The Spot to be · Heritage · Earliest Days of the spot

Earliest Days of the spot

Randwick was proclaimed a local government area on 22 February 1859. It was one of the first to be established in NSW after the City of Sydney. The boundaries that were set then are substantially the same as today's. Randwick became a city in 1990.

The grand houses of the early Randwick village and their occupants needed the services of trades people, retailers and laborers. The obvious place, convenient to but out of sight of the grand houses, for these service people to live and work was on the southern outskirts, at the margins of the model village. Small businesses were established (from late 1850s) along Perouse Road while nearby, in the area south of St Paul Street, a rough settlement known as “Irishtown” appeared. The land along Perouse Road offered opportunity for the establishment of business enterprise. The first of theses businesses was a bookmaker's shop and an ironmongery then followed a corn dealer and a carpenter. A little further south, in the area now known as The Spot the Walsh family established a dairy and lived in the only house in St Paul Street set in the solitary splendor of a paddock. Perouse Road in the area leading down to The Spot became the commercial centre of early Randwick.

The growing village and municipality needed laborers to quarry and cut stone for building and construction. This work force largely comprised Irish workers who settled in the area south of St Paul Street, which became known as Irish town. They represented the poorest section of the Randwick community. As laborers employed by the Council, the men worked a ten-hour day six days a week for daily pay of only 6 shillings. An extra shilling could be earned by those willing to extend their workday by two hours to twelve hours a day.

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