St Joseph’s Church, East Maitland is located on the site of the first church built north of Sydney. Evidence given by Fr Frederick Crew recorded his first impressions on arriving in Maitland from Newcastle in November 1830 – “As I came over the hill from One Mile Creek, two things struck me. I saw on my left, on Stockade Hill, a gallows, and on the right hand side, the unfinished walls of the Roman Catholic Chapel which was not roofed over.” There is also historical record of the fact that on the morning of November 30, 1830, five men had been hanged on Stockade Hill and we know that pioneer priest Fr John Joseph Therry was present at the execution. In the original plan of the town of Maitland (East Maitland) drawn up in 1829 by the Surveyor-General, Sir Thomas Mitchell, the corner of King Street, East Maitland and the present Newcastle Road is marked for the Roman Catholic Church. The site was opposite the gallows and as tradition states was the place that Fr Therry camped and waited for the condemned man to arrive. The land became known as the priest’s paddock.