QSwharfth.jpg (4017 bytes)Manly Quarantine Station

Quarantine Station History 1837 - 1871

Aboriginal
Heritage

History
Immigration

Buildings
in 1999

Carvings
on site

Residents
in the past

Natural
Environment
Conservation
Plan

Pre-1828

1828-1836

1837-1871

1872-1879

1880-1908

1909-1949

1950-1983

1984-1999

Immigration Phase
Most of the passemgers from 1837 onwards were free immigrants rather than convicts. By 1838 there were several buildings erected on the site. 13 stone boundary markers or cairns were erected to mark the boundaries of the site.

1837 - The "Lady McNaughton" was quarantined for typhus. There were 444 people on board - 54 people had died of typhus on the journey to Sydney. 13 more died in quarantine. A burial ground was established above Quarantine Beach. Three weatherboard buildings were erected at Little Manly Beach to house the sick so that the ship could be properly cleaned. The passengers were in quarantine for 11 weeks in miserable conditions.
Soon those three original buildings were moved to Quarantine Beach.
The Quarantine Station grounds were extended to include the whole of North Head.

1837 The "John Barry" was quarantined and passengers helped to build the hospital.

1838 The "William Roger" was quarantined for typhoid with 295 passengers. More than 60 passengers died - 29 of them at the Quarantine Station.

By 1840 the crowding was appalling with 4 children in each bed. A Resident Superintendent was appointed.

1850 Ship "Lady.Elma.Bruce" from Liverpool with Captain Johnston and 308 emigrants arrived 14th July. The surgeon, W.Donaldson died.

In 1853 a new phase of building began creating an accommodation barracks, a women's hospital ward and a Superintendent's Office. The burial grounds were moved so they were no longer the first thing people saw when they arrived. The hulk of the "Harmony" was used as an offshore hospital.

QS801.jpg (14983 bytes)
View of Quarantine Station from the water
Photo : J.Simpson 1999

Eye-witness account - describing Sydney Harbour in 1844 :

Here and there, on some fine lawny promontory or rocky mount, white villas and handsome cottages appeared, encircled with gardens and shrubberies, looking like the pretty "cottages ornees" near some fashionable English watering-place; and perched amid as picturesque, but less cultivated scenery, were the cottages of pilots, fishermen, &c., making, to my ocean-wearied eyes, an Arcadia of beauty.
Near the North Head is the quarantine-ground, off which one unlucky vessel was moored when we passed; and on the brow of the cliff a few tombstones indicate the burial-place of those unhappy exiles who die during the time of ordeal, and those whose golden dreams of the far-sought land of promise lead but to a lone and desolate grave on its storm-beaten shore.

- Louise Ann Meredith (Mrs Charles Meredith), Notes and Sketches of New South Wales. London: John Murray, 1844, and Ringwood: Penguin Books, 1973, page 34.

Submitted by Peter Macinnis of Manly

QShead1838.jpg (22231 bytes)
Gravestones of the people who died in 1838 from
the "William Roger".

1851 Gold was discovered in Australia and this led to a sharp rise in immigration.

1853 Shipping companies made responsible for the accommodation costs of quarantined passengers and crew.

In 1856 a large in-ground water tank was built. The Colonial Secretary was held responsibility for quarantine until 1859 when the Colonial Treasurer took over. The Health Officer of Port Jackson was responsible for medical supervision and the Customs Authorities looked after immigration and the welfare of passengers. A new burial ground was established and the headstones were removed from the old one.

1858 The "Forest Monarch" quarantined with 341 emigrants from Southampton. Dr Crane was surgeon superintendent, T.R. Anderson was commander, A.MacFie - first mate, D.Yeates - Mason.

1853-1873 All female immigrants were housed in the hospital grounds.

References:
Quarantine Station : Sydney Harbour National Park CONSERVATION PLAN,
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 1997 printing
43 Bridge St, Hurstville, NSW 2220, Australia

Quarantine Station : Sydney Harbour National Park Open Day booklet 1999
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Visitors Services Unit, Scenic Drive, Manly, NSW 2220, Australia

Pre-1828

1828-1836

1837-1871

1872-1879

1880-1908

1909-1949

1950-1983

1984-1999

This page was created 2nd June, 1999, by Judith Bennett,  Friends of Quarantine Station,
and was last modified 20th January, 2007.