Ashfield, New South Wales

From Academic Kids

Ashfield (pop.39,000) is a Local Government Area (Municipality of Ashfield) and suburb of Sydney, Australia. It lies approximately 10 kilometres west of the central business district.

Demographically, Ashfield features considerable ethnic diversity, with approximately 51% of residents born outside of Australia. This is evidenced by the preponderance of Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese shops and businesses located along the main artery of Liverpool Road.

The municipality comprises Ashfield, Summer Hill, Haberfield, and parts of Croydon, Hurlstone Park and Ashbury. Housing is characterised equally by a mixture of 'grand Victorian' and Federation-era freestanding homes, and post-war medium-density unit dwellings ('flats' in Australian parlance).



Ashfield is a middle-class suburb, with a mixture of transient residents (who tend to live in rental units), and longer-term residents (who tend to like the architecture, closeness to the city, and the quality of the public transport).

History of Ashfield

The current suburb of Ashfield has the same boundaries now as when it was incorporated in 1872. Ashfield became a fashionable suburb in the late 19th century, when many people moved from the Eastern Suburbs, to the supposedly drier climate of Ashfield.

From 1890s to 1948 a tram service operated to Ashfield. The trams were originally powered by steam, but were electrified in 1910. Subdivision for gardens and housing occurred mostly in the 1920s and 30s. In the middle decades of the twentieth century, when Ashfield was in the Sydney bible belt, the Exclusive Brethren had their Sydney headquarters in Orchard Crescent, Ashfield. After World War II there was an increasing construction of rental units.

Notable citizens

The following notable people were born or lived in Ashfield:

  • Frederick Clissold : businessman and wealthiest citizen of the municipality in the late 19th century. Co-founder of the Canterbury Racecourse. Owned Glentworth mansion.
  • George Watson: Proprietor of "The Advertiser" local newspaper from 1888-1908. Alderman and later mayor.
  • Richard Baker (1854-1941): Curator/Director of the Technological Museum in Ultimo (now known as the Powerhouse Museum). Live in Ashfield for 30 years in a house named "eudesmia", which still stands. Proponent of the decorative use of the Waratah in the logos and symbols.
  • Daphne Cozens (1903-1933): Educated at Normanhurst Schools. Diploma from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Music Teacher. Winner of NSW lawn tennis association championships. Went on first overseas tennis tour of Australian women in 1925.
  • Evelyn Tildersley (1882-1976): School teacher, principal of Normanhurst School from 1913 to 1925, when she was appointed acting principal of the women's college at the University of Sydney. Awarded MBE in 1950.
  • Major General Gustave Ramaciotti (1862-1927): Owned the Theatre Royal property by the corners of King and Castlereagh Streets. Was a base commander during World War 1, from 1915-1917. Retired in 1917 and was appointed C.M.G.
  • Doctor John Koch (1835-1914): Timber miller, brick-maker, philanthropist. Supporter of the Presbyterian church, colonel in the militia.
  • Frederick Whinchcombe: Wool broker and MP, alderman on Ashfield Council.
  • Herbert Pratten (1865-1928): Jam maker, alderman, mayor. Elected to senate in 1917, House of Representatives in 1921, Federal Minister for Trade and Customs from 1923-1928.
  • Rose Payton (1879-1951): Student at Normanhurst School, NSW lawn tennis lady champion 1900-1907.
  • Louise Taplin (1859-1901): Matron of The Infants Home Ashfield until her death in 1901. Lead the home through the 1890s depression.


The railway station was opened in 1855, as part of the original New South Wales Railways Sydney to Parramatta rail line. Ashfield and the Eastern Suburbs together are said to have the best public transport in Sydney, as Ashfield is serviced by both bus (with many feeder bus routes to the railway station), and by rail. Ashfield is located close to Liverpool Road and Parramatta Road, and so is well served by road. Unfortunately Liverpool Road is often congested as it passes through Ashfield.

Local landmarks

  • Ashfield Park is one of the finest urban landscapes in Sydney; Features big phoenix palms.
  • Clock tower on the Peak Freen biscuit factory (now Bunnings Warehouse).
  • Tower on Norman Self's Amesbury in Alt Street.
  • The Water tank adjacent to Peace Part in South Ashfield.
  • St Vincent's Catholic Church. A substantial and highly dramatic church, built over the period 1895-1907. Designed by Catholic Architects Sheenin and Hennessy.


Local political issues include:

  • A local heritage movement exists which opposes further development of multi-unit dwellings.


  • Sheena and Robert Coupe - Speed the Plough
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics, POA2131 2131 (Postal Area) (

External links


Regions of Sydney
Eastern Suburbs | Hills District | Inner West | Northern Beaches | North Shore | Southern Sydney | South-western Sydney | Western Sydney
Local Government Areas of Sydney
Ashfield | Auburn | Bankstown | Baulkham Hills | Blacktown | Botany Bay | Burwood | Camden | Campbelltown | Canterbury | Canada Bay | Fairfield | Holroyd | Hornsby | Hunter's Hill | Hurstville | Kogarah | Ku-ring-gai | Lane Cove | Leichhardt | Liverpool | Manly | Marrickville | Mosman | North Sydney | Parramatta | Penrith | Pittwater | Randwick | Rockdale | Ryde | Strathfield | Sutherland | City of Sydney | Warringah | Waverley | Willoughby | Woollahra
List of Sydney suburbs edit box (

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