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Paterson River history

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Paterson village

Notification that lots are available for sale in the new town of Paterson

In October 1833 the Governor of New South Wales, Richard Bourke, approved the plan for the 'Township of Paterson', and invited applications for 'Building Allotments'.[1] The land for the township had initially been granted to Susannah Ward in 1823 as part of her Cintra estate. After several settlers pressed the Governor to release part of her grant for a township, Susannah eventually agreed to give up 90 acres, including river frontage for a public wharf, in exchange for land in Sydney.

By 1835 a courthouse and government lockup had been built in the new town and the government administration of the district moved from Old Banks at Patersons Plains to Paterson itself.

Paterson village c1835

Paterson between 1835 and 1840. The 1835 court house/lockup is shown just to left of centre (GT Carmichael, National Library of Australia)

In 1840 James Phillips subdivided 100 allotments from the north east portion of his Bona Vista estate and put them up for auction (see image below). These allotments adjoined the new township and now form the southern part of the village of Paterson.

Phillips' 1840 subdivision at Paterson

Plan of James Phillips' 1840 private subdivision at Paterson (National Library of Australia).

The official (Cintra) and private (Bona Vista) components of the township can be seen clearly on the map below.

township of Paterson and orginal land grants

The official (Cintra) and private (Bona Vista) parts of the township located within the original land grants.


1. Sydney Gazette 17 October 1833 p3.


Archer, Cameron. The Settlement of the Paterson District. Paterson: Paterson Historical Society, 1986.

See also

An overview of settlement at Patersons Plains from 1822.