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