Suburb Profile - Lilyfield
Lilyfield is a suburb in the Inner West of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Lilyfield is located 6 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Municipality of Leichhardt.
Lilyfield is nestled in between the suburbs of Annandale, Rozelle and Leichhardt and is bounded to the west by Iron Cove. Originally a working-class area, today Lilyfield like many inner-city suburbs is becoming increasingly gentrified. Property investors, eager to capitalise on the suburb's proximity to the Sydney CBD, have purchased many of the original workers' cottages to renovate or develop. Although predominantly middle class, the suburb still retains some of its working-class roots and like its neighbouring suburbs, is home to people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Popular belief has it that the area was once farmland and was named for the lilies that reportedly grew in the fields. However, its name origin remains unclear. Lilyfield was originally part of the suburb of Leichhardt.
The most dominant landmark in the area is the former Callan Park hospital. This was built on land acquired from the Callan Estates, a property between Balmain Road and Iron Cove. A psychiatric hospital was designed by James Barnet, the government architect, based on an asylum in Kent and utilising the principles of Dr Kirkbride, an American psychiatrist. Completed in 1884, the hospital was known until 1914 as the Callan Park Hospital for the Insane; the main part of the hospital, a cluster of sandstone buildings, was called the Kirkbride complex.
More recently, the Kirkbride complex became the home of the Sydney College of the Arts, and the hospital functions were confined to the western buildings. This is now known as Rozelle Hospital. The Kirkbride complex is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
After the construction of the City West Link Road in the 1990s, the suburb was effectively split into two parts. One half on the Rozelle side of the road, the other half on the Leichhardt side. This dramatic change in the geography did much to disrupt the sense of community in the relatively secluded suburb and almost led to its being subsumed into the neighbouring suburbs.
Tel +61 2 9033 8616
Fax +61 2 9033 8600
Suite 25 Level 1
50 Yeo Street
Neutral Bay NSW 2089
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