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Pitt Town

Pitt Town is a historic town and suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

Details

  • Area:12.598 km2
  • Elevation:24 m
  • Population:3,033
  • Local Government Area:Hawkesbury City Council

Description

Pitt Town is a historic town and suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Pitt Town is 59 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the City of Hawkesbury. It is bounded in the north by the Hawkesbury River. # History ## Indigenous peoples The locality of Pitt Town was originally the home of the Darug people for over 40,000 years. The Darug people occupied a large area of the Western Sydney basin across numerous clans. The area now known as Pitt Town and Pitt Town Bottoms was known to the Indigenous people as Bardo Narang (also referred to as Barden Narang and Bardenarang), which means "little water", specifically referring to the freshwater creek which runs northwards from Pitt Town Lagoon to the Hawkesbury River. Friendship Bridge traverses Bardenarang Creek and is in the approximate location where in 1791, Governor Arthur Phillip met with local Indigenous leaders who offered Phillip gifts as a gesture of goodwill and friendship. ## Settlement European settlement in Pitt Town began from 1791 when Governor Arthur Phillip camped in the area, with a number of land grants being given in the following year along the river front in what is now known as Pitt Town Bottoms. Some of the earliest land holders included James Ruse. Pitt Town is one of the five "Macquarie Towns" established by Governor Macquarie in 1810. It is named after William Pitt the Younger, the 18th Century British Prime Minister who is responsible for initially planning the colonisation of New South Wales as a penal settlement. After the townships were christened by Lachlan Macquarie at a dinner in December 1810 at Government House, Windsor, a site for a village was laid out in early 1811 but developed very slowly, largely because of the distance from the river front and the settled farms. Consequently, Governor Macquarie returned to the area and together with Surveyor James Meehan, resurveyed the area to mark out a new location for the township. In October 1815, Macquarie issued orders via the Sydney Gazette that the town was to be relocated to its present location, with land grants in the new (present) township being given to the settlers from November 1815. By 1841 there were only 36 houses in the town, still largely due to its location being too far from the rich river flats and the consequent long daily trek for farmers to their holdings. The street names of Pitt Town bear testament to the 1808 British Cabinet, including Eldon, Grenville, Bathurst, Liverpool, Buckingham, Chatham, and Chandos Streets. Chandos Street was later renamed Church Street.Electricity first came to Pitt Town in 1935, with the township being connected to town water supply in the early 1940s as evidenced by the large water tower still standing and still in service in Hall Street. Pitt Town was the site of the first use of irrigation in Australia, when Pitt Town pioneer Lawrence May trialled its use to irrigate his crops. May also established the first windmill in Pitt Town for the production of flour. Pitt Town has also had an important relationship to the Hawkesbury River, being the site of large boatbuilding enterprise in the early 19th century and had a ferry service running from the northern end of the township to Wilberforce. For much of the 19th century, Pitt Town was an isolated rural community, surrounded by an agricultural landscape, producing large quantities of maize, grain, corn and by the 20th century, much of the agricultural produce was in citrus (oranges). Gradually, the landscape has been transitioning to urban residential. In 1987, the Pitt Town Shopping Centre was constructed with the Bird in Hand Inn being converted to a public inn. For most of the 20th Century, it served as a general store. The shopping village in Eldon Street was extended along Bathurst Street in 2006. 1915 marked the 100th anniversary of the re-establishment of Pitt Town and 2015 marked the bicentenary. ## Architecture and infrastructure Pitt Town has two churches: St James Anglican Church and cemetery, and The Scots Church which face each other on Bathurst Street. There are also two cemeteries in Pitt Town. The Pitt Town General Cemetery is located on Old Stock Route Road. The Pitt Town (St James) Anglican Cemetery is on Old Pitt Town Road, and it contains many of the early pioneers of Pitt Town. During World War II a second airstrip was built in Pitt Town to cope with the additional volume of aircraft movements at the Royal Australian Air Force base. Following the end of the war, the airstrip was abandoned and became an automotive race and testing track for Hardie-Ferodo. It is now a public road known as Airstrip Road. ## Heritage s Pitt Town has a large concentration of heritage-listed sites, indicative of the early and significant history of the area, including the following listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register: 104-106 Bathurst Street: Macquarie Arms Inn 87 Eldon Street: Bird In The Hand InnSites listed on other heritage registers include: St James's Anglican Church on Bathurst Street was designed by Edmund Blacket. It was built by Thomas Collison for £1050 in 1857–58. Blacket also designed the 24 pews, pulpit, reading desk and communion rail. The church is in the Victorian Gothic Revival style, which was normal practice for religious buildings, and is listed on the Register of the National Estate. Scots Presbyterian Church, a much simpler building than St James, was built and dedicated in 1862. Located opposite the Anglican church in Bathurst Street. It is in the Gothic Revival style and is listed on the Register of the National Estate. At 120 and 126 Bathurst Street there are late nineteenth century weatherboard houses; at 132 Bathurst Street there are very old slab cottages and outbuildings. Bona Vista in Johnston Street was built in 1888. It has a long entrance drive with Norfolk Island pines and camphor. Its original rural landscaped setting has now been lost through the recent residential subdivision of the area. At the northern end of Bathurst Street, overlooking Pitt Town Bottoms, is The Manse, which belonged to the oldest Presbyterian Church in Australia, situated across and down the river at Ebenezer. This illustrates that the early communities were not divided by the Hawkesbury River but united by it. The Manse is listed on the Register of the National Estate. # Weather # Things to do

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