Strathfield

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
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.

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Enfield


Enfield is a neighbouring suburb 11 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district. Before the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, the Enfield area belonged to the Wangal people, a clan of the Eora tribe, which covered most of Sydney. In the early years, the Eora people were badly affected by smallpox, which arrived with the British. Many of the clans became unsustainably small and the survivors formed new bands who lived where they could.

Enfield and Enfield South apper to have been named after the early market town of Enfield in Middlesex, England, but the reason is not known. A heavily timbered area, it was first granted to a private in the NSW Corps, William Faithful, in 1792, being part of a property which also included parts of Burwood and Croydon. In 1812, Liverpool Road was built through Faithful's land and the high position of Enfield made it a sensible spot for a staging post along the road. By the mid-1840s a small village had formed and the surrounding area supported vegetable gardening and a timber industry.

St Thomas' Anglican Church was built in 1848 and is the oldest surviving building in the suburb. Enfield Olympic Pool, located in Henley Park is the oldest freshwater pool in Sydney, completed in 1933 and officially opened by Bertram Stevens, NSW Premier and Colonial Treasurer, on 18 November 1933. Prior to the 1960s, there was a tramline which ran from Ashfield to Mortlake and Cabarita via Enfield and Burwood following the route of the modern day 464 & 466 bus services.

Concord


Concord and Concord West are a neighbouring suburbs. First Fleeter Major Francis Grose, lieutenant-governor, settled in the Concord area in 1793. Major Grose named it Concord, a Quaker word meaning 'brotherly love'. In 1776, Grose had been a junior officer during the American War of Independence and he had fond memories of the village of Concord in Massachusetts, where the American War of Independance had its origins.

Concord takes its name from Concord, Massachusetts, in the USA, which was the site of the Battle of Concord, one of the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War (1775 1778). Some historians believe the Sydney suburb was named Concord to encourage a peaceful attitude between soldiers and settlers. The first land grants in the area were made in 1793.

In 1838, 58 French Canadians who had taken part in the Papineau Rebellion in their own country were taken as political prisoners and transported to Sydney. They were sentenced to hard labour in the quarries of Concord before repatriation in 1845. The names France Bay, Exile Bay and Canada Bay recall the incident.

Chullora

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.
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  • Steam locomotive 3801 undergloing restoration at the Chullora Workshops

    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.

Burwood

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.

Campsie


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.

Lidcombe


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.

Homebush

Homebush Bay

Homebush Bay is located 16 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district on the Parramatta River on the southern side of the Parramatta River between the former suburb of Homebush Bay and the suburb of Rhodes. The bay has natural and artificial shoreline. In the 20th century, Homebush Bay became a centre of heavy industry, with large scale land reclamations to accommodate industrial facilities. When industrial operations scaled down, the bay became a dumping ground for a large range of unwanted material - from waste to broken up ships, even toxic industrial waste. Union Carbide had manufactured chemicals, including Agent Orange, on the Rhodes peninsula facing Homebush Bay and dioxins produced as a by product were buried in landfill or left in drums.

A drive to regenerate and rehabilitate the bay began in the 1980s. This led to the construction of Bicentennial Park, including a program to regenerate some of the mangrove wetlands and saltmarshes which existed around the bay pre-development. During preparations for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, it was decided to site Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush Bay, which spurred the further regeneration and rehabilitation of the bay. A range of residential and commercial developments also began around the bay, including the development of a large shopping centre and residential district at Rhodes on the bay's eastern shore.
Sydney Olympic Park


Sydney Olympic Park is a large sports and entertainment complex at Homebush, developed for the 2000 Olympic Games. The facilities built continue to be used for sporting, musical, and cultural events, including the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney Festival, Stereosonic, Big Day Out, Soundwave, Sydney 500 and a number of world-class sporting fixtures. The suburb also contains commercial development and extensive parklands. The area was originally part of the suburb of Homebush Bay,[2] but was designated a suburb in its own right in 2009. The name Homebush is still used colloquially as a metonym for Stadium Australia as well as the Olympic Park precinct as a whole.

Rookwood Necropolis


Rookwood Cemetery was created in 1868 and has some of the most prestigious, if not somewhat haunting, family vaults anywhere in the world. When it opened, Rookwood Cemetery was officially named The Necropolis (meaning 'City of the Dead'), Haslams Creek. At over 314 hectares it is the largest multicultural necropolis in the Southern Hemisphere that documents the cultural and religious diversity of the Australian community. It is also the largest active Victorian cemetery in the world. More than a million people have been buried at Rookwood since it opened in the 1860s. It is so large that it had to be divided up and run by different organisations, so one should think of Rookwood as several different cemeteries all in one place.



Various groups conduct tours which visit the graves of people of note. These include John Gowing, co-founder of Gowings store; David Jones, founder of David Jones stores; Kenneth Slessor, poet; James Toohey, brewer; Jimmy Governor, outlaw; Peter Dodds McCormick, songwriter (Advance Australia Fair); Louisa Lawson, suffragette; Lilian Fowler, Australia's first female mayor; Bea Miles, well-known Sydney eccentric; Jack Lang, former Premier of New South Wales; Joseph Cahill, former Premier of New South Wales; John Fairfax, newspaper proprietor; Abe Saffron, well-known Sydney underworld figure. 121 victims of the Dunbar, which was wrecked on the cliffs below The Gap in August 1857. They were buried in a mass grave.

Every year towards the end of September Rookwood has a big open day; there s tours of crematoriums, embalming talks, hearses, historic tours, parades, funeral home displays, and much more. The cemetery gates are open sunrise to sunset everyday. However, different groups and buildings within Rookwood have their own hours of operations. So while the cemetery might be accessible the buildings might not be open. If you plan to visit Rookwood by yourself (as in, not part of a tour), it is strongly recommend you bring a map if unfamiliar with Rookwood.
Location: East Street, Lidcombe.
The Creeks of Strathfield

Cooks River at Strathfield

The Cooks River: begins as a small watercourse near Graf Park in Yagoona and flows 23km in a generally easterly direction to enter Botany Bay just south of Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport. The river runs through Belfield, Strathfield South and Strathfield. A large portion of the River has parkland as its foreshore and a walking/cycling path known as the Bay to Bay path. It reaches its northernmost point at Strathfield, where it leads into a concrete open canal, no more than one metre wide and thirty centimetres deep. It then heads towards the south-east. Where Cooks River runs through Strathfield Golf Course, the concrete lining has been partly removed. Here the plants have returned and have created an environment where the water is filtered and runs clean, and where wildlife has returned. To Aboriginal people, the Cooks River is known as Goolay'yari meaning 'pelican'.

Saleyards Creek: Cattleyards were erected at Homebush Railway Station in 1870 and were progressively expanded, hence its name. The saleyards operated until 1967 when they were transferred to the Homebush Abbatoir site. Saleyards Creek has its source in the Rookwood Cemetery beside the suburb of Strathfield, and flows generally northward through the suburb of Homebush. The creek was lined with concrete banks for its entire length as a work relief project during the Greawt Depression (1930s). Canalisation of the stream has affected salinity and pollution levels in nearby tidal wetlands.

Saleyards Creek now flows through a man-made tunnel under Paddy's Markets Flemington. Emerging into daylight, it continues under Parramatta Road and the M4 Western Motorway, finally flowing into Powells Creek at Bressington Park in Homebush. Once a natural stream, Saleyards Creek was canalised by the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Board in the 1930s, partly as a work relief project during the Great Depression.



Haslams Creek: flows into Homebush Bay on the Parramatta River. It is named after an early settler and shepherd, Samuel Haslam. The first grants in the vicinity of today's Homebush, Lidcombe, Auburn and Strathfield area were made in 1793 to a group of free settlers, and the area was subsequently known as Liberty Plains. Samuel Haslam, after whom Haslams Creek is named, received his first 50 acre grant in the area to the north of the Parramatta Road in 1806, and a second small grant to the south of Parramatta Road and east of Haslams Creek. The Creek was formerly known as Hacking Creek. Haslems Creek, formerly a meandering earth-banked waterway, was channelised in the early 1930s as an Unemployment Relief project supervised by the Department of Public Works.

Industry entered the area early in its history. John Blaxland, brother of the explorer, received a large grant in the Silverwater/Newington area in 1807 and by 1816 he had cleared the land and established a salt works and woollen mill. Haslams Creek for many years flowed through the holdings of the Sydney Meat Preserving Company Ltd 1876-1965, which dammed the creek, and past the former State Abattoir on Homebush Bay. The railway arrived in the Lidcombe district in 1855, with a station opened at Lidcombe in 1859, initially known as Haslams Creek Station. After much debate as to the routing of the line further west, it reached Parramatta in 1860. The Tooheys Brewery adjacent to the Haslams Creek Bridge to the south of Parramatta Road opened in the late 1970s, replacing the company's breweries at Taverners Hill near Leichhardt and Central Station.



Powells Creek: flows through the green areas of Mason Park, Bressington Park and Bicentennial Park. Its name recalls Edward Powell (1762-1814), one of the district's earliest white settlers who was granted land on the shores of Homebush Bay. Until World War II, the creek was largely untouched and followed a natural meandering course through mangrove forests, delivering fresh water to Homebush Bay. In 1948 the Creek was straightened and transformed into a concrete stormwater canal at its southern end. In 1993, the concrete was removed in the areas around Bicentennial Park and this has provided the Park with a more natural environment. A drop board weir installed in 1998 has partly restored natural tidal flows.



Mason Park Wetlands: Mason Park and Mason Park Wetlands are situated between Powells Creek and Haslams Creek. The wetland consists of a saltmarsh, mangrove forest and small freshwater pond. The park lies in an irregular triangle formed by the arms of two canalised creeks, Saleyards and Powells Creeks, which drain north into Homebush Bay. Directly to the north is Bicentennial Park and Olympic Park, site of the year 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Long established residential and industrial land occupies most of the surrounding land in North Strathfield, Concord and Homebush.

History of Strathfield
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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