hospital

1989 – Cumberland Hospital is part of a $21.1 million redevelopment programme

1993 – A new Chapel is built in Wistaria Gardens

1995-1996 – Refurbishment and conversion of a number of buildings to house Information Services and Institute of Psychiatry

2003 Parramatta Girls reunion

2017   On November 14, the Female Factory gained National Heritage status, in recognition of the precinct’s ‘outstanding heritage value to the nation’.

2018 –  A Bicentennial event of the foundation of the Female Factory was held, with a commemorative wall established on the grounds.

Emma Stockburn, Research Facilitator, and Neera Sahni, Research Services Leader, Parramatta City Council, Heritage Centre 2015