Merchant Thomas Burdekin arrived in Sydney in 1828, and aquired up a vast amount of real estate across Sydney, including the current site. Upon his death in 1844, this property passed to his wife Mary Ann, and became known as ‘Burdekin’s paddock’. The family also owned other paddocks in the area, moving a small herd of cattle between them to graze. In 1866, local resident John H. Hunt complained to the City Council that the movement of cows to and from the Liverpool and Forbes Street paddock was destroying a nearby water-course that then ran between Forbes and Ann Street. The land passed to different members of the Burdekin family until its sale in 1923.