1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Parramatta

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PARRAMATTA, a town of Cumberland county, New South Wales, Australia, 14 m. by rail N.W. of Sydney. Pop. (1901) 12,568. It is situated on the Parramatta River, an arm of Port Jackson, and was one of the earliest inland settlements (1788), the seat of many of the public establishments connected with the working of the convict system. Many of these still remain in another form (the district hospital, the lunaticasylum, the gaol, two asylums for the infirm and destitute, the Protestant and Catholic orphan schools), involving a government expenditure which partly sustains the business of the town. Parramatta was one of the earliest seats of the tweed manufacture, but its principal industrial dependence has been on the fruit trade. With the exception of Prospect and Pennant Hills, where there is an outburst of trap rock, the surface soil is the disintegration of the Wainamatta shale, then called Rosehill. The earlier governors had their country residence near the town, but the domain is now a public park in the hands of the municipality. An early observatory, where in 1822 were made the observations for the Parramatta Catalogue numbering 7385 stars, has long been abandoned. Parramatta was incorporated in 1861. It has one of the finest race-courses in Australia, and in the King's School, founded in 1832, the oldest grammar school in the colony.