Sunday, June 12, 2016

Thomas Bates connection to Auburn

The following information was found in the AUBURN TOWN CENTRE Heritage Review Prepared for Auburn Council Final Report: November 2007, it details where the Auburn town centre is now in relation to Thomas Bates (& others) original Land Grants:

History of Auburn Town Centre
Land Grants 

Auburn LGA initially comprised of two parishes; St John and Liberty Plains. The Parish of Liberty Hills (refer Figure 2) was to the south of the Sydney to Parramatta Road, now known as Parramatta Road, and extended to The Sydney to Liverpool Road, now known as Woodville Road. From 1806 Crown grants were made in the Parish of Liberty Plains and by 1823 all the land along the south side of the road, making up what is now known as North Auburn, had been alienated. The set-outs and orientation of these early grants was to dictate the alignment of the railway line, roads and later subdivisions. The first grants to be made in what is now known as South Auburn (that is, south of the later railway line) were not made until 1823 when the whole of this area was divided up among the neighbouring grantees. (refer Figure 3). Despite this South Auburn remained covered in bush and scrub until as late as 1900.1The 1851 Census recorded that the district had a population of 270 living in 49 dwellings. By the early 1880s there were about 800 persons and by 1921 there were about 13,565. refer to figures 2 & 3

Figure 4 showing railway and Thomas Bates land
Subdivision & Development of Auburn Township Schwager Brooks (1996, p27) state that “the genesis of Auburn came from subdivisions near the railway station handled by John Yelverton Mills”, an auctioneer from Parramatta. “His firm, Mills and Pile, conducted many auction sales throughout the district”. The current Auburn Town Centre is comprised of parts of grants made to Thomas Bates, Thomas Francis and Thomas Turner. The area south of the railway line (the South Auburn Precinct) covered part of the 80 acre grant of Thomas Bates and part of the 80 acre grant of Thomas Turner. The portion of the Auburn Town Centre to the north of the railway line (the North Auburn Precinct) comprised parts of the grants made to Thomas Bates and Thomas Francis extending from Parramatta Road. Refer Figures 5 and 6 below

 South Auburn Precinct John Yelverton Mills purchased Turner’s 80 acre grant for £15 per acre from William McMillan in October 1876 and purchased Bates’ adjoining 80 acre grant on the west for ₤60 per acre. He then laid out a subdivision with the current Auburn Road along the line of the boundary dividing the two grants. The Auburn Township was laid out on a traditional north south grid with back- to-back allotments with 40’ frontages (12.192 m) as was the norm of the day although the streets were a generous 66 feet (20.117 m) wide. 2.7 .

The first auction of the Auburn Township was made on 1 June 1878 and although sales were successful development was slow. It covered the section of Turner’s grant to the east of Auburn Road extending to Percy Street, known as Auburn East, being sections 12 to 22 of the subdivision (DP 1389). Purchasers were offered a 25% rebate on the price of bricks purchased from brickworks nearby. Only a small section of the ATC falls within this area. The auction of the Auburn Township was followed by a second auction in 1884 when Mills and Pile offered 329 allotments of Bates’ grant between South Parade, Helena Street, Alice Street and Auburn Road. This was known as Auburn West.

 Back to the main story of Thomas Bates

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