The History of Camden, NSW

In 1795 Camden was named “Cowpastures” after cattle had wandered into the area from the nearby colony at Farm Cove.

Elizabeth Macarthur Camden NSW

Elizabeth Macarthur

The first white woman to cross the Nepean River was Mrs King, wife of Governor King. They visited the area and the Governor arranged for the cattle herd to be preserved. This was in 1805 and it was this year that saw the first house in the district built.

The local constables Warby and Jackson lived in the house from where they managed the cattle herd. The road from Prospect to this area was called Cowpasture Road, a name it is still known by today.

Camden is famous for being the first place in Australia to have Merino sheep. They were brought in from the Royal stud at Kew and from there became one of the main stays of the Australian economy right through to the present time. In 1803 John Macarthur was granted 5,000 acres by Governor King for the purpose of breeding the sheep. The great Australian Wool Industry was born.

merino sheep in camden

Merino sheep in Camden

In 1836 Macarthur’s sons surrendered 320 acres of their land for the purpose of building the town of Camden. On 18 August 1883, a citizens meeting began the process of turning the town of Camden into a Municipality. On 24th February 1889 the Council held its first meeting. They’ve been gas bagging away ever since to help make Camden one of the best places to live not just in NSW but in all Australia…. well that’s what we think anyway.

Narellan, Catherine Field, Leppington, Bringelly and Rossmore areas form the area’s borders today.