Penrith is the last (or first) of the five ‘identity’ towns of Sydney; the others being Windsor, Richmond, Parramatta and Campbelltown. Perhaps because of history these towns have never believed they are part of the burbs of Sydney. Quite amazing really. But Penrith has succumbed totally to the developer hammer. Don’t look for any heritage here. If there is heritage, that will have come by accident.

Penrith was named after the town of Penrith in England. One theory is that in the early days, development in Penrith was entirely on one road, like the English Penrith, and someone familiar with both spotted the similarity and suggested the name. The earliest known written reference to the name Penrith dates back to 1819.

Watkin Tench was the first British explorer to visit the area in 1789 and named the Nepean River after Lord Evan Nepean. Initial settlement in the area was unplanned but substantial enough for a courthouse to be established in 1817. (since demolished). There are a few old buildings.

The post office was established in 1828, the Anglican Church, St Stephens, was built in 1844. Really impressive. Then followed by the Catholic Church, St Nicholas of Myra, in 1850. (since demolished) The United is a modern building.

The first bridge was opened over the Nepean in 1856 and was washed away the following year in a flood. The railway line was extended to Penrith in 1863, a school was established in 1865 and in 1871 the area became a municipality.

The War Memorial is being upgraded and being renamed to Memory Park (this is typical in Penrith)

The Museum of Fire has no central signage and unfortunately missed. The Printing Museum is within the trotting track.

A couple of traditional pubs have survived, and this is great to note.

There is no need for the traveler to visit Penrith; but that said a look at the finished War Memorial (sorry Memory Park) may be worth the effort.

Heritage diary



  Fireplace Dump Station
General Store Bottled Gas
Internet Caravan
Camping   4WD
Kitchen Facilities Disabled access
Laundry Toilets
Campervans Accommodation
Meals   Airport
Pets Allowed Boat Ramp
Telephone Picnic Area
Roadside Rest Area Electricity
Scenic Swimming
Tap water   Thermal Area
Stream Water   Walking tracks
Rotary Club Lions Club
Gymnasium   Gardens
  Winery Whitewater Rafting
  Surfing   Skydiving
  Skiing   Scenic Flights
Postal Service Police
Movie Location   Mountain Biking
Kayaking Jet Boating
Information Hospital
  Hang Gliding Golf Course