Ln008 : Blue Mountains Inn - Archaelogical Site | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Ln008 : Blue Mountains Inn - Archaelogical Site

Item details

Name of item: Ln008 : Blue Mountains Inn - Archaelogical Site
Primary address: 2-12 Wilson Street, Lawson, NSW 2783
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
2-12 Wilson StreetLawsonBlue Mountains   Primary Address
Great Western HighwayLawsonBlue Mountains   Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

The site has historic significance at the local level as it is directly associated with the early settlement of the Blue Mountains and Lawson in particular. In the Inn period the site has associations with the locally significant Wilson family. The site has considerable historical archaeological value and research potential to demonstrate the general character of its types of occupation from the early nineteenth century onwards. Significant archaeological deposits are known to survive here which will provide evidence of the specific construction, form, nature, function and occupation of the former buildings and associated structures of this site.
Date significance updated: 07 Mar 00
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Construction years: 1844-1845
Physical description: The archaeological site is situated in the grassed school playground area. This has a level about 1-1.5 m higher than the main road, and appears to have been little modified except for some tree plantings. A ground penetrating radar survey undertaken by the RTA in late 1999 located evidence of stone flagging, possible carriageway, and building foundations which closely relate to the positions of buildings shown in the 1880s survey plan. There appears to be evidence of two main buildings and outbuildings (ie different phases). The main structure occupies an area of about 20m within the area 12 to 32 metres from the Wilson Street corner, and about 2 m inside the current highway frontage. It appears from ongoing discovery of ceramic and glass sherds that the dumps are situated near the present-day school cricket nets.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Archaeological potential high
Date condition updated:07 Mar 00
Current use: School Playing Area
Former use: Inn

History

Historical notes: In the late 1820s this site was occupied by a hut erected by Michael Pembroke at 24 Mile Hollow to cater to travellers on the Western Road. Pembroke subsequently relocated to 20 Mile Hollow (Woodford) where he received a 2 acre land grant. Present day Woodford Academy stands on this land. The hut at 24 Mile Hollow (Lawson) persisted throughout the 1830s. In 1843 the portion of land was purchased by Henry Wilson, (1818-1880) the founder of Lawson.

The founder of Lawson was Henry Charles Wilson (1814 - 1880), who built the Blue Mountain Inn in 1845. Wilson had come as a free settler in 1826, married in Castlereagh in 1838 and moved to the mountains, becoming an inn-keeper first at The Scotch Thistle in Blackheath (1838-40) and then at the Welcome Inn at Valley Heights (1841-2). In 1843 Wilson bought 40 hectares (100 acres) at 24 Mile Hollow (later Lawson) and erected a double-storied building which burnt down very soon and was replaced in 1844-5 by a single-storied stone building which he licensed as the Blue Mountain Inn in 1845. The inn gave its name to the settlement, which was then known as Blue Mountain until 1879 when Lawson was officially adopted.

The inn continued to trade until 1875, but from 1855 until 1867 the Wilsons lived on the Nepean at Emu Plains and the Blue Mountain Inn was occupied by lessees. When Harry Wilson and his family returned to Lawson in 1867 the railway had arrived but the Blue Mountain station was some 400 metres to the east of the inn, on the site of the present Lawson station. Accordingly Wilson built a new, weatherboard Blue Mountain Inn on another part of his land opposite the station and transferred the licence there in 1875.

The first Blue Mountain Inn then became a residence and was known as the Old Farm, owned by Sarah Wilson, Harry’s widow, from 1880 until her death in 1910. (Bentley 10-17)

In 1917 the stone building was demolished and the new public school was erected at the back of the site. The actual foundations of the inn lie under the playing field beside the highway.

At the time of demolition, the inn was a stone building of 11 rooms that was both unoccupied and derelict. This building stood in the Wilson Street end of the School playground and was known to early travellers as the Blue Mountain Inn. The grounds also included a garden and large orchard and some other outbuildings which are shown on various 19th century survey plans. The School has been located on this site since 1918.

With the arrival of the railway in 1867, the Wilson family built another inn, also named the Blue Mountain Inn on land they owned opposite the railway platform. The village changed its name to Lawson in 1879. In 1880 a new building was erected on the corner of the Bathurst Road and Douglas Square (now Honour Avenue). This became the second Blue Mountain Hotel with the license of the inn being transferred to it.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements (none)-
6. Educating-Educating Education-Activities associated with teaching and learning by children and adults, formally and informally. (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The site has historic significance at the local level as it is directly associated with the early settlement of the Blue Mountains and Lawson in particular. In the Inn period the site has associations with the locally significant Wilson family.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The site has considerable historical archaeological value and research potential to demonstrate the general character of its types of occupation from the early nineteenth century onwards. Significant archaeological deposits are known to survive here which will provide evidence of the specific construction, form, nature, function and occupation of the former buildings and associated structures of this site.
Integrity/Intactness: Although there are no above ground remains, the footings of the inn complex are reasonably intact.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanLEP2005LN00807 Oct 05 122 
Heritage study LN008   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blue Mountains Heritage Study1983LN008Croft & Associates Pty Ltd & Meredith Walker  Yes
Heritage Study Review, Blue Mountains1992LN008Tropman and Tropman  Yes
Blue Mountains Heritage Register Review1999LN008Jack, R. I. for University of SydneyRIJ & SL Yes
Technical Audit BM Heritage Register2008LN008Blue Mountains City CouncilCity Planning Branch No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
GraphicBentley, S. J.1986Christmas Swamp: A History of Lawson
MapBentley, S. J.1986Christmas Swamp: A History of Lawson
PhotographBentley, S. J.1986Christmas Swamp: A History of Lawson
WrittenBentley, S. J.1986Christmas Swamp: A History of Lawson
WrittenMollenhauer, Heather1996A History of Lawson

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1170336


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