Day 26 – 10,165 KM. Town 51. Girraween is a residential suburb in western Sydney. On driving through there was little other than many houses, with the town presumably acting as a dormitory suburb for Sydney workers. Unfortunately the present Girraween has little to offer a visitor, but my interest in the suburb started to be stimulated when I learnt more of one of its previous owners, a rather colourful character by the name of D’Arcy Wentworth.
D’Arcy was originally from Portadown, County Armagh, Ireland and came to Australia of his own volition after he was acquitted of three charges of Highway Robbery. Apparently he only narrowly escaped conviction of a fourth charge by declaring that he was moving to Botany Bay to serve as assistant surgeon to the then new colony in 1790.
In 1816 Wentworth was instrumental in establishing the Bank of New South Wales (now part of WestPac) as well as the ‘Rum Hospital’, the predecessor of the Sydney Hospital. When he died in 1827 he was said to be the wealthiest person in the colony. He had amassed not only cash and property but also 22,000 acres of land, including Girraween.
Girraween apparently means place of flowers, although there was no great evidence of this today.