Castle Donnington

Castle Donnington was an early name for Swan Hill in north-west Victoria, and is the name of the Parish in which Swan Hill is situated.

When the Swan Hill road district was created in north-west Victoria in 1862 it extended from the South Australian border to Kerang, and there appears to have been a preference for applying the name Castle Donnington to the Swan Hill township. The reasons for the preference, or for the origin of the name, appear to be unrecorded. Castle Donnington township was a remote place, which brought the realisation that a district hospital was needed. A hospital was opened in 1860. There were also a few stores and three hotels.

The road district was made a shire in 1871, and with the advance of settlement the shire was divided into two. Swan Hill shire was formed on 31 May 1893, around Kerang and Castle Donnington shire was formed around Castle Donnington (now Swan Hill). This occurred when the township was increasingly being known as Swan Hill. The shires’ names were a cause of increasing confusion.

Swan Hill shire was renamed Kerang shire in 1898, leaving the way clear for Castle Donnington shire to adopt the name Swan Hill shire. After a delay of six years this occurred on 30 May 1904.

During 1893-1904 the Castle Donnington shire was greatly reduced in size by severances for Mildura shire (1890) and parts of Karkarooc and Wycheproof shires (1897). By 1904 Castle Donnington shire had irrigation settlements at Lake Boga, Nyah and Ultima.

Census populations for Castle Donnington have been:

census date population
1901* 4115
2011** 174

*shire, **parish

Further Reading

Swan Hill and Swan Hill shire entries