Werribee is an ‘old’ town that has over time become an outer suburb of Melbourne. The pleasing aspect about Werribee is that the town has retained its identity. The residents also are proud they are from Werribee and not Melbourne. Heritage is clearly important for the town, and thus far the developments have been carefully introduced.
The name Werribee is an aboriginal name meaning backbone or spine. It is thought that this name was given as the shape of the Werribee River valley in the landscape looks like a backbone. A rural township began in the early 1850s. This village was named Wyndham (the name of the local municipality today). The name derived from a suggestion by the owner of a local village inn, Elliot Armstrong, who sought to honour Scottish soldier Sir Henry Wyndham. However, its adjacent river was called the Werribee River and the town's name was later changed to Werribee in 1884, and the shire council at that time was also renamed Werribee in 1909.
A religious school was opened in 1855 but was replaced by a public school in 1861. The Saint Andrews CatholicChurch was also opened in the same year. The United and Anglican Churches likewise are over 100 years old.
In 1881 a quarter of the shire's population lived in the Werribee Township. There are a number of remaining hotels as well as recreational venues such as the Werribee Racecourse (built in 1879) as well as the Mechanics Institute and others.
Werribee has lots of history and a stopover is recommended to get the best out of the place.