This is a photo of “The Oatley Park Castle” located in Oatley Park in the suburb of Oatley.
This park is of particular historic significance to life in Sydney in the Great Depression years as well as due to its contribution to Australia’s military.
The Castle was built during the Great Depression years (1929-1933) as part of an unemployment relief scheme. Along with this structure significant developments took place in the park including building of roads, paths and lookouts. The castle is a picnic venue today but has previously been used as a kiosk.
Oatley Park was formed in 1887 when it was dedicated for Public Recreation by the NSW Government. Then known as Peakhurst Park, it’s dedication occurred during a wave of many public parks being formed by the Government including Centennial Park. Its name was changed to Oatley Park in 1922.
Two aspects mark it’s significance to our military history. The first is the Gallipoli “Lone Pine” descendent which was planted at the main entrance in 1919.
The second is the Royal Australian Engineers training camp that was located here in 1942. It included several structures of which some concrete floors can still be found today. It accommodated approximately 250 men and was used for engineering training exercises such as road and bridge building as well as coastal defence construction such as tank traps. Most of the men who trained here eventually served in New Guinea. The camp remained in the park for just over a year closing in 1943.
I would particularly like to thank Alan Fairley and his notes on Oatley Park which I have used for the majority of this information. A link to this source can be found in the sources section below and is worth a read if you’d like more details.
Note: I try to be as accurate as possible but make no guarantees. Please use this information at your own risk.