Wentworth Park

Wentworth Park began as a creek and swamp known, from the 1830s, as Blackwattle Cove Swamp. Noxious industries flourished, including abattoirs and boiling down works. Even after the removal of these enterprises, the stench persisted.

Infilling the swamp began in 1876. Trustees were appointed to manage the new park and a design competition was held. Construction began and by 1882 opinion had turned in favour of the new ovals, greens, paths, lakes and other facilities, now named after the politician William Charles Wentworth.

The new park was a focus for community activities – concerts, celebrations, moving pictures and especially sport. The lakes were removed in 1910, and during World War 1 timber sheds were built on the northern sports ground to store wool for the war effort. The construction of the railway cut the park in two.

After the war the Trust sought new sources of revenue, including hare coursing, and a speedway. Greyhound racing began in 1932. When World War II broke out, most of the park became an American army camp.

As funds were needed to upgrade facilities, the Trust made a lease agreement with the greyhound industry. The construction of a grandstand alienated more land from public use.

In 1990 trusteeship of the outer areas of the park passed to the City of Sydney which encouraged community access. From 2009 to 2012 the Wentworth Park Games celebrated the history and upgrading of the park, which also hosts soccer, rugby league, rugby union, public exams, functions and community events. Local schools use the facilities free of charge.