L001 : Lapstone Monocline | NSW Environment & Heritage

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L001 : Lapstone Monocline

Item details

Name of item: L001 : Lapstone Monocline
Primary address: South of Knapsack Bridge, Great Western Highway, Lapstone, NSW 2773
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
South of Knapsack Bridge, Great Western HighwayLapstoneBlue Mountains   Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Criterion (a) Historical
The Lapstone monocline was the Aboriginal stairway from the plains to the Mountains; for the early Europeans it represented a strenuous obstacle to wheeled traffic by road and a major engineering challenge to the railway of the laster nineteenth century.

Criterion (c) Aesthetic
The Monocline is the doorway to the Mountains, the universal image of the escarpment seen from the Nepean River. In an uncompromising way, it has aesthetic significance, contributing to the landmark qualities for which the Blue Mountains scenery is renowned


Criterion (e) Scientific and technical
The Lapstone Monocline is of scientific significance on a State level for its demonstration of a profound event in the geological formation of the Sydney Basin between 15 and 22 million years ago.
Date significance updated: 10 Oct 04
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

Physical description: The Lapstone Monocline is an upfolding of the sedimentary strata of the Sydney Basin. The monocline has faulting to the west, erosion of its uppermost strata and deep gullies running eastwards. It is 100-150 kms in length, from the Colo River in the north to the area near Bargo in the south, and has caused rocks on the western side to rise over 500m relative to those on the east. The Nepean River cutting deeply into hard rock indicates that it followed the same course prior to the uplift, which formed the monocline. The uplift took place gradually, as the Nepean River was able to cut down into the rock at a rate that enabled it to retain its course.

The monocline exposes the junction between the Hawkesbury Sandstone group, the Wianamatta Shale Group and Tertiary Gravels at key points along its length. The concentration of these within the Blue Mountains City area has been recognised by five separate listings on the Local Environmental Plan. These are: the Hawkesbury Lookout Fault Zone (HH001); the road cuttings near Knapsack Bridge (L 001); exposures on the platform of Lapstone Railway Station (L 002); an asymmetrical anticline at the foot of the South Lapstone Monocline in Orion Place, Leonay; an asymmetrical syncline at the top of a road cut on the northern side of the western freeway 400m east of the Mulgoa Road underpass; in a series of cuttings in the old Mitchell’s Pass Road between its junction with the Great Western Highway and Lennox Bridge (L 003). The ridge-line of the feature is very visible as the horizon above the Castlereagh flood-plain between Hawkesbury Panorama Lookout on the north and Mount Riverview on the south (L 004).
Further information: Cf. L 002, L003, L 004

History

Historical notes: The geological history of the Lapstone monocline begins somewhere between 15 and 22 million years ago and took some time. It was created by an upfolding of the sedimentary strata of the Sydney Basin and runs for some150 kms from the Colo River in the north to the area near Bargo in the south, and has caused rocks on the western side to rise over 500m relative to those on the east. The Nepean River cutting deeply into hard rock indicates that it followed the same course prior to the uplift, which formed the monocline. The uplift took place gradually, as the Nepean River was able to cut down into the rock at a rate that enabled it to retain its course. (Schon, Geological History, 20-1)

In recent, historic time, the Monocline has presented a formidable obstacle to wheeled traffic from the coastal plain to the Blue Mountains plateau. Aboriginal people had scaled the escarpment for millennia, but Europeans , with Aboriginal help, created a passable track only in 1814, when William Cox’s convicts created the first modern line of road from Emu Plains up the southern end of the Monocline, to the south of Knapsack Gully. This route proved inadequate for wheeled vehicles and was superseded, first in 1826 by Dumaresq’s road, now known as Old Bathurst Road (BX 003), then by Thomas Mitchell’s Pass with the fine Lennox Bridge (G 027) in between the two earlier roads. ((XYZ, Fourteen Journeys over the Blue Mountains, ed. Mackaness XXIII 80; State Records NSW, AO Maps 2661, 2666, 2669)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings (none)-
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)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Lapstone monocline was the Aboriginal stairway from the plains to the Mountains; for the early Europeans it represented a strenuous obstacle to wheeled traffic by road and a major engineering challenge to the railway of the laster nineteenth century.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Monocline is the doorway to the Mountains, the universal image of the escarpment seen from the Nepean River. In an uncompromising way, it has aesthetic significance, contributing to the landmark qualities for which the Blue Mountains scenery is renowned
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The Lapstone Monocline is of scientific significance on a State level for its demonstration of a profound event in the geological formation of the Sydney Basin between 15 and 22 million years ago.
Integrity/Intactness: High
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 PlanLEP1991L00127 Dec 91 183 
Heritage study L001   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blue Mountains Heritage Study1983L001Croft & Associates Pty Ltd & Meredith Walker  Yes
Heritage Study Review, Blue Mountains1992L001Tropman and Tropman  Yes
Blue Mountains Heritage Review2003L001Jack, Hubert, Lavelle, MorrisIJ, CM Yes
Technical Audit BM Heritage Register2008L001Blue Mountains City CouncilCity Planning Branch No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Map  Maps of Lapstone Hill
Written  www.vnc.qld.edu.au/enviro/bluemtns/
WrittenDavid F Branagan and Gordon H Packham1967Field Geology of New South Wales, 2nd Edition
WrittenR W Schon1984The Geological History of New South Wales, Volume 3
WrittenW L Havard1953Who was XYZ of 'A Ride to Bathurst, 1827'? In Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 39
WrittenXYZ [Thomas Horton James]1978A Ride to Bathurst, 1927 in G L Mackaness (ed) 14 Journeys over the Blue Mountains of NSW, New Series 23

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

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1170643


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