The main saleyards at St Marys were the Railway Cattle Saleyards, which were located on the northern side of the Railway Station near the intersection of Forrester Road and Harris Street, and the Newmarket Saleyards which were located on the western side of Mamre Road between Edgar and Mitchell Streets.
Historical Information Relating to the Development & Layout of the Site
Although local saleyards were operating in, as early as 1856 it was not until the end of the century that large, regional yards were established in the town. The Railway Cattle Saleyards were first established in the 1880s and the Newmarket Saleyards in c.1890. Both continued to be operated until 1945.
The extent and character of these yards in the period around the turn of the century is indicated in an undated photograph held by the Penrith City Library and titled ‘St Marys Sales Yards’.
The extent of both yards at the time of their closure is shown on an aerial photograph dated 1942 (1).
Physical Evidence Identified by Site Inspection
Both of the above sites have been extensively redeveloped in the period since their closure in 1945 and there are no standing structure relating to their previous use. The site of the Railway Cattle Saleyards is now occupied by a large sealed car park while the site of the Newmarket yards has been redeveloped for housing.
The site inspection revealed no evidence of archaeological remains.
Potential Archaeological Evidence
The physical developments associated with the saleyard photographed in the early twentieth century were ephemeral – comprising post and rail fences, paling fences, and a few timber sheds. On the basis of this evidence it may be concluded that the saleyards would have left little, if any, evidence of their occupation on the landscape.
In addition to the limited initial impact of the industry on the landscape probably the most important factor which has influenced the retention or otherwise of archaeological evidence is the later development over both of these sites. The only potential area of archaeological evidence might lie under the sealed car park. If this is the case it is considered that the most probable form of evidence would be in stratigraphic layers of disturbed deposits and possibly post holes. However, if this evidence is present it is probable that the introduction of modern service pipes would have disturbed it to some degrees
It may therefore be concluded that it is highly unlikely that significant remains of the saleyards would survive in the car park as archaeological features.It is considered improbable that archaeological evidence of this industry would be left intact on the site which was redeveloped for housing.
There are no standing structures which relate to the development of saleyards at St Marys.
No significant archaeological evidence is likely to be found on either site, but some stratigraphic evidence may remain on the site of the Railway Cattle Saleyards. Even if this does remain it is likely to have been disturbed by the introduction of services.
- Copy held by Mr. Len Stapleton of the St Marys Historical Society