Ashbury is a suburb in the Inner West of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It lies in the local government area of the Inner West Council with some areas in Canterbury-Bankstown Council.and is about 10 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district. The postcode is 2193, the same as neighbouring Canterbury.
Ashbury is mostly residential and has no commercial centre, although there are a few shops on King Street. Its major landmark is Peace Park, the highest point in the Canterbury local government area. Ashbury derived its name from the two neighbouring suburbs Ashfield and Canterbury. It is near Canterbury Park Racecourse.
Before the British colony at Sydney, the Ashbury area was home to the Wangal and Cadigal people, clans of the Darug tribe. After pressure from colonists, the British administration began subdividing land in the area surrounding the Sydney settlement and granting it to colonists. The first land grant in the area was 100 acres (40 ha) made to Reverend Richard Johnson (1753-1827), the colony's first chaplain.
The land that extended over Ashbury was known as Canterbury Vale. When it was sold to Lieutenant William Cox in 1800, it covered 600 acres (240 ha). It was then sold to Robert Campbell (1769–1846) in 1803 when it covered 900 acres (360 ha) and then proceeded to purchase more land to Liverpool Road. The estate passed onto his son-in-law Arthur Jefferey and was eventually split up. This area then became known as Goodlet's Bush, after an early settler, John Hay Goodlet. In 1878 Goodlet had bought Canterbury House, which had been built by Arthur Jeffreys.
The South Ashfield Brickworks (later called the Ashbury Brickyard) opened in 1910 from the site of what is now Peace Park. Widescale housing development of the area began in 1919. A primary school began taking students in 1924 and in 1926 changed its name from South Ashfield to Ashbury Public School, leading to the area adopting its own identity. A non-official post office was established on King St in the same year.
There is no train to Ashbury but it is relatively close to both Ashfield Station on the Airport, Inner West & South Line and Canterbury Station on the Bankstown Line. Sydney Buses service Ashbury. The 491 Five Dock to Hurstville bus links Ashbury to both Ashfield and Canterbury Stations from King St. The 413 bus links Ashbury to both the City and Campsie. Route 418 links Ashbury with Burwood, Ashfield, Hurlstone Park, Marrickville, Sydenham, Mascot, Randwick and Bondi Junction via Queen street whilst the 406 connects Ashbury with Five Dock, Ashfield and Hurlstone Park via Victoria Street and Old Canterbury Road.
Ashbury borders the Cooks River and offers excellent access for cyclists and walkers to the Cooks River Cycleway.
There are two schools in Ashbury. St Francis Xavier's Primary School and Ashbury Public School, which was built in 1928. Its catchment area includes students from southern Ashfield as well as Ashbury.
The area has a consistent subdivision pattern, building form and streetscape, largely because its development occurred over a relatively short period of time. A high standard of design and residential amenity was also achieved, and housing in this area has become increasingly sought after. Ashbury consists of character filled Federation and Californian bungalows which are under heritage conservation making the suburb highly sought after.
According to the 2011 census, there were 3,134 residents in Ashbury. 63.6% of residents were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were Italy 6.5%, Lebanon 2.6% and China 2.4%. 57.6% of residents spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Italian 11.7%, Greek 8.2% and Arabic 4.8%. The most common responses for religious affiliation were Catholic 46.3%, No Religion 15.4%, Eastern Orthodox 12.6%, Anglican 8.7% and Buddhism 2.1%.
The following people were either born or lived in Ashbury:Selina Anderson (1878-1964): first woman to stand as a candidate for the Australian House of Representatives (in 1903). She lived in Ashbury from 1928 till her death in 1964.
Rev Richard Johnson (1753-1827): first chaplain of the colony in Sydney and first landowner in Ashbury, described by Watkin Tench as "the best farmer in the country".
Ashbury is mostly located in the East Ward of the City of Canterbury. Canterbury City is dominated by Labor councillors and East Ward returned two Labor councillors and one Independent at the last council elections in 2004. The popularly elected mayor of Canterbury is Labor's Robert Furolo.
Part of Ashbury is also located in the South Ward of the Ashfield Council area.
For state government elections, Ashbury is in the Electoral district of Summer Hill held by Labor's Jo Haylen since 2015. For federal government elections, it is in the Division of Watson, held by Labor's Tony Burke since 2004. The table to the right shows a consistently strong Labor vote in both Federal and State elections.