Homebush West and Flemington

Flemington Shopping Centre, The Crescent and Henley Road (1959)
Flemington Shopping Centre, The Crescent and Henley Road (1959)

by Cathy Jones

The locality of Homebush extends over a considerable area.  Finding Homebush can be confusing, particularly to visitors. Homebush Bay, which extends from north Strathfield to Silverwater is a large area, including Sydney Olympic Park and the suburb of Newington. One of the earliest and largest land grantees of this area, D’Arcy Wentworth called his home ‘Homebush’, apparently his ‘home in the bush’. However, the locality name extends much wider than Wentworth’s land holdings.

The suburb of Homebush West is built on the 1806 Crown Land Grant of John Fleming. By 1882, this land had passed into ownership of the Underwood Estate. In 1882, the land which had been surveyed and subdivided was offered for sale at auction. Despite significant change in styles of buildings in Homebush West, the ‘grid style’ layout of this suburb is still in evidence as are many of the street names, which reflect the English origins of the subdividers who named them, such as Hampstead Road, Henley Road, Exeter Road, Tavistock Street and Eastbourne Avenue.

In 1892, Homebush West (south of the railway) became part of Strathfield Council.  Therefore, directories relating to this area are recorded under Strathfield.  Homebush Council was formed in 1906, which covered Homebush West – north of the railway.  Therefore, directories relating to this area are recorded under the Suburb Guide for Homebush.

Unit development commenced in the 1950s in Homebush West with public housing built close to the shopping centre. In 1969, a large section of Homebush West was rezoned to permit unit development. Many 3-4 storey unit developments in Homebush West were built in the early 1970s. In 1999, further land in Homebush West was rezoned for development in accordance with State Government Policies. This has resulted in significant development over the last 8-10 years. As a direct result of this strategy, the population and the number of unit dwellings in Homebush West has dramatically increased. The 2006 Census recorded that over 88% of the population resided in units, an increase from 64.6% recorded in 2001.

There are four distinctive precincts in Homebush West:

‘Village’ of Homebush West

Primarily residential with a small shopping centre near Flemington Railway Station. This is located on southern side of railway and is based on original 1882 Underwood Estate subdivision layout. This area is located on the original John Fleming land grant and maintains the original subdivision street patterns. Hudson Park Oval and Golf Course is located to the north of this precinct.

The ‘Ford Factory’ Precinct

Mixed residential and commercial bounded by Malborough Rd at east and Rail goods line at west. Most of the residential area was created by subdivision of the Mandamah Estate in 1926 but most residential properties were built for employees of the Ford Factory. This area is located on the original Samuel Thornley land grant.

Sydney Markets

Formerly the site of the Homebush Cattle Saleyards, Sydney Markets were established in 1975. This large site operates Sydney’s growers and flower markets. It also has a shopping centre, major banks, hotels and has its own postcode. This site is built on the Underwood Estate.

Parramatta Rd/Welfare St Precinct

This precinct is primarily commercial businesses with some surviving small 1920s residential eg Welfare Street. There are also hotels, which are rare in Strathfield Municipality, such as the Wentworth Hotel.
The suburb of Homebush West includes the following streets:

  • Arthur Street [part]
  • Couralie Ave
  • Exeter Road
  • Flemington Street
  • Hampstead Road
  • Henley Road
  • Kessell Avenue
  • Malborough Road
  • Manadamah Avenue
  • Parramatta Road [part]
  • Potts Avenue
  • Richmond Road
  • Tavistock Avenue
  • Telopea Avenue
  • The Crescent [part]
  • Welfare Street

Significant sites in Homebush West include:

  • Flemington Railway Station
  • Sydney Markets
  • Wentworth Hotel
  • Homebush West Shopping Centre
  • Parks – Melville Reserve, Henley Reserve, Hudson Park Oval and Golf Course and Airey Park.
  • Churches
  • Schools.

© Cathy Jones 2005. This article is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without permission of the author.


  1. i am doing some research on my mother’s family named Gaffey. She was born in her Grandfathers house The Retreat, on the Saleyards site his name was Sidney Ernest Gaffey. The house was located in Doncaster Rd i recall it being there in the 70’s prior to the market development almost across fro the Wentworth Hotel. I would like to know if you have any info, pics anything at all as i would be interested…thanks , hope you can help


    1. hi john i believe my mother is you aunty her sisters names where Joyce Gaffey and Patricia Gaffey with i belive could be your mother and your have a sister Cheryl and Katherine my name is Lesley Gaffey i have been looking for years if you are who i think you are please contact me my fathers Name was Thomas Sidney Gaffey who i only ever meet when very young hope to hear from you very soon Lesley


      1. Hi Lesley
        My name in Patricia Gaffey, my dad was Patrick owen Gaffey. We lived in Doncaster Av Flemington. His Sisters were Joyce and Patricia his brother was Thomas who also lived with us with his second wife Dorothy and thier children Launa and Jimmy.
        Please contact me
        Thanks Pat


    2. hi their again john we are also looking for your sisters K Murphy and C Wear please can you make contact thanks


      1. Dear Kerry, sorry for the time lapse. I recently came across a number of photo’s that u may be interested in my email is (spaced) jebarrett at y7 mail dot com The pics are grainey of Lesley, Thom Sidney and other relatives. I believe I actually have the Camera’s of Joyce and Patricia that too the photo’s…. I hope I can set right some of the jig saw puzzle in your life…regards JB


  2. Hi I beleive my great grandmother was married to Sidney Ernest Gaffey. Her maiden name was Mary Isobel Golby, married John Thomas Edmonds and then later Sidney. My grandfather had been estranged from his family since he was quite young. He was probably in a boys home in sidney when he was around 14 or so. rHis name was Albert Edmonds. Would love to know more about their situation/ history. My name is Julie Grosse, mother is Elsie Lillian Edmonds, daughter to Albert. This isn’t the information you have asked for but would like contact exchange of information. Hope to hear from y0u. Julie


    1. I came across this when I googled Golby Edmonds. My Grt grandfather’s younger brother, John David Bradshaw, and his wife, Louisa, adopted/fostered four girls back in the early 1900s. One we know as Isabella Golby Edmondys. But I think she may be Margaret Isabella Golby Edmonds. If she is, then she is Albert’s younger sister, I think. We know nothing about how/when/why John and Louisa took these children on or where the children came from (they were all unrelated). Louisa was 10 years older that John and had children by an earlier marriage. John had had a shattered childhood (his father died when he was 8, his mother remarried, etc) and had been in trouble himself, so perhaps he felt a special warmth for other troubled children. If any of this makes sense and anyone reading it knows anything about this I’d love to hear from them.


    2. Hi Julie, i just saw your reply – time flys and i have been doing other things.

      I dont know much on your side but can confirm that Sidney Gaffey born 1872 d1940) and Mary Golby married in 1932 ? did have 4 children, being: Thomas Sidney Gaffey , born 1912 died 1969 (my Grandfather), and 3 other siblings Irene, Joyce and Patrick. I knew Mary my Great Gran, she was a great character and loved bingo and playing cards a true Lady that cared about her appearance wearing Hats and Glove even on the hottest days. email me if i can be of further help, afterall we are remotely related. Regards JB


      1. hi again john my name is lesley gaffey the daughter of Thomas Sidney Gaffey I believe you are my sisters boy is your mum patricia barrett / gaffey i have been looking for years for her can you please contact me as i would like to be in contact she might be able to ans some of my questions many thanks


      2. Hi John Just seeing if we can make contact after all there my mom is your mothers half sister it is of urgents to make contact thanks


      3. Hello..I believe that my Grandfather,Patrick Owen Gaffey,is the sibling that you refer to.He was companion to my Grandmother Victoria Peace Holley (who used the surname Gaffey)


  3. Greetings young ones,
    I am Sidney Earnest Gaffey, married to Mary Isobel Golby. I was like to contact both of you if possible. If you are my grandchildren, I will be overly content to see you both. Hope to hear from you two, Sidney.


    1. Hi all just came accross this conversation.
      My name is Patricia Gail Gaffey I sm the ypungest daughter of patrick owen and victoria peace and we lived in Doncaster Av at the retreat for 13 years a long with my uncle Tom.
      I believe we are all related.
      You csn contact me at burnspatricia@hotmail.com
      I would love hear from you
      Regards Patricia


  4. Rodneys! I grew up on Arthur St near Hudson park in the early 60s’. That store was genuinely cursed for most of my time there as it changed hands more times than I can remember. For some reason, the neighbouring newsagent always thrived, but after about 1965, people would not venture into the other store next to it no matter what they were selling.

    When it became a bottle-O in the 70s’, all that changed of course.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s