Most of Abbotsford is surrounded by water with Hen and Chicken Bay to its west and Parramatta River to its north and east. Neighbouring suburbs Wareemba and Chiswick complete its borders to the east and south.
When white settlement first came to the area Abbotsford was originally part of Five Dock Farm, the estate that made up the farm was subdivided in 1836. It was this 10 hectares of land that was then named Abbotsford by its new owner, Arthur Renwick. Historians believe that Renwick’s inspiration was in reference to Sir Walter Scott who lived at Abbotsford House, Scotland when he wrote his famous Waverley novels. Renwick also went on to build his own Abbotsford House on the grounds of the estate and it remained into the family before selling it due to financial hardship. Eventually it was bought by Nestle in the early 1900’s and Abbotsford House became the administrative building for their chocolate manufacturing business which was built on the grounds.
For the trivia buffs Abbotsford has two interesting historical facts. One of Australia’s best known poets, Henry Lawson, died in Abbotsford in 1922. Not in Abbotsford House as urban legend may have it but in a guest house along Great North Road. Also, Abbotsford is home to Sydney Rowing Club which is the oldest rowing club in New South Wales having been in operation since 1870 and in its current location since 1874.
There are a small group of shops along Great North Road which include takeaway options, a bottle shop and Thai and Italian restaurants. More eating out options are available at Sydney Rowing Club which also has view over Parramatta River. For a more substantial shop locals tend to head to neighbouring Five Dock or Birkenhead Point shopping centre which is slightly further down the road in Drummoyne.
Abbotsford has a mix of housing which include stunning waterfront residences, traditional double-brick homes on land size around 350 m2 and many more modern apartments and townhouses many of which have been built where the former Nestle factory once stood.
Abbotsford has its own public primary school which was founded in 1924. And for families looking for daycare or pre-school there are a number of options in the suburb. High schools, both public and private can be found in several nearby suburbs.
For recreation Abbotsford has a number of parks several of which have play equipment, BBQ’s and water view. If you are travelling towards the city there’s no need to take the car as Abbotsford has a regular city bus service or if you’d prefer to travel by water then head to Abbotsford Wharf where the River Cat service can have you at Circular Quay in about 30 minutes.
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