Pyrmont Hellhole

Mar 11, 2005

Quite close to where I’m working right now in Pyrmont are three curious sandstone blocks, one of which has “Hellhole” carved into it. I have long wondered what this was all about; my best guess ‘til now was that it was just some random outdoor art installation. In retrospect it’s obvious… The area around Pyrmont used to be home to three sandstone quarries, known as Hellhole, Paradise and Purgatory.

The quarries were named according to the relative difficulty in extracting sandstone from them, as well as the quality of the stone. Apparently, Hellhole used to be close to Wattle St, near the Wentworth Park light rail stop, whereas Paradise was closer to the water a little bit further around from where the Channel Ten building now is.

The Powerhouse Musuem is opening an exhibition entitled Paradise, Purgatory and Hellhole: a history of Pyrmont and Ultimo on March 19. Promises to be really interesting.