The Naming of the Church

The story goes that Archbishop Polding's ship was caught in a storm off Freemantle. It was so severe that he thought he would die. He made a vow to Our Lady of Mount Carmel that he would build a church on the highest hill he could find and dedicate it in her honour. Whether this is true or not, it simply adds the allure of the church.

At the time of the building of the church, you could see from the top of the hill the waters of Botany Bay and Sydney Harbour, with views of the North Shore, South Head, Randwick, Waverly, Newtown, and Cooks River. Also, it is said that the Tank Stream has it beginnings of the eastern slope of the hill. Water flowed down into the then Botany Swamps and rose in what is now Centennial Park and flowed finally into Farm Cove.