The Hills Shire Timeline

40,000 BC - Darug Aborigines (also spelt Dharug, Daruk, Dharuk) inhabited the Shire until the early 1800s, especially around waterholes.
1791 - Governor Phillip journeyed to the Shire in April.
1794 - Hawkesbury Road (Old Windsor Road) was developed from Toongabbie Government Farm to the Hawkesbury River. William Joyce received the first land grant in the Shire and by 1811 was operating the Shire's first inn that was located on this road.
1799 -

Joseph Foveaux was granted 300 acres which he sold to John Macarthur in 1801. John and Elizabeth Macarthur farmed sheep on this property before establishing them at Camden. Part of this land was later acquired by the Pearce family and became known as 'Bella Vista Farm'.

1801 -

Toongabbie Road (Junction Road) was made from Toongabbie Government Farm to Baulkham Hills and then Castle Hill Road (Old Northern Road) was built to the new Castle Hill Government Farm.

1804 - The convicts rebelled on 4 March and made a stand for freedom at the Battle of Vinegar Hill on 5 March.
1807 - George Suttor of 'Chelsea Farm' Baulkham Hills, was the first person in the colony to produce oranges commercially.
1810 - Windsor Road was constructed.
1811 - Castle Hill Government Farm was converted to the first lunatic asylum in the colony. It operated until 1826 when it was relocated to Liverpool.
1823 - Most of the land in the southern part of the Shire had been granted by then. As the century progressed these original grants were subdivided into farms.
1826 - Construction of Old Northern Road, part of the Great North Road, from Castle Hill to Wisemans Ferry began.
1830 - More land started to be granted in the northern part of the Shire.
1840 - The first school in the Shire, St Simon's School, began at the Old Castle Hill Government Farm site.
1856 - John Malloy Kelly opened the first general store and post office in the Shire near the corner of Junction and Windsor Roads, Baulkham Hills (now the M2).



Castle Hill District Show began at Rogans Hill and moved to Showground Road Castle Hill in 1891



'Bella Vista Farm' was thought to be the largest orchard in NSW.
1894 - A telephone service was extended to the Hills from Parramatta.
1902 - Tram from Parramatta to Baulkham Hills commenced with an extension to Castle Hill opened in 1910. This accelerated the subdivision of old estates adjacent to the railway into residential blocks.
1906 - Baulkham Hills Shire Council was created on 6 March via the Local Government Act of 1906. The first meeting was held on 16 June at James Pearce's Baulkham Hills residence.
1907 - Telephone links were created between the Hills and the Hawkesbury area.
1911 - Population of the shire was 3,498
1913 -

Sir Joseph Cook, Member for Parramatta (which included the Baulkham Hills Shire) became Australian Prime Minister.

- Water pipes in Showground Road were connected to the Sydney Water Supply. By 1917 there were water pipes in Baulkham Hills.
1920 - Slab huts in Windsor Road, Baulkham Hills, just south east of the crossroads were used in the filming of Raymond Longford's 'On Our Selection'.
1920's - Poultry and egg production replaced citrus and stone fruits as the main industry.
1921 Population of the shire was 5,113
1923 - A train service from Westmead to Castle Hill replaced the tram. It was extended to Rogans Hill in 1924.
1926 - Electricity came to Baulkham Hills and Castle Hill.
1932 - Railway closed mainly due to the advent of the combustion engine used in trucks, cars and buses that, in turn, needed a wider main road.
1933 -

Population of the shire was 8,075.


Population of the shire was 10,675.

1956 - Population of the Shire was 16,500.
1961 -

Population of the shire was 23,643

1960's -

Urban development accelerated from this time.

1966 -

Population of the shire was 33,499.

1971 -

Population of the shire was 57,373.

Sewerage connection was available to residents in Baulkham Hills; Castle Hill followed in 1977.

1976 -

Population of the shire was 75,665.

1978 -

Land in Victoria Avenue and Carrington Road, Castle Hill, was set aside for an industrial area now known as the Castle Hill Trading Zone.

1979 -

The first stage of Castle Towers Shopping Centre commenced with additions following in 1982, 1989, 1993, 1999 and 2001.

1980 -

Population of the Shire was 90,000. NSW Department of Environment and Planning began looking at the potential development of the Rouse Hill area.

1981 - Population of the shire was 93,068.
1982 - Council moves in to its new administration building on Showground Road, Castle Hill.
1986 -

Population of the shire was 102,804.

1988 -

The Hills Centre for the Performing Arts was opened at Castle Hill.

1991 -

Population of the shire was 114,032.

1996 -

Population of the shire was 118,797.

1997 -

Baulkham Hills Shire Council obtained title to the significant heritage sites: 'Castle Hill Heritage Park' and 'Bella Vista Farm'.

2001 -

Population of the shire was 139,404.

2001 -

Rouse Hill Regional Centre plans revealed.

2004 - Baulkham Hills Shire Council opened its new 'state of the art' Castle Hill Library and Community Centre at Castle Grand.
2006 - Population of the shire was 159,391.
2008 -

Baulkham Hills Shire Council opened its new Vinegar Hill Memorial Library and Community Centre at Rouse Hill in March.

The council’s name was changed to The Hills Shire Council in November.

2010 - Population of The Hills Shire as at June 2010 was 179,716
2011 - Initial Planning and Geotechnical Investigation of North West Rail Link route corridor begins.
2012 -

State Government announces purchase of Showground Road Council Administration Building and surrounds for North West Rail Link Development. The Hills Shire Council purchases new building in Norwest Business Park with plans to relocate in 2013.


2013 -

Council's new administration building, located at 3 Columbia Court, Baulkham Hills is officially opened on 15 December by Mayor Byrne and the Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales.


Suburbs south of the M2 that were part of The Hills Shire Council incorporated as part of Parramatta City Council. These include: Carlingford, majority of North Rocks, Oatlands, Northmead, North Parramatta, Winston Hills and parts of Baulkham Hills.

A proposed merger with Hawkesbury City Council did not proceed.