K014 : Prince Henry Cliff Walk | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Heritage

K014 : Prince Henry Cliff Walk

Item details

Name of item: K014 : Prince Henry Cliff Walk
Primary address: , Katoomba, NSW 2780
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
 KatoombaBlue Mountains   Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Criterion (a) Historical
Walking tracks have been an essential part of the Blue Mountains experience since the 1860s and their importance to the economically important tourism which filled the guesthouses and brought prosperity both to shopkeepers and the local Councils was well recognised. This municipally funded attempt to establish a track, comfortable walking for pedestrians of all ages and conditions, linking many of the cardinal attractions of the Jamison Valley escarpment at Leura and Katoomba, is a significant historic token of the efforts to repair the Mountains economy and to serve a public need after the worst of the Depression of the early 1930s. The long track has considerable historic significance at the local level.

Criterion (c) Aesthetic
Although the Prince Henry Cliff Walk varies in its scenic achievement from suburban tattiness (the penalty for accessibility) to fine native vegetation, rock-cut steps and sublime views, the balance is strongly towards the attractive. In comparison with less compromised (but tougher) walks, the Cliff Walk has aesthetic significance at the local, not the State, level.
Date significance updated: 15 Feb 05
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

Designer/Maker: Arthur Allen and Jackson, Department of Lands
Builder/Maker: Jim McKay and Walter Botting, Rangers
Construction years: 1934-1936
Physical description: The official opening of the first portion of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk by E.S. Spooner, the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Local Government, on 20 October 1934 was marked by the Katoomba Municipal Council with a presentation album of photographs by Henry Phillips (ML, PXE 839 v.1). A rustic log structure framed the Echo Point entrance to Prince Henry Walk and the Orphan Rock Stairway was under construction. New rustic shelter sheds in Lilianfels Park were featured in the album and it is likely that the similar structures in Echo Park were constructed at the same time.

The walk was named in honour of a son of King George V, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, who had spent 20 minutes at Katoomba railway station earlier in 1934. (Fox, Upper Blue Mountains Geographical Encyclopaedia, 134)

The section opened in 1934 ran from Katoomba Falls in the west to Leura Cascades in the east. In May 1936 the second stage of the Walk was opened by Ernest Buttenshaw, Minister for Lands: this extended the track from Leura Cascades eastwards to Gordon Falls. The bridge halfway along this new track was named Buttenshaw Bridge in honour of the minister.(Fox, 134; Woods, Yellow Rock to Green Gully, 30, 133)
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Fair
Date condition updated:15 Feb 05
Further information: The location of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk on the BMCC Heritage mapping system is curious, showing only the short section north of Echo Point, between Lady Carrington Lookout and Honeymoon Lookout: this is only 600 out of 9500 metres,
Current use: Walking Track
Former use: Walking Track

History

Historical notes: The official opening of the first portion of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk by E.S. Spooner, the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Local Government, on 20 October 1934 was marked by the Katoomba Municipal Council with a presentation album of photographs by Henry Phillips (ML, PXE 839 v.1). A rustic log structure framed the Echo Point entrance to Prince Henry Walk and the Orphan Rock Stairway was under construction. New rustic shelter sheds in Lilianfels Park were featured in the album and it is likely that the similar structures in Echo Park were constructed at the same time.

The walk was named in honour of a son of King George V, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, who had spent 20 minutes at Katoomba railway station earlier in 1934. (Fox, Upper Blue Mountains Geographical Encyclopaedia, 134)

The section opened in 1934 ran from Katoomba Falls in the west to Leura Cascades in the east. In May 1936 the second stage of the Walk was opened by Ernest Buttenshaw, Minister for Lands: this extended the track from Leura Cascades eastwards to Gordon Falls. The bridge halfway along this new track was named Buttenshaw Bridge in honour of the minister.(Fox, 134; Woods, Yellow Rock to Green Gully, 30, 133)

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)-
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]
Walking tracks have been an essential part of the Blue Mountains experience since the 1860s and their importance to the economically important tourism which filled the guesthouses and brought prosperity both to shopkeepers and the local Councils was well recognised. This municipally funded attempt to establish a track, comfortable walking for pedestrians of all ages and conditions, linking many of the cardinal attractions of the Jamison Valley escarpment at Leura and Katoomba, is a significant historic token of the efforts to repair the Mountains economy and to serve a public need after the worst of the Depression of the early 1930s. The long track has considerable historic significance at the local level.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Although the Prince Henry Cliff Walk varies in its scenic achievement from suburban tattiness (the penalty for accessibility) to fine native vegetation, rock-cut steps and sublime views, the balance is strongly towards the attractive. In comparison with less compromised (but tougher) walks, the Cliff Walk has aesthetic significance at the local, not the State, level.
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 PlanLEP1991K01427 Dec 91 183 
Heritage study K014   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Blue Mountains Heritage Study1983K014Croft & Associates Pty Ltd & Meredith Walker  Yes
Heritage Study Review, Blue Mountains1992K014Tropman and Tropman  Yes
Blue Mountains Heritage Review2003K014Jack, Hubert, Lavelle, MorrisIJ; CM Yes
Technical Audit BM Heritage Register2008K014Blue Mountains City CouncilCity Planning Branch No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenBrian Fox2001Upper Blue Mountains Geographical Encyclopaedia, 2nd Edition
WrittenChristopher J Woods1999Yellow Rock to Green Gully: Place Names in the Blue Mountains
PhotographHenry Phillips1934Opening of Prince Henry Cliff Walk album photographs
MapJim Smith1989How to see the Blue Mountains, 2nd Edition updated
WrittenJim Smith1989How to see the Blue Mountains, 2nd Edition updated

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: 1170735


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