Memories of your suburb: Menangle

The name Menangle is accredited to the language of the Tharawal people and is thought to have derived from the word Manangle meaning ‘place of swamps and lagoons’. The town was originally the village for the Macarthur family estate of Camden Park House. Prime farmland and the flowing Nepean River made the area rich for grazing and the Macarthur’s established prosperous sheep and dairy industries in the region.

The Menangle Viaduct is the oldest railway bridge in New South Wales having opened in 1863. The original 1860 design was for a timber bridge however, following a terrible flood in the same year, new plans were made for a higher iron and stone bridge.

Menangle Railway Bridge across the Nepean River soon after its opening in 1863. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

A Menangle tourist destination for many years was the Rotolactor. This rotating milking platform opened in 1952 and after some closures, ceased production completely in 1983. In its heyday, the Rotolactor was capable of milking up to 375 cows an hour, operating both day and night under fluorescent lights. Cows were milked in an efficient 8 – 12 minutes.

Menangle has several Heritage listed buildings including Camden Park House, Gilbulla, St James Anglican Church and St Patricks Catholic Church.

Rotolactor and cattle yards on Camden Park Estate at Menangle. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

 

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