Colyton

Location: Where is Colyton?
Colyton, New South Wales Australia, is located on the easternmost side of the Penrith Local Government Area. Its boundary is Ropes Creek, the Great Western Highway, Marsden Road and the M4 Motorway. Colyton is within the greater regional locality of St Marys. This suburb is mainly residential, featuring large sporting fields, a primary school, high school, shopping centre and a Life Education Centre. There is some industrial activity along Roper Road. With convenient access to both the Great Western Highway and the M4 Motorway, Colyton residents are easily able to travel to work and to leisure activities. Colyton is one of the older established suburbs with older homes on large blocks of land. Historically, the name Colyton generally referred to the area east of Ropes Creek. The present site of Colyton was traditionally known as St Marys.

33 46′ S 150 49′ E

Postcode: 2760 Population: 7885 (2006 Census) Distance from Sydney: 40 km
Area: 3.36 km or 336 ha Density:  23.5 people per ha (2006 Census) Colyton NSW on Google Maps

 

Government Electorates

Local Government : Colyton is located in East Ward of the Penrith Local Government area. Next elections will be held in 2012.

State Government: Colyton is located in the State Government Electorate of Mulgoa. Next elections are scheduled for March 2015.
Federal Government: Colyton is located in the Federal Government Electorate of Lindsay. Next elections will be held in 2013.
Aboriginal Districts: Colyton is located in the Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council Area. Next elections will be held in 2011

Neighbourhood Centres

Schools

The area of open space available in Colyton is 40.71 hectares.

  • Potter Field, Shepherd Street, Colyton
  • Roper Road Soccer Field, Roper Road, Colyton
  • Iron Bark Reserve, Iron Bark Drive, Colyton
  • Gunning Park, Marsden Road, Colyton
  • Kevin Maley Park, Malouf Crescent, Colyton
  • Mick Martin Park, Freeman Street, Colyton

 

Roads & Streets

  • The Great Western Highway marks the northern boundary of Colyton. This highway is a vital thoroughfare west to Penrith and east to Blacktown and Sydney.
  • Bennett Road cuts through Colyton and links the Great Western Highway to the neighbouring suburb of St Clair. Named after James Bennett, founder of the famous St Marys wagon building business.
  • Marsden Road is the dividing road between Colyton and St Marys. Named after Rev. Samuel Marsden who owned nearby property Mamre.
  • Desborough Road is a major thoroughfare in the suburb. Once Phillip Road, this road was renamed in 1933. Named after Robert Desborough a local tanner whose tannery was
    on this road.
  • Roper Road runs along the eastern boundary of Colyton along Ropes Creek to
    the M4 Motorway
  • Carpenter Road is a major thoroughfare in the suburb. The road was originally, Gidley Street. It was renamed in 1933 in honour of J. Carpenter Mayor of St Marys 1909-1910 and alderman from 1895-1910, 1921.
  • Shepherd Street runs along the southern boundary of Colyton beside the M4 Motorway.
  • Hewitt Street, where  Colyton Shopping Centre and the Life Education Centre are located. Named after W.S. Hewitt President of Nepean Shire 1936-1939.

 

Historical profile

The Aborigines of South Creek

The first inhabitants of the Sydney basin bounded by Port Jackson and Botany Bay in the east, the Blue Mountains to the west, north to the Hawkesbury River and south to Appin, had a common language. Fourteen tribes or clans made up this language group and the people who inhabited both sides of South Creek were known as the Gomerrigal-Tongarra clan.

Unlike the Blue Mountains clans who used rock shelters, the Gomerrigal-Tongarra people lived in open camp sites along the creek in simple gunyahs. These were constructed from three leaning poles lashed together at the top and covered on two sides with bark. They had a habit of smearing mud on their skin to protect them from the effects of both weather and insects. In winter they wore animal skins to keep warm.

Very little is known of their cultural and ceremonial life. According to researcher and writer James L. Kohen, the Gomerrigal-Tongarra clan had rights to the ridges at Plumpton and the gravels of Eastern Creek. From these areas they used red silcrete rocks to make sharp flakes which were then fashioned into tools or used as barbs on spears. The MacLaurin family (who lived at Mamre) also asserted that the bodies of the dead were not buried, but wrapped in bark and placed on platforms elevated in the branches of trees.

There are no remaining rock carvings or marked trees in the area. Emily MacLaurin described a meeting place on South Creek at Mamre at a point where ‘…the Creek takes in a small stream from the west, the right bank of which reaches into the creek in a narrow finger’. It is thought that despite the arrival of the Rev. Samuel Marsden in 1804, ceremonies continued to be held at this spot for some time.

By 1816 however, the Gomerrigal-Tongarra, together with the rest of the Dharug clans, had been ravaged either by clashes with the settlers or by contracting European diseases. They became increasingly dependent on the settlers for their survival. Although they had always maintained a camp on or around the Mamre estate, the Rev. Samuel Marsden now sought to encourage them to work in exchange for food and clothing. He was obviously successful in this endeavour, as by 1835 the Quaker missionary James Backhouse wrote in his journal after a visit to Mamre that ‘…the South Creek Natives may be considered as half-domesticated, and they often assist in the agricultural operations of the settlers.’ He was also impressed by the fact that the wife of their Aboriginal guide – supplied by Marsden – could read, having been ‘educated in a school, formerly kept for the Natives, at Parramatta’. The next day, Backhouse travelled onto Penrith, his guide ‘another South Creek Black, named Simeon. His wife was killed, about two years ago, by some of those whom he termed “Wild Natives”…We tried in vain to persuade this man to accompany us to Wellington Valley; he did not like to go…These people are afraid of other tribes of their own race’.

Another visitor, Charles Darwin, passing through Mamre in January 1836, was impressed by the ‘…good humour and superior hunting skills’ of the Aborigines he encountered around Penrith.

History has given us sparse records about the Gomerrigal-Tongarra people. Their life-style was probably similar to other neighbouring clans. They were hunter-gatherers over specifically defined territories, in this case, mainly the banks of South Creek; and they adhered to particular laws of kinship, marriage, and burial which ensured the well-being of the clan. Men and women had particular roles in the clan which were clearly defined; children were given a totem name; traditional medicine was carried out by the ‘koradji’ or doctor; and, like all Aborigines they had a spiritual Dreaming.

The clash of European and Aboriginal cultures, despite original good intentions, meant that the Gomerrigal-Tongarra people and their culture was virtually destroyed within a century of white settlement.

Origin of the place name – Colyton

Colyton is named after Colyton House in Devon England which had been the family home of the wife of William Cox Junior, son of the famous builder of the road across the Blue Mountains, also named William. The property of 800 acres had been granted to Cox on 17 August 1819 by Governor Macquarie. It was located on the southern side of the Western Highway opposite the present Colyton Primary School. It was only used for grazing and wheat growing. On 9 April 1842, a notice appeared in the Sydney Herald advertising the auction sale of William Cox’s estate to form the ‘Village of Colyton’ with surrounding farmlets. The land was described as partly forest and partly alluvial with grass on it being ‘abundant and nutritious’. The timber on the land was described as being fit for ‘building and farming purposes’ and the water ‘abundant and never failing’ from nearby Rope’s Creek. Colyton is now a suburb within the larger regional district of St Marys.

Origin of the place name – Ropes Creek

This watercourse, which forms the eastern boundary of the City of Penrith, was named after Anthony Rope who was a convict who arrived with the First Fleet in 1788. He married a female convict, Elizabeth Pulley in May 1788. Rope learned bricklaying whilst working at Brickfields near Sydney and later moved to the Nepean District. In 1806, the Ropes were renting 48 acres on the Nepean and by 1820 had been granted 20 acres in the district. Anthony Rope died at Castlereagh in 1843. James “Toby” Ryan (1818-1899) was the grandson of Anthony Rope.

Historical Timeline

1819 17 August William Cox Junior given land grant of 800 acres and named it Colyton.
1823 30 June Land grant of 1600 acres to John McHenry between Ropes Creek & Mamre Road.
1832 8 July John McHenry died.
1842 9 April Colyton grant advertised for sale and subsequently subdivided forming the village of Colyton now in Mt Druitt.
1861   First Methodist services held in Robert Thornbury’s home.
1861   E. E. (Jack) Hamon commenced business as blacksmith.
1861 25 February Application for National School at Colyton. First school in Simpson Hill Road.
1862   First Methodist service held in a slab hut donated by Thomas Smith behind the Red Cow Inn. Service was conducted by Rev. Richard Amos.
1864   School moved to the site of the Colyton Post Office on the corner of Simpson Hill Road and the Great Western Highway.
1881   John McHenry’s grant Mountain View Estate was subdivided and sold.
1881   After an inspection of its dilapidated condition, the school was moved to a two hectare site where the present Colyton Primary School (now Mt Druitt) is located.
1889   Methven Bros. established an orchard and vineyard.
1892   Colyton Post Office opened.
1903   Methven Bros. opened a pulp and canning factory (Balgay) in Roper Street.
1950s   Colyton Hotel opened on the corner of Great Western Highway and Roper Street.
1961 14 October Bennett Road Public School opened.
1967   Colyton High opened.
1970s   Ropes Creek Corridor (open space) established.
1975?   Colyton Shopping Centre built.
1976   Methven Bros. Balgay factory closed. 
1983   Redevelopment of Colyton Shopping Centre.

Bibliography

For more information on Colyton:

Historical

  • Colyton School Centenary 1861-1961, Colyton, the School, 1961.
  • Green, Annette, St Marys Industrial Heritage Study, Penrith City Council, Penrith, 1987.
  • 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.
  • Paul Davies Pty Ltd, Penrith Heritage Study Volume 2 Thematic History , May 2006.
  • Stacker, Lorraine Pictorial history: Penrith & St Marys, Kingsclear Books, 2002.
  • Stapleton, E. South Creek – St Marys – From Village to City , St Marys, St Marys Historical Society. 1983.
  • Stevenson, Colin R., Place Names and their Origins within the City of Penrith, Penrith City Council, Penrith, 1985.
  • ‘Early Methodists of Colyton’, Nepean Times, 30 July 1932, p. 7.
  • ‘Old Colyton’, Nepean Times, 28 September 1929, p. 6.
  • ‘Old Colyton’, Nepean Times, 5 October 1929, p. 7.
  • ‘Old Colyton’, Nepean Times, 12 October 1929, p. 6.