Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sydney's Suburbs continued: Bilgola Beach and Bilgola Plateau, Birchgrove

Bilgola Beach and Bilgola Plateau:


33 kilometres north-east of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of Northern Beaches Council. 

Part of the Northern Beaches region, Bilgola Beach and Bilgola Plateau were gazetted as suburbs in 2012 dividing the previous suburb of Bilgola.

Name Origin:

The name "Bilgola" is derived from an Aboriginal term Belgoula meaning "swirling waters", or perhaps "a pretty beach with steep slopes, studded with cabbage palms". The word Belgoula was noted in Surveyor James Meehan's records of 1814. Robert Henderson received a grant of 100 acres in 1822 which he named "Belgoola". The district eventually adopted the simplified name "Bilgola".

Some comments:
  • Notable resident William Bede Dalley (1831-1888), built Bilgola Cottage as a weekender. Also known also as Yellamb I, Tallamalla and Bilgola House, it was located behind Bilgola Beach and was demolished in 1987. Dalley was born in Sydney in 1831 to convict parents, yet managed to become a barrister, QC, an elected parliamentarian, Attorney-General and acting Colonial-Secretary of NSW. Dalley refused a knighthood and the office of Chief Justice, but in 1886 was appointed to the Privy Council, the first Australian to be given that honour
William Bede Dalley

Bilgola Cottage 1900

Statue of William Dalley in Hyde Park, Sydney


Bilgola Beach

Bilgola Beach

Bilgola Plateau

Bilgola Beach 1909

Bilgola Beach 1913

Isabel Letham (1899-1995), Australian pioneer surfboard rider and swimming instructor, renowned as 'the first Australian to ride a surfboard', having tandemed with vsisiting Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku, who introduced the sport of stand up surfboard riding to Australia. Previous to that surfers used body boards. 

Isabel Letham with friend. Note the basic surfboard.

Isabel Letham



A suburb in the Inner West of Sydney, located 5 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Inner West Council.

Name origin:

Birchgrove was named after Birchgrove House, built by Lieutenant John Birch, paymaster of the 73rd regiment, around 1812. He added 'grove' to his surname when naming the house because of the large number of orange trees growing on the original site. The house was constructed of stone believed to have been quarried on site.

Some comments:
  • Located at Birchgrove, Ballast Point Park is a 2.6 hectare former industrial site at the tip of the Balmain Peninsula and now redeveloped as a public open space. Between 1788 and 1800, the point was used as a fishing and hunting ground for European settlers and as a source of ballast for ships returning unladen to Europe, hence the name Ballast Point. The $16m redevelopment project included demolition and decontamination of the derelict industrial site with construction of steel stairways, recycled building rubble walls, artworks, shade structures, wind turbines and Australian native gardens.
Ballast Point Park

Love locks at Ballast Point Park
  • Yurulbin Park is a former shipbuilding site located at the end of Yurulbin Point (Long Nose Point) which has been transformed into an award winning public space. Long Nose Point and the park changed back to the traditional name of Yurulbin, Aboriginal for 'Swift Running Water', on 8 July 1994.

  • Birchgrove is home to the Sir William Wallace Hotel, named after the Scottish hero who was the subject of the film Braveheart. They may take our lives but they'll never take our beer!
Sir William Wallace Hotel


Houses overlooking Snails Bay, Birchgrove

Mort Bay Park, Birchgrove

Dwellings in Birchgrove

Birchgrove House, 67 Louisa Road, demolished in 1960s.

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