When a Spade’s a Spade: the hanging of John Hammell

On 7 May 1832, John Hammell (also reported as John Hammill, John Haymell and Charles Hammell) was hanged for the murder of his boss George Williamson. Not everyone was sorry Williamson had been bashed in the head with a spade, but committing murder has consequences....

The Hermits of Killarney Heights

The picturesque suburb of Killarney Heights at Middlehead was a popular picnic destination named after Killarney in Ireland. However, 41 years ago it became indelibly associated with the suffering of refugees fleeing war torn Europe. Listen to Minna and Wilamina on...

Joseph Fowles

Joseph Fowles was by way of being an early Colonial artistic influencer. Listen to Mark and Wilamina on 2SER here He arrived in Sydney in 1838 with his first wife Sarah, took up a small farm at Hunters Hill, rented from Mary Reibey, and tried to get established as an...

Brutality at Birch Grove

Research on the epitaph on a tombstone in Sydney’s old Devonshire Street Cemetery led to the shocking story of the deaths of Samuel Bradley, 59, and his wife Esther, 65, who were brutally murdered at their home in Birch Grove on 15 August 1822. Listen to Rachel...

Barracluff’s Ostrich Farm

There are many great things about the Dictionary of Sydney, but one of the things I love the most is the way you can discover quirky things about Sydney. In the past I’ve shared about Cocky Bennett, and public toilets, and the Electrical Women’s...