The history behind
Campbell’s Stores

Discover

Founded in 1799, Campbell's Stores is steeped in cultural and architectural history. Learn the history behind Sydney’s preeminent harbourside dining precinct.

1796

Robert Campbell formed “Campbell & Co” in Calcutta and sent his first cargo ship to Sydney, arriving in 1799 where he bought land overlooking Dawes Point in Sydney.

Source: National Library of Australia

1801

Following the arrival of Robert Campbell, the area became a centre of maritime shipping and handling. The first stores houses were constructed along with a stone wall and small wharf (claimed to be the first privately owned wharf in Australia).

Source: Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW

1820s

Robert Campbell entered the intercolonial trade, combining the wheat exports of a growing Derwent market.

The construction of the original stores was completed by 1825.

Source: National Library of Australia

1845

By this time structures showed a house, stores, warehouse, wharf, office and cottage. These stores were the older stone stores on the waterfront.

Source: State Library, NSW

1852 – 1861

In the early 1850s the first five stores were built of stone with slate roofs, these are the first five bays of Campbell’s Stores. By the early 1860s all 11 bays of Campbell’s Stores were constructed.

The Victorian Georgian buildings previously served as store houses and maritime bonded warehouses.

Source: National Library of Australia

1876 – 1877

In May 1876, the Australasian Steam Navigation Company purchased Campbell’s Wharf for £100,000.

The name of the stores was changed to the Metcalf Stores in 1877 and a new wharf built. At some stage they were also known as Old Metcalfe Bond, Campbell’s Stores.

Source: NSW Heritage Council

1887

By 1887 Campbell’s Stores had been expanded, with a third storey added to each of the 11 bays.

Source: National Library of Australia

1900s

In 1901, the Sydney Harbour Trust took over the Stores.

One of the first acts of the Harbour Trust after it gained control of the area in 1901 was an attempt to relieve congestion by the resumption of foreshore land and constructing two jetties and a longshore wharf on the eastern side of Bennelong Point.

Source: Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority

1950s – 1960s

The demolition of the southern-most bay of Campbell's Stores to facilitate construction of the elevated roadway for the Overseas Passenger Terminal development is evidence of a shift away from the traditional usage of this area.

Source: Historical Atlas of Sydney, Historical Atlas of Sydney

1970s

Control of Campbell’s Stores shifted to the Maritime Services Board.

1980s

During the 80s, there was substantial redevelopment of the stores as part of the Bicentenary. The entire area was redeveloped and its primary use changed from commercial shipping to leisure and recreation.

Source: Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority

1999

The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Act was established to own and manager The Rocks.

Source: National Library of Australia

2015

Leaseholder, private hospitality company Tallawoladah Pty Ltd received approval to undertake A$32million in refurbishments.

Source: JPW Architects

2019

Major refurbishment works were completed and Campbell’s Stores was relaunched as Sydney’s preeminent harbourside dining precinct.

Source: John Appleyard