Historical Photos

Historical Images of Fairfield City

Cambridge House stood on the banks of Prospect Creek at Fairfield close to where the Cambridge tavern is today. It was destroyed by fire in 1975.

Cambridge House stood on the banks of Prospect Creek at Fairfield close to where the Cambridge Tavern is today. It was destroyed by fire in 1975.

You can access the Historical Images database here – Digital Archive

This digital collection includes images of people, places, events, industry and landscapes, from the collection of over 10,000 pictures held in the Whitlam Library, Local Studies collection.

Included are digitised copies of sketches, watercolours, paintings and photographs showing the growth and development of Fairfield City and the surrounding district from early settlement through to the current day.

Published on April 20, 2011 at 4:37 am  Comments (37)  

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37 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Do you have:
    *any photos of Cambridge House Fairfield aprox 1900-1940
    * information about John Young Bell who lived in Cambridge house
    * information of commencement of electricity in Fairfield?
    If you do I would really appreciate it.
    Many thanks
    Catherine- (Grand Daughter of J.Y.Bell)

    • Hi Catherine – we’ll be in touch shortly about your enquiry!

  2. do you have any pictures of the hostel, migrant centre in cabramatta, particularly 1970-1975? would be greatly appreciated.

  3. I am after information and pictures of Prospect creek in the far past and the bridge located on Fairfield Rd where prospect creek goes under. There used to be a wooden bridge way back then at the bottom of the road called Cawarra place today. Any pictures or info on that old bridge would be great as I believe that was the access before the bridge at Fairfield road was built in was removed somewhere I think in the 60’s. but not sure. Pictures of people on row boats on prospect creek would be great. I’ve tried accessing Gosford council history stuff but nothing seems to work very well, if at all.

  4. Can you tell me about the Horsley Drive Bridge. Is it the original Bridge

    • Hi Ann – Just to clarify, which bridge are we talking about? Working westwards along the Horsely Drive from the Hume Highway there is the railway overpass at Carramar, the small road bridge near the Patrician Brothers College, and the railway/Prospect creek overpass at Fairfield. The road bridge is physically the oldest but none have any historical significance. You didn’t perhaps mean the Lansdowne bridge on the Hume Highway just near where the Horsley Drive begins did you? Let us know…

  5. Sorry my mistake. The one I’m interested in is the Railway/Prospect Creek overpass at Fairfield, I think Cambridge House was near. The bridge now seems wider. I remember someone telling me many years ago that it’s not the original bridge. If this is so can you tell me where the bridge use to be.

    Thanking you

    • No – we just have too many bridges! There was a old wooden bridge that crossed Prospect Creek near Cambridge House – we have photos of it in our collection. If you search for ‘Cambridge House’ in our Historic Pictures database you’ll find it. Our Local Studies Librarian will also be in contact soon with more information about the bridge and exactly where it was located.

  6. Thanks for you help.


  7. i can remember cambridge house i use to look at it every morning when i caught the train from canley vale into the city ,then one morning i saw it had been torched sad really it was a lovely old house

  8. Hi there,
    Wondering if there are any floor plans for the Cambridge House. have emailed request before, but have not received a response
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Jen

      I have managed to locate 3 floor plans relating to Cambridge House in our Photographs collection via Digital Archive. If you enter in the search box ” Cambridge House Plan”, it will return 3 entries. A01616, A01615 and A01613 which will provide you with an image of the basement, the second floor (roof and attic) and details sketches on doors, windows, balustrade and skirting board.
      Here is a link to Digital Archive — http://www.fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au/default.asp?iNavCatId=12&iSubCatId=122
      Please don’t hesitate to contact us once again if there is any problem.

      Kind Regards


  9. Hi, my name is Jan Gyngell (née Colquhoun). My brother and I came to the book launch. In the book it states that the original Serovich family home at 67 Burns Rd, was moved to Mudgee. The house was purchased by my grandfather (Harold Horan) and inherited by Allan and Lois Colquhoun. My family lived there until moving to Melbourne in 1966. If possible could you tell me the address it was moved to?

    Regards Jan Gyngell

    • Hi Jan

      Thank you for your email, I have forwarded your query to our Heritage Service Librarian. If we are able to locate the address of the house, we will get in touch with you.

      Kind regards


  10. Hi,
    Do you have any photos of Susanah Coleman from Coleman House in Chifley st Smithfield, and her mother Anne Lewry. I am Annes GGGGrandaughter. Would love to find some photos.
    Thanks Dianne

    • Hi Dianne

      Thank you for your email, I have forwarded your query to our Heritage Librarian Marilyn. We will get back to you with an answer as soon as we can. Kind regards. GL

  11. Who owned Cambridge house?

    • Hi Adam

      Cambridge House belonged to the Stimson family. If you would like to discover more information on the house or the family, here is a link to our Heritage catalogue at https://goo.gl/3Gk7w0 , you will find all the relevant information here.

      Kind regards


  12. any photo of sonya betsis from Smithfield nsw

    • Hi Brent

      Thank you for your enquiry. Could you provide us with additional information on Sonya Betsis so that we can assist you further with this query? E.g. Numbers of sibblings, name of parents, school attended, estimated age, etc…
      Kind regards


  13. hi,
    would you have any information on the history of Old Guildford PS & Henry Whittaker’s original “Orchardleigh” estate? Or provide me with links or contacts to add to my information?
    thanks, S.Scerri, DP old Guildford PS

    • Hi Sharen

      Thank you for contacting the Heritage Team at Open Libraries. We are currently searching through our Local Studies Pamphlet collection and will get in touch with you shortly. In the meantime, please visit our photographic database at to find photographs of Orchardleigh and Old Guildford P.S.

      Kind regards


  14. Do you have any information on the history of the Hollywood pleasure grounds? I’m particularly interested in who built the house that later became a restaurant and the big dance hall. I lived there as a child and would love to know more about that site. Thanks very much Kathy

    • Hi Kathy

      Thank you for getting in touch with the Heritage Team. We will conduct a search through our collections and will forward our findings on the history of the Hollywood pleasure grounds to you soon.

      Kind regards

    • Hi Kathy,

      Mr. W. Wright took up the lease of the Hollywood Pleasure Grounds by 1930 from Cabra-Vale Council. He ran into a lot of trouble with them involving repairs, since the roads leading to the grounds had fallen into disrepair, and were impossible to pass in rainy weather. He spent £5000 on improving the grounds, which included the building of a dancing pavilion and miniature golf course. Sargent’s Limited took over the lease in 1939, a Gilbert and Sullivan actor named Gregory Stroud took it over in 1946, and by 1951, it was being leased to a Mr Alex H. Doig.

      Is the dancing pavilion the dance hall you refer to? I was unable to find any mention of the restaurant.

      Is there anything else you’d like to know about the Pleasure Grounds?



  15. Hi,
    My grandmother told me that she was born in a private hospital in Barbara Street in 1942 but I have been unable to find any information regarding the existence of such a place. Do you have anyone that may know? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards
    P Smith

    • Hi Patricia

      The hospital that you are referring to might be “St Kevern” Private Hospital. I will forward a few scanned pages from our pamphlet collection to you soon.
      Kind regards


  16. I was hoping you may have pictures and or info on the St Andrews Presbyteran Church. It became the Uniting Church when I was a teenager. I think it is on Nelson street and it now appears to be boarded up. I have such good memories of our church as a kid with fetes, lamington drives, and sunday services. It was a lovely place inside especially the stained glass windo. Hope you may be able to assist. Thank you.

    • Hi Annette,
      I’m sure we’d be able to assist, but our digital archive is currently down. Please keep in contact on the blog so we can get back to you once it’s fixed.
      The church windows sound beautiful!

      Thank you, E.H.

    • Hi Annette,

      I hope I have the right church. We have pictures of the Nelson Street Uniting Church from 2003 (A0020167), but we also have Fairfield’s first Presbyterian Church, which is not on Nelson Street but was recorded to have later moved ( A000158). To access these pictures, please go to our digital archive. To access it, please click on this URL https://fairfieldcity.spydus.com/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/OPAC/HERITAGE, click Digital Archive, and you can use the search bar on the left hand side to search for the codes above.

      Thank you,

  17. hi i was hoping you might be able to assist me in finding out some information on Fairfield Road. Many of my family members lived within Fairfield and Smithfield and i am trying to find where there homes were . I am lead to believe they were in the vacinity of Fairfield Road where the prospect creek ran at the back of their homes, they had to cross a very rickety bridge to get to their property. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Kerry McMahon

    • Hi Kerry,
      I need additional information to help with this enquiry. Do you have an email address I can contact you at?
      Thank you,

      • Hi Kerry,

        There was another message on here from you that seems to have disappeared. If you wouldn’t mind commenting again, or emailing us at heritage@fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au so we can contact you.

        Thank you,

      • Hi Erin Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. The relatives I am looking for are Rebecca Ruth Hill she apparently had a farm that backed on a creek along Fairfield Road . Her married name was Rebecca Littlejohn. My uncle Raymond Hill also lived next door to her. Thanks so much

      • Thank you Kerry. Please also check your email, because I followed up with some questions there.

  18. Do you have any photos of some of the original shops in Cabramatta pre 1980? Would appreciate seeing any that you have

    • Hi Colleen,

      Do you have an email address we can send some photographs too?

      Thank you,

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