The Names of Sydney: Suburbs T to Z
Haberfield - Tamarama - originally known as Mills Estate after a local landmark, the windmill of farmer Henry Gough. Tamarama Bay was first recorded as a name in 1885 when a fatality at the beach was reported. Also known as Dixon's Bay after Dr. Dixon, a nearby land owner, it later became Fletcher's Glen when David Fletcher bought a 10 acre frontage.
Brief history - though it was subdivided in 1881, Tamarama Bay remained a peaceful but isolated bay until a fun park was erected adjacent to the shoreline between the cliffs in 1906. The park, called Wonderland, featured a roller coaster, slippery slides, animal shows and a large model airship suspended from cables strung between the cliffs. Allegations of animal cruelty and a serious airship accident led to a fall in popularity and its eventual demise in 1911.
In 1915 Tamarama Beach earned its place in Australian film history when it was used as the location for 'Anzac Cove' in the World War I silent film drama, The Hero of the Dardanelles. Made by Australasian Films, The Hero of the Dardanelles was the first feature film made about Gallipoli and was released less than three months after the actual landings. Two later films used the same film footage of Tamarama as Gallipoli, Spirit of Gallipoli (1928) and Within Our Gates (1915).
Taren Point - origin unknown. It was first known as Comyns Point, then Cummins Point and finally Common's Point, the origins of which is also unknown. It was part of Thomas Holt's Sutherland Estate.
Taverners Hill - a locality in Petersham in Sydney's Inner West, Taverners Hill is nestled between Leichhardt, Annandale, Lewisham and Dulwich Hill. Its name recalls William Taverner who operated the Bay Horse Hotel here on Parramatta Road in the mid 19th Century.
Telopea - from two Greek words meaning 'seen from a distance'. It is also the botanical name for Waratah (Telopea Speciossima) which were common nearby, and it would have been in the context of the latter that the name was given. Brief history: the first white settler in the area was First Fleeter Thomas Arndell who was the first doctor in Parramatta. Little was done with the land here until after World war II when the Housing Commission opened up the Dundas Valley.
Tempe - named after Tempe House, which in turn was named after the Valley of Tempe in Thessaly, Greece.
Brief history: prominent businessman and trader Alexander Brodie Spark bought a lot of land to the south of Cooks River and erected his home, which he named Tempe House, on its northern border near the river. Tempe was the gateway to the St George district and its small community serviced travellers on their way south. Development of modern day Tempe began with the opening of the railway station in 1884, though it was then called Cooks River.
Tennyson - named after Hallam, Baron Tennyson who was the son of the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Lord Tennyson was the Governor General of Australia from July 1902 until January 1904. Brief history: James Squire Farrell was the major land owner here for many years until the subdivision of his estate. The location was then known as Farrell's Point. The name of Tennyson was given in 1905 to a later subdivision, it being named in honour of the then Governor of Australia. Morrisons Bay was once the site of the Tennyson Textile Mills. The head of this bay was reclaimed and is now used as sporting fields. In 1918, river baths were also erected at Tennyson.
Terrey Hills - named after Obediah Terrey and Samuel Hills, who acquired adjacent properties here for sheep farming in 1881. Terry acquired 640 acres here in 1881 and built his home at the corner of Forest Way and Mona Vale Road. Hills acquired 100 acres and called his property Mt. Pleasant. The street names of Terrey Hills are of Aboriginal origin.
Thompson's Corner - recalls Andrew Thompson (1773-1810), who arrived in Sydney as a convict on the Pitt with the Second Fleet in 1792. He established himself as an influential businessman in the Hawkesbury River area. The corner was thus named as it was here that Thompson was granted 100 acres in 1796 opposite the Pennant Hills signal station.
Thornleigh - honours Chief Constable Thorn (1794-1838) who was given a grant of land in the area for his part in the capture of an armed bushranger named John McNamara, leader of the North Rocks Gang, on the Windsor Road. Thorn was chief constable of Parramatta. His son George Henry Thorn was bequeathed the estate and opened it up for settlement in 1840, naming it Thornleigh. The name was officially used for the first time for the railway station when it was opened in 1886. The post office followed some 2 years later.
Toongabbie / Old Toongabbie - of Aboriginal origin, said to be derived from 'tuga' meaning 'thick wood'. Another source suggests it means 'meeting of the waters' referring to the confluence of Toongabbie Creek and Quarry Creek where the Toongabbie Convict Farm was established in 1791. Thomas Daveney, superintendent of the convicts at Toongabbie, was granted 100 acres near the convict farm site in 1794 as was free settler Andrew Hamilton Hume whose son was born here and grew up to be an explorer. Major Joseph Foveaux was also granted 1,770 acres but he soon passed it on to John Macarthur in 1801. Twenty years later, after doing nothing with it, he passed it back to the Crown in exchange for his Camden property. The farming community in the area, consisting mainly of orchardists, became one of the most prosperous and successful in the Sydney region.
Tregear - named after the Lethbridge family's property in Cornwall, England. The suburb was originally based on the area of John Whalan's homestead (built in 1821). The Lethbridge family later purchased the property. Members of the Lethbridge family occupied the house up until 1942. It was taken over by the RAAF who eventually sold it in 1951. It was subdivided for residences as part of the Mt. Druitt housing development in the 1960s. The names of the streets commemorate Antarctic explorers.
Tumbledown Dick - one of the strangest locality names in the Sydney region which refers to a spur up which Mona Vale Road climbs. Said to be named after either an old blind horse or a bullock named Dick which kept tumbling and eventually went over the side of the hill to its death. It is also the name of a famous pub at Farnborough near London, England and the name given to Richard Cromwell by his enemies. Cromwell (1626-1712) was the third son of Oliver Cromwell, and the Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, for little over eight months in 1658 and 1659. He had neither the political experience nor the interest required to maintain his position and gave it up with little hesitation, resigning or "abdicating" after a demand by the British Parliament.
Turramurra / South Turramurra / North Turramurra - either from an Aboriginal word meaning 'big hill' or from the Aboriginal name of the Lane Cove River - Turraburra.
Brief history: Turramurra was on a main Aboriginal travelling route from Lane Cove to Cowan Waters and the hilltop here was a resting place for Aborigines making the journey. The white settlers called it Eastern Road. Much of the high forest had been cleared by the 1840s when orchardists began moving into the area. North Turramurra was the site of 'Irish Town', so named because it contained many families of Irish extraction. Johann Henri Rhule was an early Irish settler, establishing a fine orchard in 1847. The current name was adopted when the railway station opened in 1890. Like the suburb, its early streets have Aboriginal names.
Turrella - from an Aboriginal word meaning 'a reedy place' or 'water weeds' which refers to the vegetation in Wolli Creek at Turrella. One of the earliest settlers in the area was William Favell who built a house here on a property called Hillside on the site of the present suburb. Orchards and small farms were developed alongside Wolli Creek and were not subdivided for the existing residential development until the arrival of the railway in 1931. At that time, the station was called Turrella but the post office was called Arncliffe West, then in 1948, Arncliffe West. In 1952 it was changed to Turrella.
Ultimo - named after a slip of the pen. When surgeon John Harris was court-martialled in 1803, he was acquitted on a technicality in which the charge referred to the date of the offence as the 19th ultimo ('of last month') instead of the 19th instant ('of this month'). The name of the mansion Harris built in the area - Ultimo House - recalled the incident. Brief history: Harris' estate was subdivided in 1859 and became built up in the 1880s. Quarries at the Pyrmont end of Ultimo became the source of much of the sandstone used to construct Sydney's sandstone buildings of the Victorian era.
Undercliffe - named after Undercliffe Estate, the name of which referred to a sandstone outcrop forming a natural umbrella. The estate from which the suburb takes its name was established on an 1840s grant. It is rich in sandstone which was extensively quarried to provide the sandstone foundations for many houses in the district.
Varroville - named after the property of early settler Dr. Robert Townson
Brief history: an early settler was Dr. Robert Townson, a fine scholar and scientist who was fluent in five languages, established a farm in the hills north-west of Campbelltown which he named Varroville. A close friend of Sir Joseph Banks, he was intrigued by the stories about Australia sent to him by his brother, Captain John Townson of the NSW Corps. His curiosity got the better of him and he emigrated in 1807. Perhaps because they were similar natured, Dr. Townson and Governor Bligh didn't get on at all and soon Townson was conspiring with John Macarthur and officers of the NSW Corps to bring Bligh down. Townson turned on the new rebel administration, however, and he became a staunch supporter of Gov. Macquarie who confirmed a large land grant made to him by the provisional government at Botany Bay, and also an additional 400 ha in the Campbelltown area.
He named this estate Varro Ville, reputedly after the ancient Roman agriculturalist and author, Marcus Terentius Varro. Midway through Macquarie's governorship, the pair fell out. Townson retreated to his farm and did not re-enter Sydney life until after Macquarie's departure in 1822. When he died in 1827, Townson left behind a thriving vineyard and sheep/cattle farm. Varro Ville fell into disrepair early in the 20th Century but has since been saved and restored. The house is now held by the National Trust. In April 1972, the entire area was preserved as part of the new Central Hills Scenic Protection Lands, better known today as The Scenic Hills.
Vaucluse - named after Vaucluse House, originally built by Sir Henry Brown Hayes, a wealthy Irishman who was transported to Australia for abducting a Quaker heiress. The name was given by Hayes to the home he built upon emancipation. The name is derived from the village in Provence, France, Fontaine de Vaucluse, made famous in Italian literature to which the Italian poet Petrarch retreated in 1337 - suffering from a distant amorous relationship with a 'Laura' and disenchantment with secular society. The name came from the Latin Vailis Clausa, a closed valley and was bestowed by Hayes to his property. Brief history: the land at Vaucluse consisted of two grants; 80 acres to Thomas Laycock and 25 acres around Parsley Bay to Robert Cardell. Hayes bought both properties and built Vaucluse House. Capt. John Piper acquired it in 1822, then William Charles Wentworth who made many structural changes and additions to create the house we see today. Wentworth began subdivision of the land for residential development in 1838, and by 1915 almost all the estate had been subdivided and sold.
Villawood - created by transposing the name of Woodville Road.
Brief history: in terms of European settlement, Villawood was a slow starter. The first grant, of 1,000 acres, did not occur until 1823. It was to John Thomas Campbell who named his orchard Quid Pro Quo. By the 1860s most of the land was occupied by orchards though the area was overrun by wild dogs, which gave rise to the main road through it being called Dog Trap Road (Woodville Road). When the railway station was opened in 1922 the name Woodville was suggested but it was felt it would be confused with Woodville near Newcastle. Someone playing around with variations of the name swapped the first syllable with the second and came up with Villawood, which was adopted. For some inexplicable reason, when the local school opened in October 1824, it was named Mark Lodge. The ensuing outcry made sure it took only two months to change it to Villawood. The Westbridge Migrant Centre, now the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, is in Villawood.
Vinegar Hill - this name was used originally for the area of Rouse Hill. In 1804 a battle took place in the locality between escaped Irish convicts and government-civilian troops. The area became known as Vinegar Hill after a place in County Wexford, Ireland, where Irish and English forces had clashed in 1798 (right). Many of those who took part in the Irish conflict were transported to Australia and were among the rebel convicts at Castle Hill. The Rouse family later had the area renamed Rouse Hill.
Vineyard - in 1803 a vineyard, the last to be established by the Government, was planted in what was then known as the Castle Hill area. Two French prisoners of war were brought out from England to oversee the project. It enjoyed limited success, however the memory of its existence lives on in the name of the locality where the project took place.
Voyager Point - the suburb is a recent development by Delfin on land formerly belonging to the Holsworthy army reserve. The name has been in use since the early 1830s and is thought to refer to a vessel that used the Georges River.
Wahroonga / North Wahroonga - from an Aboriginal word meaning 'our home'.
Brief history: the first farmer in the area was Thomas Hyndes who received a 640 acre grant by Gov. Ralph Darling. Upon Hyndes' death, the property was sold to John Brown and it became known as Brown's Paddock. Upon his death, it was re-surveyed and a large section was partly subdivided as the Fox Ground Estate. When the railway came the provisional name for the station here was Noonan's Platform, as the station land bounded the property of Patrick Noonan. When opened in January 1890, the station was called Pearce's Corner, which was the name of the junction of Pacific Highway and Pennant Hills Road where a timber getter, Aaron Pierce, had built a slab hut on land he purchased in 1835. The name was changed to Wahroonga in August 1890.
Waitara / Waitara East - from a Maori word meaning 'mountain stream'. The name is derived from an early property in the area, which in turn was named after a town in Taranaki in New Zealand (above). The name was first used for an estate in Hurstville by Miles McCrae at the suggestion of a development company. The name was popular so he used it for a subdivision here in 1895 after the railway opened. The name was well liked and officially adopted.
Wakeley - name honours Daniel Wakeley, a free settler whose land was later used for poultry farming.
Wallacia - recalls Robert Wallace, an early resident of the area. Because of the isolation of the locality, his residence became an unofficial postal depot in November 1885. The region was originally called Riverview but became known locally as Wallace. When a Post Office was established in November, 1905 it was named Boondah, because there already existed a post office called Wallace. Local residents, however, were reluctant to lose the original connection with the area and so persuaded the name to be confirmed as Wallacia on 1 June, 1906.
Wallgrove - name is taken from Wallgrove Road, which led to Wallgrove, the property of CW Wall, a Magistrate in the Penrith area.
Wareemba - the Aboriginal name for Drummoyne peninsula which describes the place where sweet (fresh) water meets salt water. Wareemba is a suburb located by the eastern foreshore of Hen and Chicken Bay. It is bounded by Abbotsford in the north and Five Dock in the south.
Warragamba - name is of Aboriginal origin.
Warrawee - from an Aboriginal word meaning 'stop here', said to be a favourite Aboriginal resting place. Ironically, the local residents demanded that trains on the north shore line 'stop here' but the Railway Commissioners were reluctant to meet their demands. However, the residents, or at least their spokesmen, were not without influence and on 1 August 1900, Warrawee station opened despite the objections of the Commissioners, who pointed out that the distance between Warrawee and Wahroonga stations was the shortest of any section of the line. The leader of those demanding the station was Colonel JC Remington, the manager of an insurance company, prominent in commercial circles and later a Chairman of Raine & Horne Real Estate.
Wareemba - originally part of Russell Lea, an estate owned by Russell Barton (1830-1916), a pastoral and mining magnate. The estate was subdivided in 1913. Wareemba takes its name from a word used by the original Wangal inhabitants to describe the area and is believed to mean a place where fresh water meets salt water.
Warriewood - much of the area was marked as swampy on early 19th Century maps. James Jenkins was granted 350 acres here and by 1829 had established Cabbage Tree Hill farm. Later the Macpherson family farmed this land which was known as Warriewood. As the land was cleared, some orcharding was practised and one character planted wine grapes and operated an illicit liquor still. In 1906 the land was subdivided and sold in residential and farm blocks as Warriewood Estate. From the 1920s new settlers came to Warriewood including several families from former Yugoslavia. The area expanded as a farming district, and was known as Glass City because the valley was covered with approximately 3,500 glasshouses, mainly used for cultivating tomatoes.
Warwick Farm - named after the town of Warwick in England by John Hawley Stroud, the superintendent of the Liverpool Orphans School who received a grant covering the site of the Warwick Farm racecourse. He gave the name to his farm and it was later adopted for the whole area.
Brief history: among the first European occupants of land here were Irish political prisoners transported to New South Wales because of their involvement in the Irish rebellion of 1798. Grants were made to other transportees, many of whom were not criminals as we understand the term today, having opposed the government on matters of national interest. Warwick Farm racecourse came into being as a result of numerous farms in the area breeding horses and a course was created to race them. The first race meeting was held in 1889. During World War II, huts were built to create the British Navy shore base HMS Golden Hind. After the war the huts were used as emergency accommodation and named Hargrave Park. Shops and houses now occupy its site.
Waterfall - the name was first used for the railway station before any residential development had taken place. The station was thus named as it created a drop off point for visitors to the National Falls in Royal National Park around the turn of the 20th Century. The locality's original name was Westmacott, after Captain Robert Westmacott, who had settled in the Illawarra in 1837, and made the first moves to develop coal mines in the region.
Waterloo - Recalls the Battle of Waterloo of 1815 (below) in which England defeated Napoleon.
Brief history: a water mill was built by John Hutchinson in 1813 in the area where Bourke and Elizabeth Streets meet. The settlement which developed around the mill adopted the name Waterloo after Governor Macquarie proposed the name Waterloo Mills for a newly built water flour mill nearby during his visit to it in 1820. Land around the mill was granted in 1823 to the Superintendent of Convicts and Public Works at Waterloo Government Farm, William Hutchinson. He sold the farm two years later and its new owners had leased out Waterloo Farm in large blocks which in turn had been sub-leased into smaller farms, as was the custom of the day. By the 1850s the Waterloo mill had attracted industry such as rope making, tanning, wool washing and dairies. Today, Waterloo is still largely an industrial area.
Watsons Bay - honours Robert Watson of HMS Sirius, Sydney's first harbourmaster, who lived here after taking up his post in 1911. The name of Watsons Bay was given by Gov. Macquarie to the pilot's anchorage and the village on its shore. The native name for Watsons Bay is Kutti.
Brief history: once South Head Road was constructed, linking the small community that had established itself here to the main settlement, Watsons Bay was increasingly used as a drop off point for mail and passengers, particularly where travel by sailing ships up the harbour was hazardous or time consuming because of weather conditions.
The area was opened up for residential development in the 1840s, but its progress was slow as the area was seen as very isolated. In 1859, Henry Billings established a zoo at Watsons Bay, transferring it from its original site at Botany. It featured 18 animals which included a tiger, a grizzly bear and an elephant. When Billings died, the Government refused to purchase the zoo or assist in its upkeep, so his widow had the collection poisoned. With the Crimean War of 1853 and the Russian War of 1854, the Government felt the colony was vulnerable to attack, and a system of fortifications were constructed in strategic positions around the harbour. They included the armed fortifications near the Hornby Light on South Head.
Waverley / Waverley South - adopted from the name of a property owned by theatrical entrepreneur, Barnett Levey, in honour of Sir Walter Scott (right) who wrote the Waverley novels.
Brief history - some farming took place in the area before the 1850s, when residential development began to take place. The Municipality of Waverley, which encompassed Waverley, Bondi and Little Coogee (Clovelly), was proclaimed in June 1859. Around the time, Waverley had a windmill, a soap and candle works and a fireworks factory. The Waverley Cemetery, established in 1877, is the final resting place of many famous Australians, including writers Henry Lawson, Henry Kendall and Dorothea Mackellar, pioneer aviator Lawrence Hargrave and Fanny Durack who was Australia's first Olympic gold medalist (for swimming in 1912).
Waverton - named after the Waverton Estate of an early resident, Robert Old. It was named by a previous owner, William Carr, a solicitor, who purchased the property in 1850. The estate was named by him after a village in England (below) where his family came from. The name was adopted for the locality in 1929.
Brief history: though essentially a residential suburb, some industry has encroached on the landscape of Waverton. A sugar works was built on Oyster Cove in 1857. Its site was used in 1914 for a gasworks.
Wedderburn - how Wedderburn got its name is not known and the person intended to be honoured by its name appears to be lost forever to history. Whoever they were, they were alive prior to 1835, the year in which the Government Gazette described Widderborne as one of the 10 parishes included in the Campbelltown Police District, though 13 years later in WH Wells' Geographical of Australian Colonies it is referred to as the Parish of Wedderburn.
Brief history: geographically separated from the rest of Campbelltown by a steep gorge, a winding road and a thick forest, Wedderburn's dense bush remained untouched by white settlers until the late 1880s when clearing began for cultivation. A school opened in 1896, and a church two years later. In the 1920s, it had become a thriving village. By the 1950s, Wedderburn had a population of just over 100 residents, occupying 40 orchards, which produced up to 50,000 cases of fruit. Little has changed since then, Wedderburn remains rich in plant life and fauna, most notably its koala colony.
Wentworthville / South Wentworthville - named after D'Arcy Wentworth, a colonial surgeon who was not only an important public figure in Parramatta but also a landowner. He took possession of a 2,750 acre estate in 1810 which he named Fitzwilliam Place. He named the house Wentworth Wood House, after the property of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Stratford, who was executed on Tower Hill in 1641. In the 1840s, the area was cleared and many market gardens and poultry farms established. When the railway came through in July 1862, the train did not stop here and it wasn't until 1883 that it became a stop. It was originally called TR Smith's Platform, but was changed to Wentworthville two years later. It was around this time that subdivision for residential development began, turning farmland into suburbia.
Werrington - Mary and Elizabeth King, the daughters of Governor Philip King, and Mary Putland (right), the widowed daughter of Gov. William Bligh, were the first to be granted land here in 1806. Mary, King's youngest daughter, received a 790 acre grant. After her marriage to Robert Copland Lethbridge in Cornwall, England, she returned to NSW with her husband in 1827. Lethbridge purchased an additional 600 acres adjoining his wife s grant. It is on this land that their home Werrington House was built and completed in 1832. It is from this property that the suburb has received its name. The house remained in the King-Lethbridge family until quite recently. Sir Henry Parkes rented Werrington House from 1860 to 1871.
Mary Putland's grant, next to Mary King's grant, was named Frogmore by Putland. She married Sir Maurice O'Connell in 1810 and received a further grant of 1,055 acres as a wedding present (next to Frogmore) on which they built their home, which they named Coolee. These grants lie south of the Western Railway Line and north of the Great Western Highway.
Together the O'Connells and the Lethbridges became very powerful and influential in the colony. In 1842 the now Sir Maurice and Lady Mary O'Connell decided to return to England for good, and so sub-divided their land, which became the main centre of St Marys. They donated 3.5 acres of their land to the people of South Creek for a park. This area became known O'Connell's Square but is now called Victoria Park. Frogmore was re-named Werrington Park in 1935 by the owners, the Williams family. Werrington Park is now part of the University of Western Sydney.
The three properties of the O'Connells and the Lethbridges were used for grazing and farming until 1883 when Werrington Park House was sold and Werrington estate was subdivided for residential and small farming lots. The railway had come through came through 20 years earlier. The station was originally called Parkes Platform as it was close to Parkes' residence.
Werrington County - takes its name from the neighbouring Werrington Estate. Werrington County forms part of Mary and Elizabeth King's grants. It was named in 1976 at a time when it was being subdivided and sold as residential lots.
Brief history: originally, the area was farm land and orchards. Tanneries were once located along Werrington Creek. Werrington County was developed as a residential estate from the late 1970s and by the mid 1980s was almost built out. The suburb still has a natural bushland boundary on its northern and eastern side.
Werrington Downs - this is the north-east portion of the official area of Cambridge Park and is separated from Werrington County by a north-south line drawn through the intersection of Dunheved Road and Francis Street. It acquired its name in 1976 when urban development began. The last lots were released by Landcom in 1981. It is today a residential development within the City of Penrith.
West Pennant Hills - this is the area west of the current suburb of Pennant Hills and was originally known as Pennant Hills until Pennant Hills Railway Station was built and a suburb grew around it. Pennant Hills was probably named after Sir Thomas Pennant (right), the famous naturalist who died in 1798, who had been a friend of Sir Joseph Banks who might have suggested the name.
Westleigh - thus named because it is a suburb to the west of Thornleigh. The suburb of Westleigh was progressively created from 1968 onwards. All the roads were designed to reduce through traffic with the exception of Duffy Avenue and Quarter Sessions Road.
Westmead - from old English 'mead' (meadow) 'west' of Parramatta.
Brief history: Westmead was originally part of the governor's domain at Parramatta set aside by Gov. Phillip. Parramatta Park is all that remains of the domain. The Westmead section of the domain was subdivided and sold between 1859 and 1889, with orchards filling most of the small farms thus created. The railway was put through in 1861 but it wasn't until 1883 that residents successfully petitioned for a station at Westmead. From that time, the slow progression from orchards to residential suburb began.
Wetherill Park - recalls an early landowner, John Wetherill. In addition to land here, Wetherill also owned land around the mud flats and mangroves of Wentworth and Homebush Bays adjoining the Newington property of the Blaxlands.
Whalan - named after James Whalan who, in 1821, received a grant of 300 Acres from Governor Macquarie. James was the son of Sgt. Charles Whalan, who arrived as a convict. It is thought that the Whalan's rank among the earliest pioneering families in the Colony. The site was originally used by the RAAF as an airstrip but was abandoned after the war in favour of the Richmond base. In 1948, it was converted into a speed circuit. Over the next 5 years there were many meetings held at the track, some of which attracted crowds of over 15,000 people. One of the drivers who raced on the 2 and 1/4 mile circuit was the great Formula 1 racing champion, Jack Brabham.
Whale Beach - the name was first used for the subdivision Whale Beach estate around the turn of the 20th Century. At the time a whale had beached itself here. Brief history: the area was part of Father John Joseph Therry's extensive grant of 1833 but little development took place until 1919 when the Palm Beach Land Company subdivided land here and sold it for holiday homes. In time, Whale Beach became part of the metropolitan area as residential development grew in Sydney's northern beachside areas.
Wheeler Heights - named after the Wheeler family, early pioneers.
Brief history: James Wheeler was the an early settler, building a house here in 1836 on land previously owned by an earlier settler whose identity is not clear. Wheeler lived here until his death in 1890. He also owned land on the northern side of Wheeler Heights known as Fox's Flat.
Wilberforce - Named in 1810 by Governor Macquarie to honour William Wilberforce (1759-1833), a philanthropic English politician who campaigned energetically for the abolition of the slave trade and founded the Wilberforce Society. Its successor, the Anti-Slavery Society for the Protection of Human Rights, was founded in 1839 and is the oldest human rights organisation in the world.
Wiley Park - The twenty acres now comprising Wiley Park was initially part of 60 acres of land granted to Robert Wilkinson in 1832. It passed to the Wiley family in 1862. This park is named after John F. Wiley who bequeathed land for the park to Canterbury Council when he died in 1895. The suburb was named after this park, partly because the railway station was on Wiley's Avenue (near King Georges Road), which ran from Wiley's property on the corner of Canterbury Road to Punchbowl Road. In the early days of flying, pioneer airman "Bill" Hart, and Stone, another early aviator, flew from Botany Bay to Parramatta for a wager of 100 Pounds. Stone is said to have lost his way and came down on Wiley Park. The legend has it that he saw Cook's River and thought that it was Parramatta River.
Willmot - named after Thomas Willmot, first shire president of Blacktown (in office from 1906 to 1910). Willmot is part of the Mt. Druitt housing development scheme, its land was released for development in the 1970s.
Willoughby / North Willoughby - possibly named after a parish of that title, or in honour of Sir James Willoughby Gordon, a friend of the Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Mitchell who had served in the Peninsular War and was the Quatermaster-General when the First Fleet sailed in 1787.
Brief history: one of the first areas of the north shore to be developed, the Municipality of Willoughby which was populated by many farms and orchards was incorporated in 1865. The opening of the north shore railway in 1890 brought a rapid increase in the population as more and more farms were subdivided and sold off for housing. The names of Willoughby's parks and reserves recall early pioneers and municipality personalities.
Windsor / Windsor Downs / South Windsor - named after the Royal House of Windsor.
Brief history: the site of present day Windsor had been named Green Hills by Governor Phillip in 1789 but by 1794 the surrounding district was known as Mulgrave Place, a name that continued to be in use for many years. The name was probably given to honour Henry Phipps, first Earl of Musgrave (1755-1831). After a military career he entered Parliament in 1784 and in 1792 he succeeded to the Irish barony of Mulgrave of New Ross. A close advisor to Pitt on military affairs he became Secretary for Foreign Affairs in 1805. He was described as "a fine character, manly, perfectly bred, a high Tory and complete John Bull."
Winston Hills - this suburb was formerly part of Governor Macquarie's plan to make the area a Model Farm. Farming continued with many Italian and Maltese migrants continuing the pattern after World War II. During the 1960s developers purchased large portions of these properties, naming their development Winston Hills Estate in 1965, after Britain's wartime Prime Minister, Winston Churchill who died that year. The area was made a suburb in 1972.
Wisemans Ferry - named after Solomon Wiseman, an early settler and the man who founded the ferry service across the Hawkesbury River at this point in 1827. The ferry, now diesel-powered but guided by cable, still operates today.
Wollstonecraft - recalls Edward Wollstonecraft (1783 - 1832), an early landowner.
Brief history: a large tract of land was granted to Edward Wollstonecraft in 1819 which included the area named after him. He and partner Alexander Berry established their business operations here as well as partnering a pastoral property in the Shoalhaven district near the town of Berry. The railway came to Wollstonecraft in May 1893 but the station was originally called Edward's Road. It was changed to Wollstonecraft seven years later when the name of Edward's Road was changed to Shirley Road. The North Shore Gas Works established its main facility on Wollstonecraft Bay in 1917.
Woodbine - there aren't too many places in the world that are named after a brand of cigarettes, but this one is. It came about when former Campbelltown mayor Guy Thomas became annoyed with one of his colleagues who was opposing his suggestion of Kiddlea for a planned suburb, calling it stupid (The name was suggested to honour John Kidd, a local State MP from 1877 to 1904, who lived nearby). Thomas sarcastically suggested to his chain-smoking colleague that they might as well name the planned suburb after a packet of cigarettes - and they did! This tongue-in-cheek comment suddenly reminded him that the Payten family homestead which once stood on the land they were seeking to name was called Woodbine Cottage, which was also a brand of cigarettes that were popular among his former Royal Navy shipmates. He stood up and suggested the name and his reasons for suggesting it, and the motion was carried.
Isaac Payten was a stonemason who, in 1818, was appointed to build the Female Factory in Parramatta. One of his sons, Nathaniel Payten, was also a builder, whose workmanship included Parramatta Gaol. Nathaniel, his wife, Susannah, and their eleven children lived at Woodbine cottage on Campbelltown Road (now Sydney Road), just north of the bridge across the railway line. The Paytens played an important role in the development of the Campbelltown community. Alfred Payten was an architect who designed many local buildings including the old fire station and the Menangle Park Racecourse. His daughter, Sara, collected and preserved much of her family's history. James' daughter, Rose (Babe) Payten was an acclaimed tennis player and Campbelltown's first major sports star. She held the Tennis Association's Triple Crown from 1901-04 and again in 1907, being simultaneously the singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles champion. Rose lived at Woodbine until her death in 1951. The old cottage was demolished in the 1960's. A decade late, the treeless hills that stood behind the old Payten farm were re-developed as the residential area of Woodbine by Landcom. Its streets are named after Sydney beaches, they being placed in the same geographical order that they occur along the coast.
Woodcroft - the origin of the name is not known, the land was originally used to manufacture bricks and sewage pipes. The site was later sold to Boral, who, in the late 1980s, developed the land for residential use and sold it to developers.
Woodpark - the name is taken from Woodpark Road which is believed to have been named after an early property to which it led or by which it passed. The streets of Woodpark are named after flowers.
Woollhara - from an Aboriginal word meaning 'camp' or 'meeting ground' or 'a sitting-down place', used by the natives as the name of Woollahra Point. Adopted by Sir Daniel Cooper (1821-1902), a speaker in the NSW Legislative Assembly, for his property there.
Brief history: during the 19th Century, Woollahra became home to the upper level of Sydney society, with many fine homes boasting sweeping harbour views being built here. Mostly residential a few businesses had established themselves here, like the Adelaide Brewery which was built on a site in Edgecliff Road which had a natural spring. Woollahra was linked by tram to Bondi Junction in 1914. Trams replaced buses in 1960 and 19 years later the eastern Suburbs Railway was completed, linking the city and Bondi Junction.
Woolloomooloo - from an Aboriginal word 'Walla-mulla' meaning 'young male kangaroo'. It was first recorded as the name of the home of the first NSW Commissary-General, John Palmer, in 1801 but came into general use for the whole of the southern shore of the harbour from here to Watsons Bay.
Brief history: land here was first granted to John Palmer in 1801. Gov. Macquarie established an Aboriginal reserve here which he named Henrietta Town after his wife. By the 1830s, the Aborigines had been moved out west to Black's Town (today spelt Blacktown) and the higher ground above Woolloomooloo Bay was becoming a fashionable place for the colony's elite to build their mansions. Terrace houses were first built and sold here in the 1860s. The stairways of Woolloomooloo are also survivors of this era.
Woolooware - from an Aboriginal word 'woolowa' said to mean 'a muddy flat', thus named by Surveyor Dixon in 1827 after a bush track of that name through the area which he followed. Originally thick forest, the area was cleared by timber getters in the latter part of the 19th Century. It was subdivided for residential development in the 1930s.
Woolwich - originally named Onions Point, after Samuel Onions, an ironmonger. The current name follows a tradition of naming locations on the Parramatta River after towns on the River Thames, England (right). Woolwich on the Thames was the mooring place of the prison hulks from which the convicts who were transported to Botany Bay came. Maritime industry including shipbuilding and a dry dock grew alongside residential development around the turn of the 20th Century. The dry dock was used during World War II as a military barracks and was later used by the Main Roads Department to make the pylons of the Gladesville Bridge.
Woronora / Woronora Heights - derived from its original Aboriginal name, 'wooloonora', meaning 'black rock'. First recorded by Surveyor Dixon in 1828.
Yagoona - from an Aboriginal word meaning 'now or today'.
Brief history: land was first granted here in 30 to 50 acre farmlets in 1831. These became part of the Irish Town farming community which developed near Bankstown in the 19th Century. Its name was officially changed from Irish Town to Yagoona in 1927.
Yarramundi - Y=Yarramundi is situated on the western side of the Hawkesbury River opposite Agnes Banks and so, is just outside the City of Penrith boundary. The name is derived from an aboriginal healer (Yal-Lah-Mien-Di), who operated on one of Governor Phillip's aboriginal guides who was suffering pain. Governor Phillip was exploring the Nepean/Hawkesbury River near the present Yarramundi, after receiving the report of Captain Watkin Tench who had discovered the Nepean, near Penrith, in June 1789.
Yarrawarrah - Aboriginal word for the mountain ash tree. The name of this area to the north of Engadine was adopted in 1971. It was taken from the name of a ridge about 5 km long extending NNE from Waterfall to Heathcote. Once known as Yarrawarrah Heights.
Yennora - from an Aboriginal word meaning 'to stroll'.
Brief history: limited farming had occurred before the opening of the railway platform in 1927 on the Granville to Liverpool line. Major residential development began then and continued until the beginning of World War II.
Yowie Bay - from an Aboriginal word 'yowie' or 'ewie' meaning 'echo'. Named in 1827 by Surveyor Dixon and spelt by him as Ewey. It has also been suggested that Ewey is a corruption of 'ewes' (female sheep). Sheep were bred there by Thomas Holt (1811-88) in the 19th Century, and he employed some shepherds from Yorkshire, England. 'Yowie' is a Yorkshire word for lamb. The name of the area was also referred to as 'Yowie', being an Aboriginal name meaning 'place of echoes'. Land was originally released here as the Village of Weeroona in 1889. By the 1920s it had become a popular place to build the family holiday house. These days it is part of suburbia.
Zetland - name selected by Sir Hercules Robinson in honour of a relative in Britain, Lawrence Dundas, 1st Marquis of Zetland.
Brief history: in the early years of the colony, what is now Zetland was part of Waterloo and had similar industries (woolwashing, glue and soap manufacture, tanneries etc.). Sir Hercules Robinson leased the southern section of Waterloo where he established racing stables, which he named Zetland. The stables became quite famous and led to the Victoria Park Racecourse being established alongside them in 1900. After the racecourse was closed, some of its buildings were used by British Leyland to build cars and later by the Dept. of Supply for naval stores. This area has now been redeveloped for medium density housing.