Sandstock brick from Ultimo House. Rounded corner on top LH side. Dimensions: 225 x 107 x 60 mm. Pale orange/salmon pink in colour with a biscuity texture. Some sections are damaged. Patches of hardened clay (?) attached which makes it difficult to determine whether there are markings or a very shallow frog on the "roof" of the brick. Related to TA567 and TA2037.

Links to resources

Probable Date

Circa 1815 - 1820?

Statement of Significance

This brick was found during the installation of a lift in Building J, Ultimo College, Sydney Institute. Its provenance has been traced to Ultimo House which was demolished in 1933 to make way for the Electrical Engineering building designed by Harry Rembert, an architect employed by the NSW Government. This building which is now known as Building J, was formerly referred to as Building 32 on the 1952 College plan.
Ultimo College is located on part of the estate of Surgeon John Harris who arrived in the colony in 1790 and became a wealthy landowner and magistrate. In Carol Powell's "Report on the archaeological investigation of Ultimo House" (198-) pp. 23, 26, the original building which dates prior to 1808, is described as a two storied sandstone structure encircled by verandahs. The cellars were located under the NW side of the building. There was a brick extension to the front of Ultimo House around 1817. In her report (198-) p.30, Carol Powell describes the bricks used in the extension to Ultimo House around 1817: "... these bricks are obviously a very early type of frogless sandstock moulded form. On more detailed analysis by Dr. George Gibbons (Institute of Technology, Sydney), the major criteria of weight, porosity, specific gravity and dimension for these bricks conformed to a pattern emerging for bricks of around the 1815 period" . A transcription of Dr. Gibbon's report is included as an attachment because the original is faded in sections. The Mortars section is missing.

Source: Neill, Norm (1991) Technically & further : Sydney Technical College 1891 - 1991. Hale & Iremonger, Sydney. pp. 45-46, 110
Powell, Carol (198-) Report on the archaeological investigation of Ultimo House. The Author, Sydney? pp.26-30, & unpaginated Appendix : Brick analysis by Dr. G. Gibbons (Institute of Technology, Sydney). Bricks and mortars from Ultimo House.
Shying, Bruce G. (1977) The beginning of brickwork in Australia. The Author, Heathcote, NSW. pp10-11.

Item type


Object Number


Object Home Location

Bay D Library Training Room




Ultmo House, archeology, sandstock brick

1 comment

Ivano Buoro November 19, 2013 2:38 PM

What a wonderful find. I wonder what else of Ultimo House is waiting to be excavated by an archeologist!