Strathfield is a suburb and regional centre in Sydney's Inner West, some 14 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district. Being at the junction of the Northern and Western railway lines, Strathfield station is one of the more significant stations on the western line, and one of the few suburban stations were interstate and country trains stop.
In the early 1900s, grand mansions were constructed here as the country homes of wealthy merchants, many of which have been recognised for their historic value. Some examples include 'Bellevue' in Victoria Street and 'Radstoke' in Malvern Crescent, as well as Helikon, built in 1893 and designed by Charles Slayter, which is now listed on the Register of the National Estate. Streets such as Victoria Street, Llandillo Avenue and Kingsland Road predominantly feature older mansions, while Agnes Street, Newton Road and Barker Road are common locations for new homes. Strathfield has retained its wide avenues and most of the extensive natural vegetation, though a large proportion of Strathfield's population now dwells in apartments with the area immediately surrounding Strathfield railway station, which is dominated by high rise residential towers.
Details of the major mansions of Strathfield and the people who built them and lived there is detailed on the Address Book page. >>
Sydney Olympic Park and Bicentennial Park - Australia's central focus during the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games - are only a short distance away. Featuring world-class sporting and entertainment facilities that accommodated some of the greatest athletes and sporting legends of our time, Olympic Park is a world of its own. Take a self-guided tour of Olympic Park at the Visitors Centre set in a heritage garden, or visit the beautiful parklands at Bicentennial Park, a grand 100 hectare natural heritage featuring free barbecues, picnic shelters, walking trails, kiosk, cycle paths and many more. Explore it all. It's not often you visit places that have made a mark in world sporting history.
The history of the Strathfield started with the Wangal Indigenous Australians, but then involves the first disastrous white settlement at Liberty Plains. European settlement began in 1793 when the first free settlers were granted land to establish farms in the area then known as "Liberty Plains". Eventually there were 63 settler farmers in the area, however they were largely unsuccessful in their efforts. After this settlement failed the land became part of the Redmire estate and was subdivided and sold into residential lots. Strathfield Council was incorporated in 1887.
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 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.
The areas of Strathfield and Lidcombe on the Parramatta Road, Ashfield and Belfield on the Liverpool Road, and Lansvale and Fairfield on the Dog Trap Road, became the most popular haunts of bushrangers and remained that way until the 1850s when the lure of gold attracted Sydney's strays away from the city to the diggings in the Bathurst region. 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.
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Steam locomotive 3801 undergloing restoration at the Chullora Workshops
Chullora is taken from an Aboriginal word meaning "flour". Chullora remained virgin bush then cattle grazing country until the building of the railway workshops around the turn of the 20th century when land was subdivided for railway workers' accommodation. Chullora Railway Workshops were a major workshops for the repair and heavy maintenance of locomotives and rolling stock for the New South Wales Government Railways. It was built on site at Chullora over 485 acres adjoining the main Sydney marshalling yards at Enfield. The decision to build a new workshop was made because of the inadequacy of the existing facilities at Eveleigh Railway Workshops and the decision to electrify the Sydney metropolitan network. The site began to wind down in the 1960s as operations were decentralised and the rail network contracted. In March 1994 the Elcar electric carriage maintenance facility was closed with responsibility for maintaining the CityRail fleet taken over by A Goninan & Co at a new facility in Auburn. UGL Rail have a facility on the site which has in recent years has assembled UGL Rail C44aci locomotives.
The Chullora South Junction - Sefton Park South Junction line was opened on 15th May 1924. The trusses for the current Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge were fabricated at Chullora in 1939 from steel supplied by BHP Newcastle and AI&S Port Kembla. It was designed for a heavier loading then it would need to take, possibly learning from the problems encountered with the first bridge.
Appian Way, Burwood
Burwood and Burwood Heights were probably after Burwood in Cornwall, England. The name was first used by Capt. Thomas Rowley of NSW Corps in 1799 when he named his grant of 260 acres (110 ha) Burwood Farm. The land passed through a succession of owners until subdivision began in 1834, first into farmlets for use by dairy farmers, then into town lots. Burwood grew from being a small village after the Parramatta to Sydney railway was opened in 1855. St Paul's Anglican Church on Burwood Road was designed by colonial architect Edmund Blacket and built in 1871. Sir Donald Bradman and Lady Bradman, Jessie Menzies were married here in 1932.
The locality's first house, Burwood Villa, was built in 1814, the same year that a stagecoach began running between Sydney and Parramatta. Burwood became a staging post along the road and the beginnings of a settlement started to develop. One of its most prominent early residents was Dr. John Dulhunty, a former naval surgeon who was appointed the Superintendent of Police for the Colony of New South Wales after his arrival in Sydney from England in 1826. Dr. Dulhunty became famous in the colony for fighting a gang of bushrangers that attacked his residence, Burwood House.
Running between Burwood Road and Liverpool Road is The Appian Way, a model housing estate conceived by George Hoskins at the turn of the century. The street has been described as one of the finest streets of Federation houses in Australia and is state heritage-listed. In the centre of the Appian Way is a communal reserve which was converted into a lawn tennis club.
The suburb of Campsie is named after Campsie in Stirlingshire, Scotland. In 1851, John Redman's first grant in the area, "John Farm" was bought by the Scott Brothers, who renamed it "Campsie Farm". When the land boom came in the 1880s, the farm was purchased and subdivided by the Anglo-Australian Investment, Finance and Land Company Ltd., under the name "Campsie Park Estate". It is believed to be named after the district of Campsie in Scotland, where there is also a range of hills known as the Campsie Fells. The area between South Campsie and the Cooks River was known as the Redman estates. John Redman was granted 100 acres (40 ha) in the 1812 and he later purchased the area to the east, which was a land grant of 200 acres (81 ha) to Thomas Capon in 1817.
The railway was completed in 1895, encouraging suburban development and leading to the area becoming heavily populated. The earliest model suburb in New South Wales was Harcourt, between Canterbury and Burwood, developed by William Phillips from 1889. The 200 acres (81 ha) was covered in scrub and inhabited by wild birds. The land was cleared and the streets were called avenues on the model of New York City. Although the suburb no longer exists, the Harcourt name remains as a locality and is reflected in the name of Harcourt Public School on First Avenue.
Campsie is widely known to be home to a large east Asian, primarily Chinese and Korean, community. There is also many ethnic Europeans. The Campsie Food Festival is one of Sydney's premier food festivals. Held annually at the end of May, it brings people from all different backgrounds to celebrate harmony between cultures and love for good food.
Following the settlement of many Korean families in Campsie and the surrounding district in the 1980s, tCampsie has gained the title of Korean Town. Beamish Street today is a hive of activity, with Korean restaurants, grocery stores, supermarkets, offices and business premises predominant in what is still a relatively cosmopolitan shopping street. The Korean community has done much to make and keep the place looking clean and tidy and it is not uncommon to see busloads of Korean tourists visiting the area from time to time. There are about 20 Korean eating places in and around Beamish Street, as well as grocery stores and butcher shops.
The Lidcombe area was first known as Haslam's Creek after Samuel Haslam who took up a grant here in 1804, the northern boundary of which was the creek which bares his name. Haslams Creek flows into Homebush Bay on the Parramatta River. His neighbours included Joseph Potts, an accountant of the Bank of New South Wales, after whom Potts Point is named. Potts called his 1,000 acre grant Hyde Park. He extended it several times to include what today are Berala, Rookwood, Auburn and Potts Hill, which recalls its former owner.
Haslam's Creek, located near the site of Lidcombe station, was one of the first stations on the Sydney to Parramatta railway in 1855. Three years on it was the site of the first major railway accident in New South Wales which resulted in two deaths. 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. The name Lidcombe was created in 1913 by joining sections of the names of two mayors of the Municipality of Rookwood: Mr Lidbury, the current mayor, and Mr Larcombe, a former mayor.
The section railway line between Haslem's Creek (Lidcombe) and Liverpool (13.5 km) opened 26th September 1856. Fairfield was the only intermediate station. Australia's first major railway accident occurred on 10th July, 1858 at Haslem's Creek at about 9 o'clock. The morning train from Parramatta ran off the line at a spot near the present Lidcombe Public Pool, some of the carriages turned over and fell down the embankment. Two passengers were killed, and several injured including Mr. Charles Boynton who later became the first station master at Haslem's Creek.
Rockwood Necropolis, in East Street, Lidcombe, is the largest cemetery in the Southern Hemisphere that documents the cultural and religious diversity of the Australian community since 1867. Various groups conduct tours which visit the graves of people of note. Rookwood Cemetery was created in the early 1860s as a replacement for Sydney's Sandhills Cemetery which was removed so that Central Station could be built. A branch line to Rookwood Cemetery opened as the Necropolis line on 22nd October 1864. Trains to the cemetery, which ran exclusively for funerals, left from the Mortuary Station near Central Station in Sydney. The No. 1 Mortuary Station was constructed in 1864 and remained in use as the main station until the line's closure in December 1948. A decade later the Gothic-style building was then dismantled and re-erected stone by stone in Canberra as All Saints Anglican Church in the parish of Ainslie.