One of five towns named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie at a dinner at the Government Cottage, Windsor on 6 December 1810. Castlereagh was named in honour of Lord Viscount Castlereagh.
Named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1810 after Lord Castlereagh (1769-1822), the Irish peer responsible for the Act of Union in 1803 between Ireland and England.
The Present settlement lies approximately 5 kilometres from the site that was originally chosen by Macquarie in 1810, when he founded five towns - the other four being Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce and Pitt Town - in order to provide accommodation and storage space above flood level for settlers on the Nepean and Hawkesbury Rivers.
In November 1810, Governor Lachlan Macquarie (recently arrived in the Colony) went on a tour of the Hawkesbury-Nepean region. On December 6th, Macquarie recorded in his journal: “The township for the Evan or Nepean District I have named Castlereagh in honour of Lord Viscount Castlereagh.” In 1811 the surveyor James Meehan marked out the streets and a town square, in which a board bearing the name “Castlereagh” was erected.
Castlereagh did not develop, however, mainly due to the fact that the building of the Great Western Road from Parramatta to Emu Ford in 1815 restructured the road system. With the construction of the Great Western Road, Penrith was to become the focal point of the district. Thus, although Castlereagh had been a planned town, the geographical position of Penrith in relation to the crossing of the Blue Mountains secured this change of roles.
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