Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.


North-western industrial and residential suburb on the northern banks of the Parramatta River, where merino sheep were first successfully bred in Australia in the early 19th century. In 1886 the orchardist Thomas O'Neill subdivided it and named it after his home town of Rydal in the English Lake District.

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Originally Burramattagal country, the area that became Rydalmere was granted to Philip Schaeffer, who planted vines, and the land was later acquired by Hannibal Macarthur who built a grand house, later a Catholic girls' school. The area was named Rydalmere in 1886 when it was subdivided, but remained semi-rural, with orchards and poultry farms until industry moved in from the 1940s.