1850s Our Campbelltown

Our Campbelltown 1850s


John Warby

The well known convict, explorer and pioneer died in Campbelltown in June 1851. John Warby was born in 1774. He was convicted at Hertford, England, on 3 March 1791 and consequently sentenced to transportation to the Colonies in Australia for seven years. He arrived in Sydney in 1792. John Warby married fellow convict Sarah Bentley. Together they had nine sons and five daughters.

After completing his sentence John Warby acquired fifty acres near Prospect and was eventually appointed stockman of the wild cattle in the area known as the Cowpastures. The image below shows an early view of the wild cattle grazing in the Cowpastures.

In 1806 Warby was a made constable of Camden County. He guided Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his party from Prospect Hill through the Cowpastures in 1810 and also on an important expedition into the rough terrain along the Nattai River. John Warby is known for his exploration of the Oaks, Bargo and the Burragorang Valley. He was a very respected guide. In June 1816 he was granted land in Campbelltown where he built a home.

The Cowpastures, green fields and herds of wild cattle
(Image sourced from Engraving by Arthur Willmore, National Library of Australia)

Plaque acknowledging John Warby Pioneer and telling his story
(Image sourced from Campbelltown City Council)


The Railway comes to Campbelltown!

The opening of the line between Liverpool and Campbelltown Station(PDF, 312KB) was met with great celebration and festivity, with many speeches and toasts being made, and a banquet and ball. When the line opened, passengers were separated into three classes, with first class being most comfortable, but third class was open from the waist up, leaving travellers exposed to the elements. This was a significant event for the City as prior to the opening of the railway, public transport was limited to mail coaches.

Below is an image of a V105 Class locomotive in Sydney in 1879 which was in use on the Campbelltown line prior to electrification.

Black and White image of a V105 Class locomotive
(Image sourced from Campbelltown City Library Local Studies Collection)


The Fieldhouse Store

The Fieldhouse brothers were sons of publican George Fieldhouse who opened the Jolly Miller Inn. The Fieldhouse Store was next door to the Jolly Miller, and Kendall's Mill was opposite. Run as a bakery and a store for produce by the Fieldhouse Brothers, the Fieldhouse Store was built in 1853. It became JJ Taylors Store and later the home of the Campbelltown News. The building still stands today.

Old photograph of a local bakery and produce storehouse
(Image Sourced from Campbelltown City Library Local Studies Collection)

Keighran's Mill

A distinctive landmark along Campbelltown Road, with its distinctive “Wolfe’s Schnapps” advertisement on the side, it is fondly remembered by many people. This mill was built by John Keighran in 1855 and demolished in the 1960s. It stood on Bow Bowing Creek at Leumeah, hence the name Mill Road. It is a distinct remnant of the days when mills flourished in the area, prior to the decimation of the wheat industry due to drought and rust.

Old photograph of Keighrand Mill

Old photo of a local Mill
(Image sourced from Steve Roach Collection, Campbelltown City Library)