Street and Place Names in Canowindra, South Canowindra, Moorbel, Billimari
and District

What's in a name? Quite a lot around hereabouts. Street names can tell us a lot about our history.

Canowindra is Wiradjuri (the original inhabitants and "people of the three rivers") language word for "home" or "camping place", and several of the town's street names have Wiradjuri origins.

However, you can see from the listngs a lot of the names have something else in common, it is because they were mostly named after the people who came after the Wiradjuri that lived in the district or the names given to their properties.

Some street names are linked to the European settlers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Others have more contemporary associations with the town and some are random labellings with a relevance only apparent to the person who devised the name.

The district was traversed by explorers Evans in 1815 and Oxley in 1817. John Grant was the first European to settle and graze this part of the Lachlan catchment, and from the late 1820s freehold land in the area now occupied by the town was given to pioneers like James Collitts, Thomas R Icely and John S Rodd.

The original village site was reserved on the south side of the Belubula and William Robinson Snr, who came to Canowindra in 1852, bought up land on both sides of the river including part of Tilga on the northern side where the town was finally established. Carlisle was the first name given to the straight section of the main street (the English city of Carlisle may have had some connection with a pioneer).

Naming of streets began in earnest with subdivision of private land after William Robinson Snr died in 1860 and his daughter, Elizabeth Jane (Bessie), inherited his Tilga land. She had a subdivision surveyed for the present town and renamed the main street Robinson Street. Bessie (1844-1922) owned the Victoria Hotel and married three times - John Flanagan (1840-1872) in 1861, Thomas Clyburn (1834-1891) in 1872, and Jim Marshall in 1899. The main street was lengthened and renamed Gaskill Street with the Clyburn subdivision in 1878. Later subdivisions, in 1904 and 1922, bore the name of Bessie's third husband.

(SC), (M), (B) after a road name denote that the road is located in South Canowindra, Moorbel or Billimari respectively. Note that Canowindra includes Nyrang Creek.
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Important: Inclusion of a street name (road) in the list does not indicate any public right of way or access rights and carries no warranty that the road is maintained or is suitable for any kind of wheeled, mounted or foot traffic. Some roads may be customarily "private", closed or used only by local residents. If "exploring" please observe any notices, respect residents' and occupiers' right to privacy and do not trespass.

The origins of some street names are believed to be as follows:

The town's main street has had three names:
Carlisle - origin unknown
Robinson - after the family of William Robinson Snr, a pioneer of Canowindra. Note there is still a Robinson Street, in South Canowindra, surveyed in 1860
Gaskill - origin unknown

View of Anzac Avenue in the 1950s ANZAC Avenue: (also referred to as ANZAC Parade.) Formerly the first section of what is now Nangar Road where the poplar trees are, west from Mill Street until near the intersection with Wenz Lane. The name Anzac Avenue seems to have been adopted in the 1950s. Historically, the stretch of road was referred to as CHINAMANS Lane for the adjacent market gardens.

ARMSTRONG Street: Named after the Armstrong family (relatives of the Newcombe, Ridout and Sargent families) who lived in the vicinity. The name was gazetted in 2004.

ATTENBOROUGHS PIT Lane: Derivation uncertain

AUXILIARY Street(M): Derivation uncertain

BACK MOGONG Road: So named because it is the back way from Canowindra to the locality today known as Mogong (the alternative route being via the Longs Corner Road). Mogong was a major pastoral holding in the district, home over the years to families including the Clements and the Coadys.

BACK NYRANG Road (B): Derivation uncertain

BANGAROO Road (B): Derivation uncertain

BATTERY Lane (M): Derivation uncertain. Possibly named because a stamper battery mill used for crushing gold bearing quartz rock was located nearby. In 1871 a correspondent noted in the Sydney Morning Herald "The stillness of the township, save when broken by the sound of jollity at the hotels or the din of the ten stamper battery of Clyburn, Hannan and Co's crushing machine, is complete..." These machines are now obsolete but there is a ten stamper battery on display at Bingara, NSW.

BATTYS Lane: Derivation uncertain

BEATHS Road: The Beath family have lived in Canowindra for many years.

BELMORE Street: Named after the mining village of Belmore (now Moorbel) two miles from Canowindra. The Belmore Lead ("lead" pronounced "leed" is a term used to describe a gold bearing deposit) was the centre of gold mining from 1869 to 1915. Belmore itself was named after Governor Belmore, Governor of NSW from 1868 to 1872.

BELUBULA Street (SC): Named for the river it is adjacent to.

BELUBULA Way: Most local people still seem to refer to it as the "Mandurama Road" (formerly the road to "Mandurama Ponds"). Probably named after the river, whose course it generally follows, or possibly after John Grant's first pastoral holdings near Canowindra. Belubula means stony river" or "big lagoon" in Wiradjuri (see NSW Geographical Names Board).

BLATCHFORD Street: Named after Vivian Blatchford (1863-1919) who was manager of the C.B.C. Bank branch from 1902 and who was prominent in town affairs. He was married to Constance Ellen Biddulph (1864-1931) with whom he had six children the eldest of whom, Edward (1893-1976), was a member of the 1st AIF in World War 1. Edward survived the war but sadly returned to Australia only after his father's death.

BLUEBELL Street: Derivation uncertain.

BLUEJACKET Lane (M): The main access road to the lookout at the summit of Blue Jacket Hill also recalls the Blue Jacket mine which was Canowindra's most famous gold mine. Canowindra had a gold rush in the late 1860s at Belmore (now Moorbel). This was short lived and by 1877 the mines were abandoned. In 1879, mining began again. Belmore was made a reserve for miners' leases of 10 acres, which remain a feature of Moorbel today. In 1885, The Blue Jacket, was re-opened. It closed in 1914.

If you haven't been up to the lookout, you get terrific panoramic views of the town and surrounding countryside. Well worth a visit.

BORIDGERY Lane (B): Derivation uncertain.

BOWDS Lane: The Bowds are a family who have lived in Canowindra for many years.

BRADFORDS Road: Derivation uncertain.

BREEN Road: (SC) The Breens are a family who have lived in Canowindra for many years.

BREENS Road: The Breens are a family who have lived in Canowindra for many years.

BRIDGE Street (SC) Derivation uncertain.

BROOKMAN Road: Derivation uncertain.

BROWNS Avenue: Browns Avenue is named in honour of Hugh McDonald Brown's contribution as Secretary for the establishment of the Canowindra Soldiers Memorial Hospital in 1921. Hugh had been a Councillor of the Boree Shire Council for some years and was elected Shire President in 1921. Hugh was born in 1860 at Halkirk Caithness, Scotland, arriving in Geelong, Victoria, with his parents and one older sibling in 1861. He was employed as a bookkeeper for the Australian Seasoned Timber Company's Sawmills in Victoria for ten years, retiring in 1897. In 1899 he moved to live with his sister, Jean and brother-in-law Alexander McDonald, on their property Belmont, in the district of Lockwood, north of Canowindra. In 1907 Hugh married the widowed Mary Jane Lawrence and lived at Pinegrove, Lockwood. Hugh served the community in many executive positions being a member of the Railway to Canowindra League, a foundation member of Canowindra PA&H Association, member of the Masonic Lodge and was appointed to the Commission of the Peace for the State of NSW. Hugh, Mary and daughter, Ida, retired to Croydon, Sydney in 1924. Hugh died in 1944 at Croydon.

BURDETT Road: Derivation uncertain.

CABLE Street: Probably named after Alf Cable who lived there and was the manager of the Canowindra Water Supply for many years when the water supply came from a well on the Belubula River near the main bridge.

CAHILL Road: Named for Sylvie Cahill who lived there for many years.

CAMPBELLS Lane: Derivation uncertain.

CANDLE BARK Close: Derivation uncertain.

CANOMODINE Lane: Named after the historic Canomodine grazing holding.

CANOWINDRA Road: Eponymous B81 state road running between Cudal and Canowindra and thence to Cowra.

CANOWINDRA Street (SC): Eponymous. Offers a great view of the town.

CARGO Road: So named as it runs from Canowindra to Cargo. Cargo was the name of an early pastoral station, part of the older Davy's Plains Run, taken up by William Lawson (1774-1850), with headquarters close to the old Orange-Nanami Road north of the town of Cargo. Gold mining in the late 1860s led to the establishment of the township.

CHARLOTTE Street: Named by 1893 and possibly for Thomas Icely's wife Charlotte née Rothery (1807-1843).

CHURCH Street: The Church of England was granted land for its first wooden church in 1878 on the highest point in the "Government Town".

CLYBURN Street: Named after Thomas Clyburn, second husband of Bessie Robinson. Son of Gloucestershire engineer Richard Clyburn (who invented the shifting spanner), Thomas Clyburn was a civil engineer who came to Australia in the mid 1850s. He owned a crushing plant (battery) when the Canowindra gold mines were operational, and was a prominent townsman and host of the Victoria Hotel.

COBLEY Road (SC): Derivation uncertain. The Cobley family have been associated with the district for many years.

COLLETT Street (M): "Collett" appears to be a corruption of the spelling of the "Collitts" family name who were associated with the original settlement of the district. Dorothy Balcomb in her book "Canowindra in Sketches" notes that in 1837 "James Collits was to continue his association north of the river and give his name to the Parish of Collett there, despite variations in spelling".

Bob Grimshaw, who provided information for us in 2023 wrote, ”My mother and father built their home in Collett Street in 1935-36 and lived there until dad’s passing in 2000. My brother Alan who passed away in 1963 always referred to it as Collett Street, for he said it was in line with the summit of Mt. Collett. Mt Collett is the hill that we call Blue Jacket.”
"Mount Collett" is marked on some maps as a name for Blue Jacket Hill but the Geographical Names Board does not appear to recognise that name for the 391 metre high prominence to the north east of the town and home to the Blue Jacket Lookout and the trig station.

COWRA Street (SC): Probably named after the neighbouring town of Cowra.

CRANBURY Road: Derivation uncertain.

CRANKY ROCK Road (M): Derivation of "Cranky Rock" is uncertain but the road leads to the locality.

CUCUMBER Lane: Named, though misspelled, after the Coocumber property that pioneer merchant and magistrate Simeon Lord swapped for land in Macquarie Place, Sydney with John Grant. John Grant's first property near Canowindra was Belubula, which he held by 1828. His next local property was Braganza in 1832. He claimed Coocumber in 1834 and secured it in July 1837. Part of the original Coocumber is still held by the Grant family.

CULLANES Road (B): The Cullane family have lived in Canowindra for many years. Cullane Road is also marked on some maps as a short extension.

CULTOWA Lane (B) Derivation uncertain.

CULTOWA Road (B) Derivation uncertain.

DEATHS Lane: Derivation uncertain

DUDLEY Street: Possibly named for William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley (1867-1932), a very unpopular profligate and pompous governor-general of Australia 1908-1911 or possibly his wife, Lady Dudley, the former Miss Rachel Gurney the daughter of a Quaker banker who had fallen on hard times. A beautiful and intelligent woman who, whilst in Australia, had to suffer widespread rumours of her husband's infidelities. She endeared herself to rural and regional Australia by founding the Lady Dudley Bush Nursing Scheme. During World War 1, Lady Dudley set up a hospital for Australians, and clubs for officers in northern France. In 1918 she was appointed CBE and was awarded the Royal Red Cross.

EAST Street: Lester Biddulph, who had bought much land from the Ferguson estate's subdivision of Upper Tilga, did the subdivision of East Street, so named because it is the most easterly street of Canowindra before the flood plain.

EDGECOMBE Road (SC): Derivation uncertain.

EMU CREEK Road (M): Crosses Emu Creek

FAITH Lane (B): Derivation uncertain.

FERGUSON Street: Named after Alexander Ferguson (1818-1891) , an early landowner in Canowindra who first bought freehold a 320-acre pre-emptive purchase from John Savery Rodd, who originally had the lease of Tilga run which surrounded the village of Canowindra. Ferguson later bought more freehold land known as Upper Tilga and Lower Tilga, and was involved in the development of services in the fledgling township. When his estate was subdivided in 1910 for closer settlement he owned a significant amount of land. Town building blocks were surveyed on the eastern side of Rodd Street. The road surveyed in 1862 from Eugowra crossed his land and became known as Ferguson Street. Ferguson is buried in Canowindra cemetery.

It was in an old farmhouse on Ferguson's land (now known as Biddulph's) that the first Provisional school in Canowindra was conducted. Bessie Robinson was the prime mover for the establishment of a school. She engaged private tutors initially, set up a school and invited all the children in the surrounding district to attend gratuitously. Bessie went on to organise the 1872 application for Canowindra's first state school, approved in 1875.

FINN Street: Thomas Joseph Finn was a very prominent Canowindra shopkeeper and townsman. "Shopkeeper Canowindra... born Hartley... one of the first residents of Canowindra district arriving there in 1869... was a butcher at Moorbel... established his Canowindra store in 1874... associated with every local charitable, sporting public movement, including the PA&H Association, jockey club, progress association, school of arts, railway league... JP... district coroner." - National Advocate 3 April 1941 "The most important personage in Canowindra is Mr Thomas Finn, storekeeper, a plain, straightforward businessman. He is known 'as the head of the Church' in Canowindra and is one of the most profitable of men. At his house the priest's knife and fork is always regularly laid". Freeman's Journal 8 July 1899. Finn's Store closed in 1970.

Bessie Robinson's oldest daughter Minnie Alberta Fanny Flannagan (known as Aunty Allie) married Eugene Finn.

FISH FOSSIL Drive: Traverses the area where ancient fish fossils were found near Canowindra. Formerly GREENDALE Road, when it was renamed the old name wasn't included on the signage. Francis Cyrus Crowe and his wife Honora (née Hill) farmed the property "Greendale" adjacent to the road for a number of years around the turn of the 20th century. Their property was opposite the now famous fish fossil site. They had six children: Francis, James, Cyrus, Leo, Mary (Mollie) and Honora (Norah).

FLANAGAN Street: Named after John Flanagan, the first husband of Bessie Robinson, who owned the Victoria Hotel. She inherited land from her father, William Robinson Snr, Innkeeper of the Travellers' Rest and Canowindra's first developer.

John Flanagan's sister, Rose, married Bessie Robinson's brother William Robinson Jr, whose hotel was the one held up by the bushrangers, located where the Royal Hotel now stands. Rose and her sister played the piano on two occasions when the bushrangers held up the hotel.

FLOODS Lane: Named after the Flood family who lived in Canowindra for many years. Originally there was no “S” on the end - this may have been added by Council when the street sign was installed.

GALLAGHERS Road (SC): Derivation uncertain

GEORGE RUSSELL Drive (SC): Formerly the Canowindra - Wooodstock Road. Renamed in May 1965 to honour the memory of a former prominent councillor on the Waugoola Shire, A. George Russell. The Canowindra Star reported that the Shire President, Cr. Treasure, announced the renaming when he presented Mrs. Russell and her son, Mr. J. Russell, with a Certificate of Service awarded to the late Cr. Russell by the Shires' Association.

HATTERS Lane: Derivation uncertain

HOSPITAL Lane: So named as it runs to the Soldiers Memorial Hospital.

ICELY Street (SC): From 1838, Thomas Icely owned 640 acres of land in South Canowindra that had been first granted to James Collits. He built a mud wall inn c. 1846 on his land adjoining the village reserve. This inn was later licensed as the Travellers' Rest.

KINGS Road: Derivation uncertain

KIRRIBILLI Road: Derivation uncertain

LAWRENCES Road: Derivation uncertain but the Lawrence family has been associated with the district for many years.

LENEVA Lane: Named after the property Leneva, once owned by the Traves family.

LEOMES Lane: Derivation uncertain

LOCKWOOD Road: Goes to the Lockwood locality about 10km north of Canowindra.

LOLA Street: Named by 1893. The derivation is not known. Lola is a female given name in Spanish, Romance languages, and other language groups. It is a short form of the Spanish name Dolores, meaning "sorrows"

LONGS CORNER Road: So named as it runs from Canowindra to Longs Corner, where it meets The Escort Way. An interesting anecdote told by the late Cecil Taber is how Long’s Corner got its name - a man named Long, when bringing a load of beer from Sydney to Forbes capsized his load breaking the pole on his bullock wagon. One of the Irvine brothers cut a new shaft to replace the broken one. As the bullocks were in poor condition and the Mandagery flats were flush with grass, he stayed there till his bullocks fattened. From then on the area was called Long’s Corner.

LYNN Street (SC): Derivation uncertain. This is the name applied to the stretch of the main road to Cowra (B81) from Bridge Street south to Orton Street

MARSDEN Street: this street was named in honour of Thomas Clyburn's mother, whose maiden name was Marsden. The oldest daughter of Bessie Robinson and Thomas Clyburn was named Emily Alice Marsden Clyburn (1873-1936) for the same reason. The original block of the property, Marsden, in Rygates Lane was settled by Albert Rice (1870-1933) and named in honour of his wife, Emily Alice Marsden Clyburn, who he married in 1897.

MCDONALD Lane: Derivation uncertain.

MCNEILY ROAD (SC): Derivation uncertain

MILL Street: The street was surveyed along the boundary of land resumed for the railway. Two flour mills which were built in 1910 to access the line, Tee's and The Great Western, gave the street its name.

MILTON Street (SC): Derivation uncertain

MINERS Lane (M): – opposite St Teresa’s Catholic Church and School (now a private house). Named for the miners who worked in the mines in the district and in particular the Blue Jacket Mine which was on Miners Lane

MOORBEL Drive (M): Eponymous with the locale - connects Belubula Way to the Cargo Road.

NANIMA Road: Nanima Station, a large irrigation and grazing property on the Lachlan River near Gooloogong was acquired by Paul Wenz in the 1890s. Nanima is a Wiradjuri word which may mean either "a sitting down place" or "something that is lost".

NANGAR Road: Named after the local mountain range, now a National Park.

NEWCOMBE Street: Named for the Newcombe family who operated a brickworks there, the ruins of which can still be seen.

NEWTON Road: Likely to have been named after the Newton family who had property in the vicinity.

NORTH Street: One of Canowindra's northernmost streets.

O'MALVENEY Street: Named for the O'Malveney family who have lived in Canowindra for many years.

ORTON Street (SC): Derivation uncertain

PAULS Road: Named after the Paul family who have lived in Canowindra for many years.

PRESTON Street (SC): Derivation uncertain

PRIDE OF OAK Road (M): Derivation uncertain

QUARRY Road (M): – The local council had a gravel quarry on this road

RADNOR Street (SC): Derivation uncertain

RANDALL Street (M): The first people to build and live here were the Randalls.

RED Lane (M): possibly named because of the red clay soil. After rain it became impassable.

RICE Street: Named for Robert Rice (1831-1901) who after migrating in 1858 with his wife Amelia (nee Solomon, 1838 - 1891) from Cornwall, UK became a prominent landowner, farmer and townsman. After a landing in Sydney the family settled briefly in Neville, moving to Canowindra where Rice became a successful wheat grower and grazier. He bought the Glastonbury property (including Canowindra's oldest house) in 1878. Robert Rice was very public-spirited, one of the trustees for the recreation reserve, active with the Progress Committee, and donor of two pieces of land for the School of Arts. Other Canowindra properties owned by Robert Rice included Lifton Park and Carlane, in addition to considerable town property in Canowindra, Neville and Orange. Buried at Canowindra Cemetery.

RICHIES Lane: Named for Richard James Biddulph (1925-2013). Richie lived in the house on the southern side of the lane for all but a few years of his life.

RIVERS Road: Generally follows the path of the Belubula River south west of Canowindra, and ends near where the Belubula meets the Lachlan River.

ROBINSON Street (SC): The Robinson family played an important part in Canowindra's development on both sides of the river. Now a street in South Canowindra, Gaskill Street from Ryall to Rodd Street was formerly named Robinson Street.

RODD Street: Rodd Street is named after John Savery Rodd, an early land-owner in Canowindra. John Savery Rodd, born in 1806, was the eldest son of John Tremayne Rodd, of Eversham and Barnstaple, England. He came to Australia with his father and two brothers, Robert and Brent, arriving in Sydney on 25th April 1822. When his father returned to England he left his eldest son in the care of Thomas Icely (qv), a prominent pastoralist in Carcoar. John Rodd was left a large fortune by a (Savery) relative in England, and when he was traveling to England to take possession of it, he met the beautiful Miss Catherine Murray, who was on her way to Ireland to enter a convent. She was the orphan daughter of Dr. Thomas Murray, an army surgeon from Limerick. In 1837 Rodd married Catherine at St Clement Danes church in London and then returned to New South Wales.

The Rodds had six children, Anna Maria Letitia Kathleen Rodd (1838-1878), Ellen Webster Rodd (1840-1864), Florence Sophia Rodd (1841-1878), Constance Josephine Rodd (1844-1920), and John Edward Tremayne Rodd (1848-1900).

Rodd, who spent most of his life on the land, was a successful pastoralist. He owned a number of properties, including Blackdown (Bathurst) and Fleurs (Penrith). He was one of the first owners of land at Carcoar and owned property rights in the township of Bathurst, a city residence named "Tarpean", Potts Point, and at one time leased Old Government House, Parramatta as a private residence.

John Savery Rodd died at his Sydney residence "Tarpean", on 26th January 1870, aged 64 years.

Rodd was the lessee of the Tilga Run and bought three freehold blocks, as pre-emptive purchases. 160 acres where the town grew between Tilga and Gaskill Streets was sold to William Robinson Senior in 1857 and left to his daughter Bessie who subdivided it progressively for the town north of the river. In 1910, prior to the sale of Upper Tilga by the estate of Alexander Ferguson, the eastern side of Rodd Street was subdivided into 37 residential blocks. The opening of the railway in July 1910 had created a great demand for new housing. (Note a concise history of the Rodd Family can be found here.)

ROSS Street: Dr Andrew Hendry Ross (1829-1910) was a Scottish-born medical doctor who practiced in Molong from 1857. He won the state seat of Molong in 1880 and represented Molong until 1904. His electorate included Canowindra.

RYALL Street: is named (according to a descendant, Mr Charles Ryall) after one or both of two men. Firstly, Mr JC Ryall, an early citizen and landowner in Canowindra, who campaigned actively for a telegraph line to Canowindra from Cowra, a Post and Telegraph Office, a Courthouse, an extension of mail service to Canowindra. Or secondly, it may have been after his brother, JB Ryall, who assisted in surveying the Clyburn Estate.

RYANS Lane: Derivation uncertain.

RYGATES Lane: Named after Hon Amelia (Millie), Hon Gerald (Gerry), and/or Robert (Bert) Rygate.

Albert Rice was the son of Robert Rice and Amelia Solomon. The original block of Albert's farming and grazing property, Marsden, is located on Rygates Lane, and the property was named in honour of his wife Emily Alice Marsden Clyburn, who he married in 1897 (Emily was the oldest daughter of Bessie Robinson and Thomas Clyburn, and Thomas' mother's maiden name was Marsden). Albert and Emily Rice's only child was Amelia Elizabeth Mary (Millie) Rice (1898 - 1988), born in her Grandmother Bessie Robinson's hotel in the main street of Canowindra. She was educated at Canowindra Public School, St Edward's Canowindra, and as a boarder at the Convent of Mercy, Carcoar. Millie was a classically trained soprano, studying under Mme Slapoffski (the NSW Conservatorium of Music's Professor of Singing between 1916 and 1928) before her marriage to Gerald Blake (Gerry) Rygate (1895 - 1960) in early 1923. She spent most of her life running her property, Marsden. Much more of a doer than a speech-maker, Hon Amelia Elizabeth Mary Rygate served the people of Canowindra and NSW as a Member of the NSW Legislative Council from 7 September 1961 to 5 November 1978 and was the first Canowindra woman in the NSW Parliament (or any Australian parliament). Millie died at Marsden on 8 June 1988.

Gerry Rygate was born in Grenfell to Dr. Robert Edward Rygate and Mary Josephine, nee Blake. Gerry was a dyed in the wool Labor man like his father before him, but he did not have a stereotypical background. His paternal grandfather Dr Robert Rygate (1827-1907) was born in Surrey (UK), arrived in Sydney in 1853 on the Katherine Stewart Forbes, settled first in Hartley and then in Wellington (where his extensive community involvement included serving as Mayor), and sent two of his daughters "home to England" where they married into the peerage. Gerry's maternal grandfather was Dr Isidore Blake (1817-1889), born in India and descended from the Baronets Blake of Menlo Castle, Galway (Ire.). Dr Blake arrived in Sydney aboard the Agnes in 1842, married Winnifred Byrne (1822-1892) in 1843 in Campbelltown, and settled in Yass. Winnifred was a daughter of the Irish rebel and political exile Hugh Vesty Byrne and Sarah Dwyer (1778-1872) of Wicklow (Ire.), Hugh being one of the Wicklow Martyrs/Tellicherry Five who arrived in NSW in 1806. Gerry was educated at the Convent of Mercy, Grenfell, as a boarder at Ignatius' College Riverview, and at the University of Sydney. He enlisted in the AIF in World War 1 in August 1915, serving in the Middle East and Europe, and was twice mentioned in despatches. On his return to Australia after the war, he and his brother took up soldier settlement blocks in Greenthorpe. When Gerry married Millie Rice in 1923, her parents gave them the adjoining Gambarra homestead block as a wedding present. Around 1930 Gerry and Millie returned home to Marsden, Canowindra where Gerry was a member of the ALP Calare federal electorate council, president of the Canowindra Repatriation Committee 1939-1954; chair of the Housing Committee 1947-1954; member of the War Agricultural Committee 1939-1945; Coroner 1950-1954; president of the Canowindra Jockey Club 1944-1954; and member of the Western Districts Racing Committee. His recreational interests included racing, trotting, football and cricket. Hon Gerald Blake Rygate MLC served in the NSW Parliament's Legislative Council from 30 October 1952 until his death on 8 June 1960.

Millie and Gerry's only child to survive into adulthood, Robert Albert Gerald (Bert) Rygate (1923 - 1967) was born in Grenfell in late 1923, and educated at Mogong School, St Edward's Canowindra, as a boarder at St Ignatius' College Riverview, and at East Sydney Technical College (wool classing). Bert married Mary Grant (1927 - 2003) in 1960. He farmed Marsden all his life, was an aspiring politician, and was very involved in community activities in Canowindra. He was a member of the Canowindra Jockey Club Committee, a foundation member of Apex and later District Governor, President of the Canowindra Trotting Club, Treasurer of the Western District Trotting Association, Chairman of the Canowindra Tenancy Advisory Committee, President of the Canowindra Showground Trust, President of the Canowindra ALP branch, and active with St Vincent de Paul. Bert died at 43 years of age.

SETTLEMENT BRIDGE Road (B): Derivation uncertain.

SHORT Street: The short wide street, linking Blatchford and Suttor Streets, would have become the CBD if the railway had come from Woodstock. Fine homes were built on its high ground.

SMITH Road (B): Derivation uncertain.

SQUARE Road (M): named after property called ”The Square” – which was a square mile in area. “The Square” property was not a part of the Grant’s “Braganza”. The “Braganza” property surrounded it on all four sides. In 2023, Lawrance Parrish now owns “The Square” property and a part of ‘’Braganza.”

STUBBS Street (SC): Derivation uncertain.

SUGARLOAF Lane: Derivation uncertain.

SUTTON Street (SC): Derivation uncertain.

SUTTOR Street: The Suttor family, originally from Bathurst, had large land holdings towards Cargo.

THE ESCORT Way: Follows the route taken by the armed escort coach robbed by Frank Gardiner's gang (which included that other notorious bushranger Ben Hall) in June 1862.

The Escort Way, a State Arterial Road B81, extends from Forbes to Orange, via Cudal, and is based on the route of the weekly escort in the 1860s of gold from Forbes via Orange through Hartley to Penrith where it was loaded onto a train to the Mint in the city.

In 1979 the Canowindra and District Historical Society (as CHS&M was then known) initiated the re-naming of the Forbes-Orange Road to The Escort Way). The site of the hold-up is marked with signs and relevant information at a stop-off point on the road.

THOMPSON Street: Derivation uncertain.

TILGA Street: Tilga Street is named after the Tilga Run of about 15,000 acres on the north side of the Belubula. It was held by Thomas Duffy in 1848. Part was later bought by the Robinson family. Most of the town of Canowindra east of the railway stands on part of the old Tilga Run. "Tilga" is a Wiradjuri word adopted for the pastoral selection that included Canowindra lands on both sides of the river.

TOOGONG Road: Road to the locality of Toogong

TRAVES Lane: The Traves family have had a long association with the district.

TRELFORDS Lane: Derivation uncertain

TROOPERS Road (B): Derivation uncertain

VALETTA Lane (M): Derivation uncertain. May have been named for the capital of the island nation of Malta although the city's name is today spelt "Valletta". There is a locality on the south island of New Zealand that is named "Valetta" which is supposed to have been named for the Maltese city's founder, Jean Parisot de Valette. .

VISTA Lane: Derivation uncertain

WADDELL Street: Named after Thomas Waddell (1854-1940) who was a member of the NSW parliament for the local area (Cowra and then Belubula). He was the colonial treasurer and, for a short while, Premier. He was influential in obtaining the funding by the state of the Waddell Bridge over the river in 1901 (where the John Grant Bridge now stands) and the railway line in 1910. His obituary can be found online here.

WARRADERRY Way: Derivation uncertain

WENZ Lane: Named for Frenchman Paul Wenz (1869-1939) grazier and author, who built Nanima homestead on the Lachlan and owned land at Canowindra adjoining the lane.

WIANAMATTA Road (M): Derivation uncertain

WICKS Street (M): Thomas Cant Wicks and Mary Ann Stines had twelve children, born in the Canowindra/Woodstock area. They later moved to Moorbel where they bought about 15 acres, built a house and lived in Wicks Street until Thomas's death on 17 November 1938. Mary Anne died in 1948 and both are buried in Canowindra cemetery.

WINDOWRIE Road (B): - a long and winding road - the derivation is uncertain.

WINERY Road (B): a short extension running of Windowrie Road leading to the eponymous winery.

WINTON Street (SC): Derivation uncertain

YARRAWARRAH Road (M): Derivation uncertain

YURUGA Road (B): Derivation uncertain

Have we got something wrong or missed anything or can you provide more information? Contact us at

Credits: Original concept and research over many years by Dorothy Balcomb and the late Berna Wright (nee Finn). Donna Rygate is responsible for additional research and information. Contributions and amendments from Anne Comber, Geoff Beath and Sandy Biddulph have been included.