Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Denistone West

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Denistone West

Denistone West is one of 16 suburbs that form the City of Ryde, which is approximately 12 kilometres from the centre of Sydney and occupies most of the divide between the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers. The city is bisected from west to east by one of Sydney's busiest roads, Victoria Road. It is crossed north-south by another main road, Lane Cove Road and is skirted on the north-west by the M2 Motorway and Epping Road.

At the time of the arrival of Europeans at Sydney Cove in January 1788 the Wallumedegal or Wallumede people were the traditional owners of the area which they called Wallumetta. This clan formed part of a large Dharug language group.

The suburb of Denistone West, created in 1999, was originally part of the suburb of Denistone. The bulk of the suburb of Denistone West is Project no 4 of a post-World War II housing scheme called the Ryde Council Housing Scheme. Before the housing project was instigated the streets in the area were Mirool, Mimos, Morvan and Murray which ran off Moira Avenue. West of Moira Avenue there were no streets. Allars, Sluman, Dunshea, Perkins, Driver, Genner and associated streets went in as part of the Scheme. It was one of the most innovative postwar housing schemes.

The housing shortage which existed before the war began worsened during the war because of building restrictions. At the end of the war, as ex-servicemen and women were demobilised, marriage rates increased and so did the need for houses. With federal funding the New South Wales Housing Commission also embarked on a large scale program of welfare housing. However, Ryde Council wanted more than welfare housing. The scheme devised offered would-be home owners the option of buying houses with small deposits at a low rate of interest with repayments over a long period. The scheme was distinguished also by its employment of a panel of 10 architects and town planners who were then at the leading edge in their field.

The scheme provided for the erection by Council of 2,500 homes over a five-year period. Each subdivision boasted bitumen-surfaced roads, kerbing and channelling, footpath paving, street beautification and general drainage. Subdivisions were planned with attention to the natural contours of the land, and roads were designed to reduce traffic speeds and provide a maximum of safety to residents within the area. The planning of the subdivision was linked with the planning of each house in its own garden setting.

In the end, between 1945 and 1952, a total of 599 houses were built by Council and a further 360 were built under a Ryde Loan scheme.

Project no 4, the biggest project in the scheme, consisted of 173 brick houses in Denistone West, including Mirool, Allars, Sluman, Dunshea, Perkins, Driver, Genner and associated streets.


50 years at Denistone East Public School, 1950 to 2000, Denistone East Public School, Denistone East, 2000

'Outlook Estate, Denistone: heritage assessment and character study', Weir and Phillips, Broadway NSW, 2003

Philip Geeves, A place of pioneers: the centenary history of the Municipality of Ryde, Ryde Municipal Council, Ryde, 1970

James Jervis, 'Settlement in the parish of Hunter's Hill (continued)', Royal Australian Historical Society journal and proceedings, vol 46, part 6, 1960

MCI Levy, Wallumetta: a history of Ryde and its district 1792 to 1945, Ryde Municipal Council, Ryde, 1947

Megan Martin, A pictorial history of Ryde, Kingsclear Books, Alexandria NSW, 1998

Kevin Shaw (ed), Historic Ryde: a guide to some significant heritage sites in the City of Ryde, Ryde District Historical Society, Ryde, 2002

Kevin Shaw, 'Chatham Farm 1795–1855' parts 1-3, Ryde Recorder: newsletter of the Ryde District Historical Society, vol 24, no 4, September, 1990; vol 25, no 1, March, 1991; vol 26, no 5, November, 1992