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Birchgrove, New South Wales facts for kids

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SydneyNew South Wales
Birchgrove NSW 2041, Australia - panoramio - Richard Ure.jpg
Birchgrove, New South Wales
Population 3,303 (2016 census)
 • Density 5,500/km2 (14,000/sq mi)
Established 1836
Postcode(s) 2041
Area 0.6 km2 (0.2 sq mi)
Location 5 km (3 mi) west of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) Inner West Council
State electorate(s) Balmain
Federal Division(s) Grayndler
Suburbs around Birchgrove:
Parramatta River Parramatta River Port Jackson
Parramatta River Birchgrove Balmain East
Rozelle Balmain Balmain
Birchgrove 1
Dwellings in Birchgrove

Birchgrove is a suburb in the Inner West of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Birchgrove is located five kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Inner West Council.

Birchgrove is located on the north-west slope of the Balmain peninsula, overlooking Sydney Harbour, and includes Yurulbin and Ballast Points. Balmain is the only adjacent suburb. The long waterfront provides views of the Parramatta River with Cockatoo Island dominating the foreground. It is one of the wealthier suburbs of Sydney thanks to its harbour frontages.


Birchgrove was named after Birchgrove House, built by Lieutenant John Birch, paymaster of the 73rd regiment, around 1812. He added 'grove' to his surname when naming the house because of the large number of orange trees growing on the original site. The house was constructed of stone believed to have been quarried on site.

In March 1814, the estate was purchased by merchant trader Roland Walpole Loane. By 1818, Loane had returned to land holdings in Tasmania and the estate was leased for many years. Loane unsuccessfully attempted to sub-divide the lot into four parcels in 1833. In 1838, the estate was purchased along with land in the Balmain estate by Captain John McLean. Financial difficulties forced McLean to mortgage the estate and additional land, but the Supreme Court finally foreclosed on loans in April 1844. In 1850, the estate was briefly owned by Henry Watson Parker, who would later become the third premier of New South Wales. Later the same year, the estate was purchased by Didier Numa Joubert. Jourbert leased the property to William Salmon Deliotte until 1856.

Balmain Colliery 1
former Balmain Colliery in Birchgrove

Between 1856 and 1860, Joubert instructed William Brownrigg to survey the first subdivision of ten lots. Streets were named after the Joubert family. Birchgrove House was sold to Jacob Levi Montefiore during the subdivision. Sale of the allotments fell well short of expectations with three lots remaining unsold by 1866. By December 1862, Joubert was forced to surrender his remaining interest to the Bank of New South Wales.

From the 1860s, a number of waterfront businesses appeared in the area including coopers, boat builders and the Morrison & Sinclair shipyard.

By 1878, due to market pressure from prices in nearby Balmain estate, 82 lots of the original subdivision remained unsold. Additional land was carved from the Birchgrove House when it was sold to John Lowry Adams in 1878. A syndicate of businessmen purchased the remaining lots of the estate and commissioned architect Ferdinand Reuss to draw up a new plan for subdivision. This second subdivision was much more successful with all lots sold within several years.

The local heritage item is Clifton Villa, a three-storey sandstone house in the Gothic style. The house was built in the late 1860s and is surrounded by a covered verandah. In the mid-1870s a ballroom was added. The house's interior features a marble fireplace and cedar woodwork, while the exterior includes a caretaker's cottage that was originally a carriage house. Clifton Villa is now listed on the Register of the National Estate.

In 1900 Adams subdivided the Birchgrove House grounds into 12 lots. In 1911 Mary Scot further subdivided Birchgrove House into 5 lots. The house was eventually demolished in 1967 to make way for units.

The suburb was the location of the Balmain Colliery, Australia's deepest coal mine.

Former tram line to Birchgrove

Tram services branched off from the main line on Darling Street, Balmain, turning left into Rowntree Street, left into Cameron Street and right into Grove Street, before terminating at Wharf Road in Birchgrove. A government bus service now follows the former tram route


4 mort bay park birchgrove, new south wales
Mort Bay park, Mort Bay Birchgrove
  • Ballast Point Park is a 2.6 hectare former industrial site located at the tip of the Balmain Peninsula now redeveloped as a public open space.
  • Yurulbin Park is a former shipbuilding site located at the end of Yurulbin Point (Long Nose Point) which has been transformed into an award winning public space.
  • Pubs – Birchgrove and Balmain are home to many famous drinking establishments, including the Sir William Wallace Hotel, named after the Scottish hero who was the subject of the film Braveheart.


Birchgrove ferry wharf provides access to the Cockatoo Island ferry services which run services between Circular Quay and Cockatoo Island.

Transit Systems operates a service from Birchgrove Park to the Art Gallery of New South Wales via the Queen Victoria Building (QVB). During peak hours and in the evening, this service terminates at QVB.


Birchgrove is home to the Balmain Sailing Club, which hosts the annual Balmain Regatta, claimed to be the oldest regatta in Australia, run for the first time in 1849.



Sir William Wallace Hotel, Cameron Street
Sir William Wallace Hotel, Cameron Street
Snails bay, Birchgrove, new south wales.
Houses overlooking Snails Bay, Birchgrove (Wharf Road)

In the 2011 census of Population and Housing, the population of Birchgrove stood at 3,107 people, 53.1% females and 46.9% males, with a median age of 40 years. 65.6% of people were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were England 10.3%, New Zealand 3.2%, United States of America 1.3%, Ireland 1.0% and Scotland 0.9%. 85.1% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included German 1.1%, Italian 1.0%, Mandarin 0.7%, Cantonese 0.7% and Dutch 0.6%. The most common responses for religion in Birchgrove were No Religion 38.8%, Catholic 22.4% and Anglican 16.6%.

Birchgrove's population is typically wealthy, with a median weekly household income of $2,726, compared with $1,234 in Australia. The most common types of occupation for employed persons were Professionals 45.5%, Managers 24.4%, and Clerical and Administrative Workers 11.5%. 68.5% of the suburb's occupied private dwellings were family households, 25.4% were lone person households and 6.2% were group households.

Birchgrove has the highest proportion (17%) of citizens holding a postgraduate degree of any Sydney suburb.

Notable residents

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