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Busby Bore Fountain : 15-March-2013
Busby Bore Fountain : 15-March-2013

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

The fountain commemorates the first water piped to Sydney.

The Busby Bore is a tunnel extending from Centennial Park under Oxford Street to Hyde Park South, opposite Stanley Street near College Street. From the end of the tunnel a pipeline ran overland, terminating near the intersection of Park and Elizabeth Streets. From here water was conveyed by water carts. Later as the population increased further pipes were laid.

In 1827 surveyor John Busby proposed a tunnel from Lachlan Swamp to Hyde Park known as Busby’s Bore to supply water to Sydney. The tunnel took ten years to construct and was built by convicts. It carried water from Lachlan swamps to Hyde Park south and also supplied Sydney Hospital. The tunnel water was gravity fed and augmented by natural springs along its course. This water supply was replaced in 1858 by a water pumping scheme and then in 1886 by the Nepean scheme.


Address:Elizabeth Street, Hyde Park, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.870265
Long: 151.210802
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Fountain
Monument Theme:Technology
Designer:John Byrom


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 26th October, 1962
Front Inscription

(plaque located approximately 1 metre north)

This fountain was provided by the Council of the City of Sydney to commemorate Sydney’s second source of water and its first piped water supply.

As the Tank Stream, the original source of water, was dwindling and had become befouled, Governor Darling in 1826, directed the Government Mineral Surveyor and Civil Engineer, John Busby, to undertake the task of increasing the water supply to Sydney.

John Busby proposed and supervised the construction of a tunnel from Lachlan Swamps (now Centennial Park) to a position in Hyde Park opposite Stanley Street and near College Street.

Work commenced with convict labour at Hyde Park on August 15, 1827. The tunnel was completed in May, 1837, and was approximately 12,000 feet long with an average cross section of 5 feet by 4 feet. It cost 24,000 pounds to construct, and delivered up to 400, 000 gallons daily.

Water was carried by pipes, supported on trestles, from the tunnel end to an enclosure near the corner of Elizabeth and Park Streets until 1844, when pipes were laid from the tunnel to various parts of Sydney. The Bore remained Sydney’s sole source of water until 1859.

The Fountain was placed in operation by Lord Mayor of Sydney Alderman H. F. Jensen on 26.10.62.

J. H. Luscombe Town Clerk

Designer: John Byrom – Architect.

Source: MA,NRUM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au