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Regentville is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is 56 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Penrith, and is part of the Greater Western Sydney region. It is located on the eastern bank of the Nepean River, just south of Jamisontown.
Following the arrival of the First Fleet land was granted to British settlers by the colonial administration. The first land grant in this area was to the Irish-born Surgeon-General of New South Wales, Thomas Jamison, who had arrived in 1788 aboard the Sirius. After Thomas’ death in London in 1811, the land (at what is now Jamisontown) was taken up by his son, John, also a surgeon, who had served under Admiral Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, and was knighted for his medical services to the Royal Navy by the Prince Regent of the United Kingdom, later King George IV, in 1813.
Sir John Jamison arrived in Sydney in 1814 and progressively established himself during the ensuing two decades as one of the colony’s biggest and wealthiest land owners. In 1823-24, he built a magnificent Georgian-style, sandstone mansion on a rise overlooking the Nepean River. He named the mansion Regentville House in honour of the Prince Regent. Sir John held so many lavish balls, banquets and other social activities at the mansion that he became known as the “hospitable knight of Regentville”. He later erected a multi-storey tweed mill on his extensive estate and established a dairy, a thoroughbred horse stud, ornamental gardens, a cemetery, and a school for the children of his work force. Other parts of the estate were given over to an orchard, a terraced vineyard, and grazing paddocks for sheep and cattle.
Sir John died at Regentville House in 1844, aged 68, having lost much of his fortune in a severe economic downturn then afflicting the colony. He is buried in St Stephen’s churchyard, Penrith. The Regentville estate passed to his children but the land was gradually sold off in chunks, following an acrimonious inheritance dispute. Regentville House was later turned into an asylum and then leased out as a hotel. Sadly, however, it burned down in suspicious circumstances in 1868. Today, only the house’s cellars and drains survive, along with some meagre sections of its masonry walls. Sir John’s tweed mill has disappeared, too, but the overgrown terracing of the estate’s vineyard can still be discerned.
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