Wednesday 12 December 2012 marked the 150th birthday of the Municipality of Newtown.

In the late 18th century, land between Parramatta Road was known as either the District of Bullanaming or the Kangaroo Ground. Local Aboriginal people – the Wangal and the Gadigal – hunted kangaroo here, and camped and fished at the waterways that crisscrossed the area.

Mr Slade's dairy at Newtown, 1877 (Samuel Elyard, SLNSW, DGD 5)
Mr Slade’s dairy at Newtown, 1877 (Samuel Elyard, SLNSW, DGD 5)

Early landholdings were Thomas Rowley’s Kingston Farm, William Bligh’s Camperdown Estate and Nicholas Devine’s Burren Farm.

Today’s King Street was then a winding track which marked the boundaries of these extensive landgrants; it is also thought to be an Aboriginal pathway across the ridges between Sydney Cove and the Cooks River.

Toll-bar, King Street, at Newtown railway station, 19th century (SLNSW, SPF / 755)
Toll-bar, King Street, at Newtown railway station, 19th century (SLNSW, SPF / 755)

This area to the west of Sydney began to be known as the New Town from the 1830s onwards. Although it had a rural character, more people began to move here when a railway station was built in 1855.

In 1862, the Municipality of Newtown was proclaimed, and within 10 years, it was one of the most populous municipalities in NSW.

Find out more about Newtown’s history over the past 150 years on the Newtown Project website – or take the self-guided walking tour of Newtown: Gritty!

 

 

 

 

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