The Names of Sydney: Suburbs Q to S
Quakers Hill - so named because a community of Quakers once thrived here, the first of whom appears to have been Thomas Harvey who leased 100 acres here from the early 1850s.
Brief history: the area remained semi rural farming land for many years and it is only in recent times that suburbia has encroached on its peaceful setting. Even the coming of the railway and establishment of Douglas Siding failed to alter the easy going lifestyle. The first big subdivision came in the early 1900s, and poultry farming became the main industry. This was disturbed somewhat by the construction of Schofields Aerodrome to the north of Quakers Hill which put many hens off laying. The navy took over the airstrip in 1941 and converted it to the apprentice air school, HMAS Nirimba.
Queens Park - thus named as it was subdivided around the time of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee (1887) in which the whole Empire celebrated their Queen's 50 years of reign. During Queen's Park's subdivision and sale, neighbouring Centennial Park was being created. It was opened in 1888.
Queenscliff - named in honour of Queen Victoria.
Brief history: the beaches to the north of Manly remained relatively untouched and un-visited until around the turn of the century when Queenscliff began to develop a reputation among holiday makers. In time the beach shacks gave way to more permanent dwellings as the area was opened up to residential development.
Raby - named after the maiden name of the mother of free settler Alexander Riley, Margaret Raby. Raby had also been the name of a family property in England. Brief history: Alexander Riley farmed his grant of 3000 acres on the corner of Bringelly and Cowpasture Roads, Leppington. It was here that the first cashmere goats were introduced to Australia, and the first Saxon merino sheep were bred in the colony from a small flock imported from Germany in 1817. Raby merinos won every gold medal for sheep awarded by the Australian Agricultural Society at its annual shows, much to the annoyance of another breeder, John Macarthur of Camden Park. As a reward for his contribution to the development of the wool industry, Riley received a grant of 10,000 acres near Yass in 1831, but by this time had gone back to England never to return.
During his time in Australia, Riley was also an influential member of colonial Sydney's community. Together with Garnham Blaxcell and D'Arcy Wentworth, the Principal Surgeon, Riley financed the construction of Sydney's Rum Hospital between 1811-1816. Initiated by Gov. Lachlan Macquarie, the new hospital replaced the portable canvas building that had served the colony since 1789. Macquarie granted the trio permission to import 45,000 gallons of rum in exchange for building the hospital.
Raby stayed a small farming community until the 1970s when it became a suburb of Campbelltown. Among the names suggested for the new suburb when it was in the planning stages in 1975 was Curran, after the creek - it is widely believed the name came from Jack Curran, axeman and assistant to early surveyor, James Meehan. The suggestion was not popular and calls were made for the name to follow the tradition of naming it after a pioneer property. The land in question stands on the border of two original land grants - Varroville and St Andrews, but these names had already been used. The best anyone could come up with was Raby, its selection being justified with the argument that the new suburb would be located off Raby Road, which for more than 150 years, had trailed across the hills linking the old Riley family property to Campbelltown. Many of Raby's street names recall famous fighter planes. Vampire, Messerschmitt, Mosquito, Zero and Phantom are all famous names, but were not used for a variety of reasons.
Ramsgate / Ramsgate Beach - named after the famous English seaside town.
Brief history: an extension of the beachside resort at Brighton that landowner and businessman Thomas Saywell created, Ramsgate has been known by a variety names before the current name was settled upon. It was first named Seven Mile Beach after the 10 km long strip of sand on Botany Bay's western shoreline. When the beach was renamed Lady Robinson's Beach in honour of the wife of the Governor of NSW Sir Hercules Robinson, so was Ramsgate. Some years later it was decided to rename the suburb after the English seaside town, but the name of the beach was not changed. In the 1970s the idea of changing the suburb name again was mooted, this time to Scarborough. This name was suggested because a piece of swampy marshland over the first row of sandhills known as Patmore Swamp had been reclaimed and called Scarborough Park, recalling the time the First Fleet transport Scarborough had anchored in Botany Bay in 1788 and therefore already has associations with the area. The name Scarborough was dropped in favour of Monterey and used only as the name for the area between Ramsgate and Brighton-Le-Sands.
Randwick / Randwick South - named after the town of Randwick in Gloucestershire, England, where the district's early developers, brothers Simeon Henry and James Pearce were born. Brief history - land in the Randwick area had been granted for farming in the early 1800s and was used for this purpose until Sydney's land sales boom of the 1860s. Up until that time, Randwick was a picturesque rural village, described by a visiting journalist in 1859 as a woodland paradise. The Municipality of Randwick, the oldest municipality in NSW, was proclaimed in February 1859 and encompassed Randwick, Coogee, Maroubra and Frenchmans Bay.
Redfern - named after William Redfern, assistant surgeon, Norfolk Island. He arrived as a convict in 1801, after being tried and convicted for his involvement in mutiny over bad pay and conditions in the British Navy on the HMS Standard, 1797. Redfern was transported in 1801 on the Minorca to Norfolk Island, but was pardoned in 1803. Back in Sydney he wanted to become a doctor again, so he was tested by three other doctors and passed the test. He was appointed Assistant Surgeon in the Colony in 1808 and four years later he was promoted to Colonial Surgeon by Gov. Macquarie and was head of the new Rum Hospital. He died in Edinburgh, Scotland, July 1833.
Regents Park - named after Regent's Park in the north-west of London.
Brief history: scattered farming was the extent of activity by white settlers before the area was subdivided and sold as small farms in 1880. At the time, an existing local property here had been named Regents Park by its owners, Messrs Peck and Jackson. It was known first as North Bankstown, then in 1906 it became Sefton Park. A railway station, named Sefton Park East Junction, was opened in 1914 when the Bankstown railway line was brought into service. The station was moved to its present location when the Regents Park to Liverpool branch line was opened in October 1924 and renamed Regents Park, though the area had had yet another name change four years earlier, to Sefton. In May 1929 the name was standardised as Regents Park.
Regentville - the name is taken from the mansion "Regentville", erected by Sir John Jamison (1776-1844) and named in honour of the Prince Regent (later George IV). "Regentville" was completed in 1824 and was the focal point for the prosperous estate. A vineyard was established in 1831, a tweed mill erected in the period 1835-40, a garden was developed that covered almost 2 hectares and a horse stud was run. In May 1869, a fire of unknown origin, gutted "Regentville" leaving only the bare walls standing. Sir John Jamison arrived in the Colony in 1814, after the death of his father, Thomas Jamison. He was the inaugural president of the Agricultural Society of New South Wales, president and founder of the Sydney Turf Club and member of many other major public societies. Sir John was appointed to the legislative Council in 1837 and remained a member until 1843 when he retired, a year prior to his death. He was a genial man and was celebrated as "the hospitable knight of Regentville".
Revesby / Revesby Heights - named after Sir Joseph Banks' estates of Revesby Abbey in Lincolnshire, England. A painting of Banks as a child hangs in the Abbey. He was later known as the Squire of Revesby. It is believed this name was granted as the locality once fell within the boundaries of neighbouring locality, Bankstown.
Brief history: though granted in 1804 to George Johnson, the man who arrested William Bligh in the Rum rebellion, settlement did not commence until the 1890s. It was subdivided in 1926, at which time the present street layout come into being. The railway station, on the East Hills line, opened on 21st December 1931. Some of Revesby's streets are named after famous British Generals; others recall Egypt; others in the south have astronomical names.
Rhodes - named after the estate of Commissary and early settler Thomas Walker on whose property the railway platform was built. The name recalls Walker's grandmother's home, Rhodes Hall, near Leeds, England.
Brief history: Walker was an early settler who married Anna Blaxland, the daughter of Blue Mountains explorer John Blaxland of neighbouring Newington. The demolition of Rhodes Hall in 1919 to make way for the John Darling Flour Mills heralded the entry of industry onto the Rhodes Peninsula.
Richmond / Richmond East / North Richmond - had been named Richmond Hill by Governor Phillip in 1789 in honour of the Duke of Richmond. Macquarie retained the name when he named the township in 1810. Charles Lennox (right), fourth Duke of Richmond (1764-1819), followed a military career and became a Major-General in 1798. He made himself very popular with his regiment by playing cricket with the common soldiers, then an unusual combination in an officer. He was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland in 1807 and in 1818 he became Governor-General of British North America.
Riverstone - named after the estate of Major-General Sir MC O'Connell, Commander of Forces in New South Wales, an early land grantee in the area whose property covered most of the locality.
Riverwood - Riverview - a descriptive name given by developers because of its extensive vistas across the Lane Cove River. Subdivision and the sale of land for residential development took off after World War I and during the 1920s after a ferry service between neighbouring Longueville and the city was launched.
named after a popular watering place on the Kentish coast in England. When the railway to East Hills was opened in 1931, the station was named Herne Bay after a small arm of Salt Pan Creek. In 1958 the name was changed to Riverwood.
Brief history: from 1788 to 1810 the area was inhabited by Aboriginal tribes with an occasional visit from escaped convicts or hunters employed by the Government. White settlement in the area officially began in 1810 with a series of land grants. Market gardeners and timber getters mainly occupied the area between Hurstville and Liverpool. Saw pits were dug and the sound of an axe and the rip of saws were heard across the land. The charcoal burners came, and many land owners in the area began finding deposits of ashes on their properties.
Rockdale - suggested by resident Mary Ann Geeves, describing a particular hollow surrounded by rocky outcrops.
Brief history: the farming community here had been known by numerous names - Frog Hollow; White Gum Flat and West Bexley before the present name was selected and gazetted. Hilly and heavily wooded in the early days of colonial Sydney, it was opened up to farmers after the timber cutters had been through and the new Wollongong Road to its north had been built and established as the main route to the Illawarra. As with the whole St George area, Rockdale flourished as a residential area following the arrival of the railway in 1884.
The Rocks - a descriptive title for the peninsula to the west of Sydney Cove, which had come into common usage as its name by the mid 19th century.
Rodd Point - recalls Brent Clements Rodd (1809-1898) who bought that part of Five Dock Farm in the area in 1836. Rodd had a large family of 12 children and many of the local streets are named after members of the Rodd family: Brent, Brisbane, Burnell, Clements, Janet, Lenore, Rodd, Trevanion and Undine. Barnstaple Road takes its name from Barnstaple Manor, Rodd's family home which in turn took its name from his birthplace in Britain. Rodd Island, in the middle of Iron Cove off Rodd Point, is also named after Brent Clements Rodd. During the nineteenth century Rodd Island was used by scientists sent by Louis Pasteur to investigate ways of eradicating rabbits.
Rogans Hill - A locality within Castle Hill named after a pioneer land owner, John Rogan. His property, located on the corner of Castle Hill and Old Northern Roads, was a 15 acre grant which Rogan took possession of in 1818. He later became the local constable.
Rookwood - the name is taken from Harrison Ainsworth's famous novel. Haslam's Creek, located near the site of Lidcombe station, was one of the first stations on the Sydney to Parramatta railway in 1855. When Rookwood Cemetery was opened in 1867, it was named Haslam's Creek Cemetery but the name was changed in 1876 after residents complained that the name associated their suburb with the cemetery. Ironically, when the cemetery's name was changed, so was the railway station - it became Rookwood! To add insult to injury, the municipality of Rookwood was created in 1891 which led to more lobbying to change the name back. This led to the selection of a new name for the suburb and railway station - Lidcombe - which was gazetted in 1913.
Rooty Hill - possibly from Hindustani 'ruti' (wheat) or 'rooti' (bread feast), or Rooty Hill on Norfolk Island. There has also been some suggestion that it was due to the large amount of tree roots in the ground when first settled.
Brief history: Rooty Hill was the site of one of the earliest farming communities west of Parramatta, being established well before the turn of the 19th Century. It was also at Rooty Hill on the property of William Minchin that Australia's wine industry made its first step into the world of international winemaking. The Minchinbury winery, established here by James Angus, was taken over by Penfolds in 1912 and became one of Australia's most famous wineries.
Rose Bay - honours his friend and mentor George Rose. Rose Hill near Parramatta, and the Rosella parrot also honours Rose (1744-1818) who was the Joint Secretary to the Treasury in England in Governor Phillip's time, played an important part in the establishment of the colony and is remembered by the two Sydney place names. The name Rose Bay was used as early as 1778 by Captain John Hunter.
Brief history: Rose Bay was a favourite location for the local aborigines as fish and seafood was in plentiful supply and caves and overhangs in a neighbouring cove provided adequate shelter from the elements. Around the turn of the 19th Century after a smallpox epidemic had all but wiped out the aboriginal population, the overhangs were used by convicts who had escaped from the main settlement and set up camp here. Because of their hermit existence, the location became known as Hermit Bay.
Under the authority of the Governor, a group of convicts moved to Rose Bay and established a salt works. In 1837, the oldest house on the foreshore, Hermitage, was built by the explorer, businessman and statesman William Charles Wentworth. He called his property Hermitage, a clever corruption of the name of nearby Hermit Bay to give his property a name with a touch of class. The small settlement which grew up around it retained its remote rural atmosphere for most of the 19th Century, being a popular resting place for travellers on the New South Head Road and a centre for pleasure craft activities on Sydney Harbour. The large tidal mud flats were reclaimed in 1902, and the seawall built 22 years later. Major residential developed commenced in the 1920s and today Rose Bay is a desirable address like its neighbour, Double Bay.
Rosebery - named in honour of Archibald Phillip Primrose, the fifth Earl of Rosebery.
Brief history: limited farming took place before the area was first opened up for residential development in the 1880s. At the time, the Earl of Rosebery who was Prime Minister of England, visited Australia with his wife and the suburb being planned at the time was named in his honour. A pony track was opened in 1906. In 1940, the soldiers of the 8th Division, who were later taken as prisoners of war to Changi Camp in Singapore, camped here. It reverted back to a racing track in 1946.
Rosemeadow - honours an early settler, Thomas Rose (1772-1836), who bought Mount Gilead farm in 1818.
Brief history: Rose's 984 ha property stretched into what is now the southernmost portion of Rosemeadow. He won fame in the early colony for his experiments in water conservation, having built a huge dam on his property in 1825 and a smaller dam near Appin Road for the use of his neighbours during the drought of 1829. Rose was a business partner of Fred Fisher of Fisher's Ghost fame, in a paper making venture. Plans to develop the suburb were set in motion in the 1970s but it did not eventuate until the 1980s. Its street names recall characters from the plays of William Shakespeare.
Rosehill - named after Rosehill Racecourse which in turn is taken from the original name given to Parramatta - Rose Hill. The name was given by Gov. Phillip in 1789 after his neighbour in England, George Rose (see Rose Bay) who suggested him for the role of NSW Governor.
Brief history: John Macarthur's Elizabeth Farm once extended east of Parramatta and included the whole of Rosehill. The 850 acre farm was subdivided primarily for industrial purposes and sold off in three lots in 1883. One part was retained for recreational purposes and it is here that the racecourse was built in 1885 and named Rosehill. Australians saw the first aeroplane in flight when magician Harry Houdini flew a plane over the racecourse for a short distance on 19 April 1910. Contrary to popular belief, the actual hill by which the settlement at Parramatta was first known is not at Rosehill, but is the rise behind Old Government House in Parramatta Park.
Roselands - originally in the then large district of Belmore. In later years, some areas of Roselands were known as Lakemba, Punchbowl and Wiley Park. During August 1993, the boundaries of the suburb we know today, were drawn and finally gazetted. Inspiration for the name 'Roselands' came from a magnificent rose garden in the grounds surrounding Belmore House. This historic house was situated near the Roselands Shopping Centre end of the road we know today as Roselands Drive.
Brief history: about 1880 John Fenwick, co-founder of a tug business, purchased 100 acres at Belmore. John Fenwick first built a slab hut on this property and lived here with his family until his new home was built in 1883 - a fine mansion he called Belmore House.
This substantial two storey brick house was built in a commanding position on the rise to Canterbury Road with expansive views over the countryside.
Roseville / Roseville Chase / East Roseville - named after orchardist George Wilson's stone cottage, Rosa Villa, which was demolished to make way for the railway.
Brief history: the first land grant at Roseville was 160 acres to Daniel Matthew in 1812. Matthew operated a farm and a sawmill. Other grants were taken up in the ensuing years, most of which were developed into orchards. That began to change with the arrival of the railway when pressure was placed on the landowners to sell for residential development. East Roseville was subdivided and sold as suburban lots in 1922 as the Earl of Carnarvon estate. In that year, the Tomb of Tutenkhamen was opened in Egypt by the Earl of Carnarvon. Names in the subdivision recall the names of people involved in the expedition. Amarna and Luxor are close to the Valley of the Kings in Egypt where Tutenkhamen's tomb was found and have given their names to the two streets facing Moores Creek.
Rossmore - the origin of the name is unknown, though it is believed to have originated from early Irish settlers. The district around Rossmore had horse studs established before 1810 and it appears one of these was called Rossmore. In County Kildare in Ireland, there is a Rossmore Lodge, the ancestral home of the Cullen family who founded a now famous blood horse stud there at the end of the 18th Century. Possibly it was named after that. In the early days the area was known as Cabramatta, part of the parish of Cabramatta. The name was not used for the present suburb of Cabramatta until the railway came through in 1856. Rossmore Farms estate was subdivided by Arthur Rickard and Co, possibly around the turn of the 20th Century. At the time of the 1996 census there were 1,598 people living in 470 residences, most being separate homes on acreages.
Round Corner - origin unknown. Round Corner is a locality of the suburb of Dural. The corner around which the locality exists, and which gives it its name, is the junction of Old Northern Road and Kenthurst Road.
Brief history: A majority of the modern populace of Dural arrived after World War II from Europe, although Round Corner was semi-rural for many years, recently Baulkham hills Shire has upgraded and modernised the area.
Rouse Hill - named after the estate of Richard Rouse, a free settler, who arrived in the colony in 1801. He was given a grant of 450 acres in 1816 at Vinegar Hill. Governor Macquarie suggested that the estate be called Rouse Hill probably to remove the negative convict association with the area after The Battle of Vinegar Hill (5th March 1804). The homestead Rouse built still stands.
Rozelle - the name is taken from Rozelle Bay, the innermost section of White Bay, which in the mid 1800's was known as Rozella Bay, either because of the Rosella native plant, or the large number of parrots known as Rose Hillers found there. The Rose Hillers were in fact what we today call the Eastern Rosella.
Brief history: what is now Rozelle was part of William Balmain's grant. Some farming was done until 1860 when, over the next 20 years, the land was gradually subdivided for residential development. In the 1870s a large section was procured and renamed Callan Park for use as a mental asylum. The rest was known as Balmain West until 1892 when the Postmaster General declared Rozelle as the official name of Balmain West.
Ruse - named after James Ruse, a First fleet convict who was emancipated soon after arrival in New South Wales. Ruse arrived on the convict transport Charlotte, but was listed on ship's manifest as James Rose.
Brief history: though he had arrived in the colony as a First Fleeter, Ruse had farmed in Parramatta (Gov. Phillip's experimental farm, established to see how long it took for a new settler to become self sufficient), the Hawkesbury and Bankstown areas before moving to the Macarthur district in 1828 and purchasing the wheat growing farm which led to this locality being named after him. He spent 9 of his 49 years in the colony living here until his death in 1837. James and his wife Elizabeth were buried in St John's Catholic Cemetery in 1837. The inscription on his grave was carved with his own hand and read 'I sowd the first grain'. His headstone was removed in 1994 after vandals destroyed nearby graves. The headstone is now being safe kept by the Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society. Ruse developed as a residential area of Campbelltown in the late 1970s though it was named in anticipation of its future while still virgin bush in the 1960s.
Rushcutters Bay - originally named Blackburn Cove after David Blackburn, master of First Fleet vessel HMS Supply. Later known as Rush Cutting Bay. It was from the swampy grounds where Wests Creek entered Sydney Harbour (Rushcutters Bay Park) that First Fleet convict settlers first gathered rushes used to thatch the roofs of Sydney's first dwellings.
Brief history - there was no settlement of the area apart from the rushcutter's dwellings until the 1820s when extensive land clearing took place. The land surrounding Wests Creek (later known as Rushcutter Creek) was found to be very fertile and consequently, in the 1820s and 1830s, the district was developed into highly successful market gardens.
By the 1840s, the main thoroughfare through the area - New South Head Road - had become a shorter alternative to the original, though the gradient beyond Rose Bay was too steep for horse-drawn vehicles. As traffic increased, the stone bridge across Rushcutters Creek became a rendezvous for gangs of thieves who regularly held up passing travellers. Their activity died down as the area was opened for residential development in the post-gold rush boom years.
Russel Lea - takes the first part of its name from one of its original settlers, Russell Barton (1830-1916), who was a pastoralist, mine owner and politician. A lea is a field covered with grass or herbage and suitable for grazing by livestock. From 1880 to 1886 Barton served as parliamentary member for Bourke. It was during this time he erected the imposing Victorian Italianate mansion Russell Lea, whose 60 acre cattle grazing estate is now occupied by the inner-west suburb which bears its name.
Brief history: the land around Five Dock had originally be granted to Surgeon John Harris and he called the estate Five Dock Farm. In 1836, Five Dock Farm was bought by the auctioneer Samuel Lyons who subdivided it into smaller estates of between 12 and 24 hectares. The names of the smaller properties are recalled in the names of localities or landmarks which were once part of Five Dock Farm, Russell Lea being one of them. Barton's Russell Lea estate survived intact until 1913, when it was subdivided and auctioned by Hardie and Gorman.
Rydalmere - named after Rydal Water (above) in the Lake District of England, birthplace of real estate developer Thomas O'Neill.
Brief history: Phillip Schaeffer took up land at Rydalmere between Subiaco and Vineyard creek in 1791. He established Australia's first successful privately owned vineyard and grew grain on the property. A later owner imported the first Spanish merino sheep in Australia and began to breed them on the property. In time it was sold to Bishop Polding who converted the homestead into a convent and school run by Benedictine nuns. Subdivision of the area for residential and industrial use began in 1866 and it was the land speculator who organised this - Thomas O'Neill who used the name Rydalmere as the name of the subdivision.
Ryde / West Ryde / East Ryde - named after Ryde on the Isle of Wight (right). Has also been known as Kissing Point and Eastern Farms.
Brief history - Ryde is the oldest centre in Australia after Sydney and Parramatta. Before the turn of the 19th Century it was laid out in farms which were granted to time expired soldiers who chose not to return to England after their military service as guards in the colony of NSW was completed. The first orange tree grown in Australia was planted at Ryde and grew from a seed imported from Rio de Janeiro. Ryde grew the hops for Australia's first beer which was brewed locally. St. Anne's Church was built in 1825. Incorporated as a municipality in 1871.
Sackville / Sackville North - Probably named to honour George Sackville Germain (right), first Viscount Sackville (1716-1785). He followed a military career and in 1758 became C-in-C of British forces on the Lower Rhine. In 1759, at the battle of Minden, he was tardy in bringing forward the cavalry and was dismissed from the service. His reputation was later restored and he became Commissioner of Trade and Plantations (1775- 1782).
Sadleir - named after Richard Sadleir, Liverpool's first mayor in 1872. Sadleir is one of the suburbs created in the Housing Commission's Green Valley development scheme near Liverpool in the 1960s.
Sandown - a railway station on the Clyde Junction-Carlingford line. It was named after a town near Ryde on the Isle of Wight.
Shanes Park - named after the residence of early settler John Harris who lived there from 1821 to 1838.
St Andrews - taken from the name of an early farm here on Bunbury Curran Creek, which was named by its owner, Andrew Thompson, after Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, his home country. Thompson was transported to NSW as a convict in 1792 for burglary. On his arrival he was ironically made a constable on the Hawkesbury River and received a pardon. During the floods of 1806 and 1809 he personally saved over 100 lives and was highly praised by Governors King and Bligh. By the time he was 37 years old, he owned extensive land, stock, ship and business interests. He developed a close friendship with fellow Scotsman, Gov. Lachlan Macquarie. When Thompson died as a result of health problems caused by the flood rescues, he had bequeathed a quarter of his estate to Macquarie. Macquarie later visited St Andrews to inspect his sizeable inheritance, noting its fine rich soils, farmhouse, and paddocks stocked with sheep and cattle.
Brief history: decades before its first streets were ever built, St Andrews was earmarked to become a massive satellite town, larger than Campbelltown. In 1957 the NSW Housing Commission announced it would resume 5460 acres (2184 ha) of rural pasture between Raby Road and the railway line to build a huge town, the centre of which would be present day St Andrews. Local Government joined the public in mass protest against the idea. The project was seen as of a similar scale to the building of Canberra from scratch, rather than it being a development of the existing infrastructure. With an election on the cards and the issue suddenly a hot potato, government suddenly dumped the plans in November 1957, declaring them to be impracticable.
Some years later the scheme was resurrected by a private development company which planned a new satellite town for 5,000 people on the same site to be called Minto New Town. Knowing the trouble it got into with the first plan, the State Government quickly knocked the idea on the head as it was contrary to its existing plan to develop Campbelltown as the "satellite city" centre of the Macarthur District. St Andrews remained undeveloped pastures until the 1970's, when Lend Lease corporation - which by then owned much of the land - began developing the suburb we see today. Its streets are appropriately named after places in Scotland.
St Clair - the name of a private housing development in the 1970s coined by the developers. Originally called South St Marys, the 1970s development scheme which named it failed and Landcom took it over in 1977. The scheme consisted of 2,000 homes plus community facilities such as a school, shops, a church and a branch library.
St Helens Park - named after the homestead of George Westgarth. This imposing Gothic mansion can be seen from Appin Road.
Brief history: the first two grants in the area were to Samuel Larken who called his property Ambarvale, and to John Wild who named his Egypt Farm. Both later sold their properties to George Westgarth who built a homestead which he named St Helens. Another homestead that has survived demolition, named Denfield, is said to have been built in 1837 by John Farley, the first man to have first seen the ghost of Fred Fisher. The locality became a residential suburb of Campbelltown in the 1980s after years of being virgin bush. It would have been named Ambarvale as this grant stood on the modern location of St Helens Park, but the name had already been given to a neighbouring suburb.
Many of its first street names honour Australia's early female identities. Streets in a later subdivision, released in 1980, recall Australian Marsupials. A 1990 land release has street names taken from the solar system. More great Australian women were honoured in a 1991-92 development in the south of the estate past Denfield. In July 1991, Council wanted to add Aboriginal women to the list. Hence Whorlong Street, after Queen Nellie Whorlong, Briggs Place, after Koori nurse and midwife, Louisa Briggs, and Alyan Place, after Alyandabu, who lived in Darwin and worked in fettler's camps on the old north Australian Railway.
St Johns Park - the name of this suburb is derived from St Johns Farm, which was held by the Church and school lands Corporation in the 1840s (one seventh of each Parish was set aside as Church and School lands). The Rector of St Lukes Church, Sydney, Reverend Cartwright, held much land in the area.
St Ives / St Ives Chase - probably suggested by Philip Richardson, probably after the town in Cornwall, England (right) or alternatively (but less likely) after Isaac Ellis Ives, Member of the Legislative Assembly for St Leonards in 1885-89. The district, first settled by timber-getters (some legal, some not) in the mid 1820s, developed in the 1850s and 60s as a community of orchardists known as Rosedale, the name given to the original grant in the area in 1823. The post office, originally named Rosedale, was renamed St Ives about 1900.
St Leonards - named to honour Thomas Townshend, Viscount Sydney of St Leonards. The name was first given to the whole of the Lower North Shore district by Sir Thomas Mitchell when he explored and mapped the area in 1828. The name is now confined to the area immediately surrounding the St Leonards Railway Station.
St Marys / North St Marys - named after St Mary Magdalene's Church on Great Western Highway.
Brief history: this locality was part of a much larger grant to Major George Druitt, Gov. Macquarie's acting Chief Engineer and Inspector of Public Works. A neighbouring farm, also at St Marys, was Mamre, the property of Rev. Samuel Marsden where Merino sheep were bred. When the railway came through in 1862, the name South Creek was chosen for the station here. It was changed to St Marys in 1885 and came into common use for the area soon after.
St Peters - named after the homestead of merchant Alexander Brodie Spark, who named his house after St Peter's Church on Cook's River Road (Princes Highway).
Sparke was a major land owner in the 1820s, his property encompassing St Peters, Tempe and the southern part of Newtown. He bought what is now St Peters from merchant Robert Campbell whose warehouses line Circular Quay today. Sparke was a staunch Anglican and was responsible for replacing a temporary church built in 1835. He also built the little community which grew up around it and became St Peters. Because of the area's excellent clay, St Peters became the major brick making centre for Sydney. The clay pits were later converted into a giant rubbish tip which these days have been remodelled into a park and sports ground.
Sandringham - named to honour the Prince of Wales, Edward VII, and his royal residence at Sandringham, Norfolk, England.
Brief history: originally known as Strippers Point as it became a centre for timber getting and bark stripping. Originally part of Thomas Holt's Sutherland Estate, a section of it was bought by William Edward Rust in 1872 who had previously run a hotel at nearby Sans Souci. He built a hotel here also, naming it the Prince of Wales Hotel and the district Sandringham. At the time, the Prince of Wales was building a royal residence at Sandringham in Norfolk, England.
Sandy Point - The Sandy Point Estate was created in 1925 but the history of its name is not known. Not to be confused with the area at Sylvania now called Sandy Point but originally called Holt Point when it was part of the Holt Sutherland Estate.
Sans Souci - name taken from Thomas Holt's home, which is a French phrase meaning "without care".
Thomas Holt was a major land owner in Sydney's south, his extensive property including Rocky Point. Here he built his residence which he named after the palace of Prussian King Frederick the Great at Potsdam. It was a large house but because of its isolation, Holt's wife refused to live in it and they built another smaller residence at Marrickville. William Edward Rust bought Sans Souci (the house) from Holt and turned it into a hotel. The hotel's name was eventually used as the name of the locality.
Scheyville - recalls William Francis Schey, MP for Redfern/Darlington and later Director of Labour and Industry, under whose direction a Government-funded Casual Labour Farm was established here for city men who could not find work through ill health or other preventable causes.
Brief history: the park was the site of three rare and often controversial social and agricultural ventures in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries: the Pitt Town Co-operative Labour Settlement for the unemployed; a Casual Labour Farm for men who could not find work through ill health (est. 1893); and the Scheyville Government Agricultural Training Farm (est. 1900), a Dreadnought Farm for English boys (1911-1940) and a major migrant reception centre during the 1950s and early 1960s. The park has long associations with the military forces, being used as a military training camp during World War II and the site became part of an Officer Training Unit for National Servicemen being sent to Vietnam, as well as with Governor Philip King 1800 -1806, with William Francis Schey, member of the NSW Parliament for Redfern/Darlington and later Director of Labour and Industry during the late 19tC century, and with prominent early 20th Century architect Bruce Dellit, as well as with community groups involved in the environmental conservation movement in western Sydney during the late 20th Century.
Schofields - named after John Schofield, who purchased land here in 1845, becoming one of the earliest settlers in the area.
Brief history: after prospering on the Californian goldfields in 1849, Schofield purchased land at Marsden Park and soon established orchards, vineyards, a saw mill and horse stables. After the railway to Windsor opened in 1863 the railway department built a small platform which became known as Schofield's Siding. As the township grew around this, the word 'Siding' was removed from the name but the possessive 's' remained and thus the name of the community became Schofields.
Scotland Island - named by Andrew Thompson after his native land. Thompson was granted Scotland Island in appreciation for his courageous rescue efforts in the Hawkesbury River flood of 1810. He operated a salt works here. He died two years later, and the island was sold but not developed. It was subdivided and sold as residential lots in November 1911.
Seaforth - named after Loch Seaforth and Seaforth Island in Scotland.
Brief history: because of its isolation, Seaforth remained undeveloped for many years. The hulks of ships that were no longer seaworthy were moored in Powder Hulk Bay for the storage of gunpowder between 1878 and 1919. The first subdivision and auction of land took place here under the name of Seaforth Estate in November 1906.
Sefton - originally named Sefton Park by James Wood, after a locality in London, England.
Brief history: first settled by James Wood, a market gardener and orchardist. Subdivision in the 1920s saw the area's market gardens, poultry farms and orchards replaced by residences.
Seven Hills - named because Matthew Pearce's family could see seven hills from their home which was located on the highest point in the area.
Brief history: Seven Hills was part of the estate of Matthew Pearce, a free settler who arrived in Sydney in 1794. He named his estate Kings Langley.
Shalvey - named after Shalvey Road, an early thoroughfare through crown land. The road led to the family home of the Shalvey family who settled in the area after migrating from Northern Ireland. They established a butchers shop in the area in the 1860s. Shalvey is one of the residential areas in the Blacktown district developed in the 1960s and 70s.
Silverdale - known as the gateway to Sydney's water supply, Silverdale is a quiet retreat nestled by the side of Warragamba Dam. A visit to the village will reveal some quaint shops, houses and narrow streets giving visitors insight into life during the construction of the dam. It was thus named as the sun cast a silver sheen on the waters of the Nepean River.
Silverwater - possibly from silver reflections of sunlight or moonlight on either Duck River or Parramatta River, however there are no records that confirm this. Brief history: First Fleeters Lieut. John Shortland, Capt. Henry Waterhouse and Isaac Archer were the first grantees in the area. John Blaxland's Newington was their largest neighbouring property, Blaxland's property, being 1,290 acres, was granted in 1807. Though Newington became a cattle ranch, it was also a self sufficient community with numerous small industries that became the nucleus of what grew into the industrial area of Silverwater today. Newington House is now part of the Silverwater Gaol facility.
Smithfield / Smithfield West - named to commemorate the big meat markets in London.
Brief history: the first community that developed here was known as Chisholm's Bush. A grant to John Ryan Brennan in 1836 known as Donnybrook was subdivided under the name of Smithfield as he intended to build cattle yards here. Smithfield is the name of a major meat market near London. The cattle yards eventuated but a planned village didn't. By the 1870s, the small Smithfield community consisted of vineyards, market gardeners and wood cutters. After World War II, part of Smithfield was developed as a major industrial area.
Spit Junction and The Spit - named after the tip of the peninsula jutting into Middle Harbour. It was known to the Aborigines as Parriwi, a name which is recalled in Parriwi Road and Parriwi Park.
Brief history: very little development took place until 1902 when the area was subdivided. Prior to that, the only residents were a number of Chinese who ran market gardens and salt pans on the waterfront. Their presence is remembered today in the name of Chinamans Beach. On the high ground, a bush track weaved its way down to The Spit where, in 1850, a hand punt service across the water to Seaforth was established by Peter Ellery. The punt was taken over by the Government in 1888 and replaced by a steam powered vessel. This ferry, which connected with a tram service to Mosman after 1900, continued until toll gates and a timber lift-span bridge were brought into operation in December 1924. This bridge was replaced by the current concrete and steel lifting bridge in 1958. The suburb's development has paralleled the development of the transport facilities through it.
Spring Farm - originally part of Camden Park estate, it is thus named as a freshwater spring fed a large lagoon on the property.
Stanmore - named after the English birthplace of settler, John Jones. Stanmore is in Birkshire. Brief history: sections of Stanmore were part of the Annandale grant to Major Johnston. Other early grantees were John Jones and Thomas Rowley, the latter calling his property Kingston Farm. Jones willed 20 acres of his estate to the Methodist Church and Newington College was built on it in 1880. Though the railway was built through Stanmore in the 1850s it wasn't until 1878 that there was deemed enough people in the area to warrant it having its own station. The opening of the station attracted more residents as did the introduction of trams some years later.
Strathfield / Strathfield South / North Strathfield - the name is derived from a large house built by the Renny family in the area in the late 1860s called Stratfieldsaye. This was the name of the Duke of Wellington's country home in Berkshire, England (right) and was also the name of a ship which made a number of voyages from Britain to Australia between 1831 and 1868. Later the house came to be known as Strathfield House and when the estate was later subdivided this helped to identify the area as Strathfield.
Brief history - the Strathfield area was the stamping ground of Australia's first bushranger, John Cesar, who roamed the area and robbed travellers at musket point. He was shot dead at nearby Liberty Plains (Flemington) in 1796 after a price was placed on his head. Strathfield was part of a 230-acre grant in 1808 to James Wilshire, who was later to become a Sydney Council Alderman, 1843-1844. Wilshire named his property Wilshire Farm. It was sold in 1824 to Samuel Terry and was renamed Redmire after the hometown of the Terry family in North Yorkshire, England. Though one of the busiest stations on the line today, Redmyre (as it was then spelt) wasn't big enough to warrant its own platform when the railway was put through in 1855 and had to wait until 1877. Its name, along with that of the district, was changed to Strathfield in 1885. For some years, the area of Strathfield around Liverpool Road was called Druitt Town after Major George Druitt who was a friend of the landowner here prior to subdivision. The new school here was thus named in 1881 but was changed to Strathfield when the name was adopted elsewhere.
Strawberry Hills - Strawberry Hills is an urban locality within the suburb of Surry Hills. It is believed to be named after the mansion and estate of Horace Walpole at Twickenham, England named Strawberry Hill (right). Walpole was an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and politician. He was the son of Sir Robert Walpole, and cousin of Lord Nelson. There is a British Railway Station also known as Strawberry Hill.
Summer Hill - originally named Sunning Hill, the name of settler Nicholas Bayly's property.
Brief history: First Fleeter Henry Kable was the first landowner here after his emancipation. He sold his property to James Underwood, a merchant, distiller and shipbuilder whose name is recalled in Underwood Street, Sydney, which is where his shipbuilding facility was located. The area south of the present day railway line was set aside for quarantined sheep in 1832. A racecourse, built on the outskirts of Ashfield, was named after Bayly's Sunning Hill property by its promoters. The community which grew up around it adopted the name Sunning Hill, which was later corrupted to Summer Hill. The railway arrived in 1879 at which time the Underwood Estate was subdivided into town lots and sold. The sheep quarantine ground was subdivided and sold in 1885.
Surry Hills - Though subject to conjecture, it appears to have originated from Surry Hills Farm, the name of the property of Joseph Forveaux, a Colonel in the NSW Corps who ruled the colony from the time Bligh was arrested until the arrival of Macquarie in 1810. It is believed that it was named because the low lying range of hills of the area were reminiscent of hills in Surrey, England (right). Due to a cartographical error, the letter 'e' was omitted from the name. First granted - 42 Ha to Lieut. Joseph Foveaux in 1793.
Brief history - the first road to pass through the area was Elizabeth Street, which became the main road south towards the Botany Bay area. The first building in the the area was Albion's Brewery, constructed in the late 1820s on Elizabeth Street in the vicinity of Kippax Street. Developed as a working class area in the 1840s when rows and rows of small terrace houses were built. It became a maze of streets and lanes which, like The Rocks, was home to many a questionable type. The area received a major revamp in 1905 when Wentworth Avenue was constructed. Around that time, particularly around Goulburn and Campbell Streets, whole blocks of houses were razed and replaced with the buildings we see today.
Central Railway Station occupies the site of the Devonshire Street Cemetery, The first burial - of Hugh McDonald, Quartermaster of the 46th Regiment - took place on 10th September 1819. In those days it was known as the Sandhills Cemetery and was Sydney's fifth burial ground. It was closed in 1888 when the land was resumed to make way for Sydney's Central Railway Station. Another major landmark in Surry Hills in the 1800s was the Crown Street Reservoir, on the corner of Crown and Reservoir Streets, an important part of Sydney's water supply system.
Sutherland - It is a common belief that the parish, township and shire of Sutherland were named after Forby Sutherland, a sailor with Lieut. James Cook's Endeavour who died and was buried at Kurnell, which is within the shire's boundaries, in 1770. This is not so - historical records show that in 1835 Sir Thomas Mitchell named the first parish south of the Georges River the Parish of Southerland, presumably because it was the most southerly parish of the Sydney region. The "o" was accidentally left out when the name was gazetted, leading some to believe that Mitchell came up with the name of Sutherland. To further cloud the issue, the railway station appears to have been named after John Sutherland, Minister for Works 1860-1872, who was the driving force behind the extension of the railway line across the Georges River to the Parish of Sutherland. The township which grew up around it took its name from the station.
Railway link opened - December 1885 Sydenham - named after a suburb of London, England.
Brief history - originally called Marrickville South, Sydenham was subdivided for residential development in the 1880s with the opening of the railway line. The station was to be known as Illawarra Road, but it was opened as Marrickville in October 1884, then changed to Sydenham seven months later because a new station on the planned Bankstown line went through the centre of Marrickville and would be called Marrickville. When the post office opened five years later, it was called Tempe Park and was not changed to Sydney Post Office until 1964.
Sydney - the name honours Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, Home Secretary in the Pitt Government in Britain, who was given responsibility for devising a plan to settle convicts at Botany Bay in 1786. Gov. Phillip bestowed the name of Sydney in 1788 but only to the cove upon which the settlement was to be established. The name given to the settlement was New South Wales. Who made the decision to call it Sydney is not known, in fact it is likely that no one did, it probably just happened. Following the establishment of a second settlement at Rose Hill (Parramatta) in 1789, it would appear that the locals began referring to the settlement on Sydney Cove as Sydney, more to differentiate it from Rose Hill than anything, and the name seems to have stuck. By the turn of the 19th Century, the name Sydney was used more and more in official documents. In 1842, it was adopted as the name of the local government authority which took over control of an area including the town centre when that authority was established.
Robert Sydney, 2nd Earl of Leicester, a descendant of Thomas Townshend, traced his family tree back to a Surrey yeoman, John de Sydenie. It is believed that the ancestors of John de Sydenie emigrated from a village in Normandy at the time of William the Conqueror. The name of the village was called Saint-Denis. Over the centuries, the name Saint-Denis contracted into Sydney.
Sylvania / Sylvania Heights / Sylvania Waters - believed to have been selected by real estate developers because of the area's sylvan appearance, possibly from the suburb's sylvan (woody) setting.
Brief history: Horse Rock Point opposite Tom Uglys Point on the Georges River, remained virgin bush until the 1880s when Thomas Holt (right) and his Sutherland Estate Company began subdividing land and selling suburban lots in the area. Holt's home was located on the northern foreshore of Gwawley Bay, an area developed in the 1960s by LJ Hooker as Sylvania Waters Estate, complete with canals and islands created out of the natural marshlands of the bay. The move away from rural to residential in Sylvania began with the opening of a punt service at Tom Ugly's Point in 1864 and Kogarah Road (Princes Hwy) becoming the main road between Sydney and the Illawarra.