Culture and Heritage
Fairfield City has a rich multicultural history with more than 50% of its 200,000 residents having been born overseas and close to 75% speaking a language other than English. This multicultural identity has helped shape the City's growth and is reflected in a number of the City's heritage attractions.
Fairfield city centre
Fairfield was established in 1807 and the station, built in 1856, is the oldest surviving railway building in NSW. Fairfield was engulfed by Sydney's suburban sprawl in the 1950s following large post-World War II migration, predominantly from Europe and South America, then later the Middle East and Asia. Starting at Fairfield station, visitors can take in an array of historic sites including picture palaces, an old fire station, the School of Arts building, currently occupied by Powerhouse Youth Theatre, The Crescent Plaza history wall and memorial arches at the entrance of Honour Avenue in nearby Fairfield Park.
Bonnyrigg town centre
Representing a suburb affectionally known as having "all the world in one place", Bibby's Place in Bonnyrigg features several places of worship along one local street which include a mosque, Presbyterian church and Buddhist temple. Follow the Spirit of Bonnyrigg Walk with family in tow and you'll traverse Bonnyrigg Park's Bush Tucker path, wetlands and pass by several other local cultural sites which warmly welcome visitors to explore their practices.
Cabramatta town centre
The Cabramatta township began to grow in the early 1800s, with its name taken from a nearby property. It became engulfed by Sydney's 1950s sprawl westwards and migration in the 1950s-70s shaped the new suburb's large South East Asian identity. This rich cultural heritage is reflected in the City's shopfronts and retail offerings, as well as the landmark Pai Lau gate in Freedom Plaza, opened in 1991 during Chinese New Year celebrations to symbolise multicultural harmony. Other historic attractions within the town centre include the bandstand in Cabravale Memorial Park, numerous churches and temples, the Harry Seidler-designed Whitlam Library and artwork at Gough Whitlam Place.
Bland Oak tree
Carramar's Bland Oak tree dates back at least 150 years when it was planted by Dr William Bland, a former convict and later a politician, surgeon, farmer and inventor. The trunk was split during a violent storm in 1930 and scattered wood was collected and carved into the Mayoral chair, which is currently housed at Fairfield City Museum & Gallery. The beautiful oak survived and grew in a unique shape that spans more than 30 metres. The tree is an important symbol of the City's history and is included on the City of Fairfield's coat of arms.
Location: Oakdene Park, Carramar
Fairfield City Museum & Gallery
The award-winning Fairfield City Museum & Gallery showcases the diverse cultural heritage of Fairfield City with an extensive program of exhibitions and activities catering for the whole community.
Location: 634 The Horsley Drive, Smithfield
Contact: 02 9725 0190
Horsley Homestead stands on part of Colonel George Johnston’s 2,000 acre land grant received in 1805 from Governor King for Johnston’s part in quelling an Irish convict uprising at Vinegar Hill in 1804. After Johnston’s death in 1823, his youngest daughter, Blanche, inherited the property, known as ‘King’s Gift’. Blanche married Captain George Edward Nicholas Weston, who had served in the British army and as a judge in India. With the help of convict labourers, George and Blanche Weston built their large hipped-roofed bungalow that emulated the style of Indian colonial architecture and the life Weston had experienced in India. The house was named “Horsley” after Captain Weston’s family home, West Horsley Place, near Ripley in Surrey, England.
Nestled between majestic Morton Bay Fig trees, the purple of Jacaranda trees and paddocks of cows, and occasionally, horses, the Homestead is situated on a country farm, offering breathtaking vistas of the Blue Mountains. Surrounding the Homestead are lush green paddocks with free-roaming cows, as well as an array of heritage-listed cottages and stables, which offer many perfect photo backdrops for weddings and special events. Horsley Homestead is a privately-owned estate and is open for inspection upon request only.
Location: Horsley Park
Contact: 0412 073 045
The historic Lansdowne Bridge, which crosses Prospect Creek in Lansvale, was completed in 1836. The sandstone arch has the largest span of any surviving masonry bridge in Australia, making it a great example of Sydney's remaining colonial architecture. The southern truss of the Hume Highway crossing, next to the historic bridge, sits adjacent to Lansvale Park, with a children's playground that features a fun bike track with road markings, speed humps, a post box, service station and other fun parts for children to scoot or bike.
Location: Hume Highway, Lansvale