Ashbury, New South Wales

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SydneyNew South Wales
Ashbury Peace Park.JPG
Peace Park
Ashbury is located in New South Wales
Coordinates 33°54′11″S 151°06′59″E / 33.90306°S 151.11639°E / -33.90306; 151.11639Coordinates: 33°54′11″S 151°06′59″E / 33.90306°S 151.11639°E / -33.90306; 151.11639
Population 3,329 (2016 census)[1]
Established 1919
Postcode(s) 2193
Location 9 km (6 mi) inner-west of Sydney CBD
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)
Suburbs around Ashbury:
Croydon Ashfield Summer Hill
Croydon Park Ashbury Dulwich Hill
Campsie Canterbury Hurlstone Park
NASA image of Sydney's CBD and inner west suburbs, with borders of Ashbury shown in orange
St. Matthew's Anglican Church

Ashbury is a suburb in the Inner West of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It lies in the local government area of Canterbury-Bankstown Council[2] with some areas in the Inner West Council[3] and is about 10 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district. The postcode is 2193, the same as neighbouring Canterbury.

Ashbury is mostly residential and has no commercial centre, although there are a few shops on King Street. Its major landmark is Peace Park, the highest point in the Canterbury local government area. Ashbury derived its name from the two neighbouring suburbs Ashfield and Canterbury. It is near Canterbury Park Racecourse.


Before the British colony at Sydney, the Ashbury area was home to the Wangal and Cadigal people, clans of the Darug tribe. After pressure from colonists, the British administration began subdividing land in the area surrounding the Sydney settlement and granting it to colonists. The first land grant in the area was 100 acres (40 ha) made to Reverend Richard Johnson (1753-1827), the colony's first chaplain.[4]

The land that extended over Ashbury was known as Canterbury Vale. When it was sold to Lieutenant William Cox in 1800, it covered 600 acres (240 ha). It was then sold to Robert Campbell (1769–1846) in 1803 when it covered 900 acres (360 ha) and then proceeded to purchase more land to Liverpool Road. The estate passed onto his son-in-law Arthur Jefferey and was eventually split up. This area then became known as Goodlet's Bush, after an early settler, John Hay Goodlet. In 1878 Goodlet had bought Canterbury House, which had been built by Arthur Jeffreys.[5]

The South Ashfield Brickworks (later called the Ashbury Brickyard) opened in 1910 from the site of what is now Peace Park. Widescale housing development of the area began in 1919. A primary school began taking students in 1924 and in 1926 changed its name from South Ashfield to Ashbury Public School, leading to the area adopting its own identity. A non-official post office was established on King St in the same year.[6]


Ashbury has no railway station but it is relatively close to both Ashfield station on the Inner West & Leppington Line and Canterbury station on the Bankstown Line. Transit Systems Sydney buses serve Ashbury. The 491 Five Dock to Hurstville bus links Ashbury to both Ashfield and Canterbury stations from King Street. The 413 bus links Ashbury to both the City and Campsie. Route 418 links Ashbury with Burwood, Ashfield, Hurlstone Park, Marrickville, Sydenham, Mascot, Randwick and Bondi Junction via Queen Street whilst the 406 connects Ashbury with Five Dock, Ashfield and Hurlstone Park via Victoria Street and Old Canterbury Road.[7]

Ashbury borders the Cooks River and offers excellent access for cyclists and walkers to the Cooks River Cycleway.


There are two schools in Ashbury. Ashbury Public School was built in 1928[8]. Its catchment area includes students from southern Ashfield as well as Ashbury. St Francis Xavier's Primary School began in 1930[9].

Ashbury Samoan Uniting Church


The area has a consistent subdivision pattern, building form and streetscape, largely because its development occurred over a relatively short period of time. A high standard of design and residential amenity was also achieved, and housing in this area has become increasingly sought after. Ashbury consists of character filled Federation and Californian bungalows which are under heritage conservation making the suburb highly sought after.

Heritage Conservation in Australia[edit]

Author Tony Rodi

Bachelor of Science (Architecture), Bachelor of Architecture. University of New South Wales

September 2017
Recent decades have seen the greatest decline in the protection of the built environment,
with political control overseen by greed and vested interests, having become increasingly one-sided.
Although attempts have been made via periodically reviewing the Development Control Plan (DCP) for Ashbury, to maintain heritage character, by enforcing rulings which dictate that two storey new work and additions be located to the rear of the dwelling, failure to dictate aesthetic compatibility, has resulted in a smorgasbord of blatantly visible aberrations. "The Emperor Wears No Clothes".

Ashbury, Special Character Area[edit]

In 2000 the campaign to protect the suburb's period housing was formally joined by Canterbury Council's Labor Party. Federation, Californian Bungalow, and Art Deco style dwellings were built mainly during a period that spanned four decades,
from the beginning of the Twentieth Century, into the 1940s.
Californian Bungalow and Art Deco style houses are referred to as Inter-War Period Housing.
The homes built during this time reflected a sentiment which embraced the Art Nouveau movement
covering the period from 1890 to 1910.

Heritage Architecture[edit]

In 2007 the following document was adopted by council .
See Figure 1.1 on Page 4, under Clause 1.3, ................. original Heritage Map, showing "Ashbury, Special Character Area".
In January 2013 - Ashbury became a Heritage Conservation Area. However a revised plan excluded the unhatched area shown in the following document:-

The heritage area was revised through a Local Environment Plan (LEP) adopted in 2012.
and is located in the Canterbury Local Environmental Plan 2012. The area defined as Heritage is shown in

The Canterbury Local Environmental Plan 2012 was notified on the NSW legislation website on 21 December 2012 and came into force on 1st of January 2013. Section 6.5 and section 6.5A of the Canterbury Development Control Plan 2012, outlined the details of Ashbury’s Heritage Conservation Area.

1920's Leadlights
Californian Bungalow Cheviot Street, Ashbury
Malleny Street. Californian Bungalow Streetscape.

The predominant Architectural Style typifying this Sydney suburb of "Ashbury", is "Californian Bungalow".
Built in the nineteen twenties, the original allotments were occupied by single storey, single dwellings, which were designed and constructed using a variety of repeated floor plans The architectural forms featured mostly gabled and hipped roofs, covered with unglazed red terra cotta tiles. The gables were clad in fibrous cement segmented with vertical timber strip covers. Generous verandahs and leadlight windows were also commonly featured. Timber-framed awnings with decorative timber brackets also enhanced elevations and exposed rafters, dressed-all-round, added to the character and attractiveness of the homely surrounds. External timber sills were often supported by corbelled brickwork, adding a three dimensional protrusion of the windows externally, and the opportunity for a recessed bay internally. This could be used for flower arrangements or placement of ornaments. Awning windows with high sill heights would allow for natural ventilation, weather protection, and security all at the same time. Tuckpointing on manganese or liver coloured face bricks on front elevations was featured, whilst side elevations were finished in common bricks set in lime mortar.

Californian Bungalow in Cheviot Street
Cheviot Street, Leadlight Window and Awning
Ashbury, Heritage Conservation Suburb-Leadlight Window

Federation and Inter-war Period Architecture[edit]

File:Second Street Ashbury, Federation Streetscape

Other architectural period styles include Federation,(early 20th Century), and inter-war dwellings of the nineteen thirties Some Federation Period dwellings included roughcast rendered gable faces and brick piers. Tulips were often incised in decorative timber fretwork, whilst elaborate floral leadlights were found on front and side elevations.

Prior to listing the entire suburb for heritage conservation, many of the houses were modified and added to, with little or no consideration for either scale or style of the original architecture.

Californian Bungalow in Hay Street Ashbury
Nautical theme leadlight window.Cnr.Hay and Cheviot Streets, Ashbury

Rural scene leadlight, Ashbury

Leadlight windows were designed in the Art Deco style, which is reflected in the many diverse geometric patterns, typical of the 1920s and 1930s. This manifested as a direct divergence from the floral designs of the preceding Federation Period from the first two decades of the 1900s.


This artistic approach to home design was reflected in the many variations of detailed elements defining the Australian adaptation of the Californian Bungalow. Picture rails, ceilings, leadlight windows, chimneys and chimney pots, terra cotta tiles and finials were typical elements of this style.

Ashbury Inter-war Period Home.jpg
Trevenar Street, showing streetscape with complimentary addition
Lasswade Streetscape, Ashbury

Inter- war Period dwellings were marked by the more austere hipped roofs, replacing gables, with leadlights being geometrical and without colour, and brickwork featuring inset textured, or herringbone designs. Some of the houses also included curved brick walls, and Art Deco ironwork of the Universal Style.

The single storey, single dwelling streetscape has been largely retained in Ashbury. Where 1st floor additions have been allowed, under the Local Government's Development Control Plan, few have been designed to compliment the original architecture.

Cheviot Street Addition compliments existing heritage dwelling






According to the 2016 census, there were 3,329 residents in Ashbury. 65.8% of residents were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were Italy 5.8%, China 2.8% and Lebanon 2.8%. 59.4% of residents spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Italian 9.3%, Greek 8.6% and Arabic 4.8%. The most common responses for religious affiliation were Catholic 40.1%, No Religion 22.1%, Eastern Orthodox 12.5%, Anglican 8.2% and Buddhism 1.4%. Overall, Christianity was the largest religious group reported (71.4%).[1]

Notable residents[edit]

The following people were either born or lived in Ashbury:


Voting in Ashbury since 2000
Elections Fed01[12] NSW03[13] Fed04[14] NSW07[15]
Two Party Preferred Results
  Labor 61% nr 63% 72%
  Liberal 39% nr 37% 28%
First Preference Results
  Labor 49% 57% 52% 56%
  Liberal 34% 18% 35% 21%
  Greens 6% 12% 10% 12%
  Democrats 5% nc 2% 4%
  Christian Democrats 2% nc nc 5%
  Unity Party 1% 2% nc nc

Ashbury is located in the Canterbury Ward of Canterbury-Bankstown Council.[16] Canterbury-Bankstown Council is dominated by Labor councillors. Canterbury Ward has one Labor, Liberal and Greens councillor, elected at the last council elections in 2017.[17] The mayor of Canterbury-Bankstown is Labor's Khal Asfour.[18]

Part of Ashbury is also located in the Ashfield Ward of the Inner West Council area.

For state government elections, Ashbury is in the Electoral district of Summer Hill held by Labor's Jo Haylen since 2015. For federal government elections, it is in the Division of Watson, held by Labor's Tony Burke since 2004. The adjacent table shows a consistently strong Labor vote in both Federal and State elections.