Pennant Hills timber used in Sydney buildings

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Timber from Pennant Hills was used to build Hyde Park Barracks
Timber from Pennant Hills was used to build Hyde Park Barracks

Examples of the timber taken from the Pennant Hills range are the large beams supporting the roof of the Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney. The sandstone remains of the original convict-built wharf at the water's edge of Wharf Road, Ermington can also be seen today at low tide. Smaller planks of timber were transported by boat to Sydney Cove and whole logs floated to Rozelle Bay where a mill worked the timber.

The huge volume of wood being hauled led to the building of a road from the Government Paddock to the river in 1817. Surveyor Meehan wrote:

By order of the Governor in order to facilitate the Conveyance of Timber for the use of (the) Government to the Water Side, as well as to afford Convenience to the settlers on the Pennant Hills and Castle Hill Settlements to bring their produce to market.

The road covered the route of the present-day Pennant Hills Road on the heights of the range to Carlingford, then along Marsden Road through Carlingford and Dundas and onto Wharf Road at Ermington. Portions of the road have had name changes with Church Street changed to Marsden which linked with Wharf Road at the Victoria Road crossing. The use of 'Pennant Hills' to refer to a wide locality at this time seems apparent, with both the wharf at the river and the timber-getting establishment far to the north both being given the name 'Pennant Hills'.

Trevor Patrick is a local historian of the north-west of Sydney, Australia. His latest book, In Search of the Pennant Hills, recounts some of these stories (and others) in more detail.