In November 1813, Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted John Blaxland (1769-1845), 6,710 acres of land between the Nepean River and South Creek, straddling what is now the township of Luddenham. John Blaxland was the elder brother of Gregory Blaxland of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth fame. The grant was named Luddenham after the Blaxland family estate in Kent, England. It remains a rural locality today.
Luddenham is one of the most intact and historically interesting late nineteenth century village reserve in the western Sydney region. The evolution of surrounding rural and urban uses and historic associations with the community supported by these are demonstrated in the collection of extant cottages and farmhouses, numerous church and cemetery reserves, and recreation ground reserve. The village is attractively sited on the elevated The Northern Road with a distant backdrop of the Great Dividing Range. The surrounding undulating rural land, particularly along Luddenham Road, remains largely undeveloped pastoral land which to the east has scenic quality enhanced by views to neighbouring Badgerys Creek.
St James' Anglican Church: St James' Anglican Church, which sits on 9 acres, was opened in 1871. This simple Gothic style church was erected for the Anglican Church around 1870. The church is prominently set above a shallow valley with the backdrop of the Blue Mountains . The rural setting of the church is enhanced by clusters of shade trees and enveloping graveyard. It is the oldest church in the area and has historic associations with a number of local landholders such as Sir Charles Nicholson. location: The Northern Road, Luddenham.
Luddenham Uniting Church, which is a short distance up the road from St James Anglican Church, is a rendered brick Gothic style church that was erected by the extensive local Primitive Methodist community in 1886
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Model Park is owned and operated by the Sydney Society of Model Engineers Ltd, Australia's largest and oldest model engineering organisation. The Model Park is set on 25 acres of land and has a circular model car track, a boat pond for radio controlled boats and yachts, a miniature train ride track, and an area to fly radio controlled planes. Inside are model trains and a slot car track. Members of the public are welcome to watch society members drive, sail and fly, but participation is for members only.
Steam train rides are available to the public along the two kilometre track for a small charge. Barbecues and picnic areas are available on site for you to use on open days. Quiet dogs are welcome, provided they are kept on a lead at all times. No direct access via public transport. 869 Luddenham Road, Luddenham NSW 2745. Ph: (02) 9729 2276.
Vicary's Winery and Vineyard formerly of Northern Road, Luddenham, was Sydney's oldest continuously operating winery, but lost that title at the end of 2017 when it closed for good. It was created in 1914 on what was originally grazing property. It was originally part of a much larger grant made by John Blaxland grandson of Gregory Blaxland and he named the property "Luddenham" after his home village in England. Many of the original buildings on the property included the farm house circa 1860, with the woolshed and Shearers quarters having been built prior to 1890. At this time the property was used principally for cattle and sheep with the wool being shipped to England.
When Cecil Vicary took over the property in 1916 he converted the woolshed to a dairy and planted the vineyard in 1918. It was tended by German vineyard workers who had come to Australia in the 1860s to work for the Macarthur and Cox families. The first wines were made in 1923 and the winery opened for business. The Winery was located at what will be the end of the main runway of the proposed Badgerys Creek Airport, and was closed to make way for the new airport. As well as wine tasting and sales, Vickery's had a picnic ground, souvenir shop and farm animals and on Friday and Saturday nights a woolshed dance was held. A terraced vineyard was located over the road from Vicary's.
Located about 65 kilometres west of Sydney, about 30 minutes drive from Penrith in western Sydney, Warragamba is a small township of around 500 houses. Originally built as a temporary construction town for the building of the Warragamba Dam starting in 1948, the town was to be demolished at the completion of the Dam in 1960, but many of the towns people wished to purchase their homes and remain. Warragamba has around 20 businesses still trading in the main street, including a cafe, gift shop, variety store, service station and butchers. Warragamba has very much a company town feel, with its rows of similar looking fibro houses and a flamboyant street layout dominated by curves and circles that looks more like it came from the pen of an artist than a town planner.
While dam visitors still come through the town, Warragamba's tourist heyday was in the decades from the 1960s to the 1980s. The dam was a vast, new piece of civil engineering and the source of much pride. Visitors to the dam could cross the suspension bridge and walk through the tunnels inside the dam wall. They could buy postcard folders of views of the dam and the town, souvenir rulers, giant pencils and souvenir spoons. From 1968 visitors to Warragamba could also visit the African Lion Safari. Lions and tigers roamed free as people drove their cars through the park to observe them.
After a number of years of being discouraged from visiting the dam, the public is being encouraged to come and visit again. There are a number of lookouts to view the dam, and places to well equipped picnic areas. Warragamba Workers and Sporting Club has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where you can catch up or take in the history of Warragamba in its modern surroundings, catering for families is just a small part of what the club provides to the community. Nearby Wallacia houses Panthers 18 Hole Golf Course & Clubhouse as well as Wallacia Bowling Club and the Beautiful Historic Wallacia Hotel.
Situauted not far from Warragamba, Wallacia is was formerly a rural village it is 68 kilometres (42 mi) west of Sydney, but is today considered to be a suburb. Originally the region was called Riverview, but later became known locally as Wallace after Robert Wallace who grazed cattle on the 2,000 acres that he rented from Sir Charles Nicholson. His house became the unofficial Post Office from November 1885, situated at the rear of what is now the Wallacia Store and Newsagents.
When the Post Office became official in November 1905, the G.P.O. named the area Boondah, as the name Wallace was already in use elsewhere in New South Wales. However, local people objected and to retain the link with Wallace, they suggested that the area be called Wallacia. This name was officially approved on 1 June 1906.
The region was chiefly one of dairying and grazing during the 19th century, but in the early 20th century - because of its rural atmosphere and proximity to Sydney - tourism developed as people opened their homes as guest houses. After the Second World War however, the increase in car ownership and the availability of air travel saw a decline in the local tourist trade. Wallacia was once home to Bullen s Animal World, a theme park and circus, for several decades.
Growth in the area in the past few years has mainly occurred with the development of hobby farms by people seeking a retreat from city life. Wallacia sits beside the Nepean River and landmarks include the Weir, Wallacia Bridge, Little Bondi and Wallacia Hotel mock Tudor design by the Fowler family. It was the first place in Australia to introduce a fish ladder next to a weir. Wallacia s tourism is centred on the day-tripper trade with the Wallacia Hotel and the Wallacia Golf Course, the chief attractions.
This deep waterhole is situated at the end of the Gulger Gorge on the Nepean River, between Camden and Penrith. The basin is a natural geological feature on the junction of the Cumberland Plain and the Blue Mountains escarpment. It is popular among residents of western Sydney who here come to and participate in activities such as walking, fishing, swimming and canoeing.
A great family camping spot in Sydney, Bents Basin campground offers sites for tents, trailer and caravans in a scenic location by the water go fishing and kayaking. Bents Basin offers a camping experience that is within easy reach of urban Sydney suburbs. It s an open, grassy campground bordered by trees on one side and featuring Bents Basin on the other. Take your pick of campsites, pitch your tent or bring your caravan or trailer along. It s a great choice whether you are going family camping or camping with a larger group. Campgrounds have excellent facilities, including a camp kitchen ideal for group bookings and hot showers a welcome luxury after a day exploring this park.
Artists's view of the proposed Badgerys Creek Airport
The neighbouring locality of Badgerys Creek is located approximately 51 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district. It is part of the Greater Western Sydney region and is adjacent to the suburbs of Kemps Creek and Austral. In the 1990s, Badgerys Creek came to prominance when it became the most favoured site for a Second Sydney Airport. In April 2014, the Abbott Government confirmed the construction of the Western Sydney Airport, scheduling construction in 2016. It is expected to be operational by 2025.
A pioneer family cemetery that had to be moved as it stood where the main runway will be
James Badgery was a British-born farmer and miller who, in 1806, was granted 840 acres (3.4 km2) in the suburb that bears his name today. His original land grant was on the north side of Elizabeth Drive; he named it Exeter Farm, but the name of the creek which ran through his property was applied to the surrounding area. It was later used for farming research by the CSIRO and University of Sydney. Badgery named his property Exeter Farm but the creek running through the property became known as Badgery's Creek and that name was eventually applied to the local area. Badgery bought other land to the south of his grant and after he died, the area was subdivided in the 1880s, vastly increasing the local population.
The watercourse after which the locality is named flows north into a reservoir in the suburb's north, as does South Creek, the suburb's eastern boundary. West of the reservoir lies Mills Hill, and south-west of that, by just over a kilometre, is Raymond Hill (125 metres). The western boundary is Oaky Creek, and then Cosgrove Creek after the two merge 500 metres north of Elizabeth Drive, and to the south-west the hill known as Anchau (118 metres).
South Creek forms the western border of the locality of Kemps Creek
The name of the nearby semi-rural locality of Kemps Creek and the watercourse which flows through it recalls Anthony Fenn Kemp, ensign with NSW Corps who received a land grant in the area in 1820. The creek flowed through his property, which he called Mount Vernon. The latter name now applies to a locality to the north of Kemps Creek. A school was established in 1885 called Exeter Farm School after the large property subdivision in neighbouring Badgerys Creek but the name was changed a few years later to Kemps Creek Public School.
Kemps Creek is bound to the west by South Creek, and to the south-east by Kemps Creek. A number of reservoirs dot the landscape. The Sydney Catholic Lawn Cemetery is located on Western Road. The southern border is Fifteenth Avenue. To the north Mamre Road runs from south-east to north-west through the suburb. Kemps Creek flows into the main reservoir and then joins South Creek. The Mills Cross, a radio telescope, is situated between South Creek and the main reservoir, near Argus Technologies. The University of Sydney runs the Fleurs Radio Observatory and Fleurs Farm sites. Industry is present in such forms as Roladuct. In the far north of the suburb Ropes Creek flows in the north-west in a south-north direction and in the north-west, west of Mamre Road, is Cosgrove Hill. The northern boundary is the Sydney Water Supply Pipeline which goes from Prospect Reservoir to the west.
Mount Vernon is a sparsely populated rural suburb providing a close community atmosphere for its residents. It is a hilly suburb with views all the way to the Blue Mountains. Kemps Creek forms its northern and western boundary with Mamre Road providing a boundary on its west along with Kemps Creek. Mount Vernon was presumably named after Mount Vernon, George Washington's home in Virginia in the United States of America. Some roads around Mount Vernon were named after U.S. Presidents.
What else would an egg merchant called The Big Chook Egg Farm have as its emblem than a giant chicken? The Big Chook can be seen roadside near the front gate at 350 Mt Vernon Rd in Mt Vernon.
The neighbouring locality of Greendale was originally home to the Mulgoa tribe of the Darug people. The first British explorer to visit the area was botanist George Caley in 1800. A number of land grants were made in the area in 1811, one of which was to a Mary Birch who named her property Greendale. Another 1811 grant was made to Ellis Bent who was the colony's judge-advocate. Bents Basin, a recreational area on the Nepean Rivert at Greendale is named after him.
The land was mainly used for wheat farming until 1861 when wheat rust infected the entire crop. The local farmers tried other crops unsuccessfully and gradually moved to other pastoral areas, effectively killing off the town that had grown up in the area. By 1929, the bakery, post office, school and churches had all closed down. A bushfire in 1939 destroyed virtually all the buildings left in the town. Today, even though the suburb has a population of a few hundred, there is no town centre.
Greendale Cemetery serves the Sacred Heart Parish at Luddenham. Nestled in the foot-hills of the Blue Mountains, near the Warragamba Dam, this cemetery services the Penrith Nepean community. This picturesque site features a chapel within the cemetery grounds and contains more than 100 burial sites and a smaller number of niches of which many are still available for sale. Location: 447-455 Greendale Rd, Greendale.
St Thomas' Anglican Church, Mulgoa
The village of Mulgoa, located to the west of Luddenham at the base of the Blue Mountains, is approximately 66 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district. Mulgoa covers an area of 5,530 hectares (13,700 acres), south of the Penrith suburbs of Regentville and Glenmore Park.
Mulgoa takes its name from the Mulgoa people who were the indigenous inhabitants of the area and spoke the Dharug language. Following the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney, there were a number of bloody battles between the British settlers and the local indigenous people in this area, however, it is believed that the Mulgoa people were generally peaceful and most of the clashes were with the Gandangara. The first government land grants in the area were made in 1810 to Edward Cox, the four-year-old son of Captain William Cox, who constructed a famous road across the Blue Mountains in 1814.
The present township of Bringelly is situated on the land granted to William Hutchinson in 1818. Hutchinson was originally transported to the colony for seven years for stealing goods worth forty pounds. He was convicted of theft in Sydney and sent to Norfolk Island where he became Superintendent of Convicts! He was in charge of the evacuation of the island when the settlement was abandoned in 1814. Later in 1814 he was appointed Principal Superintendent of Convicts and Public Works in Sydney.
Hutchinson was considered the colony's first banker as he used to mind people's money in a large wooden chest. In 1817 he was appointed as one of the directors of the new Bank of New South Wales. Another early settler was Robert Lowe. He was granted 1000 acres in the Parish of Bringelly and later added another 500 acres to this. He named his property Birling after his wife's birthplace in England. It is not known whether the present name is a corruption of 'Birling' such as 'Birling Gully' or whether it has another origin, perhaps Aboriginal.
Stafford Bullen (1925 2001) the son of circus founder Alfred Percival Bullen, was the person behind the establishment of Sydney's African Lion Safari. In the early 1960s, Bullen became increasingly conscious of the threat television posed, and he determined that if the business was to survive, it must diversify. In 1965, Bullen helped the Edgley organisation to bring the Great Moscow Circus to Australia, and later shows such as Disney on Parade, The Greatest Show on Earth, the Monte Carlo Circus and the Moscow Circus on Ice.
In 1968, he opened the African Lion Safari near Warragamba Dam. For the opening, a promotional single of The Tokens' 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' was recorded by a band using the name 'The Love machine' (the band turned out to be Tymepiece). The safari, which had a drive through area full of wild animals such as lions, lionesses and tigers, was popular in its early years and attracted up to 200,000 visitors each year. There was also a dolphinarium in the African Lion Safari. Bullen also opened an African Lions Safari at Beenleigh near Brisbane. A Bullen s African Lion Safari Park was also established at Wanneroo with the local television station TVW7 participating as a partner in the venture. A sign at the gate declared, "Poms on pushbikes - Free entry". Location: Marsh Road, Warragamba, NSW