Erskineville is an inner-city suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 6 kilometres south west of the Sydney central business district and is part of the local government area of the City of Sydney.
Erskineville is bordered by the suburbs of Newtown to the west, Redfern to the north, St Peters to the south, and Alexandria to the east. The locality of Camperdown sits over the north-west border. (wikipedia)
The suburb was originally called after an earlier subdivision in 1846 in the south of Erskineville owned by Stephen Macdonald. The streets around the early Macdonaldtown subdivision are named after relations of the Macdonald family – Amy, Flora, Eve, Coulson and Rochford. Knight Street is named for Henry Knight, one of the earliest brickmakers in the district and the first mayor of Macdonaldtown. Devine Street is named for the first grant holder, Nicholas Devine, the first principal superintendent of convicts. He called his property Burren Farm, after a region of County Clare in his native Ireland.
Erskineville is named after Erskine Villa, the home of Wesleyan minister, Reverend George Erskine, built in 1830. After changing owners a few times, the property was eventually left to the Church of England and became the rectory for the Holy Trinity Church at Macdonaldtown (it was demolished in 1961 after serving as the rectory for eighty years).
The area was first incorporated on 23 May 1872, with the name of the “Municipal District of Macdonald Town” (but was variously known as the “Borough of Macdonald Town” or the “Municipality of Macdonaldtown”). On 19 July 1872, the first council, consisting of six aldermen in one electorate, was elected (Charles Brandling Henderson, Henry Knight, James Bryan, Alexander Swanson, William Irwin and James Heighington), with Henry Knight elected as the first mayor at the first meeting on 23 July 1872.
In 1893 Macdonaldtown was renamed as Erskineville, when the Parliament of New South Wales passed the “Borough of Erskineville Naming Act, 1893”, effecting the municipal name change. In the late nineteenth century, the inhabitants were originally market gardeners, though brick making and tanning also became dominant industries. The Victorian cottages and small rows of Victorian terraces that dominate the built form of the suburb were the homes of the workers in these industries, which explains their smallness: a four-metre wide terrace is large by Erskineville standards.
In the early twentieth century, manufacturing in the area diversified, and Erskineville became a resolutely working class inner city suburb. In 1938 the Erskineville Public Housing Scheme was inaugurated on the western end of Erskineville Park, as an early response by the NSW Government to the Housing Improvement Act 1937 towards the problem of slum clearance in the inner city. From the 1970s, Erskineville underwent gentrification with new residents attracted to the village atmosphere, public transport links and the proximity to the CBD.
From the 19th century until the second half of the 20th century, the south-eastern section of Erskineville was taken up by large industrial uses. Bakewell Brothers brick and pottery works operated until 1956, and Metters Limited had a large factory that made items such as the “Kooka” stove operating from 1907 to 1974. Steelworks like McPherson’s Pty Ltd and Hadfields Steel Works also operated until the 1970s. The site of these industrial works were identified since 1998 as a site for urban renewal, with the land east of the rail line, south of Ashmore Street and north of Coulson Street known as the “Ashmore Estate”. The Ashmore Estate is currently identified for major residential redevelopment as part of the urban renewal process. (wikipedia)
Places of Interest
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