Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sydney Suburbs: Bella Vista, Bellevue Hill, Belmore


Bella Vista:

33 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of The Hills Shire.

Name origin:
lizabeth Macarthur, wife of famed colonial settler John Macarthur (who was in England much of the time), farmed sheep on her 'Seven Hills Farm'. The Pearce family later acquired part of this property and built the homestead that they named ‘Bella Vista' after the beautiful, panoramic views form the hills.

Some comments:
  • The original land grant was to Joseph Foveaux in 1799. In 1801 he sold it to John and Elizabeth Macarthur.
  • With a string of past owners and farm uses, Bella Vista farm has contributed significantly to the development of Australian agriculture, including the first Merino sheep farm in Australia and the foundation of the Australian citrus fruit industry.
  • Today the size of the farm has been reduced but it remains an intact farm including homestead and out-buildings dating from the original 1799 Joseph Foveaux grant. 
  • The farm is now owned by The Hills Council.
  • Enjoy a social picnic and make use of the public BBQ facilities in the outer grounds of the farm or simply wander the walk ways and view the avenue of Bunya Pines that form the original driveway to the homestead.
  • Until the mid-1990s, the area was primarily used for small-scale agriculture. The suburb now sports several shopping complexes and a major hotel. It is rapidly becoming the main business centre within the Hills District. The biggest commercial area is the Norwest Business Park which incorporates retail, commercial, industrial and hotel developments. The industrial areas in West Bella Vista are still heavily under development,.

Elizabeth Macarthur

Bella Vista Farm

Bella Vista Farm

Bella Vista Farm

Lake in the middle of Norwest Business Park

Bellevue Hill:

5 kilometres east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Municipality of Woollahra.

Name origin:
In the early 19th century, Irish-Australian immigrants referred to the area as Vinegar Hill, after the Battle of Vinegar Hill, an engagement during the 1798 uprising of the United Irishmen in south-east Ireland. In that engagement over 13,000 British soldiers attacked Irish rebels, the last attempt by the rebels to hold and defend ground against the British military (The convict rebellion of 1804 in Castle Hill came to be known as the Second battle of Vinegar Hill, after the first in Ireland in 1798). Governor Lachlan Macquarie took great exception to area being described as Vinegar Hill and named the suburb Bellevue Hill, the belle vue meaning beautiful view.

Some comments:
  • Bellevue Hill is known as one of Australia's wealthiest suburbs. 
  • Bellevue Hill has several historic houses that are on the Register of the National Estate, including Caerleon, Rona, Fairfax House and Cranbrook House, used as Government House and home to three governors and their families from 1901 to 1917.

Defeat at Vinegar Hill - illustrated by George Cruikshank (1845)



Fairfax House



14 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Canterbury-Bankstown Council.

Name origin:
Known as Darkwater in its early days, Belmore was named after the fourth Earl of Belmore, Governor of New South Wales from 1868-1872. 


Fourth Earl of Belmore (1835-1913)

Burwood Road, Belmore

St George Hotel, Belmore, [group portrait], ca 1919.
A gathering of service personnel and civilians outside the St George Hotel, 618 Canterbury Road (corner of Kingsgrove Road) Belmore. The photograph was probably taken on ANZAC Day.

Belmore fruit and vegetable markets, 1890’s 

Schoolchildren line up for free issue of soup and a slice of bread in the Depression, Belmore North Public School, Sydney, 2 August 1934

St George Hotel, 1895.
It is believed this photograph was taken on 1 February, 1895, the day the Sydenham to Belmore section of the Bankstown Railway Line was opened. The banner across the upstairs balcony reads: "Welcome to Belmore" and features a picture of a steam train.

Photograph of the west wing of "The Towers". The Norfolk Island Pine (behind the cow) grew into a very large tree and was a prominent feature in photographs of "The Towers" for over 100 years.
Photo taken about 1890's.

The Towers today, a heritage-listed house in Forsyth Street

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.