Charnwood is a suburb in the Belconnen district of Canberra. It was named after a former homestead in the Belconnen District belonging to Henry Hall, which in 1833 he name ‘Charnwood’, after the Forest of Charnwoo in England. The suburb was gazetted in 1971, with streets within the suburb named after Australian pioneer families.
Its design was based on the Radburn town planning principle, where houses were to face common parkland, with the suburb’s streets servicing garages situated at the rear of the houses. The design failed in its application, however ,as home owners built fences around the ‘park side’ of their blocks, effectively screening the houses away from the common parkland, creating long narrow fenced walkways with poor lighting and no neighbourhood surveillance. However, the network of pathways ensures that it is possible to walk from any point in the suburb to any other without directly crossing a road, with pedestrian bridges being used to cross the few major streets within the suburb.
Charnwood is the location of the Charnwood centre shopping area, which serves surrounding suburbs. Charnwood is home to Charnwood Primary School, St.Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School and Charnwood High School, which is now closed down and refurbished to be the Canberra Christian Life Centre. It is also home to the Greater Indian Restaurant.
Each year the schools St.Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School, Charnwood-Dunlop Primary School and Mount Rogers Scouts hold the Charny Carny, which is held as a joint schools’ fete and to build community spirit.