History of Castle Hill

History of Castle Hill, NSW 2154

The history of Castle Hill stretches from the Aboriginal people who inhabited this area for thousands of years through to the convicts who were brought to Australia by the British to government farms, survives various revolts, and finally arrives at the beautiful parks, homes, and industry we know today.

Learning about the parish of Castle Hill, as it sits in the midst of Baulkham Hills Shire, gives you a glimpse into the history of Australia as a people and a nation.

The Aboriginal History

Aboriginal Heritage

Before Governor King gave this area its name, it was inhabited by the Dharug or Dharuk people. More specifically, it was home to the Bidjigal people who lived in the area that is west of what is now Sydney. The most notable tribesman of that time was Pemulwuy. He led a resistance against settlers, and he even raided farms in Castle Hill in the late 1700s before his capture.

The Bidjigal people now have a reserve that stretches through the region.

The European Settlers

European Settlers

As mentioned, Governor King named the area, but he was not the first European to set foot in the area. Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in 1791 as part of an exploratory voyage. The first land grant was offered in 1794, and another was offered to Matthew Pearce in 1795. Even today, this area is known as Kings Langley Farm.

Governor King named the area Castle Hill and started the first government farm in 1801–leading to an uprising three years later.

The Uprising

On Sunday night, March 4, 1804, convicts (mostly of Irish-Catholic descent) rose up in the Battle of Vinegar Hill. However, their skirmishes ended in numerous casualties as British troops stationed in the area killed a majority of the dissidents who marched from the torched farm hut across Castle Hill.

Martial law was declared, and the tensions subsided only after nine Irishmen were hanged for wanting their freedom. Orchards and nurseries appeared in the area, but as Sydney expanded, suburban homes came. Today only the Hills Shire Council Orange Blossom Festival remains as a reminder of the massive orchards that once covered Castle Hill.

The Modern-Day

Modern Castle Hill

The Old Northern Road still stands, as well as the Public School, Parsonage, Parsonage Road, and old church. The Dogwoods estate established by Patrick White is a beautiful location to visit, and modern shops, restaurants, and cafes dot the area.

Neighbourhoods such as Benaara Gardens offer families lovely places to raise their children and enjoy the sprawling beauty of the croplands left behind, including the bushlands known as the Bidjigal Reserve. There are also plenty of other quality parks in Castle Hill and the surrounding area.

If you look closely, you will also see platypus loops near creeks and bridges in the area.

Transportation Throughout the Region

The Rogans Hill railway line once served Castle Hill, but it closed as trucks, cars, and buses became more popular. Currently, the West Rail Link is planned to help with commuting in and out of Sydney. Private buses known as the Hillsbus run from Parramatta to Hornsby, Pennant Hills, Cherrybrook, and many other suburbs.

Culture

Castle Hill Showground

The Hills Centre for the Performing Arts was once a beautiful cultural hub for art, but it was torn down to make way for the West Rail Link.

The Castle Hill Players just celebrated 40 years at the Pavilion Theatre, and the Powerhouse Discovery Centre Collection Stores at Castle Hill act as part of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. Storing nearly 400,000 artifacts, it is one of the largest warehouses of its kind and is open to the public.

The Hills Crafts Markets open the fourth Sunday of every month (except January). They allow parents to shop with local artisans while kids play, paint, and enjoy music. The Castle Hill Agricultural Show is held every March at the Castle Hill Showground. Plenty of locals enjoy the visiting the cafes spread across Castle Hill.

The population sits at almost 38,000 people, with over 62 per cent born in Australia. Additionally, the Hills Shire is one of the best local government areas (LGAs) in Australia.

A Few Notable Natives

Notable natives include Nobel Laureate novelist Patrick White, the sports commentator Ray Warren, Christina Parie, who placed 6th in The X Factor, and Waqar Younis, who was once the captain of the Pakistani national cricket squad.

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