Public Art Around The World

More Than Just The Plaque

James Meehan statue

James Meehan statue

Public Art: James Meehan statue

Sculptor: ©

Stone Masonry Team: Katie Hicks, Paul Thurloe, Ruben Varfi, Mark Adamson, Greg Paul, and Garry Rimmer.

Description: The sandstone carving of James Meehan, is one of 23 sandstone carved figures on the ledges of the Lands Department Building. The Appin sandstone carving of Irish born Australian convict turned explorer and surveyor James Meehan (1774 – 21 April 1826) is a recent addition to the Lands Department Building. Meehan is depicted holding a surveyor’s field book, plan, and compass in his hands. At his feet lays his satchel which features a shamrock (in recognition of his Irish background). Behind him is a blazed tree and waratahs.

Date Unveiled: The James Meehan statue was unveiled by Governor Marie Bashir on 27th November 2010.

Location: The James Meehan statue is located on the Loftus Street side of the Lands Department Building, Sydney, Australia.

Who was James Meehan? : Born in Offaly Ireland, James Meehan was shipped to Australia in 1800 at the age of 26. Meehan’s crime? He took part in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

On arrival in Sydney he was sent to work as a servant for the acting surveyor-general, Charles Grimes.  It wasn’t long before Grimes recognised the young Irish man had some talent.  Within a few years he had become an integral part of Grime’s surveying team.   By 1806 he was fully pardoned and was appointed acting surveyor of lands.

References: James Meehan – Carving a Statue.


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