Location: Where is Mulgoa?
Mulgoa, New South Wales Australia, is located south of the suburbs of Regentville and Glenmore Park within the City of Penrith. The Nepean River runs along its western boundary with the village of Wallacia located to its south. The suburbs of Kemps Creek and Orchard Hills run along its eastern border. Mulgoa today has gone full circle, from the early farming, vineyards and orchards, to the guest houses of the first part of the twentieth century, it is now an area of extensive hobby and general farming, with some tourist through traffic. The twin villages of Mulgoa and Wallacia add value to the City of Penrith because they retain strong connections with the early pioneers who initially settled the area.33 49′ S 150 39′ E
|Postcode: 2745||Population: 1,898 (2016 Census)||Distance from Sydney: 66 km W|
|Area: 55.49 km2 or 5549 ha||Density: 0.39 people per ha||Mulgoa NSW on Google Maps|
The Penrith Region is situated physiographically in the Cumberland Lowlands. The geological formations are known as the Middle Triassic Wianamatta Group. This group consists of two formations, the Ashfield Shale and the overlying Bringelly Shale. Ashfield Shale consists of laminite and dark grey to black siltstone. Minchinbury Sandstone often separates Ashfield and Bringelly Shales and consists of fine to medium-grained quartz lithic sandstone. All sit on the Hawkesbury Sandstone which includes the Mittagong Formation.
Quaternary alluvium occurs along the major water courses and varies depending on the distance material has been transported; however it generally consists of silty-clayey sands and gravels. Tertiary sediments overlie the Wianamatta Group in some areas. Londonderry Clay, Rickabys Creek Gravels and the St. Marys Formation all derive from sandstone and clay. The Bringelly Shales are the most dominant and consist of shale (claystone and siltstone), carbonaceous claystone, laminite and fine to medium lithic sandstone.
This well-drained area has a number of creeks which cut across it, generally flowing northwards. They cross an area of low hills and gently undulating plains.
The soil landscape groupings vary from suburb to suburb depending on the physiographical influences which have occurred – e.g. residual, erosional, fluvial, aeolian/alluvial, or disturbed.
The Mulgoa Valley marked an important boundary between two major clans – the Dharug from the plains and the Gundungurra from the mountains. These clans were separated, not only by the valley, but also linguistically. The Mulgoa Valley was used by both clans. Groups travelled along it to attend ceremonies, to barter foodstuffs, and, especially during periods of drought, as a source of food and water. As the Nepean River was a permanent water supply the lands in close proximity to the river could always be relied upon to provide food reserves. The Mulgoa area saw numerous bloody encounters between the European and Aboriginal inhabitants of the area, especially during periods of drought, when food supplies were scarce. However, it appears that the clashes were between the Gundungarra clans and the Europeans, rather than the Mulgoa band of the Dharug clan, which remained peaceful.
For more general information on the Dharug people please see The Dharug Story by Chris Tobin (Penrith City Library collection 994.004 DHA).
Origin of the place name – Mulgoa
Unlike many of the suburbs in the Penrith area, Mulgoa has an Aboriginal, rather than a European derivation. It is thought to sound similar to the Aboriginal word meaning black swan. The area was opened for European settlement in 1810 – the first grant of 300 acres being made by Colonel William Paterson- after Governor William Bligh’s departure – to Edward, the four year old son of William Cox, the man later responsible for supervising the building of the first road over the Blue Mountains in 1814-1815. This grant was confirmed by Governor Lachlan Macquarie on his arrival in the Colony. Several more large grants were made to other members of the Cox family, including William himself, George and Henry.
The Cottage built by William for his sons and their tutor in 1811, and later used by his sons before their own homes were built, still stands, and is one of the oldest homes remaining in the Penrith area. The Mulgoa Valley became, for a period, the architectural showpiece of the Colony, with the homes of the numerous members of the Cox family, the Nortons and others being consistently of a grand nature.
|1810||First land grant in district. 300 acres to Edward Cox|
|1811||The Cottage built by William Cox for his sons and their tutor|
|1825||Henry Cox built Glenmore on land which was once Luttrell land grant|
|1836||22 August||Foundation stone laid for St Thomas Anglican Church|
|1868||29 March||Rev. Thomas Hassall, first minister at St Thomas' Mulgoa died|
|1852||James J Riley Penrith's first mayor (1871) purchased Glenmore|
|1893||26 July||Mulgoa proclaimed a municipality|
|1927||Glenmore Country Club established with 18 hole|
|1949||1 January||Mulgoa Municipality joined with Castlereagh, St. Marys, and Penrith Municipalities to form one large Municipality of Penrith|
|1984||Local Environmental Study of Mulgoa and Wallacia (Penrith City Council)|
|1993||Nepean District Christian School opened on Mulgoa Road|
|1999||June||Release of the Mulgoa & Wallacia Study and Strategy by Penrith City Council|
Historic buildings & places
Glenleigh: Glenleigh was built as a country residence for shipping merchant, businessman and philanthropist, James Ewan and his wife, between 1887 and 1889. Glenleigh’s distinctive appearance stems from the unusual bricks which were shipped across from England as the ballast in James Ewan’s merchant ships. Timber verandahs and an imposing timber entry porch add to the fine exterior. The site occupies a prominent position overlooking the Nepean Valley.
photo by Real Commercial Estate Agents
photo by Real Commercial Estate Agents
Glenmore: The Georgian section of Glenmore was built by Henry & Frances Cox in 1825. The property produced wheat crops and orchards, however by 1851, due financial difficulties, Henry was forced to sell Glenmore to Thomas Sutcliffe Mort. Thomas Mort did not own the property for very long and in 1854 it was sold to James Riley who refurbished the home and added the southern wing. In 1904 Glenmore became a select school for young ladies. In 1927 a Sydney syndicate formed the Glenmore Country Club.
Fernhill: Fernhill was built by Edward Cox in 1814 and remained in the Cox family until it was sold in 1885. It appears to have been originally designed as a two storey building however it was completed as a single storey building because of the 1840’s recession. It is picturesquely sited, overlooking the surrounding countryside.
photo by Christie’s International Real Estate
photo by Christie’s International Real Estate
The Cottage: The Cottage was begun around 1810 by William Cox, who would, in 1814, build the first road across the Blue mountains. The Cottage is built on land granted to William’s four and half year old son Edward in 1809 by Lieut-Governor Colonel Paterson. Governor Macquarie re-granted the same land back to Edward in 1810. Reaching its full completion in 1820, is one of the earliest timber-framed structures still surviving in Australia.
St Marys Catholic Church: The church was built around 1890 as part of the speculative boom associated with the Mulgoa Irrigation Company Scheme. The church has parapeted gables and a corrugated iron roof.
St Thomas’ Church: The land for this Gothic Revival, rural Anglican church was donated by Edward Cox in the 1830s. It was designed by James Chadley and Thomas Makinson, and built by Robert Drysdale. The foundation stone was laid in 1836 with the church being consecrated in 1838. A parsonage built nearby was demolished in the mid 1960s.
Winbourne: Winbourne was granted to George Cox in the early 1800s who built Winbourne and established a large estate, which included orchards, vineyards, wheat fields and dairying. The family remained on the property until 1901. In 1914 Tom Campbell leased the property and ran it as a holiday resort until 1958 when the site was purchased by the Christian Brothers. The main house was destroyed by fire in August 1920.
For photos and more information on Luddenham, search Penrith City Library’s catalogue using an All Resources search.
Bannerman, S.M. & Hazelton, P.A. Soil Landscapes of the Penrith 1:100000 Sheet
Penrith City Council, Local Environmental Study – Mulgoa and Wallacia Villages, Penrith, 1984.
Penrith City Council, Mulgoa & Wallacia Rural Villages Study, Penrith, 1999.
Penrith City Council, Draft Mulgoa & Wallacia Rural Villages Strategy, Penrith, 1999.
Mulgoa! Mulgoa! Where is that? – a General History of Mulgoa, Mulgoa Progress Association, 1988.
Murray, Robert and White, Kate Dharug & Dungaree: The History of Penrith and St Marys to 1860, Penrith City Council, Penrith, 1988.
Nepean District Historical Society, From Castlereagh to Claremont Meadows: Historical Places of Penrith City Council, Penrith, 1997.
Stacker, Lorraine, Pictorial History: Penrith & St Marys , Kingsclear Books, Alexandria, 2002.
Stevenson, Colin R., Place Names and their Origins within the City of Penrith, Penrith City Council, Penrith, 1985.
Stickley, Christine, The Old Charm of Penrith, 2nd ed., the author, St. Marys, 1984.