Established in 1884, Granville College stands on land which was part of a 1,124 acre grant to Graham Blaxcell. This property was nicknamed "Dog Trap Farm" as large numbers of dingoes were hunted on the property. Nearby Woodville Road was known as Dog Trap Road.
In 1885 the rail link from Granville to Sydney was completed and businesses began moving to the area from the now overcrowded Sydney. Many families also followed the train line west, seeking land and cheap housing.
Local entrepreneaurs James Raynor, John Nobbs and James Niblett made their fortunes by subdividing nearby tracks of land. The newly formed progress association changed Dog Trap Farm to Granville and "Dog Trap Road" to "Woodville Road". Following the relocation of the railway station the progress association built the nearby School of Arts Hall in 1884.
One of the largest local companies of that time was Hudson Bros who are now known as Clyde Engineering. A group of engineers came from Scotland to work at Hudson Bros in 1884. One of these was James Brown who immediately began voluntary night classes with the apprentices.
In January 1885 the efforts of James Brown were acknowledged by the NSW Technical Education Board and he was appointed resident master. He then began actively canvassing for prospective students from local industry. His efforts were so successful that by 1893 he had 123 students.
By 1907 there were 279 students enrolled and approval was given to build a new Technical College. James Brown selected the current site in South Street, Granville. The first buildings were erected by the apprentices and the College was completed by 1910.
During his 36 years of service, James Brown held regular social outings with his students including tennis on Saturday afternoons and helped form the first student association in New South Wales.
In 1937 VW Smith had commenced as Principal of Granville College. He was immediately faced with the task of building a College in William Street capable of accommodating approximately 5,000 students.
The first buildings were used to train Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) staff in Fitting and Machining during 1943-1944. During this time the College was open 24 hours each day providing training in three shifts - two for the RAAF, and one for civilian students.
In 1948, HT Howard was appointed Principal and the activities of the College were also expanded.