Tuesday, 18 June 2019 Sydney

Visit, Live & Invest in Lane Cove::

A Brief History of Lane Cove


The area which is now Lane Cove was originally inhabited by the Cam-mer-ray-gal Group of the Ku-ring-gai Aboriginal Tribe. The group, which inhabited the north shore of Port Jackson , was one of the largest in the Sydney area.

The first recorded landing of a white man occurred in 1788, when Lieutenant Henry Ball crossed the Greenwich Peninsula on return from a trip to Middle Harbour . Lieutenant Ralph Clark landed not far from the entrance to the Lane Cove River on 14 February 1790.

The first written use of the name ‘Lane Cove” occurred on 2 February 1788 , soon after the arrival of the First Fleet in Port Jackson. Lieutenant William Bradley, while surveying, referred to the river into which he sailed by this name. Several possibilities for the name have been suggested, but none have been supported by written evidence. One suggestion was that it was named after Lieutenant Michael Lane , a respected cartographer, who worked with Captain James Cook in Canadian waters. The other possibility is that the name was bestowed in honour of John Lane , son of the Lord Mayor of London , and a good friend of Governor Arthur Phillip.

During much of the nineteenth century the name Lane Cove referred to a much bigger area than the Municipality of Lane Cove that we know today.

The first land grants in the present area of Lane Cove were made in 1794, the majority going to privates and non-commissioned officers in the New South Wales Corp. Many of these grants were never settled by the owners, being exchanged for land elsewhere, sold or cancelled. For those who attempted to settle, life was not easy. Much of the area was steep, heavily timbered, with poor, rocky soil and few roads. The settlers were plagued with bushrangers and bushfires.

From the earliest days of settlement, Lane Cove was an important source of timber for house and ship building, of grass for animal fodder, and of shells which were burnt to produce lime for building. A stockade was erected in Woodford Bay , with a permanent garrison of soldiers to protect convict workers and settlers. Throughout the 19 th century, farms and dairies were established.

One of the earliest manufacturing industries was Rupert Kirk's soap and candle factory, established in 1831, in what is now Longueville. Later factories established included the Ludowici and Radke tanneries in Burns Bay in the 1860s and the Phoenix and Sydney Potteries late in the century (adjacent to the site now known as Pottery Green). These were followed by the boiling down works of the Charlish and Whatmore families in West Lane Cove, and the Australian Woodpipe Company in Burns Bay in 1912.

The Chicago Cornflour Factory was opened on the Lane Cove River near Stringybark Creek in 1894, to be followed by the Cumberland Paper Mill in 1912. After the almost complete demolition of the latter plant in a fire in 1928, the site was used for a chemicals manufacturing plant, owned firstly by Robert Corbett and Sons, and later by CSR Chemicals. The largest industrial complex, the Shell Company of Australia distribution and storage depot at Greenwich , was started in 1903 as John Fell and Company Ltd, oil refiners, blenders and distributors.

Local government in its present form did not extend north of the harbour until 1865, when an area of the North Shore , including the present municipality of Lane Cove , was proclaimed the Borough of North Willoughby. There were no wards until 1876, when Lane Cove formed part of the Lane Cover River Ward. After a petition from ratepayers of the area, the Governor proclaimed the Borough of Lane Cove a municipality in its own right in February 1895.

Extracted from A brief history of Lane Cove by Judy Washington (revised in 1992)



About Lane Cove West Business Park


Providing a quality working environment, the location has attracted leading multi-national companies including:

  • Cochlear - a global leader in innovative, implantable hearing solutions
  • Samsung - a global consumer electronics powerhouse
  • Neutragena - part of the Johnson & Johnson conglomerate, the company produces facial, hair care and skin care products
  • Dermologica - manufacturers of the skin care system researched and developed by The International Dermal Institute
  • Lego - one of the world's largest toy manufacturers and the largest in construction toys
  • Doubleday Australia - one of Australia's leading publishers and distributors of books
  • Logica CMG - a major international force in IT services and wireless telecoms
  • Netcomm - a respected name in broadband, dialup, routing, high speed networking and digital IP video
  • SC Johnson - creating innovative cleaning products such as Windex, Ziploc, Pledge, Glade, and Edge for over 100 years
  • Kastle Systems - centrally managed access control systems and security solutions
  • Freedom Furniture - a leading Australian retail outlet for furniture and homeware needs
  • Sagem - leading French manufacturer with a range of mobile phones, flat-screen TVs, digital set-top boxes, routers and more
  • Pentel - world leader in the innovation of writing instruments
  • Motorola - pacesetter in communications technology, semiconductors and advanced electronic systems is a major force behind personal, commercial, emergency, government and law enforcement communications in Australia and the Pacific region
  • Kyocera - market leaders in semiconductors, telecommunications hardware, optics, electronics, metal processing, automotive components, medicine and solar energy
  • Hutchison Telecommunications - leading mobile communications company


Lane Cove Council welcomes new businesses to Lane Cove West Business Park and can assist with all planning enquiries. It provides a regular free shuttle bus service (Village Express) to the nearby Lane Cove Village retail precinct.

Enquire about the available business premises in the Lane Cove Business Park.