Rouse Hill

Rouse Hill, in Sydney's north west, encompasses what was originally known as the Village of Aberdour along with the area originally known as Vinegar Hill following the convict rebellion of 1804. Vinegar Hill Post Office opened on 1st October 1857 and was renamed Rouse Hill on 13 April 1858. The new name was chosen after the estate of Richard Rouse (1774-1852), a prominent free settler who arrived in the colony in 1801. His first grant here was in 1802 and his second grant was in 1816. Governor Lachlan Macquarie suggested the estate be called Rouse Hill.

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Rouse Hill Organic Food and Framers Market
Market Sq, Tempus St, in front of Rouse Hill Town Centre NSW 2155, Australia
Trading: Saturdays - 9am - 1pm
Type: Antique & Collectables, Artisans, Baby & Kids/Children, General, Variety, Vintage/Retro, Farmers, Produce, Organic, Fashion, Handmade, *Wheel Chair Friendly, Food, Community
Phone: (02) 9999 2226
Fax: (02) 9999 2240

Sydney Boutique Markets
Rouse Hill NSW 2155, Australia
Trading: First Sunday of the Month - 10am until 4:30pm
Type: Art & Craft, Artisans, Baby & Kids/Children, Designers, General, Vintage/Retro, Fashion, Handmade, *Wheel Chair Friendly, Music, Food
Phone: 0404096283

Rouse Hill Regional Park

Richard Rouse built his home from 1813-18. Service wings and an arcaded courtyard were added circa 1863. The simple, geometric layout of the garden is probably the oldest surviving in Australia. The house, its immediate surviving estate and outbuildings including stables designed by John Horbury Hunt, is now a house museum cared for by the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, and is on the Register of the National Estate. Much of the family memorabilia has been preserved, including dolls, clothes and writings of the two girls, Nina (1875-1968) and Kathleen Rouse (1878-1932). These form a unique and fascinating record of late-Victorian Australian childhood, and inspired Ursula Dubosarsky's prize-winning novel "Abyssinia".

Rouse Hill Regional Park contains 42 hectares of land surrounding historic Rouse Hill House, built between 1813 and 1818. Have a picnic or barbecue, and enjoy a bush walk. The park contains cycling, walking and rollerblading tracks. Location: Worcester Road, Rouse Hill. Follow the brown signs from Windsor Road at Rouse Hill. Contact Metropolitan Regional Parks, 02 9895 7440.

Battle of Vinegar Hill Memorial

Rouse Hill is noteworthy in Australian history as the site of the main battle during an Irish rebellion, known as the Castle Hill rebellion or the second Battle of Vinegar Hill. The exact site of the Battle is uncertain but a monument with a plaque commemorating the event can be seen within Castlebrook Lawn Cemetery on Windsor Road in Kellyville Ridge.

On 5th March 1804 a group of convicts employed to clear 283 ha in the Castle Hill district revolted against their harsh conditions and treatment by setting alight a number of farm buildings. Led by Irish political prisoner Philip Cunningham, the 200 strong group of mainly Irishmen overcame the guards and looted the district. Learning of the insurrection, Governor King sent Major Johnston from Sydney to Parramatta with two sergeants and 52 soldiers. They overtook and subdued the rebels at Rouse Hill with little effort as the mob was undisciplined, had only makeshift weapons and most were drunk. A further 100 convicts planned to join them but lost their way (perhaps they were drunk also!).

Official records refer to the location as Castle Hill, however at that time the name referred to the whole area we now call the Hills District, and encompassed Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, Rouse Hill, Round Corner, Kellyville, Glenhaven, Annangrove and Dural. The original Castle Hill farm, established by Gov. King in 1801, was tended by 300 mainly Irish convicts. While the exact location has never been positively identified, indications are that the Castlebrook Lawn Cemetery on Windsor Road, Rouse Hill is built on the site of the uprising.

Vinegar Hill Road, which is near the cemetery, began appearing on maps drawn after 1804 and is a major clue in identifying the historic hill's actual whereabouts. A memorial recalling the incident has been built at the top of the hill in the cemetery grounds. The name Vinegar Hill was given to the location after the event and not before as the incident mirrored the Vinegar Hill Uprising of 1798 against British rule. Many of the Irish loyalists who were transported to Australia for their part in it were the ringleaders of the Castle Hill uprising.

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