Darlington, New South Wales

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SydneyNew South Wales
Darlington Royal Hotel.JPG
Royal Hotel, Darlington
Population 2,243 (2011 census)[1]
 • Density 4,486/km2 (11,620/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 2008
Area 0.5 km2 (0.2 sq mi)
Location 3 km (2 mi) south of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) City of Sydney
State electorate(s) Electoral district of Newtown
Federal Division(s) Grayndler, Sydney
Suburbs around Darlington:
Camperdown Chippendale Surry Hills
Newtown Darlington Redfern
Eveleigh Eveleigh Redfern

Darlington is a small, inner-city suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Darlington is located about 3 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district and is part of the local government area of the City of Sydney.


Darlington was part of the area first occupied by the Cadigal band of the Dharug people. The Cadigal people were decimated in the smallpox epidemic of 1789 and it is said only three Cadigal people were left by 1791. It is suggested that some Cadigal people may have escaped to the Concord area.[2]

In 1835 William Shepherd, a botanist, held about 28 acres (110,000 m2) in the area where he cultivated a nursery garden. He named it Darling Nursery, in honour of Governor Ralph Darling. At the time the Colony of New South Wales was governed under martial law and Ralph Darling has been infamously described as a tyrant renowned as a harsh military governor during his six-year tenure, that ended in October 1831. It was thought the suburb became known as Darlingtown (conjecture), which gradually was corrupted to Darlington. Street names such as Ivy, Vine, Rose, Pine and Myrtle may recall these nursery origins as described in the [3]

The suburb may have been named for William Vane, 3rd Earl of Darlington a well known British politician during the early years of the New South Wales Colony. The title Duke of Cleveland was created for the second time in 1833 for William Vane. Cleveland Street is the suburb's northern border and a remains major traffic thoroughfare for the City of Sydney. The names Darlington and Cleveland were writ large in the colony's political discourse and both predate the establishment of Mr Shepherd's nursery.


Although Darlington is small in area it can be split into a number of subdivisions including the Golden Grove locality. Much of the western half of the suburb has become part of the campus of the University of Sydney while the south-west and the east has continued as private housing. Students from Sydney University and the nearby University of Technology reside here but due to its central Sydney location, access to facilities, and attractive terraces, homes in the suburb are increasingly sought after by higher paid workers and families. Darlington is bordered by City Road to the west, Cleveland Street to the north and the railway to the south and east. A small group of shops is located on Abercrombie Street.


Most of Darlington is built on the terrace model in which rows of attached, two storey terrace houses face one another across the street. Behind the houses there is often a back lane running parallel with the street. The lanes were once known as 'dunny lanes' because before the introduction of the sewerage system they were used to provide access – by 'sani-men' or human waste collectors – to pan toilets sited near the rear boundary of each property. The back lanes are now used for garbage collection and for car access to garages or parking spaces at the rear of properties. The street-lane system affords raked varigated views on both sides, with back yards much cultivated by gardeners, and to a lesser extent the much smaller front yards where they exist.

On the Darlington side of the railway line near Redfern Station is The Block, a housing area around Eveleigh Street, owned by the Aboriginal community. The Block is an enclave of Darlington's neighbouring suburb of Redfern. Around the 1940s The Royal Hotel Darlington was owned by wealthy businessman Michael Thomas Reid, originally from Yass. Reid owned at least three more prominent hotels in New South Wales around that time.


Carriageworks entrance

Darlington was once a suburb of the industrial working class. In the decades after World War II, Darlington saw the establishment of Greek and other immigrant communities. It also became a student dormitory due to its proximity to the University of Sydney and UTS (formerly the NSW Institute of Technology). A large part of Darlington has been subsumed by Sydney University which began acquiring and demolishing houses in the 1960s in order to expand its campus. Over the years, a good deal of Darlington's architectural heritage and character has been sacrificed to the demands of Sydney University and the remaining houses close to the University – such as those on or near Abercrombie and Shepherd Streets – are to some degree affected by University activities. The Old Darlington School, a distinctive 19th century building, has been preserved within Sydney University's Darlington Campus and is used by the Music Department, especially the gamelan group.

All the records held by the old Darlington municipal council have been lost, making research of the suburb's history and architecture a challenge.

The former railway carriage workshops in Eveleigh Railway Yards is now Carriageworks, a centre for the nurturing, development and presentation of contemporary arts. It is located off Wilson Street and is part of the adjacent suburb of Eveleigh.[4] Carriageworks contains theatre, rehearsal and workshop spaces, a gallery and other facilities.

The former blacksmiths' sheds alongside Carriageworks is used for the Eveleigh Markets, held every Saturday.


Darlington is served by buses on the City Road and Cleveland Street routes and the railway stations at Redfern and Macdonaldtown.




According to the 2011 census, there were 2,243 residents in Darlington. The population was younger than the Australian average, with a median age of 28 years old. In Darlington, 56.7% of people were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were China 4.2%, England 3.8% and New Zealand 2.9%. The most common responses for religion in Darlington were No Religion 48.1%, Catholic 13.8%, Anglican 5.8%, Buddhism 4.5% and Islam 2.0%.[1]

Notable residents[edit]

  • Alfred Shout VC
  • Cliff Lyoff Amadio (saxophonist and clarinettist) [5]
  • Frank Burge (Rugby League footballer) [6]
  • John Edward Ward (Politician in the Labor Party) [7]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Darlington (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Heiss, Anita Barani; Indigenous history of Sydney city City of Sydney
  3. ^ The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 81
  4. ^ http://www.carriageworks.com.au/index.php
  5. ^ Westlake, Donald (2006–2015). "Australian Dictionary Of Biography". Browsing birth town: Darlington, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Australian National University. Retrieved 2015-03-30. 
  6. ^ Cocoran, Christine (1993). "Australian Dictionary of Biography". Frank Burge. Australian National University. Retrieved 2015-03-30. 
  7. ^ McMullin, Ross (2002). "Australian Dictionary of Biography". Ward, Edward John (Eddie) (1899-1963). Australian National University. Retrieved 2015-03-30. 

Coordinates: 33°53′25″S 151°11′48″E / 33.890334°S 151.19661°E / -33.890334; 151.19661