About Baulkham Hills
Baulkham Hills, located approximately 29km North West of Sydney, is one of the largest suburbs in area and population within the Hills with a population of 33,661 people (Census 2001). Baulkham Hills as a suburb not including Bella Vista makes up about 24% of the total population (139,404) of the Baulkham Hills Shire. 23,282 people were born in Australia and 25,855 speak English only. 30,179 live in separated houses as opposed to other forms such as flats, units or townhouses. (Census 2001)
Baulkham Hills Town Centre includes Stockland Mall, The Bull ‘n’ Bush Hotel and a number of street shops.
Baulkham Hills is the home of Norwest Business Park which is rapidly becoming the main business centre within the Hills. Norwest Business Park includes retail, commercial, industrial and hotel developments. For example Norwest Marketown, Norwest International Hotel and the Hills Christian Life Centre.
Baulkham Hills is also the home to Baulkham Hills TAFE College and a number of private and public schools.
History of BAULKHAM HILLS
There are several versions of how this area between Castle Hill and Parramatta was named. The most likely reason is its resemblance to the county of Roxburgh, between Scotland and England, which shares a similar name, Buckholm Hills, the home of one of the area’s early settlers. Andrew McDougall, who arrived in Sydney in 1798 from Roxburgh, was one of several settlers to receive grants in the area in 1799. He called his 150 acre grant Roxburgh Hall. The estate remained in the family until 1876 and Roxburgh Hall was built in 1860. Andrew McDougall was one of the trustees appointed when 3,000 acres were set aside as Baulkham Hills Common in 1804. The name has been officially recognised since 1802.
One of the earliest land grants in the area was the 30 acres given to George Best in 1796. He slowly gained more land until he had 185 acres.
The oldest farm-house in the area is Joyce Farmhouse in Valerie Crescent, near Seven Hills. It was built in 1804 by William Joyce, destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1806, and used as an inn between 1811 and 1826. Joyce had received his 30 acre grant in about 1794.
One of the oldest pioneer families in Parramatta came into this area when George Suttor received a grant of 186 acres in 1802 and advanced on the property, which he called Chelsea Farm, after his birthplace in London. Here he planted the first orange trees in the district and became well-known. He later received another grant, in Bathurst, and the Suttor family moved to the plains beyond the Blue Mountains, but George Suttor continued to hold on to Chelsea Farm until his death in 1859. The main house, Chelsea Farm, was built in 1873 by one of his grandsons.
In 1856, an official post office was opened in the area, followed by a school in 1868.
Parramatta’s increasing population affected Baulkham Hills, as more settlers spread into the district to plant orchards in the area’s perfect conditions. By 1890 residents were demanding a better way of transport. As a result of numerous official discussions, a steam tramline was opened in 1902 to carry passengers from Parramatta Station to Baulkham Hills. The route was along Church Street, over the Lennox Bridge and along Windsor Road to its destination 8 kilometres away. The tramline was changed into a railway connected to Westmead on 28 January 1923, but the line was closed in February 1932.
COMMERCIAL / RETAIL
Many successful national and international companies have chosen Baulkham Hills Shire as their place of business including Woolworths, ResMed and IBM. Major shopping areas are located in Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, Winston Hills and Dural. Development has started on the $1.2 billion Rouse Hill Regional Centre which will include 200,000m2 of retail and commercial space servicing 200,000 residents of the North West sector.