Brighton Lawn Reserve Heritage Site

Stone paving a heritage listed Gem 

Wikipedia describes the Brighton beach basin area as having been created in 1870 from sand dredged from the harbour. This created the raised terrace area giving the beach a basin aspect and the recreational area titled Brighton Lawn Reserve by the then Governor Bourke in 1840 to conjure up visions of Brighton Beach in Britain.

The early makings of Brighton beach, with the tram line visible in the foreground. this Tramline was later to be decommissioned and replaced as a recreational precinct, with 12 Norfolk pines planted along the foreshore.
StoneSet Porous paving used to extend the pathway adjacent the norfolk plams, heritage listed and used to resemble the natural stone pathways that existed during the early stages of brighton beach recreational area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TThe greater Wollongong Harbour Precinct was listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 5 May 2010 having shown significant value in demonstrating the evolution of the local populations values.

More importantly in time the constructed features (such as the ‘Nuns Baths’ public sea pool) came to eloquently describe the evolution of Australias people and culture. Structures preserved demonstrate how the vales of a very english colonist heritage ‘dipped their toes’ in the beach culture this new land had to offer, and constructed a beach culture towards the modern Aussie “dive right in”

Wikipedia describes the evolution of the public baths. its important to remember constructing a public pool was by no means inexpensive at the time. The fact there are three sets of sea baths within the precinct explains just how loved the beach was becoming, consequent construction of seperate baths were made to allow more members of the public access to this exiting new liesure pursuit.

“Chain/Nuns Baths established in the 1830s and improved using convict labour in the 1840s, the Ladies baths established in the mid 1850s and the Continental Baths which evolved out of the earlier gentlemen’s and toddlers baths. The first two sets of baths were reserved for women until well into the 20th century and the Continental Baths evolved from the Gentlemen’s sea baths into a mixed gender swimming venue by the 1960s.”

Protecting 140 year old Norfolk Pines with porous paving

In the 1880s twelve Norfolk Island pines were planted in an arc on the Brigthon Lawn Reserve. Thankfully, two of these beautiful giants are still there today, making these trees an incredible age of 140 years old. 

Following the removal of the tramways in the 1930s, the area has been heavily landscaped with the addition of sealed parking areas, concrete paths, kiosk and toilet block.

Naturally, the beach having such rich heritage, a resin bound stone product was the only answer to preserve the appearance of natural stone pathways with the modern requirement of no-loose stone, protecting the path from erosion and wear from the now much larger population and the risk of slipping and falling due to loose stone. 

Apart from the original convict Quay wall little remains of this part of the 19th century harbour, however the Lawn precincts offers for all intents and purposes the same beauty, appeal and relaxing atmosphere of a recreational space beloved by the increasingly water faring population. 

Colour matching Convict-Quarried Stone

19th century convict-built harbour together with modifications made as it developed from a commercial harbour to its present function as a fishing and tourist port.

Much of the Sandstone used to line the harbour and thus coal export port of area of belmore basin, was imported from other areas of the state.

StoneSet was appointed to install a black and white mix of resin bound stone paving. This was specified to be in keeping with the Granite and Quartz stone pathways which would have originally been used to creating durable paving in the area. This stone was relatively cheap to source and acted to be a durable surface for the pathways of this public space.