The small pocket of Darlington is tucked away between north Newtown, Chippendale and Redfern. Up until about 1835 the area was largely unused except for a 28-acre landholding owned by botanist William Shepherd. Shepherd cultivated a nursery garden from which he sold an array of exotic plant species to Sydneysiders. The nursery was named Darling Nursery, in honour of Governor Ralph Darling and was soon referred to by locals as Darling Town, and eventually corrupted to Darlington. You can still see evidence of the nursery in the area’s street names – Ivy, Vine, Rose, Pine and Myrtle – and of course Shepherd Street, named after the botanist himself.
Some of the area’s grandest terrace houses can be found along the western end of Wilson Street. There are also a lot of standard Victorian terraces and single level dwellings. Much of Darlington’s housing was acquired by Sydney University in the 1960s which demolished acres of homes to expand the campus.
The former railway carriage workshops in Eveleigh railway yards have been converted into a theatre, gallery and workshop space known as Carriage Works. Right next door, in the old blacksmith’s sheds, is the Eveleigh Markets – a farmers’ market selling fresh produce every Saturday. There is also a cluster of trendy cafes along Abercrombie Street in neighbouring Chippendale and Hollis Park is just up the road in north Newtown.
Schools & Education
The Sydney University campus dominates the suburb and is a major drawcard for students, lecturers and associated workers looking for housing in the area. Darlington Primary School is on Golden Grove Street and there are lots of schooling options in nearby Newtown, Chippendale and Stanmore.
Darlington is located about 3km south west of the CBD and offers residents easy access to both Redfern and MacDonaldtown train stations plus buses on the City Road and Cleveland Street routes.