Currans Hill

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Currans Hill

Currans Hill is approximately 60 kilometres south-west of the centre of Sydney. Currans Hill is a residential estate consisting mainly of freestanding houses. The population of the area as at the latest census of 2006 was 4,977 and many of the residents are young families. Currans Hill is bounded by Narellan Road to the south, Smeaton Grange and Camden Valley Way to the west, Catherine Fields to the north and Eagle Vale and Blairmount to the east. Currans Hill is in the local government area of Camden.

The original custodians of Currans Hill are the Muringong clan who also occupied the land that was known as the Cowpastures. The Muringong clan is a sub-clan of the Darug people.

Early settlement

European settlement of Currans Hill started with several land grants. George Molle was granted 1550 acres (627 hectares), which he named Molles Maines, in 1816. Mrs Charles Throsby was granted Smeeton (the original spelling), which was 550 acres (223 hectares), in 1811, and George Grimes held a 335-acre (136-hectare) grant called Grimes Farm from 1831. [1]

The suburb was named after Michael Curran who was a resident of Narellan in the 1880s. At this time, agriculture and farming land were vital for a town's prosperity. The Camden area was a thriving agricultural community. Rail and tramways made the connection and trade of dairy and crops between Sydney and the Camden area possible. The Camden tram, Pansy, was a popular means of transport for the residents of Currans Hill. Pansy's route, which opened in 1882, ran from Camden to Campbelltown with several suburb stops on the way such as Kirkham, Narellan and Currans Hill. The railway line was eventually closed in 1963 by New South Wales Railways.

Film set to modern suburb

In 1944 the renowned Australian filmmaker Charles Chauvel transformed rural Currans Hill 'into a makeshift battleground to film one of Australia's greatest wartime deeds'. [2] The scene of the bombing of Tobruk was a significant part of the film and was set in Currans Hill.

In 1944 the rural suburb [Currans Hill] was the ideal blank canvas Chauvel needed for 'The Rats of Tobruk', originally known as 'The Fighting Rats of Tobruk', starring Chips Rafferty and Peter Finch. [3]

Currans Hill residents assisted in the construction of the sets. The site of the film set was eventually replaced with a drive-in cinema.

In the 1990s Currans Hill was converted from a farm land area to a residential suburb and subdivided into medium-sized residential lots consisting of public and private housing.

Today there is a recreational lake and a number of large reserves connected with cycleways and walking paths. There is a primary school, a community hall and a corner store. A Christian high school and church are also found in the locality

Notes

[1] Parish map of Narellan, fourth edition, 1939.

[2] Illiana Stillitano, 'That's a jolly good show old chaps', Camden Advertiser, 2 July 2008, p 17

[3] Illiana Stillitano, 'That's a jolly good show old chaps', Camden Advertiser, 2 July 2008, p 17

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