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Scheyville adaptive re-use

Scheyville National Park has seen many changes over the past 200 years. European settlement commenced around 1804, and, since then, the area has gone through numerous and varied eras. In 2002, a NSW National Parks conservation program set out to protect an impressive array of heritage buildings in the Quadrangle Precinct. 

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Located approximately 50km north-west of Sydney, Scheyville National Park was used as public grazing land after Europeans arrived in the area around 1804. By 1921, it had evolved into the Government Agricultural Training Farm.

After the training farm, Scheyville became an army training facility, and a Migrant Holding Centre for the Commonwealth Government’s post-war immigration scheme, which necessitated additional structures such as pre-fabricated huts for accommodation. 

By 1973, Scheyville had shifted purposes yet again – this time to the residential campus for Hawkesbury Agricultural College. When this closed in 1983, various uses were considered for Scheyville, including a rubbish dump, airport, and maximum security prison. Unsurprisingly, none of these proposals were particularly popular with the local community.

Today, the northern building of the quadrangle is occupied by NSW National Parks as its area office. Many of the migrant-era buildings have been demolished, though others have undergone restoration through a conservation program initiated in 2002 to protect some of its historic sites.

Parks related to this program

Restored Heritage Building, Scheyville National Park. Photo: John Spencer