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The western Sydney suburb of Quakers Hill was originally part of four major land grants made in the early 1800s to prominent Sydney families including Sydney surgeon Major West who named his farm Quakers Hill. These large acreages were primarily used for cattle grazing and crops, with the forested areas attracting a small community of timber getters. When the railway line was extended through the suburb towards Richmond in 1863, the Douglas sawmill would make good use of the line and the station would be known as the Douglas Siding until the early 1900s when the suburb was formerly named.
With the railway bringing new growth in the area, the early 1900s saw the larger allotments subdivided into smaller blocks, suitable for market gardens or poultry farming, both of which were popular choices as settlement in the area continued. The 1910s and 1920s signalled a boom time for Quakers Hill with a commercial centre to the town developing around the railway station, including several goods stores and churches and schools being built to accommodate the suburbs growing population.
Landowner Joseph Pye, on whose property the railway station had originally been built, had a great deal of his property resumed by the Government during World War II in order to build an Aerodrome and training centre. Occupied by the British Navy Air Arm during the war, the complex would continue to be used by the Australian Navy Training Base until 1995 when the site was redeveloped to form the Nirimba Education Precinct including a number of secondary schools, a TAFE campus and the Blacktown campus of the University of Western Sydney.
Some poultry farming and market gardening remain in Quakers Hill today and the suburb’s commercial centre which centres on the railway station has continued to expand to include several shopping centres since the suburb underwent significant redevelopment in the 1980s. Despite a few rural pockets, Quakers Hill is primarily residential and with the urban sprawl of Sydney continuing to spread west of the city, Quakers Hill is one of several Western Sydney suburbs which continue to experience new residential development.
Quakers Hill is colloquially known as Quakers.
SSC11825: Quakers Hill