Pennant Hills is a suburb on the Upper North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
- Area:6.123 km2
- Elevation:176 m
- Local Government Area:Hornsby Shire Council
Pennant Hills is a suburb on the Upper North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Pennant Hills is located 18 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of Hornsby Shire. West Pennant Hills is a separate suburb to the West of Pennant Hills and is part of the Hills District.
The area was first explored by Governor Arthur Phillip shortly after 15 April 1788. It was noted that the party saw 'fine views of the mountains inland' (the Blue Mountains). Governor Phillip 'did not doubt that a large river would be found' nearby.The first white settlement occurred in the area with the establishment of convict timber camps in the time of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. Permanent white settlement of Pennant Hills began only in the 1840s and took off with the arrival of the Northern railway line in the 1880s. In August 1912 the federal government opened a Wireless Telegraphy Station, the first of its kind on a national level. The suburb has grown considerably since the 1950s, when the motor car became commonplace.
There are two distinct theories about the origin of the name Pennant Hills.One suggests the area was used as a site for raising flags, or pennants, for signalling purposes.However, the only recorded evidence of such a signalling system in the vicinity was one operating from 1824 to 1829 in the present suburb of Ermington and the use of the term 'Pennant Hills' is found in much earlier documents.In an 1801 muster list, 'Pennant Hills' is recorded as the place of residence of Ann Fay, wife of William Bellamy.In 1802 correspondence from Governor King to Joseph Banks, King refers to "the range of Pennant Hills".In 1920 the historian James Jervis suggested that the locality had been named after the naturalist Thomas Pennant, a prominent British ornithologist and zoologist and prolific author of the eighteenth century.Although Pennant never visited Australia his friends and acquaintances included Sir Joseph Banks, Captain James Cook and Francis Grose (whose son Francis administered the colony of New South Wales when Arthur Phillip returned to England in 1792).Under the patronage system of the time, colonial administrators and explorers often acknowledged their English supporters by naming geographical features in their honour.The name Pennant Hills originally applied to the area now known as West Pennant Hills, located in the Hills District. However, when the northern railway line was built it passed through what is now Pennant Hills, so a suburb grew around the station and took on the name. The area around Thompsons Corner was renamed West Pennant Hills. Pennant Hills is hilly and the highest altitude is at Observatory Park on Pennant Hills Road, which once was the site of the old astronomical observatory.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Pennant Hills was the site of Chelmsford Private Hospital, where the unorthodox psychiatric Deep Sleep Therapy conducted by Dr Harry Bailey resulted in the deaths of dozens of patients.
Because of its elevation, Pennant Hills has a mean of 21.8 °C (71.2 °F) in the warmest month, which is just below the subtropical isotherm of 22 °C (72 °F). As such, Pennant Hills has an Oceanic climate (Cfb). Its highs are around two degrees warmer than Sydney CBD in the summer, and a degree cooler in the winter. Whilst the rainfall is evenly distributed, the wettest month is March and the driest is September.
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