Captain Arthur Phillip – the oldest bits of Kuringai?

A monument using bricks from Phillip's farmhouse in England

One of the things I love about writing for the Kuringai Examiner is that you get to look at pieces of Kuringai that I had ignored or not even noticed. One such spot is Heritage Square in Gordon. Now, I have to say, on the day I visited the square it wasn’t particularly spectacular; the chip boxes and pizza cartons that had been strewn around the little space made it look particularly uninviting as I looked over it in the pouring rain. However, the statue of Captain Arthur Phillip at the front of the square intrigued me. I had already reviewed another statue of Phillip at the Soldiers Memorial on Mona Vale Rd. That statue commemorated Phillip’s exploratory trip up in to this area. So why was there a second commemoration?

This statue had a couple of plaques, the first read:

Arthur Phillip R.N (1738-1814)
Appointed Australia’s first “Captain General and Governor-in-chief in & over His Majesty’s Territory of New South Wales”, this visionary and compassionate man of talent was also responsible for the successful leadership and arrival of the “First Fleet” arriving in Australia from England with eleven ships and 1350 people, a feat without parallel in history at that time.
He was appointed an “Admiral of the Blue” on his ultimate return to England.

The smaller bronze plaque at Heritage Square
The smaller bronze plaque at Heritage Square

But it was the second, smaller plaque that intrigued me:

These seventeenth century bricks came from the ruin of Captain Arthur Phillip’s home at Vernals Farm, Lyndhurt, Hampshire, England.
They were presented by Mr & Mrs G.L.Cottee of Pymble. April 1988

So the plinth on which the statue stood is probably as important as the statue itself.

About Mike 314 Articles
As publisher of The Kuringai Examiner, I have an interest in all things on the North Shore, particularly news, sport and food. I'm always on the outlook for something unique and original to bring to my readers.