Location: Where is Regentville?
Regentville, New South Wales Australia, is located east of the Nepean River, south of the M4 Motorway and north of the suburbs of Glenmore Park and Mulgoa. This small suburb had its historic beginnings with the arrival of Sir John Jamison and the development of his property Regentville. His many agricultural interests changed the landscape of the area with the construction of a tweed mill, the growing of grapes and the many small farms let out to mostly Irish tenants. Regentville today is a suburb of less than 1000 people, still very much a rural village, tucked away from the main stresses of city life.
33 46’00″S 150 40’00″E
|Postcode: 2745||Population: 809 (2016 Census)||Distance: 59 km NW|
|Area: 1.22 km2 or 122 ha||Density: 6.54 people per ha (2016 Census)||Regentville NSW on Google Maps|
- Regentville Public School: 28-34 Schoolhouse Rd, Regentville NSW 2745.
Ph: (02) 4733 1615
Origin of the place name – Regentville
In 1824 the mansion commissioned in 1823 by Sir John Jamison was completed and named Regentville in honour of the Prince Regent, later King George IV. It is thought that this was in gratitude to the Prince Regent for his English confirmation in 1813, of the earlier knighthood he had been given by the Swedish Government.
Both Sir John Jamison and his father Thomas were naval surgeons, indeed Sir John had attended Lord Nelson’s wounds on the Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. In 1808 he was sent, as part of a naval detachment, to the Baltic. His successful efforts to control scurvy in the Swedish navy through his introduction of a balanced diet, which included fruit and vegetables, led to the conferring of the Order of Gustavus Vasa on him by Charles XIII of Sweden.
When Sir John Jamison arrived in Australia in 1814, he inherited a large area of land along the Nepean River left to him by his father. Over the next few years he progressively added to this land, via grant and purchase. The actual site on which his villa was erected was on 600 acres purchased from the Reverend Robert Cartwright.
The stone for this impressive two-storey mansion was quarried on site and numerous service buildings and workers’ cottages were also built. The estate was extremely prosperous, with vineyards, livestock, orchards and a horse stud. From 1835 to 1840 a tweed mill was
erected on site.
Known as the “Hospitable Knight of Regentville”, Sir John Jamison was famous for his lavish entertainment. He was the inaugural president of the Agricultural Society of NSW, a founder of the Sydney Turf Club, and a member of many public societies. He was appointed as a member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales, a position he held from 1837 till 1843, the year before his death.
Unfortunately, Sir John Jamison was ruined in the depression of the 1840s. As a major shareholder in the Bank of Australia, formed in 1826, when the bank crashed in 1843, he was left bankrupt. At his death in 1844, his wife Mary and their six children were left with very few assets. Jamison did not marry Mary till just before his death in 1844. She had lived in the house as his ‘housekeeper’ for many years.
From this time onwards, the property deteriorated. The mansion was used for a short time as a mental asylum, but this venture failed. The mill manager is known to have lived in the house at some time, and it was leased by the Shiels family as a hotel from 1865. On 22 May, 1869 however, Regentville was burned to the ground. The inquest concluded that arson had taken place. Some of the stone blocks were then removed and used to build other houses in the area and as gutters in parts of Station and Belmore Streets in Penrith. The only part still remaining of this once great house is the spacious cellar.
The area around and including the small rural village of Regentville was gazetted as a suburb in 1970. For many years this suburb retained its rural atmosphere, but with the development of Glenmore Park to the south and east, during the 1990s, the country atmosphere has changed to a more suburban one.
|1805||Land grant of 1000 acres given to Thomas Jamison|
|1811||Thomas Jamison dies in England, his properties pass to his son Sir John Jamison|
|1814||30 July||Sir John Jamison arrived in New South Wales on the Broxbornbury|
|1819||31 August||Sir John Jamison received land grant of 460 acres at Regentville|
|1823||11 September||Foundation stone laid for the building of Regent Villa, Sir John’s second home|
|1844||June||Sir John Jamison died and was buried at St Stephens Anglican Cemetery at Penrith|
|1868||October||A National School at Regentville granted|
|1869||22 May||Regent Villa burned down|
|1882||March||A permanent brick building was erected for the school on land donated by Sir John Jamison’s son|
|1969||M4 bridge built over the Nepean River near Factory Road|
|1970||Suburb of Regentville gazetted|
|1990||July||University of Sydney undertook archaeological excavations at the site of Regentville|
|1994||April||University of Sydney undertook archaeological excavations at the site of Regentville|
Historic Buildings & Places
Regentville Public School: A local school was established as early as 1868 on a site now known as School House Creek. No extant evidence of this building remains. Regentville Public School was built in 1881. The 1881 brick residence and classroom still stand on School House Road. photo: Google Maps
Regentville Workers Terrace: This building was originally row housing for Jamison’s woollen mill factory, being built in 1844. It was purchased by the Addicott family who renovated the building in the 1930s. photo: Google Maps
Regentville: Built by Sir John Jamison, in 1825. In the early 1860’s it was leased by Frederick Bell who opened the house as a private asylum. In 1865 John Shiels leased the property and established a family hotel and guesthouse. Regentville was destroyed by fire in 1869.
1823 Laying of foundation stone of Regentville; Sydney Gazette 11 September 1823
1824 Wm. Houghton’s description: “Sir John Jamison, who resides on his estate opposite Emu Plains, took me to see his new house. It stands on the top of a long, gentle ascent and is certainly a noble mansion. It is 78 feet long by 45 feet wide, two storeys high with a spacious cellar beneath. Each of the wings is 50 feet long. The out-buildings are detached and the whole premises will occupy about an acre of ground which is to be enclosed by a wall 14 feet high. It is built of fine durable stone and commands a very extensive and diversified prospect.”
1847 Auction Sale: SMH 16-21 October 1847
A portion of the splendid estate of Regentville consisting of 1560 acres, about 600 of which are cleared and stumped, and about 150 under cultivation. Together with, the elegant family mansion house, garden, grounds, vineyards, etc. To be sold by auction by Mr. Lyons at his mart on Tuesday the 21st December……. The following valuable improvements have been made on the Hawkestone Grant; first, “Regentville House”, substantially built of stone with a tasteful Colonnade in front and on each side, surmounted with an Iron Balcony from which there is a delightful prospect of the adjacent country. It contains an Entrance Hall and 15 rooms, viz; 2 drawing rooms, 1 dining room, 1 breakfast room, 1 study, 1 library and cabinet, 9 bedrooms, the principal staircase is also stone built and circular. A wash-house and laundry are attached, and there are spacious cellars under the house. The right wing consists of an immense coach-house with store above; the left wing contains the billiard room. The out offices are also stone built, and consist of 2 kitchens and a bakehouse communicating with the house by a covered way, a servants’ hall and 7 bedrooms adjoining; the whole being under one roof. All the above offices are contained within an area of 180 feet square, enclosed by a substantial stone wall about 10 feet high. In the rear of the foregoing, adjoining the wall, are the handsome stone stables, which consists of one 10 – stall and one 4 – stall, with three large boxes and two harness rooms. The lofts are over the whole of the above stabling, and are about 160 feet in length by 15 feet breadth. The stable yard is enclosed by a paling, and contains also 3 loose boxes, slab-built, with loft over them. The Vineyard is on the left of the house, and contains about 7 acres of terraced vines, and 3 1/2 acres of field vineyard. It also has a stone built house, containing four rooms, a large cellar for manufacturing wine, with wine press and still. Immediately in from of the wine cellar there is a large dam, receiving the water from two gullies: is about 300 feet in circumference, by about 10 feet in depth, and has never been dry.”
1869 Fire: Sydney Mail 29 May 1869: “Intelligence reached Parramatta on the 21st instant that a large fire occurred at Regentville, formerly the residence of the late Sir John Jamison. The fire broke out in the upper storey of the building (now known as Shiel’s Family Hotel) . . . the house was entirely destroyed.
Compiled by: Andrew Wilson, 1982.
Penrith City Library: Vertical File – Buildings, Historic, Regentville.
Regentville in ruins -1920s
For photos and more information on Regentville search Penrith City Library’s catalogue using an All Resources search.
Connah, G. ‘Historical Reality: Archaeological Reality, Excavations at Regentville, Penrith, New South Wales, 1985’, Australian Historical Archaeology, No. 4, 1996, pp. 29-42.
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.
Parr, Lorna, Penrith Calendar, Nepean District Historical Society, 1987.
Penrith City Library, Local Subject File: Buildings, Historic – Regentville.
Stacker, Lorraine Pictorial history: Penrith & St Marys, Kingsclear Books, 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.