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Traditionally home to the Wallumedegal Aboriginal people, the land surrounding the area which would become the suburb of Epping was first settled in 1792 when Governor Phillip rewarded 8 marines with land grants in the area. This led to the area being called Field of Mars, linking the Roman God of War to the town's military land owners. The Field of Mars would end up referring to a large common on which local farmers could graze their cattle and the village of Epping would be formed on its edge.
The impetus to name this leafy area would come following the extension of the railway through the area towards Hornsby in 1886 and following extensive discussion local land owner William Midson suggesting Epping in honour of Epping Forest near his family's home town in England. Epping railway station was officially opened in 1899 as a single island platform and would continue to expand over the following years. It is now a major stop for inter-city trains linking Sydney and the Central Coast towns of Gosford and Woy Woy and was most recently chosen as the destination station of the Epping to Chatswood railway line which links the residential areas with the suburb's significant Technology Parks and Macquarie University, cementing the suburb's profile as a major transport hub.
The small land allotments initially granted to settlers when the land was subdivided in the mid 1800s were perfect for orchards and attracted a high population of Chinese market gardeners many of whom settled in the suburb following the gold rush of the 1850s. Today Epping has one of the biggest Chinese communities in Sydney, a fact which is reflected in the proliferation of Chinese retail and food businesses in the Epping shopping village. The suburb of Epping crosses several different city and shire boundaries, with Hornsby shire, Ryde City and Parramatta City all claiming corners of the suburb.