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The History of Darling Point

The history of Darling Point is as interesting, entertaining and carried as the lives of those who have lived here. In the 1830’s its proximity to the first settlements, it’s attractive foreshores and trees drew successful business and professional men to the area.  Prior to the building of New South Head Road in 1831, its isolation and thick bush on the dark peninsula was a retreat, den and hunting ground for all sorts of undesirables, thieves, escaped convicts, wood cutters who stripped the ridge of trees) and surviving members of the Kadigal and Birrabirragal people lived in Yaranabbe.

However, between 1833 and 1838 the aboriginal name Yaranabbe was dropped and Mrs Darling’s Point gradually became Darling Point. This was a suitable address for the Holts, Mitchells, Morts, Smarts, Smiths, and Horderns. The land was surveyed, reserved and sold in allotments.

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Mrs Darling Point sketch

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McInness - Miss Collins


A F Smart

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Edmund Herring

John Longstaff

Homes on the northwest side of the point overlooked the Valley of Lacrozia (Rushcutters Bay), a valley having “the appearance of a dark dense forest, immense mahogany trees, blackbutt….  and a large number of cabbage trees”.

Rushcutters Bay was a swamp swarming with aquatic birds of every description but, in 1878 tenders were called for construction of a dyke. Shoreline reclamation began and the blocks became more attractive, even at the colossal price of one hundred pounds each.

Between 1890 and 1907, 40 new allotments were released in Carthona Road and Sutherland Crescent and reclamation of Rushcutters Bay lead to a release and auction of many more lot. By the early 1920’s there were additional streets and battle-axe blocks, a street pattern emerged and development intensified.

In the 1950’s and 60’s the trend towards high density high rise unit blocks began with “Glenhurst” the largest home unit building in Australia at that time. By the 1980’s and 90’s higher blocks of luxury apartments  proliferated close to the water and changed the contour of the ridge significantly.

The only church St Mark’s Anglican Church with its 1870 spire and 1862 peal of bells is still a popular location for society and media weddings and funerals.

Recreational areas McKell Park, the site of Cannonbury” and “Landsdowne”  and Yarranabbe Park with adjoining Sir David Martin Reserve are enjoyed by all ages.

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