Pymble, New South Wales
Sydney, New South Wales
Ku-ring-gai Town Hall, formerly the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
|• Density||1,625.5/km2 (4,210/sq mi)|
|Area||6.51 km2 (2.5 sq mi)|
|Location||16 km (10 mi) north-west of Sydney CBD|
Pymble is a suburb on the Upper North Shore of Sydney in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Pymble is 16 kilometres (10 mi) north-west of the Sydney Central Business District in the local government area of Ku-ring-gai Council.
Based on settlers' accounts the land that came to be known as Pymble was traversed by, and at least periodically inhabited by, what was by that time the "remains" of the Cammeraigal clan or tribe of the Kuringai (also known as Guringai) Aborigines. The Cammeraigal had occupied the land between the Lane Cove River, Hawkesbury and east to the coast. They would travel from grounds at Cowan Creek to the Parramatta River via Pymble - passing west through the land where Pymble Ladies' College now stands, through the Lane Cove Valley and North Ryde. En route they would reportedly hold corroborees at the current site of the Pymble Reservoir on Telegraph Rd and "camped on the hill...at the junction of Merrivale Rd and Selwyn St."  According to Robert Pymble II "the Aborigines had faded out by about 1856, mainly because of smallpox." 
Pymble is named after Robert Pymble (1776–1861), an influential early settler whose 1823 land grant comprised some 600 acres, around half the land of the region. The other half (plus a large part of St Ives) was granted to Daniel der Matthew's, another influential settler who established the first saw mill in the area.
The region was important to the early Sydney colony as a major supplier of timber for a wide variety of uses. The main timber varieties were blackbutt, stringybark, iron bark and blue gum. In later years it was also an important supplier of agricultural produce. It became widely known for the high quality of its produce and especially for its oranges which had been introduced to the area by Robert Pymble sometime around 1828 and which by later years were grown extensively throughout the region by numerous different growers following land sub-divisions.
Eventually agriculture and small farming gave way to residential development with residential sub-divisions commencing around 1879. The first bank - the Australian Joint Stock Bank - was established in 1888 in a then prominent house known as Grandview built on Pymble Hill ca 1883 by the son of local hotelier Richard Porter. Porter had opened the Gardener's Arms Hotel, also on Pymble Hill, in 1866. From this time the centre of commercial activity came to be at the top of the hill around the Pacific Highway and Bannockburn Road area, but with the railway station being located by necessity at the bottom of the hill development began to shift towards the new railway station at the foot of the hill. Pymble Post Office opened there on 6 August 1890.
Today Pymble is a predominantly residential area with tree-lined streets, many substantial homes and gardens, numerous parks, nature reserves, and active pockets of commercial activity.
Prominent landmarks include Pymble Station and Pymble Hill (Pacific Highway). The station is the centre of transport, shopping and social activities whilst Pymble Hill affords a view of the distant Chatswood skyline.
Significant buildings include:
- Ku-ring-gai Town Hall is situated at the top of Pymble Hill on the Pacific Highway. It was formerly the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, which was built in 1934, and is an example of the Inter-War Spanish Mission architectural style. Along with the presbytery next door it is heritage-listed (see below).
- Pymble Chapel (formerly Pymble Methodist Church), on the corner of Mona Vale Road and Bromley Avenue, was built in 1879. It was the second church built in Pymble and is the oldest remaining building in the suburb.
- St Swithun's Anglican Church, on Telegraph Road, was built circa 1938 and is an example of the Inter-War Gothic style. It is the only church in Australia named after St Swithun.
Significant houses include:
- Grandview is a two-storey, Georgian structure made of sandstone. It was built circa 1870 as a bank but is now used as a home. It has a federal heritage listing.
- Merrivale is a local stately home in the Regency style and is considered one of the finest examples of its kind in Ku-ring-gai. It has a state heritage listing.
- Coppins, sometimes known as the Eric Pratten house, was designed by Walter Burley Griffin and built circa 1936. It is one of three large houses designed by Griffin in Ku-ring-gai and is significant because most of his residential buildings were single-storey. It is an example of the Art Deco/Prairie style and has a state heritage listing.
- Macquarie Cottage, in Avon Road, was designed by William Hardy Wilson and built in 1918. It is considered a typical example of Wilson's work and has both state and federal heritage listings.
- Sacred Heart Presbytery is a two-storey house in the Federation Arts and Crafts style, with Gothic touches to the windows. It was built in 1907 and has a state heritage listing.
TransdevTSL buses operate route 579 from Pymble Station (departing Grandview St) to East Turramurra and also route 560 from Gordon Station to West Pymble.
There is a taxi stand on the eastern side of the station in Grandview Street.
- Grandview Street, adjacent to Pymble railway station
- Pacific Highway
- Bridge Street and West Street
- Pymble Ladies' College, an all-female, K to Y12 independent school
- Pymble Public School, a government primary school, located on Crown Road whose alumni includes actors Hugh Jackman and Chris Lilley
- Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Catholic Primary School (OLPS), a Catholic primary school, located in West Pymble
- Sacred Heart Pymble, a Catholic primary school
- Gordon West Public School, a government primary school, located in West Pymble (in a precinct formerly called West Gordon)
Parks and recreation
- Pymble Park is located on the eastern side of the railway behind the shops in Grandview Parade. This park features many large trees, tennis courts, an enclosed playground and amenities.
- Bannockburn Oval, located in Bannockburn Rd, is a large sports field catering to athletics, cricket, soccer, rugby and other sporting activities.
- The Pymble Soldiers Memorial, located on Mona Vale Rd, is a memorial park dedicated to lives lost in all wars featuring rose beds, formal terraces and a hilltop view.
- Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve on Mona Vale Road is one of the last remaining blue gum high forests in Sydney. Visitors can "escape from the busy rush of Sydney life with a walk among the majestic tall blue gums and blackbutts. Check out the large hollows in the tree trunks as they burst with colours of the beautiful native birds, such as king parrots, rosellas and lorikeets".
- There are also numerous untouched bush reserves which offer a taste of the original natural beauty of the region. Some include walking paths such as the Sheldon Forest track accessible via Warragal Road. "The track meanders through blue gum tall forest on the ridge tops, riparian forest along the creeks and open forest woodlands on the hill slopes. Sheldon Forest is of high conservation status because it contains some of the last remnants of the endangered ecological communities of Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest (STIF) and Blue Gum High Forest (BGHF)" 
- Robert Pymble
- Hon. Richard Hill MLC
- William Henry McKeown
- Duncan Carson
- Joan Hammond DBE CMG
- Errol Flynn, actor
- John Clive Ward, physicist
- John Newcombe, tennis player
- Hugh Jackman, actor
- Stirling Mortlock, Rugby Union player, former Australian Wallabies Captain
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Pymble (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- Gregory's Sydney Street Directory (Gregory's Publishing Company) 2007
- North Shore Sydney, Les Thorne, pg 39
- Ku-ring-gai Oral Histories, reprinted in "Focus on Ku-ring-gai", pg 13 "The Ku-ring-gai Tribe" by Dr J Kohen
- "Pymble" by Zany Edwards, 2010: http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/pymble
- "Old Pymble Town" by Max Farley, Ku-ring-ai Historical Society Newsletter, June 2009, pg. 4
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Sate Heritage Website
- The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p.2/33
- State Heritage Website
- State Heritage Website
- The Heritage of Australia, p.2/33
- State Heritage Website
- State Heritage Website
- NSW Government Office of Environment & Heritage website: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/nationalparks/parkHome.aspx?id=N0424
- Ku-ring-gai Council website: http://www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/www/html/1116-sheldon-forest-track.asp
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