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With visionary town planning, the railway was built before the suburbs were established
With visionary town planning, the railway was built before the suburbs were established.

1. Which tribe of Aborigines used the Strathfield area for fishing and hunting for 10,000 years?

2. After which renowned Aborigine was a northern Sydney electorate named?

3. Australia’s first bushranger was shot and killed in Strathfield in 1796. Name this outlaw.

4. Strathfield’s first pub was built in 1807. It is now the Horse and Jockey Hotel. What was its original name?

5. Which public sporting arena was opened in Homebush in 1841?

6. In which year was a railway station opened in Homebush?

7. The first piece of land was sold in the area in 1867. Name this estate.

8. ‘Fairholm’ is one of Strathfield’s oldest buildings. It is now a retirement village. Which one?

9. The first Anglican Church was built in 1885. Which church was this?

10. Prominent Sydney businessman William Arnott lived and worked in Strathfield. What was his business?

11. In 1870, cattle yards were erected in Homebush which later became an abattoir. What is in this place now?

12. Strathfield was given its name in 1880. What was the suburb's its original name?

13. From whose English estate of Stratfieldsaye was the name derived?

14. The Municipality of Strathfield was proclaimed on which date?

15. Name the first Mayor of Strathfield?

16. What year were the Strathfield Council Chambers built?

17. In the 1920s a Strathfield music teacher became Australia’s tennis champion and almost won Wimbledon. What was her name?

18. Which three Australian Prime Ministers hailed from Strathfield?

19. Is the average age in Strathfield getting older or younger?

20. What is Strathfield’s current median house price?



1 The Wangal clan of the Darug tribe. 2 Woollarawarre Bennelong. 3Escaped convict John Caesar. 4 The Halfway Hotel. 5 Sydney’s first racecourse, which later moved to Randwick. 6 1855. 7 The Redmire Estate. 8 Strathfield Gardens Retirement Village. 9 St Anne’s on Homebush Road. 10 He was the founder of Arnott’s Biscuits. 11 Sydney Markets. 12 Redmyre. 13 The name is derived the Duke of Wellington’s estate in England. 14 June 2, 1885. 15 George Hardie, an auctioneer and mining agent. 16 1887. 17 Daphne Akhurst. 18 Sir George Reid, William Morris Hughes and Frank Forde. 19 Defying national trends, Strathfield’s average age is getting younger. 20 $1.05 million. 


Homebush Station indeed opened in late 1855 as one of the very first stations on NSW's first railway, named from Darcy Wentworth's Homebush Estate Farm. The station was placed to ferry crowds to the Homebush Racecourse. There was no suburb of Homebush at that time. Strathfield station didn't come into existence for another couple of decades, and was considered a folly by many as there seemed to be no need to place another platform between Burwood and Homebush.
Interesting the original railway in 1855 was on wooden rails, to be replaced with iron rails after the wooden ones proved to have too much upkeep.

The answer to question 5 is incorrect. Homebush Racecourse was not Sydney's first Racecourse. Hyde Park was. There were others as well that pre-dated the Homebush Course. However the Homebush Course was Sydney's premier racecourse between 1841 and 1860 where the AJC formed. An undulating track on Wentworth's Homebush Estate, the course commanded upwards of 8000 during meets. The course was so popular that even after the AJC moved to Randwick in 1860, many huge revival races were held at Homebush into the 1870's. The track was moved slightly in 1866 to eliminate some of the hills and dales yet still an undulating course. A huge embankment viaduct 200 yards long and 20 wide was built over Boundary Creek to allow the horses to race over a swampy section. This viaduct was described as a masterpiece of engineering. The viaduct is now diagonally under the artificially built up Golf Driving Range at the Olympic Park and was probably covered over in 1988 mistakenly by the park authorities at the time thinking it was a dam over Boundary Creek to water livestock during the later abattoir takeover of the old area. The course at Homebush was so well loved as the undulating ground made spectacular viewing of the races. I have both courses accurately mapped. Aerial photography in the first part of the 20th century shows features that had survived from both courses

Further to my other mail regarding Edward Powell's Half Way House. It may sound contradictory to some that it was once named "The Homebush Inn" when the "Horse and Jockey" was also licenced as a separate building at the same time. This is easily explained as James Kerwin vacated the Powell pub in 1848 after building a new hotel near the present site of the Arnott's Bridge. He took the name "Horse and Jockey" with him to his new pub. From that point the old Powell pub was re-named from "Horse and Jockey" to "Homebush Inn". Both hotels operated separately yet within eyesight of each other. After Kerwin's death, the name "Horse and Jockey" returned to the old Powell pub. The Powell building became run down and ceased trading when the 1883 pub was built on the site of the present 1941 hotel. Powell's building was last reported in 1894 being used as a private residence. It was demolished shortly after.
Please note that the Homebush Inn was not related in any way to the later Homebush Hotel that was at the corner of Underwood and Parramatta Roads.

Edward Powell's Half Way House Hotel was 150 yards from Powell's creek on the site of the Summit Apartments. This was determined from an 1848 court case, maps showing the original location and a large detailed lithograph showing a kangaroo hunt with the old pub clearly and accurately drawn in the background showing it's relation to Parramatta Road, Powell's Creek and the railway. In 1842 the pub was re-named Horse and Jockey by the former Irish convict and jockey James Kerwin (nicknamed "The Milkman" or "Jemmy the Jockey"). Kerwin was transported to Aust on the same ship as bushranger "Bold Jack Donahue" and named a racehorse after Donahue. Kerwin died in 1855. The pub was later leased by William Cutts horsebreeder. His stepson Johnny Cutts trained there, and later won the first 2 Melbourne Cups riding "Archer". The pub had several names over the years including "Britannia Inn", "The Red", "Homebush Inn" and "Abrahams Family Inn". The present site of the pub dates to 1883,this new H&J was demolished in 1939 to widen Parramatta Road and re-built by 1941

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