Enfield, New South Wales

Enfield, New South Wales

Enfield is a suburb, in the Inner-West of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Enfield is located 13 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of Burwood Council.

History

The suburb is named for Enfield, an early market town of Middlesex, England.

Aboriginal Culture

Prior to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, the Enfield area belonged to the Wangal people, a clan of the Eora tribe, which covered most of Sydney. In the early years, the Eora people were badly affected by smallpox, which arrived with the British. Many of the clans became unsustainably small and the survivors formed new bands who lived where they could. While it would be wrong to say that the local indigenous population gave no resistance to British land claims (Pemulwuy being a notable example), within thirty years or so of the colony's establishment, most of the land in the inner-west had been granted to British settlers.

European Settlement

William Faithful was granted 100 acres in 1810 covering what is now Enfield as well as much of Croydon Park and parts of Burwood and Croydon. In 1812, Liverpool Road was built through Faithful's land and the high position of Enfield made it a sensible spot for a staging post along the road. By the mid 1840s a small village had formed and the surrounding area supported vegetable gardening and a timber industry. St Thomas' Anglican Church was built in 1848 and is the oldest surviving building in the suburb.

In 1853, a post office was built. This was the first recorded use of the name Enfield for the area although it may already have been unofficially known as that. In 1889, Enfield was deemed large enough to have its own municipal council which covered a larger area than the current suburb including those parts of the current Burwood and Strathfield councils south of Liverpool Rd. In 1891, its municipal population of 2,050 was larger than that of neighbouring Strathfield (1,850) and only just smaller than another neighbour Canterbury (2,426). Enfield retained its separate identity until 1949 when the NSW state government decided to abolish a number of small local councils by amalgamating them with their neighbours. Thus Enfield was absorbed into Burwood and Strahfield.

Commercial Area

While Enfield is probably most notable for a large freight train marshalling yard, the yard is technically in the neighbouring suburb of South Strathfield. It has a small commercial area along Liverpool Road centred around the intersection with Coronation Parade and The Boulevarde. It is close to the larger commercial areas of Burwood and Strathfield. Enfield itself is actually quite small in area being bounded by Liverpool Road, Coronation Parade, Mitchell Street and Burwood Road.

Churches

Churches in Enfield include the historic St Thomas' Anglican Church in Coronation Parade, built in 1848 in a Gothic Revival style and now listed on the Register of the National Estate; and the grandiose St Joseph's Catholic Church, Liverpool Road, designed in a Classical Revival style inspired by the Église de la Madeleine in Paris.

Landmarks

The main park in Enfield is Henley Park which contains a number of playing fields and Enfield Swimming Pool, the only public pool in the Burwood Council area. Enfield Olympic Pool is the oldest freshwater pool in Sydney, completed in 1933 and officailly opened by the Hon. B.S Stevens, NSW Premier & Colonial Treasurer, on the 18th November, 1933.

The Chicka Dixon Hostel on Liverpool Road which provides accommodation for aboriginal people.

The First World War French howitzer which forms the main display of the War memorial is a fine example of its type---the wheel treads which are made of wood are still intact.

The Coronation Parade arch that leads into the former Coronation Parade tram station displays 4 light bulbs which were originally the holders for the four electricity cables that ran along the old tram line. The green patch of grass that covers most of this road lies on top of the original tram tracks that led, in a straight line, directly north onto the Boulevarde along a route that led originally from Ashfield. It led along to Coronation Parade, and in the straight line passing what is now the Enfield War Memorial, it continued directly onto the Boulevarde to Strathfield train station. The road that is now used for motor traffic on Coronation Pde was the road that was built beside the original tram track until the main intersection where the road was then built over the tracks to become the Boulevarde.

Transport

Liverpool Road intersects with Coronation Parade and The Boulevarde at Enfield.

Three bus companies service the area. Sydney Buses provides six services:

  • 400 from Burwood to Bondi Junction via Enfield, Campsie and Sydney Airport
  • 462 & 464 from Ashfield to Mortlake via Enfield and Burwood
  • 466 from Ashfield to Cabarita via Enfield and Burwood
  • 480 & 483 from the City (Domain) to Strathfield via Enfield

Veolia Transport NSW operates two services, the 913 from Bankstown to Strathfield via Enfield and the 914 from Greenacre to Strathfield via Enfield. Punchbowl Bus Company operates one service, the 450, from Hurstville to Strathfield via Lakemba and Enfield.

Prior to the 1960s, there was a tramline which ran from Ashfield to Mortlake and Cabarita via Enfield and Burwood following the route of the modern day 462, 464 & 466 bus services.

People

Demographics

According to the 2001 census, Enfield had a population of 2,448. Like many neighbouring suburbs, it had a high migrant population with more than half the population speaking a language other than English at home. The most common languages were Italian (8.0%), Arabic (7.8%), Greek (6.1%), Cantonese (5.8%) and Korean (3.8%). There were 1,130 people in the labour force with the most common industries being business services (6.0%), health services (4.2%) and retailing (3.7%).

Notable residents

  • James Anderson (1894-1973): tennis player, Australian Open men's singles champion in 1922, 1924 & 1925.
  • Andrew Chan (1984-): Australian drug courier arrested in Bali in 2005 and later sentenced to death.
  • Gerry Hazlitt (1888-1915): Australian test cricketer (9 tests).
  • Norman 'Wizard' Smith (1890-1958): racing car driver and holder of the Australian land speed record in the 1930s.
  • Bob Windle (1944-): Australian swimmer, won the Olympic 1500 m gold at Tokyo in 1964.

References

External links

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