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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Reserve named after early Penrith settler 

Penrith City Council has unveiled the newly renamed Thomas Smith Reserve in Thornton, honouring the contributions of the early Penrith settler, Thomas Smith.

The reserve is located at 86-94 Empire Circuit, near Smith’s former residence, Thornton Hall.  

Thomas Smith emigrated to Australia from England circa 1840. From 1846, Smith held his first Red Cow Inn licence at Colyton located on the Western Road (now known as the Great Western Highway). He transferred the licence to Penrith in 1862 where he constructed the Red Cow Inn on the corner of Station and Jane Street, the site it occupies today. 

By 1871, Smith had built the now heritage listed Thornton Hall, and in that same year was elected as an alderman on the first Penrith Council and remained in office until 1890. 

Penrith Mayor Todd Carney and Penrith City Council General Manager Andrew Moore with Thornton Hall in the background, Thomas Smith’s former residence.

Penrith Mayor Todd Carney said the honour reflects Thomas Smith’s legacy to Penrith. 

“The contributions of early settlers like Thomas Smith add to the rich history of our City. This reserve naming honours Smith’s legacy,” said Cr Carney.  

“From establishing the Red Cow Inn to the building of the heritage listed Thornton Hall, it’s this type of vision and determination that has shaped Penrith to be the vibrant City it is today.” 

After retiring from the Red Cow Inn, Smith and his wife Jane moved into Thornton Hall where he resided until his death in 1896. At the time of his death, Smith was one of the largest landowners in the Nepean District, including owning over 300 acres of land in Penrith and Emu Plains.  

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