What is Significant about the Shire
The Shirewide Heritage Study provided the following statement of heritage significance for the Shire:
- "The Council area retains rare, remarkable and intelligible physical evidence of the earliest roads across the Cumberland Plain to the farms of the Windsor District and northwards to the lower Hawkesbury and the Hunter Valley.
The small farms along the Hawkesbury River from Cattai to Wiseman's Ferry display exceptional evidence of early colonial agriculture on pockets of rich alluvial soil shown in homesteads, outbuildings and drainage. As the Hawkesbury stopped growing wheat 120 years ago there was relatively little building development but traditional farms continued to produce modest crops of vegetables and citrus. As a result the heritage significance of early isolated farms along the river is extremely high.
- Baulkham Hills was the first area beyond Parramatta to be developed by orchardists. From 1800 onwards the expert pioneering work of George Suttor and William Mobbs demonstrated a high suitability of the ridges for citrus and stone fruit. By the late Victorian and Edwardian penods of sub-division, orcharding extended vigorously northwards to Dural, Glenorie and Wisemans Ferry, encouraged the building of a rail link to Parramatta and remained a potent part of the area's economy and visual impact until very recently.
- Country retreats on the ridges, cool in the Sydney summer, became a striking feature of the area from the 1880's onwards. This was a natural extension of the interest in tourism and created Arcadian properties set in bushland or among orchards. These houses, more permanently occupied than the better known equivalent at Mount Wilson, not only changed the built environment but also encouraged local philanthropy and the building of amenities such as the Burnside Homes, the Masonic Homes or St Paul's Anglican Church at Castle Hill".