Friday 3 November 2023

Mural and Wishing Well

Corner Broughton Street and Menangle Road


Lot 2, DP 530480

Camden Rotary Pioneer Mural and Wishing Well (I Willis 2020)

History and Description

The mural and wishing well are located at the intersection of Menangle Road and Broughton Streets adjacent to Camden District Hospital on the Old Hume Highway. It was opened in 1962 and is also known as the Camden Rotary Pioneer Mural. At the opening, the mural was called ‘The Story of Camden’.

The mural has three panels and is described as a ‘triptych’ constructed from glazed ceramic tiles (150mm square). The tiles were attached to the wall of sandstone blocks supported by two side columns. The monument is 9.6 metres wide and 3 metres high, and around 500mm deep. There is a paved area in front of the mural 3x12 metres, associated landscaping works and a wishing well. (AMOL, 2001; Clowes, 1970)

Camden Rotary commissioned ceramic mural artist WA Byram Mansell to undertake the mural. (Clowes, 2012)

Monuments Australia describes the mural this way

There is a decorative border of blue and yellow tiles creating a grape vine pattern. The border helps define the triptych. The three panels depict the early history of Camden. The large central panel shows a rural setting with sheep and a gum tree in the top section. Below is a sailing ship with the southern cross marked on the sky above. Beside is a cart wheel and a wheat farm. There are three crests included on this panel, the centre is the Camden coat of arms bearing the date 1795, on the proper right is a crest with a ram’s head and the date 1797, and on the proper left is a crest with a bunch of grapes and the date 1805. The proper right panel of the triptych, in the top section depicts an Aboriginal hunting scene. Below this is an image miner’s and sheafs of wheat. The proper left panel depicts an ornate crest in the in the top section with various rural industries shown below. (AMOL, 2001)

The memorial wall is made of sandstone blocks salvaged from the demolition of St Paulinas’s Catholic Church at Central Burragorang in the Burragorang Valley. The total weight is 150 tons. The demolition of the church was part of the clearing of the Burragorang Valley due to the construction of Warragamba Dam. (The District Reporter, 5 March 2004)

Condition and Use

The memorial wall, wishing well and mural are in good condition.

Heritage Significance

The mural and wishing well are a memorial to lost cultural heritage and memory of the Burragorang Valley. The mural is a representation of modernism and a 1960s interpretation of the settler story of the Camden district.

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan                       Item 145

Read more

 Camden Rotary Pioneer Mural: public art, a mural and memorial wall