Thompson Square, Windsor

Thompson Square and its pre-Macquarie archaeology, threatened by road and bridge work, must be kept intact.

THE HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE OF THOMPSON SQUARE

In 1975 the Trust listed on the National Trust Register the Thompson Square Precinct. This village square was planned by Governor Macquarie in 1811 when the town of Windsor was known as Greenhills.

Governor Macquarie named the square in honour of Andrew Thompson, noted emancipist, Justice of the Peace and Principal Magistrate for the district who had taken up residence there in 1801.

The Thompson Square Conservation Area was listed on the State Heritage Register in April, 1999 and Thompson Square has been nominated for listing on the National Heritage List.

The site is likely to contain remains from the pre-Macquarie era settlement and since its 1975 listing of Thompson Square the Trust has looked forward to the re-routing of the highway around the town of Windsor.

 

THE THREAT POSED TO THOMPSON SQUARE

In 2008 the NSW Government announced it had committed $25 million to replace and raise Windsor Bridge. The announcement followed investigations by the RMS (formerly RTA) into the condition of the existing bridge. An Environmental Impact Statement was placed on public exhibition in December, 2012 and the National Trust, in a submission, expressed deep concern at the likely adverse impacts on Thompson Square.

This plan was approved in late December, 2013, but was challenged in the Land & Environment Court by local group Community Action for Windsor Bridge (CAWB). CAWB has continuously occupied Thompson Square for more than twelve months and the NSW Government recognised the CAWB volunteers with a Heritage Volunteers Award for 2014.

In May, 2014 the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union placed a Green Ban on Thompson Square.

 

THE NATIONAL TRUST POSITION

The Trust believes Thompson Square and particularly its pre-Macquarie era settlement archaeology must be kept intact. The Trust is urging the construction of a by-pass to Windsor as the adverse heritage impacts on Thompson Square, to the historic buildings to the north of the Square and to the archaeological heritage in the Square are unacceptable.

The Trust does not believe that there is any firm evidence justifying the removal of the present bridge which the Trust believes should be retained for its heritage significance and to serve as an access way for local traffic, pedestrians and cycling.