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The area which would become Castle Hill was originally gazetted as the site of the colony's first agricultural farms by Governor Phillip in 1791 and would become convict-worked farms to feed the new Sydney colony by 1801. With a significant working convict population, it is not surprising that Castle Hill would be the site of the colony's first major convict uprising. After a successful attempt at overtaking the town the previous night, on the morning of March the 5th 1804, 300 or so Irish convicts stationed at Castle Hill barracks started their march towards Sydney armed with rudimentary weapons. However, the password 'St Peter' had not been circulated to the other Irish convicts stationed in the colony and the Castle Hill rebels would be ultimately outnumbered by the New South Wales army Corps, eventually claiming lives of 15 Irish convicts.
Famed for its superb views, Castle Hill's first free settler was French nobleman Baron Verincourt de Clambe who came to Australia to escape the French revolution in 1802 and it is believed that the House he built on his land was referred to as 'The Castle', rendering the area Castle Hill. The town's farming heritage was continued with more settlers moving to the area to set up market gardens and orchards, with its orange orchards the key crop in the area. Today Castle Hill hosts an Orange Blossom Festival every year to commemorate the history of the town as a series of citrus orchards.
As the population of Sydney continued to grow, outer Sydney suburbs such as Castle Hill would become particularly attractive as residential suburbs. With the Parramatta tram line extended to Castle Hill in 1910 and the train line to replace it in 1923, several farming areas were quickly subdivided into smaller allotments. With post-war industrialisation, Castle Hill moved away from agriculture and towards manufacturing and service industries, as the residential profile of the suburb began to form.
Castle Hill is one of Sydney's fastest growing suburbs with a 15% population increase in the past decade as families have been drawn to the area by the suburb's prestigious private schools, retail centres and attractive real estate. Today, a typical Castle Hill resident is a high income professional who travels to nearby business districts such as Parramatta or Sydney for their work.
SSC11199: Castle Hill