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Glenhaven was at first called Sandhurst, but because of confusion with a town in Victoria of the same name, it was renamed Glenhaven in 1894. 
The suburb lies in a valley, the southern end of which was called the Haven, while the northern end was known as the Glen – hence Glenhaven.
Glenhaven was on the route of the Great North Road that linked Parramatta with the Hunter Valley. John Evans, one of the first settlers in the area, used a bullock team to drag timber, and the route he used became known as Evans Road.
The area had many wild flowers, including waratahs, Christmas bush, boronias, native roses, and a variety of orchids which thrived there.
Two-hectare blocks are common in the area, and many large houses have recently been constructed. From the high ground you can see the Blue Mountains, and the mix of bush and farmland makes the area popular with families.
The main shopping area for the district is Castle Hill.