Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Hornsby Heights

CC BY-SA 2.0
Cite this

Hornsby Heights

Hornsby Heights is in the parish of South Colah in the municipality of Hornsby.

The original inhabitants of the area were from the Dharug group of people.

Hornsby Heights shares its history with Hornsby, and was named for Constable Samuel Henry Horne, who was granted land in the Normanhurst area.

The suburb was linked to Berowra by a bush track, and it is from this that Old Berowra Road was named in 1939. [1]


In the area then known as Fish Ponds Reserve, a camp for homeless people grew in the Depression years of the early 1930s. It was called Hopeville. The dwellings were mostly tents or rough huts made from old bags and kerosene tins. Garden beds were cultivated to grow vegetables. By World War II, most people had left Hopeville, but Hopeville Park, commemorating this past, now occupies the site between Marine Crescent and Meredith Avenue.

Rofe Park

Land at Rofe Park was originally set aside by the State Government in 1919 for a district hospital. Councillor Thomas Rofe, for whom the park was named, argued that the site was too far from public transport, and the land was transferred to Hornsby Council and set aside as a park, whose entrance was an iron gate with sandstone pillars and arch. A trotting track operated there possibly as early as the 1930s, but this fell into disrepair, though the grounds were used for agricultural shows until 1965.

Bushfires and community action

Bushfires that threatened a large area of Hornsby Heights in 1965 led to the formation of the Gorge–Hornsby Heights Volunteer Bushfire Brigade, now known as the Hornsby Heights Volunteer Bushfire Brigade. Bushfires are still of concern in the area, with the west and north of the suburb adjoining the beautiful but densely wooded Berowra Valley Bushland Park.

In 1960, a lease was issued to mine clay shale and fire-clay near the site of Montview Oval. Quarrying ceased in 1975, and the area was given to the Hornsby Shire Council to control and manage. [2]

Hornsby Heights is a residential suburb with most residents travelling to Hornsby and surrounding district for work.


Hornsby Library local studies vertical files


[1] WB Rogers, Growing Up with Hornsby, the author, Hornsby, 1998, p 1

[2] Northern Standard, 13 March 1975