Read a short history about the five proposed place names for the Ryde Civic Hub Precinct on this page.
Wallumetta was the name given to our area by the original indigenous clan, the Wallumedegal (Wallumattagal). It is likely that the clan name was derived from wallumai, the snapper fish, combined with matta, a word used to describe a place, but more often a water place. The Wallumedegal then would be the ‘snapper people’.
Woollaraware Bennelong was a Wangal man (from the southern shore of the Parramatta River), aged 25 when he and Colebee, a Cadigal about 36 years old, were captured at Manly Cove on 25 November, 1789. Colebee soon escaped but Bennelong remained a ‘guest’ of Governor Phillip until May, 1790 when he jumped a paling fence to freedom. After negotiations with Phillip, Bennelong came in peacefully to Sydney in September, 1790. At his request, Phillip built him a brick hut at what is now Bennelong Point.
In December, 1792 Bennelong and his kinsman Yemmerrawannie, sailed to England with Phillip. Bennelong returned to Sydney in 1795.
There is evidence that Bennelong was the leader of a clan observed on the northern side of the Parramatta River, between Kissing Point and Parramatta. Bennelong lived in the orchard belonging to brewer James Squire at Kissing Point. Bennelong died and was buried at Squire’s farm on 2 January, 1813. For the 200th anniversary of Bennelong’s death Council commissioned a website ‘Finding Bennelong’ which documents his life.
The surname Blaxland has been associated with our area for over two centuries. The most well-known member of the family is the explorer and wine maker, Gregory Blaxland.
Gregory and Elizabeth Blaxland purchased the Brush Farm Estate in 1807 and later built Brush Farm House. One of his sons, Charles, and his wife Elizabeth, owned the Cleves Estate on the Parramatta River. Another son John, and his wife Ellen, built and owned The Hermitage on the estate of the same name. Both Brush Farm House and The Hermitage still exist. Charles and Elizabeth, John and Ellen are commemorated on monuments in St Anne’s Cemetery.
Devlin honours the Devlin family, especially James Devlin and his second wife Susannah, the builders and owners of Willandra located at the corner of Victoria Road and Church Street, Ryde. The National Trust has described the house as perhaps the finest of the numerous two storey Colonial Georgian houses built in New South Wales.
James was born in the colony in 1808, son of Irish exile Arthur Devlin and colonial born Priscilla Squire. He was elected an alderman to Ryde’s first Council in 1871 and was a magistrate at Ryde from 1864 to 1872. Susannah Devlin (nee Hughes) was the daughter of Kissing Point’s first teacher and the granddaughter of First Fleeters John and Mary Small.
The name ‘Ryde’, while obviously being the name of the suburb and the Municipality, later the Local Government Area, was first used in 1841. The early names for the area were either Eastern Farms or Kissing Point. It was James Devlin and James Shepherd who took the first step towards the creation of the township at Ryde when they offered a number of building lots for sale at public auction. A plan prepared for the auction was titled Plan of the village of Ryde Kissing Point N.S.W. 1841 and is the earliest reference to the name Ryde for the area. Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, had been the home of Mary Turner, wife of the Reverend Turner of St Anne’s Church.