Prospect, New South Wales
Sydney, New South Wales
The Prospect Reservoir at sunset
|Location||32 km (20 mi) west of Sydney CBD|
|LGA(s)||City of Blacktown|
Prospect is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Prospect is located 32 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the City of Blacktown and is part of the Greater Western Sydney region.
The suburb of Prospect takes its name from the prominent nearby landmark of Prospect Hill - from the top of which people could get a prospect of (see a great distance) the surrounding countryside. Initially a settlement for emancipated convicts, it later became a village. The old parish of Prospect included much of the present City of Blacktown stretching from Quakers Hill in the north to Prospect Creek in the south and from Eastern Creek in the west to Old Windsor Road in the east. 
Since colonisation, settlers cleared larger areas of land to raise livestock, build churches, inns, schools, shops and a large reservoir. The quarrying of blue metal was abundant in the area. Quarrying companies gradually took over more and more of Prospect Hill, mining the dolerite for use as roadstone until it was almost all gone and much of the hill with it. Naturalist Charles Darwin visited Prospect in 1832 to observe the geology, as mentioned in his book, The Voyage of the Beagle.
There are three sporting teams in the area; Prospect United Soccer Club, Prospect Rovers Rugby league and the Prospect Tennis Association.
Prior to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, Prospect was inhabited by different groups of the Darug people including the Warmuli. The Aboriginals were of the woods culture. They hunted, harvested berries and roots which grew in the bush as their ancestors had done for thousands of years. They used fire to control the understory so that they could roam more freely around their area. As European settlement expanded, the aboriginal people' ability to pursue their traditional lifestyle, which was already severely limited, disappeared. Prospect Hill had been the frontier, which was the first, and perhaps, only area where large scale organised resistance by aboriginal people took place.
In the late 1780s, the Sydney Cove proved to be an unpromising ground for the growing of crops or the raising of cattle, it very soon became urgent that better land be found. Prospect Hill, which is about 30 kilometres (19 miles) west of the Sydney Cove settlement, was featured prominently in the early history of New South Wales. It seems likely that Lieutenant Watkin Tench named Prospect Hill. Both from Philip Gidley King's description of his walk with Arthur Phillip in April 1790 is the knowledge of Prospect Hill and the use of its name had become established within the community of British colonists by April 1790. In July 1791, thirteen grants of land at Prospect were made to emancipated convicts. In January 1794 David Collins reported that the Prospect Hill farmers were the most productive in the colony.
Prospect became the boundary between colonists and indigenous Australians. In April 1793 a group of Aboriginals wounded and robbed a convict who was delivering provisions from Parramatta to a settler at Prospect Hill. Hostility grew until by 1797, where a state of guerrilla warfare existed between indigenous people and the settler communities at Prospect and Parramatta. The aboriginal people were led by their leader, Pemulwuy, a member of the Bidjigal tribe who occupied the land. He had reportedly been responsible for the death of Governor Phillip's gamekeeper John McEntire in November 1790. Pemulwuy was the main leader of raids against the colony in the 1790s. In 1797 the war escalated; his guerrillas started regular raids on settlements in the Parramatta and Prospect Hill areas. British military expeditions failed to locate and capture Pemulwuy.
Shortly after 1808, William Lawson was appointed aide-de-camp to George Johnston, was granted 500 acres (2.0 km2) at Prospect and built a large house there, which he named Veteran Hall. He died on the property on 16 June 1850 and it was eventually acquired by the Metropolitan Water Board. In the 1880s most of the property was submerged in what is now Prospect reservoir.
The Prospect quarry is formed by an intrusion of dolerite rock into Ashfield Shale. At least seven different rock types occur in the intrusion. Roads were paved with grey dolerite from Prospect Hill as early as the 1820s. By the end of World War II, the quarries closed down except for two that had the best class of basalt. In 1951, a hot mix bitumen plant called Bituminous Pavements was being established at Prospect. The Emu and Prospect Gravel and Road Metal Company Limited opened a private railway line from Toongabbie to Prospect Quarry on 7 April 1902. Following the inability of the Government railway to supply rail wagons, trains stopped running on the line in 1945, however the rails remained in site until the early 1960s. Meanwhile, in 1930, two-million tonnes of stone were extracted. There are have been plans to close down the quarry and turn the 330ha site into half light industrial, half housing and open space, with the transition expected to be completed by 2013. 
In 1820s, Peter Cunningham described the country west of Parramatta and Liverpool as "a fine timbered country, perfectly clear of bush, through which you might, generally speaking, drive a gig in all directions, without any impediment in the shape of rocks, scrubs, or close forest". This confirmed earlier accounts by Governor Phillip, who suggested that the trees were "growing at a distance of some twenty to forty feet from each other, and in general entirely free from brushwood..." It is clear that it was primarily Aboriginal burning practices which maintained an open environment dominated by well spaced trees and grass.
Philip Gidley King mentions that the landscape of Prospect is "a very pleasant tract of country, which, from the distance the trees grew from each other, and the gentle hills and dales, and rising slopes covered with grass, appeared like a vast park. The soil from Rose Hill to Prospect-Hill is nearly alike, being a loam and clay." The tree cover was mainly the eucalypts, grey box and forest red gum. Spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) is also known to have occurred in the Prospect area.
Prospect has a warm temperate climate. Summer weather may be humid or dry, though mostly comfortable. Although fair amount of rain is spread throughout the year, late winter and early spring are fairly dry, whilst late summer through to early winter are relatively wet. Prospect is usually a few degrees warmer than the Sydney CBD on summer days and a few degrees cooler on winter nights. There could be a temperature differential of 5 degrees Celsius in summer due to sea breezes in the City that don't penetrate inland. In extreme cases there could also be a 10 degrees differential.
|Climate data for Prospect Reservoir|
|Record high °C (°F)||45.1
|Average high °C (°F)||28.4
|Average low °C (°F)||17.7
|Record low °C (°F)||10.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||94.4
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2mm)||10.7||10.7||10.9||9.4||9.0||9.5||7.8||7.9||8.4||9.4||9.6||9.9||113.2|
- Prospect Hill, though no longer in Prospect, is visible from many locations in the suburb. It is a noticeable landmark of historical importance in the early settlement history of New South Wales and the suburb takes its name from the hill. The hill is composed entirely of dolerite intruded into the Sydney Basin rocks during the Jurassic period.
- Prospect reservoir, located in the Western Sydney Regional Park, is a water storage reservoir located at the headwaters of Prospect Creek. Surrounding the Reservoir, there are recreational picnic areas, playgrounds, public parking and shelters.
- St Bartholomew's Church of England is a brick church with a cemetery that contains the tomb of Lieutenant William Lawson and the graves of a number of pioneering families. It is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
- Wet'n'Wild Sydney, a large water park, is located in Prospect. It was opened on 12 December 2013.
- Hylands Inn - Located at Hylands Road, in the 1880s, this later became the family home and dairy farm of Luke Hyland. Westway now uses the building as a youth centre. Holroyd Council donated the land and the Westway organization restored the building. This was one of five hotels operating during the construction of the Reservoir. Others were The Fox under the Hill, The Prospect Inn and Buckett’s Hotel.
- Royal Cricketers Arms - Built in 1877, the hotel is one of the few remaining roadside inns that were on The Great Western Highway between Sydney and Bathurst, as well as being one of the last remaining buildings of the Prospect Village. This building is of Victorian and Georgian design, being a two-storey brick and timber building set on a random rubble foundation stone wall on a sloping site.
Blacktown railway station provides access to the Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink networks, especially Sydney Trains' North Shore, Northern & Western Line. Several bus companies offer connecting services between Prospect and Blacktown, via Blacktown Road.
According to the 2011 census, the most common ancestries in Prospect were Australian 20.0%, English 16.1%, Maltese 6.2%, Irish 5.0% and Indian 4.6%. 62.0% of people were born in Australia. The other most common countries of birth were Fiji 3.0%, Philippines 2.8%, India 2.5%, Malta 2.3% and England 1.9%. 35.3% of people had both parents born in Australia and 53.1% of people had both parents born overseas.
Notable people who have resided in the suburb include:
- Natasha Crofts - Australian Mother of the Year in 2007
- Ryan, R.J., Land Grants 1788-1809, Australian Documents Library, Sydney, 1981
- Crittenden, V., On the track of Watkin Tench in MARGIN: Life & Letters in Early Australia, July-August 2003 issue.
- Parish of Prospect, County of Cumberland (cartographic material): New South Wales. Department of Lands. 1930. MAP G8971.G46 svar (Copy 1)
- Jones, R., Firestick farming in Australian Natural History, 16, (September 1969), pp 224-228
- England, B.M., Minerals of the Prospect Intrusion, New South Wales, Australia, in The Mineralogical Record 1994
- Darwin, C.R., Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836, describing their examination of the southern shores of South America, and the Beagle's circumnavigation of the globe. Journal and remarks. 1832-1836, Henry Colburn, London, 1839.
- Flynn, M., Holroyd History and the Silent Boundary Project, Holroyd City Council, August 1997.
- Caley, G., (Currey, C., ed.) Reflections on the Colony of NSW, Landsdowne Press, Melbourne, 1966.
- Tench, W., A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson in New South Wales, London, G. Nicol and J. Sewell, 1793.
- Britton (ed), Governor Phillip to Lord Sydney 15th May 1788 in Historical Records of New South Wales Vol 1 Part 2: Phillip 1783-1792, Sydney, 1892.
- Willey, K., When the sky fell down : the destruction of the tribes of the Sydney region, 1788-1850s, Collins, Sydney, 1979
- Collins, D., An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 1, Cadell and Davies, London, 1798.
- although Veteran Hall itself was well above the water level. In 1912 it was used by the army and many of the larger rooms subdivided, giving rise to a myth that it had been a "forty-roomed mansion" in Lawson's time. The house was demolished in 1926. E. W. Dunlop. "Lawson, William (1774 - 1850)". Australian Dictionary of Biography, online edition. Australian National University. Retrieved 29 August 2006.
- Sydney's Forgotten Quarry Railways - Oakes, John pp9-27 ISBN 0-9757870-3-9
- Kohen, J., The Impact of Fire: An Historical Perspective, in Australian Plants Online, Society for Growing Australian Plants, September 1996
- Jones, R., Mindjongork: Legacy of the firestick, Australian National University, 1995.
- "Climate statistics for Prospect Reservoir". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p. 2/12
- AAP (11 September 2010). "Keneally touts $80m water theme park". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Prospect, New South Wales.|
- The Prospect Heritage Trust Inc - local historical society web site