Matcham - Holgate Local History
Our Hall Committee, in association with the Central Coast Environment Network and Gosford Library Local Studies Curator, are collecting local historical material regarding our Matcham and Holgate Valleys. Beginning with the Erina Creeks Alive history display put on by CCEN at the Hall in late February 2007, this will continue with the collection of documents, photographs and oral history recordings over coming months.

The sort of material we are looking for includes historical documents or letters, family histories, genealogies, the origin of local place names and any photographic material that demonstrates the way the valley looked or the way local residents lived over the last century. This can all be scanned or copied with the originals returned to the owners or preserved in the archives of the Local History Collection of Gosford Library.

There are good local histories of Ourimbah, Erina, Davistown and Woy Woy available through the Gosford Library web site.

We know the Guringai Aboriginal people lived in these valleys and the coastal strip from Port Jackson up towards Wyong. The Darkinjung people inhabited the area from the Hawkesbury and to the west of Mooney Mooney Creek. There are several known Aboriginal sites with engravings or axe-grinding sites along the ridges from the Ridgeway to Wambina Reserve.

The earliest English settlers came into our valleys in the 1820’s following the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. Willoughby Bean, from Hampshire, was granted 2000 acres in 1825. Stretching from the coast between Terrigal and Wamberal lagoons to Erina Creek, this land lies between the present day Terrigal Drive and the Entrance Rd. Willoughby lost his land following the recession of the late 1820’s and it changed hands several times before being sold in the 1840’s for the princely sum of 40 pounds! Charles Horatio Nelson Matcham (1805-1844), nephew of Lord Horatio Nelson, was granted 2560 acres on his arrival in the colony in 1828. This is the area we now know as Matcham and it remained intact until subdivision in 1910.

From 1910 onwards, many of our well known local families will have moved into the area. There will be photographs, stories, recollections that we can collect and share with those recently moved into the area and those with young kids, keen to learn about the local history. If you have any of this material, or if you are just interested in helping out, you can contact me or any members of the committee.