The town of Pitt Town, New South Wales is located near the Hawkesbury River to the north west of the city of Sydney.
The site for the new town of Pitt Town was moved from the area initially selected by Lachlan Macquarie, governor of the British colony of New South Wales near the present locality of Cattai to the present town of Pitt Town in 1815 when Macquarie found that settlers complained of the distance between their farms on Pitt Town Bottoms and the town of Pitt Town to be too far.
One of five towns named by Macquarie at a dinner at the Government Cottage, Windsor on 6 December 1810. Pitt Town was named in honour of the late William Pitt, member of the British parliament.
Read the full text of Macquarie’s Journal
See the original article from the Sydney Gazette 15 December 1810
The original site for Pitt Town (near the present site of Cattai) was found to be too distant from the settler’s farms on Pitt Town Bottoms. Governor Macquarie decided that the farm belonging to James Richards would be purchased at government expense for the new site of Pitt Town. The farm was one mile from the Hawkesbury River and adjoined the Bardonarang Lagoon. This new location was to be marked out in allotments by the government surveyor before settlers could proceed to build their houses.
Source: Government Public Notice from the Colonial Secretary J T Campbell, dated 25 October 1815 and published in the Sydney Gazette 28 October 1815.
Read the original article from the Sydney Gazette 28 October 1815
William Bligh (Governor of NSW who arrived in August 1806) purchased three farms at what would become the village of Pitt Town. They were: 100 acres from James Simpson, and 60 acres and 110 acres from Thomas Tyler. He appointed Andrew Thompson to manage the properties as ‘model farms’. Bligh’s daughter planted five oak trees on the property and the trees became known as ‘Bligh’s Oaks’. They were cut down in 1947. Source: ‘A history of the settlement of the Hawkesbury 1794’ (1994), Stubbs, pps. 9, 10.
As early as 1797, Governor King initiated steps to grant upland and forest areas and set the limits on the area of Mulgrave Place, as Pitt Town was then known, by a line drawn from one reach of the Hawksbury River to another reach along what is today the line of the Old Stock Route Road. He also limited the use of the land within this area by establishing the Nelson Common on the upland ridge as a grazing area outside the farms but available to all local farmers who had been farming for seven years or more. The establishment of the Common was to affect Mulgrave Place more than any other Hawkesbury district, with the Nelson Commons totalling over 16,000 acres (Bladen 1979 Vol 4: pp.802-3, Vol 5: p.108). At the same time King instigated measures to increase the quality and range of breeding animals. He made sheep and cattle available to small farmers by awarding them as prizes for efficiency in agriculture, and he began loan programs of stock for breeding. By 1804, Pitt Town area was already three or four farms deep from the river and no further grants were made after the creation of the Common.
A village about 6 km NE of Windsor. Boundaries within the Hawkesbury Council area shown on map GNB 3716.
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