memories

Memories of Your Suburb: Elderslie

Elderslie lies on the land of the Dharawal people. Governor Macquarie made land grants along the Nepean River including one to the surveyor John Oxley, and was named ‘Ellerslie’ in grant records of 1816. The name had changed to its present form by 1828.

It is believed that the first building in the Camden area was constructed in Elderslie, at the river crossing, sometime in 1803. A number of properties, including ‘Elderslie’ were eventually owned by Charles Campbell, who subdivided his land in 1841 to create a village.

St Mark's Church, Elderslie. Luker Street Elderslie. Sunday School gathering, perhaps prize giving. Some names on back of photo. 1955. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

St Mark’s Church, Elderslie. Luker Street Elderslie. Sunday School gathering, perhaps prize giving. Some names on back of photo. 1955. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

Agriculture was the main industry, in particular grape growing and market gardening. Grapes for wine were grown by Martin Thurn, a vinedresser from Germany who was brought out by the Macarthur family to Camden Park in 1852. More recent industries include sand mining of the flood plain.

The expansion of the coal industry in the 1950s- 1970s lead to a population increase, with more housing being built in Elderslie, and the construction of a primary school (Mawarra) and a high school. This growth is continuing with new residential subdivisions being created on surrounding remnant agricultural land.
(Information provided by Camden Historical Society, Camden Council Library Service and Camden Council Community Profile)

Memories of Your Suburb: Currans Hill

Currans Hill is a residential area developed in the 1990s, on land previously devoted to agriculture. It is named after Michael Curran, a resident of the area in the 1880s.
Prior to development, the area was also once used by noted Australian film director Charles Chauvel as the location for the movie ‘Rats of Tobruk’ in the mid 1940s.

From Currans Hill Park looking north. 1998. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

From Currans Hill Park looking north. 1998. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

The population stands at just below 5,000 (2006 census figures), with further expansion of the residential area planned.
(Information provided by Camden Historical Society, Camden Council Library Service and Camden Council Community Profile)

Memories of Your Suburb: Cawdor

Originally inhabited by the Dharawal, Gundungurra and Cubbitch-barta people, the land became part of the vast holdings acquired by John Macarthur in the early years of the 1800s. Cawdor was the first village to develop in the Cowpastures district. It predated Camden by more than 20 years. The name was given to the area by Governor Macquarie to honour his wife’s family’s connection to Scotland.

War Cemetery Cawdor Road Camden. This Cemetery contains the remains of Air Force personnel killed while based at Camden Aerodrome during World War II. Phil Flack President Camden RSL inspecting. 1998. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

War Cemetery Cawdor Road Camden. This Cemetery contains the remains of Air Force personnel killed while based at Camden Aerodrome during World War II. Phil Flack President Camden RSL inspecting. 1998. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

The area still supports dairy farms. In the 1960s and 1970s, both the eastern & western sides of Cawdor Road were subdivided and sold, but in the early 1990s local residents were successful in opposing proposed higher density developments. Today most of the suburb is part of Wollondilly Shire although the cemeteries remain in Camden Local Government Area. In 2001, Camden High School was moved from the centre of Camden township to Cawdor Road. A development application for a proposed Muslim school in Cawdor was rejected on appeal to the Land and Environment Court in 2009.
(Information provided by Camden Historical Society, Camden Council Library Service and Camden Council Community Profile)

Memories of Your Suburb: Grasmere & Bickley Vale

Grasmere was the name of William Henry Palings property of about 450 acres which he gave in 1888 to form the Carrington Hospital. Grasmere is being developed as an exclusive rural residential estate. The area retains its rural air in spite of the development which is restricted to larger acreage allotments and residential areas with large blocks of land and prestige homes.
Bickley Vale was the name of the property owned by the Sidman family.

Grasmere to right, Werombi Road with Carrington Retirement Village to left. 2007. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

Grasmere to right, Werombi Road with Carrington Retirement Village to left. 2007. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

The population density of this area (2006 census) is 1.28 people per hectare.
(Information provided by Camden Historical Society, Camden Council Library Service and Camden Council Community Profile)

Memories of Your Suburb: Ellis Lane

Cobbitty Paddocks was the original name for Ellis Lane, which lies within a loop of the Nepean River. The later name recognises a teamster, Solomon Ellis, whose son farmed the property “Fernleigh”. Dairy farming became the prime industry however, farms gradually disappeared following recent difficulties in the dairy industry and land becoming more valuable for housing development.

Aerial photo of cultivated area in loop of Nepean River. Known as'Cobbitty Paddocks' at northern end of Ellis Lane. c. 1990s. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

Aerial photo of cultivated area in loop of Nepean River. Known as’Cobbitty Paddocks’ at northern end of Ellis Lane. c. 1990s. Copyright: Camden Historical Society.

Some turf growing and market gardening is still conducted in the area. The creation of additional new housing subdivisions continues to increase the population density and gradually transform the rural nature of Ellis Lane.
(Information provided by Camden Historical Society, Camden Council Library Service and Camden Council Community Profile)