Vacant Lot - 102 Great Western Hwy, Mt Victoria | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Vacant Lot - 102 Great Western Hwy, Mt Victoria

Item details

Name of item: Vacant Lot - 102 Great Western Hwy, Mt Victoria
Type of item: Archaeological-Terrestrial
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: Cottage
Primary address: 102 Great Western Highway, Mount Victoria, NSW 2786
Local govt. area: Blue Mountains
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
102 Great Western HighwayMount VictoriaBlue Mountains   Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Roads and Maritime ServicesState Government 

Statement of significance:

Given the limited information on the site, a statement of significance is not appropriate. However, the mature plantings and the species of planting suggest a garden, which could have been attached to now demolished dwellings. If this is the case, the site is protected under Section 139 of the NSW Heritage Act (amended). Number 102 is within the Blue Mountains Draft LEP's Central Mount Victoria Conservation Area.
Date significance updated: 18 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.


Physical description: No fabric was visible during the site visit.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Original condition assessment: 'All three vacant blocks are weed infested nil to low ground visibility. Mature garden plantings have survived on site, including introduced pines as well as native eucalypts.' (Last updated: 14/12/2004.)

2007-08 condition update: 'Good.' (Last updated: 17/4/09.)
Date condition updated:17 Apr 09
Further information: Three sites (lots 102, 104 and 108) were nominated for further investigation because they appear to be listed within Central Mount Victoria Conservation Area (MV023). Closer inspection indicates the Nos. 104 and 108 are outside the boundaries of the conservation area. In addition, the Register of the National Estate lists its own Mount Victoria Urban Conservation Area, however the subject lots are not included within its boundaries. All three sites have mature exotic trees, which are often evidence of plantings around Colonial homes. Photographs were taken of the property on the opposite side of the subject sites (not an RTA owned property) as a comparison. The conclusion from the comparison is that at a minimum, an archaeological assessment is required before the site is physically impacted upon.
Current use: Vacant land
Former use: Undetermined


Historical notes: Mount Victoria is approximately 120km from Sydney and is the most westerly of the townships situated in the Blue Mountains. Originally named 'One Tree Hill', the name became formalised with the building of a post office in the township in 1876. Agriculturist William Cox had, with a small party of men, hewn a road over the Blue Mountains in little over six months between 1814 and 1815. Although a remarkable feat in itself, this new Western road had some inherent problems, the most notable of these being the treacherous descent from Mount York (DMR, 1976:15-16). In 1829 Governor Darling directed the then Surveyor General, Thomas Livingstone Mitchell, to re-survey the route between Mount York and Bathurst. This he did, concentrating on a ridge parallel to Mount York which he named Mount Victoria. The resulting pass, with its spectacular stone causeways, was opened by Governor Bourke in 1832 (DMR, 1976:27). Despite such improvements conditions were still considerably rough. A contemporary account provided by Louisa Meredith, who travelled through the region along the Great Western Road circa 1840, speaks unfavourably of the road conditions encountered. She mentions a particular region known as ‘Soldiers Pinch’, which is approximately 2km from the Lots under study. "It was a mass of loose stones, continually rolling from under the horses’ feet, and so steep as to be very fatiguing even to walk down, which I preferred doing, not being quite reconciled to such roads for driving on." (Meredith, 1973:73) Nonetheless, the easing of the descent onto the Bathurst Plains greatly aided development into the West and no doubt increased traffic travelling through the township. It was the coming of the Railway in 1868, however, that saw the next major phase of Mount Victoria's development (Unknown, 2001-2004). The railway opened the area up to tourism, with Mount Victoria becoming a popular Victorian and Edwardian resort town. Many fine buildings, including the Imperial Hotel (1878), St Peter's Church (1874), the Post Office (1876) and The Manor House (1876) date from this period demonstrating Mount Victoria's adaptation from an early village and traveller's respite into a resort development with considerable character that continues to this day (Anonymous, 2001-2004; Australian Heritage Database).

Lot History
Much of the data contained in the following section has been drawn from a search of the Lands and Property Information database. The land that contains the present day Lots 102, 104 & 108 were part of two separate earlier land grants. The Westerly of the two was granted to Mary Finn in 1868, whilst the Eastern property was granted to Antilla Roxburgh, James Wilson Jr and William Richman Piddington in 1875 (Vol. 79, Fol. 20; Vol. 241, Fol.94). The 1888 Hartley Parish map illustrates these property boundaries and successive Parish maps indicate that this situation remained unchanged for some time. It cannot be ascertained exactly where each of the Lots being examined here fell within these earlier land holdings. However, from a comparison between the 1888 Hartley Parish map and a modern RTA property map it can be argued that Lot 102 and the majority if not all of Lot 104 were contained within the Western property, whilst potentially a portion of Lot 104 and all of Lot 108 came within the confines of the earlier Eastern grant. The Hartley Parish maps do not reflect the correct subdivision of land post 1917. In that year a map produced by Henry F. Halloran & Co. auctioneers outlined a new subdivision of the area. The Lots introduced in this subdivision are the same as those used in Torrens title registrations from that time on until some time between 1970 and 1994 at which point the current system of lot identification was employed. Lots 104 and 108 appear to fall just outside the Mount Victoria Urban Conservation Area as shown in the Blue Mountains Draft LEP (2002). This would appear to be in conflict with the Penrith Heritage Inventory which lists all three properties as being within the bounds of the aforementioned Conservation Area.

Lot 102
It should be noted that Lot 102, which was demarcated as Lot 3 on the 1917 subdivision map, would also most likely have contained the present day Lot 100. Lots 1 to 3 from the 1917 subdivision were bought from Paul Lamerand, a wool buyer from Sydney, by William Andy (newsagent) of Glebe Point in 1921 (Vol. 3223, Fol. 33). In March of 1935 some of the property was resumed by the Commissioner for Main Roads (Vol. 4739, Fol. 163). William Andy retained the residue of that land until June 1950 when title was transferred to Richard Bell (a munitions worker) of Mount Victoria (Vol. 4739, Fol. 155). In January 1951 Lot 1 was transferred from John Richard Bell to S.K. Daniel, whilst the remainder of the land (Lots 2 and 3, including the present day Lot 102) in July of that year is listed as being the property of John R. Bell. It is assumed that Richard Bell, John Richard Bell and John R. Bell are one and the same person. The title was transferred to his wife, Annie Bell, in August 1954 who retained possession until November 1957 at which point the land passed into the possession of Blue Mountains Panorama Estates (Vol. 6357, Fol. 186). In December of 1959 the land was mortgaged from Blue Mountains Panorama Estates to Muriel Evelyn Bailey, wife of Walter Bailey of Kingsgrove (Company Director). The Mortgage was discharged in December 1961. In January 1963 part of Lot 2 was transferred to Evelyn Frieda Green Hubbard and on the 11th of August 1970 part of Lot 3 was resumed by the Commissioner for Main Roads and the property resides in the hands of the RTA to this day (Vol. 6357, Fol. 186). The modern Lot 102 is composed of overgrown vacant land sloping down from the road to the north. A half demolished Victorian house with a mature planting of pine trees stands to the west on Lot 100.

Lot 104
Modern day Lot 104 is identified as Lot 4 on the 1917 subdivision map. From the original grant to Mary Finn in 1868, the land passed to James Steel and Thomas Gillespie, which in turn was transferred to Paul Lamerand in August 1914. The next listing from 1934 shows the property in the hands of Exchanges Ltd (Vol. 2499, Fol. 190). In 1935 part of Lot 4 as well as part of the drainage reserve running along its western boundary was resumed by the Commissioner for Main Roads (Vol. 2499, Fol. 190). The title for the remainder was transferred to Phyllis Bell of Eastlakes in 1952 (Vol. 4685, Fol. 43).The land was then resumed by the Commissioner for Main Roads in 1962 in whose possession the property still resides. Today, Lot 104 is vacant with ground cover almost complete composed mostly of pine needles. The site includes some mature exotic pine plantings that could possibly indicate the location of a house. There is also a culvert within the property. It is not of heritage significance and is composed of a concrete pipe in an earth embankment.

Lot 108
On the 1917 subdivision map the modern Lot 108 is represented by Lot 6. From the original grant to Roxburgh, Wilson Jr and Piddington in 1875 of which Lot 108 was part, ownership passed to James Steel and Thomas Gillespie and then onto Paul Lamerand in August 1914 (Vol. 2499, Fol. 190). Title passed to Silas Bembrick, a Methodist minister, in August 1922. Part of Lot 6 was resumed by the Commissioner for Main Roads in 1935 (Vol. 3355, Fol. 158). Silas Bembrick retained the remaining property until 1952, although he never resided upon it, at which point the property was transferred to Harry Bembrick (schoolteacher) of Balgowlah. The Commissioner for Main Roads purchased the land in 1973 and its successor, the RTA, retains ownership to this day (Vol. 4685, Fol. 92). The present day Lot 108 is also vacant. The mature pine plantings that started on Lot 104 continue across to Lot 108. The lot is completely covered in pine needles with some grass and bracken fern present. Evidence of any structures, if any did once exist, cannot be seen.

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)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The three vacant lots display plantings that suggest former houses. If this is the case, the site possesses archaeological potential. Further research is required.
SHR Criteria f)
SHR Criteria g)
Integrity/Intactness: Undetermined
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.

Recommended management:

1.Report all three properties to the Blue Mountains City Council for listing on the Blue Mountains Draft LEP 2002


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
RTA Heritage & Conservation Register Update Phase Two2005 Austral Archaeology  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnonymous2001Mount Victoria Heritage Conservation Area Listing
WrittenDepartment of Main Roads1976The Roadmakers
WrittenMeredith, L.1973Notes and Sketches of New South Wales during a residence in the colony from 1839 to 1844

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: State Government
Database number: 4306006

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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