MANY residents living near Flushcombe Turrets Reserve in Blacktown will now know why two historic gates are standing in their little park.
Thanks can go to Lyn and Les Tod, of Woodcroft, who were awarded the Mayoral History Prize for writing about this in a Blacktown Council competition, which aims to encourage greater understanding of the area's diverse history.
A council spokeswoman said the judges found the work submitted by the Tods had contributed to the promotion of Blacktown's history with an account of colonial times in Blacktown.
Their entry, Flushcombe and Flushcombe Turrets: a Blacktown tragedy tells about two important houses built in 1823 and 1824, called Flushcombe and Flushcombe Turrets respectively.
"We both love history, and parts of our local history [are] not well documented, so we decided to do research into the two significant houses which people do not know much about," Mr Tod said.
"Captain Robert Lethbridge of the Royal Navy built the first house, a large colonial residence he named Flushcombe, near Myrtle Street.
"Lethbridge later sold his land and moved to the Hunter Valley. William Campbell built the second house, Flushcombe Turrets, a two-storey mansion near Pat Zikan Reserve.
"You can imagine how well he furnished his house as Campbell owned a major furnishing emporium in Sydney and Grafton.
"His property was also renowned for its orchards and fine fruits, as well as fountains and goldfish ponds."
Lyn and Les Tod received $1000 and a certificate for their efforts.