The suburb of Penshurst in southern Sydney is located 17 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district and is part of the St George area. Penshurst features low to medium-density housing. It has a predominantly older population however it is increasingly being populated by a new generation of migrant families who are attracted by its proximity to Hurstville. Penshurst is one of Sydney South's desirable suburbs situated in the St George region neighbouring Oatley, Mortdale and Hurstville. The suburb has a great mix of medium and low density properties and is most famously known for its's exclusive MacRae's Estate which is home to affluent, desirable homes.

Penshurst has a high concentration of residential unit buildings making the area an affordable price to buy, and being so close to the capital of the St George district in Hurstville it is a popular choice for young working professionals. The shopping area is located around Penshurst railway station in Penshurst Street. Commercial shops are in Forest Road, Penshurst Street and King Georges Road.

The local RSL Club sports and an active Youth Club are among a wide variety of other sporting clubs, dance schools and musical tuition offered in the area. Residents have their own local public library and the Pole Depot Neighbourhood Centre provides many vital services to the local community including child care and provisions for seniors and those with disabilities. Other facilities include the Hurstville Aquatic Centre, tennis courts and sports reserves.

Penshurst railway station is on the Illawarra Line of the Sydney Trains network. It is approximately 27 minutes from Sydney Central via train. Punchbowl Bus Company also operates bus services 941 and 943 in Penshurst. The main roads through Penshurst are King Georges Road and Forest Road. Penshurst is accessed from the Sydney CBD by road by driving south through Newtown and along Princes Highway. At Arncliffe, turn right into Forest Road. This road passes through the middle of Penshurst.

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West Maling

West Maling is a gracious home at the crown of the hill on King Georges Road, Penshurst (corner of Penshurst Avenue). It was built in the Queen Anne style, which became the most popular style for houses built between 1890 and 1910. The style often utilised Tudor-style woodwork and elaborate fretwork that replaced the Victorian taste for wrought iron. Verandahs were usually a feature, as were the image of the rising sun and Australian wildlife; plus circular windows, turrets and towers with conical or pyramid-shaped roofs.

The first Queen Anne house in Australia was Caerleon in the Sydney suburb of Bellevue Hill. Caerleon was designed initially by a Sydney architect, Harry Kent, but was then substantially reworked in London by Maurice Adams. Caerleon was followed soon after by West Maling, and Annesbury, in the suburb of Ashfield, both built circa 1888. These houses, although built around the same time, had distinct styles, West Maling displaying a strong Tudor influence that was not present in Annesbury. British Architect Norman Shaw is likely to have influenced its design, however Charles Halstead was the supervising architect. A pair of stained-glass Inglenook windows date the building to AD 1889. West Maling has historical associations with Albert Bythesea Weigall, the first headmaster of Sydney Grammar School, having been built in 1889 as his residence.

In 1972 the historic building was purchased by the Abundant Life Ministry and used in the years 1973-1980 as a base for missionary and evangelistic ministry throughout Australia, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. It is today used as offices of Revival Life Centre, the church that was subsequently built within the home's grounds. Note: West Maling is privately owned and is not open for inspection.
Penshurst Railway Station

Penshurst railway station is located on the Illawarra line, serving the Sydney suburb of Penshurst. It is served by Sydney Trains T4 line services. The Illawarra Railway single line from Hurstville to Sutherland was opened in 1885 having been built by the contractors C. and E. Miller. In 1886 the first Penshurst Station with two side platforms was built just northwards of the present station site. By 1892, real estate in the area was being sold on the basis of its proximity to the railway station. A post office opened in 1902 at Penshurst Railway Station.

Due to the new deviation double track built in 1905 the present station with its brick island platform was built at its current location to better serve the rapidly growing settlement in Penshurst. The platform building is a standard timber type similar to the only other example in the metropolitan area at Oatley. In 1912 the platform was lengthened.

In 1926 the line was electrified and signal updated to electric light. It is possible the steel Dorman Long & Co footbridge structure was constructed around this time. The Bridge Street/The Strand overbridge which crosses the western end of the station platform also appears to be c.1920s. In 1940 a timber overhead booking and parcel office was built on the existing steel footbridge having steel stairs to the platform.

Penshurst Railway Station's 1905 platform and weatherboard platform building, 1926 steel footbridge and stairs, and c.1926 brick overbridge are considered to be of local heritage significance. The Station's early 20th century structures demonstrate the development of the Illawarra Line in this period and has aesthetic significance as a representative collection of structures demonstrating standard NSW Railways designs of the early 20th century. The 1905 weatherboard platform building is now considered to be a rare example in a metropolitan context, reflecting the semi-rural nature of the area when it was built (the only other example in a metropolitan context is at Oatley).

Built in 1926, the footbridge was manufactured by by Dorman Long & Co., the company which built the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is a steel structure with steel stair railings and the distinctive star pattern newel posts typical of Dorman Long & Co Inter- War period footbridges. An overhead booking office and shop were constructed on footbridge. During extensively remodelled around the installation of lift access to platforms and The Strand, and ramp access to Laycock Road, the booking office function was removed from building and space divided between lift area and concession. Interior fixtures and fittings were replaced and the ticket windows and ticket collector's cabin removed.

Built as the same time, the overbridge crossing at the western end of the platform has brick supports and a pair of arches. The bridge was been widened and upgraded with a modern concrete road deck in the 1950s.

Olds Park

This land was part of the original grant given to Dr. Robert Townson in 1810 and in more recent times was a brick pit. Hurstville Council acquired most of the land in 1947 by resuming it under the Local Government Act of 1919. The area was later extended when additional land was acquired in Holley and Queensbury Roads. Soon after the land had passed to council, it was levelled as a Public Works Depot and a shale pit established. The pit provided valuable road-making material until 1964. There was also a fine two-storey home - Pineleigh - standing about the centre of the Forest Road frontage. It was demolished in 1966 and its gardens consolidated into Olds Park.

The park was named after Oliver Arnold Olds, a prominent resident who served as an alderman on the Hurstville Council from 1941 to 1959 and as mayor from 1946 to 1948. The 9.5 hectare park has a frontage on Forest Road and access from Holley and Queensbury Roads. It has picnic tables, toilets, childrens' play furniture and playing fields where Australian Rules Football, Athletics, Baseball, Cycling, Cricket, Netball and Soccer are played.

Renown Park and Moore Reserve

Renown Park, in Judd Street, is essentially a sports reserve which has a Standard soccer field, a Junior soccer field, a Rugby League field and two Cricket pitches. It forms the beginning of Moore Reserve, a parkland set around Renown Creek which stretches to the estuarine North/West arm of Oatley Bay on the Georges River. Moore Reserve is bounded to the south by the waters of Oatley Bay with the residential properties adjoining the eastern and western sides. Hillcrest Avenue marks the northern boundary of Moore Reserve. The bushland areas of the reserve are regularly maintained by dedicated bushcare volunteers and contractors.

Renown Park and Moore Reserve are former municipal garbage tips that have been converted into reclaimed grass fields with recreational facilities and an artificial wetland area. Hillcrest Avenue disects the two reserves at a point known locally as the big dipper.

Within Moore Reserve two smaller segments of land have been allocated different names. Binnawie Reserve is a small creek side reserve and Seymour Street Reserve is a small segment of land bounded by Seymour Street and West Crescent on the eastern side of the reserve. Seymour Street Reserve has an impressive stone wall gateway entrance with a playground and seating area for the public and a tiled fish sculpture immersed in a planted maze. A pathway circulates around Moore Reserve which provides access for recreational users and also links a number of exercise stations.

Picnic facilities with barbecues, a playground and toilets are provided at the southern end of the reserve. The existing car park provides boat and trailer parking for the nearby Oatley Bay boat ramp.


Built by Myles McRae in 1888, Kintail is a substantial Victorian classified mansion holds significant historical importance both locally and regionally. The large two storey mansion is the original homestead of the area and rests on the highest point in the district. Kintail is a large, well preserved and restored Victorian Italianate mansion in the filigree style. This landmark mansion has had few owners since it was built in the late 19th century when it represented a time of substantial residential development and business prosperity in the Kogarah Municipality. Note: Kintail is privately owned and is not open for inspection. Location: 51-53 Laycock Road, Penshurst.

Penshurst Reservoirs

The two water storage towers on Laycock Road, Penshurst, have provided water for the surrounding area since 1910 and had the distinction of drawing their supply from Woronora Dam for many years. Reservoir No 88 is the largest (just) elevated reservoir in the Sydney Water Board's system. Reservoir No 87 of 6.4 million litres was a major elevated reservoir when it was built in 1910 and is a good example of the riveted steel tanks built in that area. The combination of the two reservoirs, one steel and one concrete, on their matching but structurally different support structures, is of considerable interest. The use of the site for reservoir water supply purposes has been continuous for just on 100 years and will probably continue indefinitely.

Reservoir No 87, commissioned in 1910, is an elevated reservoir, capacity 6.4 million litres consists of a riveted steel tank with a concrete floor supported by structural steel columns with concrete arches around the perimeter. The concrete arches were provided, presumably, for aesthetic compatibility with the concrete floor, blending in well with the adjacent all concrete No 88 reservoir built in 1938. The reservoir has a top water level of 92m above sea level and a diameter of 26.88m.The available depth of water is 11.4m. It was provided with an aluminium roof in 1978 as part of a programme to roof all Water Board reservoirs in order to prevent pollution by birds in particular and atmospheric fallout in general.

Reservoir No 88, commissioned in 1938, is an elevated reservoir, capacity of 10.07 million litres, consists of a reinforced concrete tank with a concrete floor supported by grid of concrete columns with a concrete arch perimeter. The now somewhat weathered all concrete structure blends well with the adjacent elevated grey painted steel reservoir on a concrete floor supported by steel columns, also with a concrete arch perimeter. Reservoir No 88 is interconnected with No 87 and therefore has the same top water level of 92m above sea level. Its diameter is 35.35m, with an available depth of water of 10.1m. It is marginally the largest elevated reservoir, steel or concrete in the Board's system. The two reservoirs are situated on a substantial area of Board's land which also accommodates offices and other facilities for the operation and maintenance of the surrounding water supply system. Some evidence remains of the earlier surface reservoirs once located there, including a quite large brick valve house which is still standing.

Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills is a neighbouring suburb, but whereas Penshurst is on the Sutherland/Cronulla railway line, Beverly Hills is on the East Hills line. Captain John Connell and Dr. Robert Townson were the first grantees of the area. In 1830, Dr. Townson's grant came into the hands of John Connell - the area being known as Connell's Bush. Dumbleton (now Beverly Hills) seems to have been included in this grant. It's name was taken from Dumbleton Farm, which according to an old account in The Echo was still standing in the 1890's. With the advent of the East Hills Railway Line in 1931, considerable land development occurred, followed by a pattern of closer settlement, homes, shopping centres and factories. Dumbleton was renamed Beverly Hills in 1940 after the suburb of Los Angeles.


Mortdale is a neighbouring suburb, and the next railway station up the line towards Sutherland. Though its name literally means Death Valley, Mortdale was in fact named after one of Sydney's leading 19th century businessmen, Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, who held land in the area in the 1850s. Dr. Robert Townson (1763-1827) was the first land grantee. Mort then took over his land and sublet sections to farmers. In 1894, an orchard and a farm here were subdivided and the land sold for residential development. They sold well and further subdivision took place in consequence to the opening of Mortdale Station in March 1897, however it was the establishment of houses for returned soldiers of World War I in the 1920s that brought the biggest influx of new residents.

The railway line to Oatley was electrified in 1926, altering the type of rolling stock required along the Illawarra line. A purpose built facility for storage and maintenance of the new electric cars were constructed in 1925, adjacent to Judd s brickworks, between Mortdale and Oatley Stations. RailCorp's Mortdale maintenance depot features nine roads under the main shed, two elevated outdoor roads, a train washing facility and several short outdoor storage sidings. The depot is responsible for the stabling and maintenance of all trains on the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line and South Coast Line local services.

History of Penshurst
Originally part of the land grant to Robert Townson (1763-1827), the land was acquired in 1830 by John Connell, who left it to his grandsons J.C. and E.P. Laycock. Connell's Bush was subdivided by the Laycocks and the western part sold to Thomas Sutcliffe Mort. The early work in the area was timber-cutting and small farming. The railway station opened 17 May 1890.

John Connell is remembered in Connells Point in Penshurst's south. When subdivided into small farms in 1869, the western part was bought by Thomas Mort and became Mortdale. The eastern section was called Connell's Bush until the arrival of the railway in 1886. When a platform was built here, it was named Penshurst. From that time the new name was used in preference to Connell's Bush, which was not considered suitable to a developing residential area. It is not known what prompted the selection of the name, however it has been noted that Penshurst in Kent has the same mystic quality of Sydney's Penshurst when the southerlies blow a sea mist across Oatley Bay in winter. Neighbouring Kyle Bay takes its name from one of the original grantees of land on Georges River, Robert Kyle. He lived on the bay in the 1870s, and was a local shipbuilder. The area was subdivided for residential development in the late 1950s.

A large portion of Penshurst located south of the railway line is referred to as the MacRae's Estate, as it was once owned by the MacRae family. This particular area is now between Laycock Road and Grove Avenue, and Hillcrest and Railway Parade. The original homestead is still present on Laycock Road, along with a caretakers house for the stables. The upper waters of Renown Creek used to run through McRaes Reserve, but it when the reserve was created, Renown Creek was diverted underground and is now part of an underground rainwater drainage system. The pathway which runs diagonally across the reserve roughly follows the line of the creek. The Reserve is now home to a basketball court.

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