Location: Where is Orchard Hills?
Orchard Hills, New South Wales, Australia is located in the centre of the City of Penrith. Sydney Water’s supply pipeline is its southern boundary line, while the suburbs of St Clair and Erskine Park border the suburb to the east. Kingswood and Claremont Meadows are northern neighbours and Glenmore Park, South Penrith and the rural areas of Wallacia and Mulgoa comprise the western boundary. Orchard Hills has a predominately rural character with undulating hills and scenic vistas. Its landscape is mainly overlaid with orchards and grapevines with some housing development in recent years.
33 47’00″S 150 43’00″E
|Postcode: 2748||Population: 1,877 (2016 Census)||Distance from Sydney: 46 km W|
|Area: 43.21 km or 4321 ha||Density: 0.45 people per ha||Orchard Hills on Google Maps|
Local Government: Orchard Hills is located in South and EastWards of the Penrith Local Government area.
State Government: Orchard Hills is located in the State Government Electorate of Mulgoa.
Federal Government: Orchard Hills is located in the Federal Government Electorates of Lindsay and McMahon.
Aboriginal Districts: Orchard Hills is located in the Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council Area.
- Orchard Hills Public School: 129 Kingswood Road, Orchard Hills, 2748.
Ph: (02) 4736 1108
- Orchard Hills Preparatory School: 167 Bringelly Road, Orchard Hills, NSW 2748.
Ph: (02) 9651 1177. An independent school for boys opening with Kindergarten in 1999. A School of the PARED Foundation.
- Penrith Anglican College: 338-356 Wentworth Road, Orchard Hills, NSW 2748
Ph: (02) 4736 8100
- Penrith Christian Community School: 1 Simeon Road Orchard Hills, NSW 2748.
Ph: (02) 4736 4044
Agriculture is important in Orchard Hills. It makes a considerable contribution to the Sydney market of table grapes and stone fruits. The optimum size of these farms are between 5-7 hectares.
The reddish clay loams of Orchard Hills are used for grape growing. Table muscats were produced by 60 growers over 150 hectares in 1987. The production of table grapes is in decline.
Origin of the place name – Orchard Hills
Just prior to leaving the colony in 1806, Governor Philip King granted 600 acres on South Creek to Mary Putland, the daughter of the incoming governor, William Bligh. She named the property Frogmore. Her husband John died two years later and in 1810, Mary married Lieutenant Colonel Maurice O’Connell. An additional grant of 1055 acres was made to Mary at the time of her wedding as a present from Governor Lachlan Macquarie. Frogmore was managed for many years by Major George Druitt as Maurice O’Connell’s military duties meant they were rarely in residence.
The suburb of Orchard Hills takes in part of the original Frogmore Estate and the adjoining York Estate originally owned by the York family. When the York Estate was subdivided in the late 1880s, the land was mainly sold for orchards and vineyards. By the early 1900s a rural community was well established in the area and a village developed. The Mount Hope Methodist Church was built in 1904 and in 1910 the York Estate Public School was built.
The district and village did not have a definite name however. Frogmore, Mount Hope and York were all used to describe the region. On 17th October 1910, a meeting of local residents, held at the public school, decided on the name Orchard Hills, after considering a number of names that had been put forward. Frogmore was discarded as it was felt confusion may arise because an area in southern NSW already had the name.
|1904||25 October||Mt Hope Methodist Church opened|
|1910||April||York Estate Public School opened|
|1910||17 October||Public meeting of residents decided upon the name of the area – Orchard Hills|
|1911||York Estate Public School changed its name to Orchard Hills|
|1930||27 October||Orchard Hills Progress Association was formed|
|1946||18 March||Progress Association revived after the war|
|1960||18 May||Progress Association changed name to Orchard Hills Fruit Growers & Progress Association|
|1970||19 August||Orchard Hills Bush Fire Brigade formed|
Historic buildings & places
Orchard Hills Uniting Church: This building was opened as Mt Hope Methodist Church in October 1904. The area name later change from Mt Hope to Orchard Hills. The church is located on a rise overlooking the orchards and vineyards.
For photos and more information on Orchard Hills, search Penrith City Library’s catalogue using an All Resources search.
Orchard Hills, Draft Sydney Regional Environmental Plan, Sydney, Dept of Environment & Planning, 1988.
Orchard Hills Development Control Code No. 2., Penrith City Council, 1995.
Orchard Hills Reunion, 1-2 October 1977, History of Local Organisations 1904-1977.
Orchard Hills School 75th Anniversary, 1985.
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.
Parr, Lorna, A History of the Nepean and District Street Names, Nepean District Historical Society, Penrith, 1990.
Stevenson, Colin R., Place Names and their Origins within the City of Penrith, Penrith City Council, Penrith, 1985.
‘Changing the name’, Nepean Times, 22 October 1910.