Darlington is a small, inner-city suburb of Sydney located about 3 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district. It’s bordered by City Road, Cleveland Street, Golden Grove Street, Wilson Street and Abercrombie Street.
The first Aboriginal inhabitants of Darlington were the Cadigal people of the Eora nation. Darlington was part of their southern range. The earliest recorded British history of Darlington is linked to school purposes when in 1789, Governor Arthur Phillip received instructions from England to set aside land in the new penal colony for church and school use.
By the late 1850s, the University of Sydney to the north of Darlington, was established. The origin of the suburb’s name is possibly derived from Governor Ralph Darling and the Darling Nursery, or from William Vane, 3rd Earl of Darlington, a well known British politician during the early years of the New South Wales Colony. Darlington was regarded as a slum and was the most densely populated suburb of Sydney.
By the late 1890s, the Eveleigh Railway Workshops had been built and were employing many local workers. In 2009 the Locomotive Workshops were redeveloped as Australian Technology Park and Seven Network Sydney headquarters.
The Darlington commercial area of Abercrombie Sreet at Lawson Street has become the commercial focus of Darlington since the University expansion in the 1960s. This street has a number of cafes, restaurants, small grocers and other businesses. Commercial businesses also operate within the Sydney University Darlington campus. Broadway Shopping Centre, King Street and Redfern Street shopping areas are also nearby.
Sydney University’s Cadigal Green is the largest park in Darlington and contains the old Darlington School, seating and a wetland. Charles Kernan Reserve on Abercrombie Sreet is named after a former local resident and has playground facilities, public BBQs and a community garden. Other parks include the Vine Street playground and a pocket park located on the corner of Boundary and Shepherd Streets. Other large parks are within walking distance including Victoria Park, Prince Alfred Park and Redfern Park.
Schools include Darlington Public School, child care options and Darlington Preschool. Notable attractions include Sydney University Sports and Aquatic Centre which features swimming, tennis, basketball, and gymnasium facilities. Darlington has excellent transport options with buses on the City Road and Cleveland Street routes and railway stations at Redfern and nearby Macdonaldtown.