In 1811, the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, established the second Sydney Common, about one-and-a-half miles wide and extending south from South Head Rd (now Oxford St) to where Randwick Racecourse is today. Part sandhills, part swamp and situated on the south-eastern fringe of the city, it was used as a rubbish dump in the 1850s and not regarded as an ideal place for sport. In 1851, part of the Sydney Common south of Victoria Barracks was granted to the British Army for use as a garden and cricket ground for the soldiers. Its first user was the 11th North Devonshire Regiment which flattened and graded the southern part of the rifle range adjacent to the Barracks.
In the next couple of years, the teams from Victoria Barracks combined themselves into a more permanent organisation and called themselves the Garrison Club. The ground therefore became known as the Garrison Ground when it was first opened in February 1854.
Up until that time Hyde Park had been the main sporting and racing ground in the colony but when it was dedicated... Read More