Bark Huts Reserve, Belfield

By Cathy Jones

Bark Huts Reserve was formerly known as Elliott Street Reserve, but renamed Bark Huts Reserve in 1985. Bark Huts was a former name of a half-way hotel and settlement near the Cooks River and Liverpool Road in the late 1800s. The hotel was built of long, low slabs with a bark roof and was a  changing station for the coaches between Liverpool and Sydney for many years.

The land on which the Reserve is situated was originally part of the land grant to John Alford in 1810, which was later subdivided as the ‘Clareville Estate’.  It appears that the site remained vacant until it was reserved in 1951 for open space and road purposes under the Cumberland Planning Scheme.  The road plans did not proceed and the land was later dedicated to Strathfield Council to park and recreation purposes.

The photograph above is dated 2006 and taken by Cathy Jones.