State Library of NSW
Sydney Coveafter 1845
This scene shows the dredging of Sydney Cove to create Semi-Circular Quay, as it was then known. Begun in 1837 and not completed until 1844, this was the one of the last major projects to use convict labour.
A large stone seawall, constructed on the southern side, reclaimed around four hectares of mudflats. A red, steam-powered bucket dredge can be seen excavating to deepen the harbour and debris is emptied into the boat alongside. The new Government House, built between 1837 and 1844, can be seen on the far right of the painting.
This painting was presented to the Library by descendants of Harriot Anley, who believed that she was the artist. Born on the island of Guernsey, in the English Channel, Anley arrived in New South Wales with her husband, Captain Philip Anley, in 1830. The Anleys returned to England in 1835, just before dredging of the Quay began, and almost 10 years before Government House was completed.