History of Erskineville Oval

History of Erskineville Oval

Erskineville Oval

Erskineville Oval is at 149 Mitchell Road, Erskineville.

It is on part of grants to Nicholas Divine in 1794 and John Thomas Campbell in 1825 (sold to William Hutchinson in 1829). The land remained undeveloped due to protracted lawsuits until in 1885 22 acres bounded by Ashmore, Binning, Swanson and Copeland Streets and Mitchell Road was proclaimed as Macdonaldtown Park. The name was changed to Erskineville Park when the municipality name changed in 1892.

A sports ground for cricket and football was built in the park, and the football ground was later enlarged for Australian Rules matches. It was the home ground for the Newtown rugby league team from 1913 to 1954. A large elevated tank stood on the Ashmore Street side of the park, for the trams to fill their water tanks.

In 1937 the park was taken over to build model housing, which was known as the Erskineville Housing Scheme. Sixteen blocks of flats and the Lady Gowrie child care centre were built on part of the park and the sports oval was reconstructed. The residue of just over two acres was returned to council in 1955.

In 2006 a major upgrade was carried out to provide training facilities for the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league club during the complete redevelopment of Redfern Oval.

Main image: Aussie Rules match at Erskineville Oval, 1934. (NSW State Library, Home and Away 00754).

Last updated: Thursday, 27 October 2016