Buckland Street History

May 11th, 2018 - by Brad Gillespie

Buckland Street is an idyllic, leafy part of the inner-city, traversing the suburbs of Alexandria and Waterloo.

Despite being sandwiched by two arterial roads, Mitchell Road and Botany Road, it has retained its charming 19th Century characteristics and is an oasis of calm in the inner city.

The Name

The street was named after Thomas Buckland an investor, director and philanthropist who was on the board of many prominent Sydney companies at the start of the 20th century. Buckland was also a manager of the Cooper Estate, to which this land belonged.


Like most of the surrounding area, it was inhabited by the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora people, whose population was decimated after European Settlement.

In 1823, 1400 acres in the area of Waterloo and Alexandria was granted to William Hutchinson - a former convict who became the Principal Superintendent of Convicts and Public Works - by Governor Brisbane, in recognition of his public service.

Two years later, Hutchinson sold the land to Daniel Cooper and Solomon Levey. Cooper and Levey - both emancipists - established Cooper & Levey, and their company was one of the first major exporters who started selling Australian wool overseas among their many other entrepreneurial achievements.

When Levey died in 1933 the estate was inherited by Cooper.

Alexandria Park

Alexandria Park, the centrepiece of Buckland Street, was part of this land. Back then, it was far from green and consisted entirely of sandhills, it was designated to be an industrial development.

The land was used by Chinese Market Gardeners in the 19th century, due to the freshwater supply.

However, in 1882, the sand was removed and the area was earmarked as a future park. A cricket oval was constructed while the remaining grounds were used as a municipal tip for 13 years.

Slowly the area flourished. Two hundred trees from the Sydney Botanic Gardens were sent to the park to establish the gardens. In 1895, a caretaker was allowed to graze his cows on the grass at night, in exchange for removing weeds and watering the Moreton Bay and Port Jackson Figs.

The greenery burgeoned during the interwar period when an avenue of London Plane trees, Lombardy Poplars and American Cottonwoods were planted.

A tennis court and clubhouse were built in 1939, and a playground was established a few years later.


Buckland Street is very much part and parcel of the industrial heart of Alexandria and Waterloo. In the 1870s workers housing for the nearby factories were erected in the area. The street is lined with these well-preserved single and double storey Victorian terraces.

Notable Buildings

Electricity Substation No.20
This white, single-storey building was erected in 1911 as one of the first examples of the suburban expansion of the electricity network. In the 1930s the overhead high-voltage mains which supplied the station were replaced by underground ones.

Terrace Houses
These terraces were built to house workers from Eveleigh Railway factories and surrounding industries. These classic houses embody the industrial heritage of the area.

Fratelli Fresh
The restaurant on the corner of Mitchell Road and Buckland Street used the bones of the Buckland Hotel for its establishment. The pub-like atmosphere is still in place with casual dining options, indoor and out.

Alexandria Park Community School
Right next to the park, the Alexandria Park Community School (currently being redeveloped and expanded) is currently located off Buckland Street.

If you’re interested in buying or selling on Buckland Street contact our team today.