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Suburb Profile - Pennant Hills

Pennant Hills is a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Pennant Hills is located 25 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of Hornsby Shire. Pennant Hills is in the Northern Suburbs region, but also considered to be part of the Hills District.

History

The area was first explored by Governor Arthur Phillip shortly after 15 April 1788. It was noted that the party saw 'fine views of the mountains inland' (the Blue Mountains). Governor Phillip 'did not doubt that a large river would be found' nearby.[citation needed]

The first white settlement occurred in the area with the establishment of convict timber camps in the time of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. Permanent white settlement of Pennant Hills began only in the 1840s and took off with the arrival of the Northern railway line in the 1880s. In August 1912 the federal government opened a Wireless Telegraphy Station, the first of its kind on a national level.[2] The suburb has grown considerably since the 1950s, when the motor car became commonplace.

There are two theories about the origin of the suburb's name. One is that the name comes from a hill where a pennant was flown as a signal during the early days of New South Wales. However, though such signals were certainly used, there is no evidence that such a pennant was ever flown at what is now Pennant Hills, but in the early 19th century the name applied to the whole ridge down as far as Mobbs Hill, which has a Telegraph Road to commemorate the signalling station. Also, references to the suburb of Pennant Hills were written 20 years before the establishment of pennant stations (Patrick 1994:79-80). Elizabeth MacArthur records receiving a flag signal at Parramatta that her husband John had returned from England in 1806. The other theory says that Pennant Hills was named after an 18th Century botanist, Thomas Pennant (Patrick 1994:79-80), though there is no contemporary evidence for this either. The fact that the area was first referred to as "Pendant Hills" in the Sydney Gazette when first published in 1803 makes this theory unlikely, as there was no Thomas Pendant either.

The name Pennant Hills originally applied to the area now known as West Pennant Hills. However, when the northern railway line was built it passed through what is now Pennant Hills, so a suburb grew around the station and took on the name. The area around Thompsons Corner was renamed West Pennant Hills. Pennant Hills is hilly and the highest altitude is at Observatory Park on Pennant Hills Road, which once was the site of the old astronomical observatory.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Pennant Hills was the site of Chelmsford Private Hospital, where the unorthodox psychiatric Deep Sleep Therapy conducted by Dr Harry Bailey resulted in the deaths of dozens of patients.

Commercial areas

Pennant Hills is one of the major commercial centres of Hornsby Shire, along with Epping, Carlingford and Hornsby. Several dozen shops are located at the north-west of the railway line, along with a library. Residential houses are found in all areas in Pennant Hills, with recent modern apartments and office towers found along Pennant Hills Road. A significant commercial/industrial area can be found along Pennant Hills Road.

Pennant Hills is home to several entertainment venues including the Pennant Hills Hotel incorporating Patricks Nightclub.

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