The suburb of Campbell in Canberra’s inner north is one of our oldest suburbs and has a whole lot of history behind it. Named after Robert Campbell, a politician in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, a merchant, and the owner of Duntroon Station.
Campbell, in my opinion, is one of the nicest parts of Canberra. With beautiful views of Mount Ainslie, daily visits from kangaroos, trees galore, the War Memorial, and a great little set of shops which is also home to restaurant Lanterne Rooms which came in at number ten in the top 20 restaurants in the ACT last year. The Campbell shops also hosted a hugely successful Parties at the Shops earlier this year.
There are three schools here: Canberra Grammar Northside Infants School (the main campus is in Red Hill), Campbell Primary and Campbell High. One super cool thing about Campbell High is that Barack Obama visited in 2011! Pretty much every time I pass that school I think about Obama’s visit to Canberra.
Duntroon falls into the area of Campbell and once upon a time was a sheepstation established in 1825 by James Ainslie. 21 years later Robert Campbell renamed the property Duntroon after his ancestral Duntrune Castle in Scotland. Duntroon House is the oldest building in Canberra and is said to be haunted by Sophia, the granddaughter of Robert.
She died at the age of 27 from bleeding at the brain caused after she fell from her bedroom window. However, there are lots of rumours as to whether she fell or was pushed or perhaps even jumped. There is speculation that she was having an affair with the gardener and her family disapproved, however this has never been proven. There are also records of Sophia’s great nephew stating that he believes she had an epileptic fit which caused her fall.
Several accounts suggest that a ghostly woman in 19th century clothing wanders the floor she fell from, while others suggest that things get thrown around in her bedroom and even that the bed can be made in the morning and a few hours later will look as if someone has slept there.
While Campbell looks like a lovely place to live, it’s definitely not cheap. The median property price so far this year is $967,000, with the top sale of all time smashing it out of the ballpark at $4.6 million in 2005 after first being sold in 1995 for $790,000.
Surprisingly, Campbell is quite a young suburb with a median age of 27. I would have expected it to be a bit older – perhaps with a median age of mid-30s.
Campbell is a picturesque, historic, and expensive suburb all rolled into one. I imagine it’s towards the top of people’s ‘if I could live anywhere in Canberra’ list. It’s definitely on mine.
Streets are named after: Defence personnel
Federal Electorate: Fraser
Federal MP: Andrew Leigh
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population breakdown: 58.9 per cent male, 41.1 per cent female (this is a huge difference!)
Average children per family: 1.8
Crime: 276 incidents in 2014 (not including parking infringements)