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Originally the land of the Dharwal Aboriginal people, the suburb of Narellan began with a number of land grants made to prominent settlers during Governor Macquarie’s reign in the early 1800s when he was encouraging settlement on Sydney's western fringes. It is thought that Narellan takes its name from the property of noted explorer William Hovell whose 700 acre estate named 'Naralling' covered much of what is now the suburb of Narellan.
Surveyed for a village centre in the 1820s complete with a church, school, courthouse and lockup, by 1832 a licensed inn along with several sly grog shops on the village fringes were operating out of the fledgling village. Despite land allotments offered for sale in the 1840s, settlement in Narellan was scarce due to the popularity of nearby Camden, yet the area soon became a popular choice for the country estates of Sydney's elite, including the grand estates such as Studley Park and Camelot which still exist today. With the extension of a railway line linking the suburb with Camden and Campbelltown in 1882, the suburbs dairy farms, orchards and timber mill had access to a trade route which linked them to the Sydney Markets and greatly increased settlement in the suburb.
Narellan was still a primarily rural area in the early 1900s. A popular choice for heavy industry in the 1940s, a brickworks opened along with coal handling facilities which were transferred from Camden to Narellan in 1941 to process the coal from the Burragorang Valley mines. The coal industry transformed Narellan and by the 1970s it was one of the suburbs biggest employers encouraging significant housing development in the suburb. With the local coal industry transferred further west to facilities at Glenlee in the 1980s, Narellan’s position as an industry hub would be eclipsed by Camden and the unused land of Narellan became popular for housing development.
The Narellan Town Centre was developed in the 1990s, just in time for the housing boom which followed. As Sydney's urban sprawl continues to inch further west, land releases surrounding Narellan have seen new neighbouring suburbs such as Harrington Park and Narellan Vale established to accommodate the increasing population. With extensions of roads and community facilities and the industrial estates relegated to the neighbouring suburb of Studley Park, Narellan continues to grow its residential profile.