Developed in the 1950s, Lansvale appears to have received its name as a result of a common practice of the day; to take the first part of a place name on one side and the last part of a place name on the other and come up with a new name for the suburb in between. Hence, in creating the name Lansvale, the Lans from Lansdown was added to thevale from Canley Vale. A subdivision here was sold as River Heights but there is no evidence to suggest it was ever considered as the name for this suburb.
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The Park consists of a string of parks and nature reserves on the banks of the Georges River and Prospect Creek stretching between the suburbs of Lansdown and Georges Hall. It caters for a variety of outdoor leisure activities, from model boating to sport and bushwalking. It was here that explorers Matthew Flinders and George Bass camped during their voyage of exploration up the Georges River in the early days of Sydney. Their visit is remembered in the name Flinders Slopes, one of the Park's five sections.
Flinders Slopes: Henry Lawson Drive, Lansdown. Facilities include an adventure playground, amphitheatre, barbecues, exercise track, look-out, picnic facilities, walking tracks.
Garrison Park: Beatty Parade, Georges Hall. Derives its name from the garrison of soldiers once stationed here for the protection and assistance of Major Johnston when he was conducting a government census. Johnson, best remembered as the man who led troops of the NSW Corps into Sydney to arrest Governor William Bligh in the infamous Rum Rebellion of 1808, was granted land at the point and built a small cottage there. Park facilities include barbecues, new playground, disabled, an exercise track, picnic facilities, toilets, walks, foreshore views.
Lake Gillawarna: Ashford Avenue, Georges Hall. Facilities include artificial lakes, an exercise track, picnic facilities, a kiosk, a playground, river frontage, toilets.
Lansdown Reserve: Henry Lawson Drive, Lansdown Road and Hume Highway, Lansdown. Facilities include barbecues, bushwalking, cross-country track, off-road model car track, picnic facilities, road cycling track, toilets.
Shortland Brush: Hanly Street), Georges Hall. Facilities include a boating lake, exercise tracks, Barnaby's Restaurant.
Public transport: train to Bankstown, Bus No. 937, alight at park.
Grand Flaneur Beach, Chipping Norton Lake
In the mid-1970s the land around the lakes was wasteland, decimated by more than two decades of sand mining. The State Government came to its rescue and created a 300 hectare reserve featuring lakes, landscaped parklands, sports fields, piers and jetties. The reserve includes a number of river beaches, including Grand Flaneur Beach on Chipping Norton Lake (above). The beach is named after a racehorse bred by local identity William Long, after whose property the suburb of Chipping Norton is named. Long built a private training track at Warwick Farm which later became Warwick Farm Racecourse. He became famous for his skill in breeding horses. The greatest of them was Grand Flaneur which won nine races in a row and was never beaten, but was most famous for winning the Melbourne Cup of 1880.
The masterpiece of colonial stonemason David Lennox, this stone arch has stood the test of time and still carries the heavy traffic of today's Hume Highway across Prospect Creek. Lennox was 45 years old when he came to Australia from his native Scotland in 1832 after the death of his widow. He found work in the employ of the Government, building the stone wall in front of Legislative Council Chambers in Macquarie Street. In a classic piece of timing, Surveyor General Thomas Mitchell was walking by one day and stopped to chat with him. Upon discovering that Lennox had twenty years experience inl bridge construction in Britain, Mitchell offered him the job of Superintendent of Bridges on the spot. Lennox accepted and set to work building what became the finest stone bridges in Sydney.Lansdown Bridge is the oldest surviving bridge in the inner Sydney metropolitan area and features flat arches and narrow piers.
Lennox based his design on an arch near Gloucester, England, which in turn was based on the classic arch bridges designed by Frenchman Perronet during 1774-91. Based on proper engineering calculations, the design could achieve relatively large spans. Built by a team of around 20 handpicked convicts under Lennox s supervision who had worked with him on the Lapstone Bridge (also known as Lennox Bridge) in the Blue Mountains, its stone came from a quarry 11 km away at Stockdale Reach near present day Voyager Point. It was transported up the river by punt to the construction site.
The official opening date was 26th January 1836, a date which Gov. Bourke requested as it was the 48th Anniversary of the colony's foundation. A toll paid for the bridge quickly, earning 680 pounds in 1844 alone. In November 1986 Lansdown bridge was designated a National Engineering Landmark. Span: 34m, width 9.5m. Location: Hume Highway, Lansvale.
Public transport: train to Caramar or Fairfield, Bus No. 817, Alight where Hume Hwy crosses Prospect Creek.
The end of Hollywood Drive was once the entrance to Dizzyland, an early amusement park known for its cheap rides and the hillbilly nights at its Hollywood Country Music Club. Perhaps Hollywood Drive was named because of the once popular attraction at the end of its yellow brick road. Dizzyland salvaged some of the Luna Park rides after the 1979 ghost train fire, and many old carnival horses were stored there. There is no sign of Dizzyland today, just a neat golf course with figures in white trousers strolling the green. Opposite these well manicured lawns of the Liverpool Golf Club lies the remains of the Magic Kingdom.
Magic Kingdom operated from the 1970s through to the early 1990s. Unable to complete against Australia's Wonderland - itself since closed. Magic Kingdom closed its doors not long after Wonderland opened. The park was small, covering about 36 acres (150,000 m2). It featured over 15 rides, a number of slides (Two open water slides (95 metres long) plus a giant dry slide), Radio-controlled cars, a picnic area with barbecue facilities, The Big Shoe and petrol-powered mini-boats on a lake. In the 1990s, not long before its closure, bungy jumping was introduced.
Magic Kingdom was popular but due to its size and location (it could only be accessed by a road which went through an industrial area and residential area, and regularly flooded after heavy rain) the park struggled to remain viable. The land has remained empty, with only the giant dry slide, the big shoe (not a ride), the lake (natural) and toilets (both male and female) remaining. It was put up for sale for redevelopment in September 2013.
Long after Magic Kingdom closed its doors, a young man faked his own kidnapping in an abandoned house on the property, to avoid telling his parents he had skipped work to spend time with his girlfriend. He called police emergency saying he was tied up inside the empty house and there they found him, bound and gagged by his own hand. Later, in the hospital, he confessed to have staged it all.
Developed in the 1950s, Lansvale appears to have received its name as a result of a common practice of the day; to take the first part of a place name on one side and the last part of a place name on the other and come up with a new name for the suburb in between. Hence, in creating the name Lansvale, the 'Lans' from Lansdown was added to the 'vale' from Canley Vale. A subdivision here was sold as River Heights but there is no evidence to suggest it was ever considered as the name for the suburb.
Condell Park was named after engineer Ouseley Condell, who arrived in Port Jackson in 1829. A year later he received a land grant at what is now Condell Park. The area remained virgin bush dotted with small farms until after World War II when the present suburban development began.
Chipping Norton was named by William Alexander Long after a village in Oxfordshire, England. Long was born in Sydney and went to England to study law. While there he lived for a time in the Oxfordshire village of Chipping Norton. On his return to Sydney, he purchased numerous former land grants to the east of Liverpool and established a horse stud on his property, which he named Chipping Norton. It was bought by the government after Long's death and subdivided into farming blocks for returned World War I soldiers in 1919. These gave way to industry and residential development after World War II.
The name of the suburb Georges Hall is derived from George's Hall, the name of the first home in the area, that of Captain George Johnston. It was located on Prospect Creek at Garrison Point near present day Henry Lawson Drive and Beatty Parade. Johnston later moved to Annandale and was instrumental in the arrest of Gov. William Bligh. Johnston's third son David took over the Georges Hall farm and was appointed superintendent of herds and stock. The farmhouse was used as an administration centre, military outpost and reporting centre for convicts, hence the name of the location (Garrison Point). Street names commemorate decorated World War I soldiers.
The names of Canley Heights and Canley Vale originate from Canley Grange, the name of a property occupied by Sir Henry Parkes' which he named after his birthplace, Canley Moat House, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. His was the first house in the district. Canley Vale came into being in January 1900 and from that time slowly grew to the suburb it is today.