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Charlestown

Charlestown is a suburb of the City of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia, and the largest town within the City. It is approximately 10km west-south-west of the central business district of Newcastle.Charlestown has the largest business centre within the Lake Macquarie city, with a greater turnover than that of the neighbouring Newcastle CBD. The suburb serves as the district's transport hub.HistoryOriginally granted to the Waratah Coal Company, the area was the site of the company's first shaft, sunk in 1873. Officially called South Waratah, the pit was variously known as Charles' Pit, Raspberry Gully or The Gully Pit. These names all applied to Charlestown in its early days and the surviving name seem to have been derived from that of Charles Smith, the company's manager. The first settlers were miners from the pit.The company had the area surveyed on 29 April 1876; the first subdivision later became Ida Street, Pearson Street, Milson Street and Frederick Streets. Harry Wright bought the first lot when it was auctioned later in 1876.The town had its first water main in 1927 and was connected to civic sewage in 1959.TodayThe suburb is home to the largest shopping centre in the region, Charlestown Square, which is located just off the Pacific Highway.The suburb contains four primary schools; the State schools of Charlestown Primary, Charlestown South Primary and Charlestown East Primary, and the Catholic Diocese's St Joseph's Convent Primary School. The state primary schools feed into nearby Whitebridge High School, while the catholic primary school feeds into nearby St Mary's High School at Gateshead and St Pius X High School at Adamstown.
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