Wednesday 17 September 2014


Camelot (formerly Kirkham) (Camden Images)
Kirkham is a picturesque, semi-rural locality on Sydney's rural-urban fringe between the historic township of Camden, with its inter-war and colonial heritage and the bustling commercial centre of Narellan.

Sydney rural-urban fringe

The arrival of the rural-urban fringe at Kirkham in recent decades has created a contested site of tension and constant change, resulting in an ever-evolving landscape. Successive waves of occupants have created their own stories, heroes and icons through a reinterpretation of history and heritage.

Rural aesthetic

The most recent newcomers have taken ownership of Kirkham's identity, assisted by developer-created exclusivity and the locality's rural aesthetic. The physical landscape of Kirkham is dominated by a bucolic scene provided by the valley of Narellan Creek.

Colonial heritage

John Oxley (1784–1828) was granted 1,000 acres by Lieutenant-Governor William Paterson, which he had to surrender in 1810. Governor Macquarie subsequently granted Oxley 600 acres, which was increased to 1,000 acres in 1815. The grant was named Kirkham after Oxley's birthplace, Kirkham Abbey in Yorkshire, and had frontages on the Great Southern Road and the Nepean River.There are two heritage icons from the colonial period: Kirkham Stables and Kirkham homestead (Camelot).

Main road

The main road passing through Kirkham is the Camden Valley Way which was known as the Great South Road until 1928 when it was renamed the Hume Highway.

Pansy, Camden-Campbelltown train (Camden Images)

Pansy, the Camden tram

 The route of the railway ran alongside the Great South Road through Kirkham between Camden and Narellan and was a prominent cultural feature on the landscape. Kirkham Railway Station, which was one of nine stations located on the railway.

Yamba Cottage, Kirkham c 1920 (Camden Images)

Yamba cottage

Historic Yamba cottage fronts Camden Valley Way (formerly the Hume Highway) and has been a contested as a site of significant local heritage. The building, a Federation style weatherboard cottage, became a touchstone and cause celebre around the preservation and conservation of local domestic architecture.

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