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Castle Hill, Australia

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Castle Hill is a suburb in the northwest of Sydney, and is the seat of Baulkham Hills Shire[?]. It was the site of a convict station in the early years of the colony. The majority of the convicts there were Irish, many having been transported for agitation against British rule. In 1804, the convicts rebelled in the Castle Hill Rebellion[?], overpowering their guards and marching on Parramatta. However, they were vastly outgunned and outnumbered by British troops, who massacred most of them and then hanged the rest.

In later years the area became filled with market gardens and especially orchards which supplied Sydney with fresh produce. However, as Sydney has expanded, the orchards have disappeared and been replaced with a sprawl of suburban dwellings, retail and commercial establishments, and light industry. However, Baulkham Hills Shire Council commemorates the shire's former status as an orange-growing area with the Orange Blossom Festival each year.

In the past Castle Hill was serviced by a rail line to Parramatta, to take the rural area's produce to the city. However, it was removed in the 1950s, due to competition with trucks and cars. This is now widely viewed as a mistake, and the NSW State Government has promised to construct a new subway line there from Epping. However, this must wait until the Paramatta Rail Link[?] is completed, and the railway line is unlikely to be built until 2010-2015.

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