Canterbury NSW (Suburb)
Sydney, New South Wales
|Population:||6,159 (2011 Census)|
|LGA:||City of Canterbury|
|Federal Division:||Grayndler, Watson|
Robert Campbell in May 1803, brought the land that had by this time passed onto William Cox. Campbell bought the land from the bankrupt Cox for 525 pounds. By 1834 Robert Campbells Estate comprised 1242 acres, which comprises the current Canterbury and Hurlstone Park area. Robert Campbell's daughter Sarah Jeffrey's subdivided the land in 1865 "into allotments each containing several acres."
Three of these subdivisions, north of Canterbury Road, make up the present suburb of Canterbury. These sudivisions made way for the railway which was completed in 1895, going from Sydenham to Belmore. It was this railway which facilitated the suburban development which led to the area becoming heavily populated. The new public transport services made the land of Canterbury Estate more accessible, and more and more people came into the district. The railway as well as the racecourse and Cooks River helped to populate Canterbury.
The new settlers were mostly young families, whose children crowded into the existing schools, stretching the resources to breaking point. In 1912, Canterbury Superior Public School was divided into primary and secondary departments, then, in 1918, Canterbury Boys' Intermediate High School was created, and moved to new premises in Holden Street in 1924. In 1932, Canterbury Central Domestic Science School for Girls was opened as a "show-place", which provided education to Leaving Certificate level. The Intermediate School became Canterbury Boys High School and the Domestic School was renamed Canterbury Girls High School.
Canterbury Village became a small community after the factory began to process sugar in September 1842, but the limited opportunities for work made it a 'company town', dependent for its existence on the sugarworks. As a factory, the sugarworks was very efficient, and more workers settled in the village during the 1840's.
Francis Kemble's eccentric behaviour eventually led to the dissolution of the partnership between him and Child and a new company was formed, the Australasian Sugar Company, managed from 1843 by Edward Knox. The sugarworks produced loaf and crushed sugar, as well as vinegar and molasses from raw sugar which was said to have been imported from the Philippine Islands in the Campbell family's ships.
The company took over two more refineries, one in Liverpool Street, Sydney and one in Chippendale. With the creation of Canterbury Road access to the factory was improved. The gold rush was the downfall of the factory as it took much of the workforce away from Sydney. Canterbury, the furthest from the port was chosen to be closed, and the doors were shut in September 1854. The sugarworks was to remain closed for thirty years.
In 1880, the sugarworks building was bought by Fredrick Clissold as an investment. In 1884, he sold it to Owen Blackett as a site for a heavy engineering works. Local agitation wanted a railway line which would take it though southern Canterbury but the delayed decision caused the Blackett company to go bankrupt. This meant that the factory was once more made empty. In 1900 the sugarworks was sold to the produce merchants Denham Brothers, who opened the Canterbury Bacon factory in the premises. In 1908, the building was sold again, this time to Huttons Pty Ltd, a Melbourne company, who continued in the business of smallgoods. They expanded on the site, creating a flourishing factory complex which was to provide work in the area for seventy-five years.
In 1983 Nick Scali, furniture retailers bought the sugarworks. On 29 February 1996, a fire tore through the Georgian style works. The fire damaged the roof and internal floors but the sandstone walls have been declared structually sound. A new roof has recently been constructed.
Gold Abacus Developments began restoration work on the Old Sugar Mill in 2000. The interior will be converted to 20 luxury apartments, the exterior cleaned and restored by stonemasons and the surrounding land excavated to its original levels. The apartments in the old Georgian building and the townhouses in the two other buildings to be constructed on the estate went on sale on 8th September, 2000.
The Canterbury Velodrome, a highly banked board track for cycle racing, opened in 1928 at the end of Charles Street before the river was realigned. The Dobroyd Golf Club had a golf course in King Street in the early part of the century, but eventually the expansion of the race course swallowed up the greens and fairways.
Prepared by Canterbury City Library
Brian Madden, Lesley Muir and Canterbury City Council
MADDEN, Brian J and MUIR, Lesley. Canterbury Farm: 200 years. Earlwood, NSW: Canterbury & District Historical Society, 1993.