About Balmain Watch House
The Balmain Watch House at 179 Darling Street was built in 1854 as a police lockup to the design of Edmund Blackett. It was a single storeyed building with 2 cells. In 1881 as the population grew with the expansion of Balmain’s waterfront industries, it was extended to its present form providing accommodation for local sargeant.
1887 saw a new police station built further up Darling St but the Watch House remained as an overnight lockup and policeman’s residence until the 1920s.
In the late 1920s it became solely the residence of the policeman and his family. Sargeant Ira Gray, and his family lived there from 1930 to 1947.
By 1965 after various tenants had departed, it was unused, in a sorry state and slated for demolition. By this time the Balmain Association had formed and with the support of the National Trust appealed for its preservation. It now reflects the Association’s efforts to preserve our heritage.
179 Darling St, Balmain NSW 2041