Stockton is a fascinating and interestingly very close suburb of Newcastle, but a 500 metre stretch of water (the Hunter River) has determined this small suburb is effectively an independant community and a long way from ‘town’. Stockton had its beginnings independently from Newcastle, and more importantly its own history born out of the Stockton Colliery. It is the only suburb of Newcastle that lies to the north.
Stockton was settled almost as soon as the foundation of Newcastle in 1797. But for much of the 19th century it served as an industrial and mining base. In 1896 tragedy struck the local colliery, in which a gas leak killed 11 people. It has become a working-class dormitory suburb during the 20th century, and remains so today for its 5000 residents. The reason for the name has not been ascertained.
Although a town with a million-dollar view, Stockton is proudly a working-class suburb. In recent years, however, the town has begun to re-invent itself with a push for young professionals to move in from other centres. Until now Stockton has not grown and there is some evidence of heritage priority.