Former Great Western Road, Prospect | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Former Great Western Road, Prospect

Item details

Name of item: Former Great Western Road, Prospect
Other name/s: The Western Road, The Great Western Road, The Old Western Road, The Great Western Highway
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Land
Category: Road
Location: Lat: -33.8083753457138 Long: 150.906573646731
Primary address: Reservoir Road, Prospect, NSW 2148
Local govt. area: Blacktown
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Deerubbin

Boundary:

The Former Great Western Road, Propsect is three non-contiguous sections of road. Running from east to west, section one commences in the east as Tarlington Place, leading south off the Great Western Highway and terminating north of the M4 motorway. Section two is the longest continuous section. It commences south of the M4 motorway as Reservoir Road, crossing the Prospect Highway and running south and west along the Prospect Hill ridge and the boundary of the Prospect Reservoir to the intersection of Yallock Road and the the modern extension of Reservoir Road. Here the Former Great Western Road, prospect turns north and becomes Yallock Place, terminating south of the M4. Section three commences north of the M4 as Boiler Close, where it crosses the modern extension of Reservoir Road to become Honeman Close which then terminates south of the Great Western Highway.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Reservoir RoadProspectBlacktown  Primary Address
Tarlington PlaceProspectBlacktown  Alternate Address
Yallock PlaceProspectBlacktown  Alternate Address
Boiler CloseProspectBlacktown  Alternate Address
Honeman CloseProspectBlacktown  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Blacktown City CouncilLocal Government 

Statement of significance:

The Former Great Western Road, Prospect has exceptional state significance as the only surviving original alignment of the 1818 Great Western Road that itself most likely followed an earlier Aboriginal track for a route over Prospect Hill. The road has the potential to retain highly significant archaeology of the convict and colonial eras.

The Prospect Hill area has strong social and spiritual significance for Aboriginal people as a place regularly visited in pre-European times; as a meeting and trading place; as a place representative of early conflict between Aboriginal peoples and European settlers, and for its associations with the 1805 meeting which marked the beginning of the long road to reconciliation (Prospect Hill, Heritage Landscape Study and Plan 2008). The Prospect Heritage Study suggests that the alignment of the Former Great Western Road, Prospect may have followed an earlier Aboriginal track for a route over Prospect Hill which avoided the creeks and more flood prone and heavier ground to the north. The unaltered alignment of the Former Great Western Road, Prospect therefore has exceptional historical significance for its capacity to demonstrate a potential pre-contact as well as post-contact Aboriginal track.

The Former Great Western Road, Prospect demonstrates exceptional heritage significance as the only surviving original alignment and relatively undeveloped section of Governor Macquarie's Great Western Road, from Parramatta to Emu Ford on the Nepean River (near present day Penrith) that was constructed by convict labour from 1815 to 1818 and that remains in use. The Western Road was an important piece of infrastructure stewarded by Governor Lachlan Macquarie as part of his wide ranging town planning and infrastructure improvements to civilise the penal colony.

The Great Western Road was one of the three Great Roads built in the colony between 1815 and the 1840s. The others were the Great North Road (1826-36) and the Great South Road (1819-mid 1840s). The Great Roads were vital early colonial infrastructure designed to open up the colony to agricultural and pastoral production and European settlement beyond the Cumberland Plain. The discovery of the route over the Blue Mountains in 1813 dramatically refocused colonial attention to the fertile western plains beyond the mountains. The 1813 crossing was the catalyst for the essential role that the Great Western Road played in facilitating European expansion beyond the Sydney basin. From the 1820s the former Great Western Road quickly became the foremost route to the west. The section at Prospect was an intrinsic part of the route to the west until it was by-passed in 1968 for the present Great Western Highway alignment, and slipped into obscurity.

Except for the Former Great Western Road by-passed section at Prospect, the remainder of the carriageway of the Former Great Western Road has been substantially widened, straightened and levelled to ease and speed travel. Most of the Former Great Western Road, Prospect --- despite being cut in two places by the M4 and affected by traffic works at the intersection of the Prospect Highway and the M4 --- is still laid onto and follows the undulations of the original landforms as it winds up and over the northern ridge and flanks of Prospect Hill through a relatively undeveloped former agricultural landscape. The setting in the vicinity of the subject road at Prospect still retains a bucolic character with its early to mid-twentieth century subdivision pattern, scattered houses flanking the road, sheds and outbuildings, fences and paddock enclosures and mature tree cover (as at March 2012).

At the highest point of the route, just to the west of the intersection with Watch House Road, the views from the road to the Blue Mountains in the west and the Blacktown hills to the north still convey a powerful understanding of the wider topography and views and a sense of anticipation which travellers on the road would have experienced for over 180 years since the early nineteenth century. The experience of the road and the surrounding landscape at Prospect is intensified as the traveller realises that elsewhere along the road development has changed, and will continue to change and alienate open land.

The former Great Western Road at Prospect has important historical association with the Aboriginal people of the Prospect area as the probably alignment of an earlier Aboriginal route over Prospect Hill. It is directly associated with significant early colonial persons: William Cox of Clarendon (former Captain in the NSW Corps) who was contracted by Governor Macquarie to build the Western Road from Parramatta to Penrith (following his completion of the convict built Cox's Road across the Blue Mountains from Emu Plains to Bathurst in early 1815). Surveyor George Evans may have been responsible for establishing the alignment of the Former Great Western Road, as he had previously been instructed by Governor Lachlan Macquarie to identify a route through the Blue Mountains for the Cox's Road.

Given that the Former Great Western Road, Prospect, has not been substantially widened or improved since the middle of the twentieth century (except for intersections at the Great Western and Prospect Highways and in the vicinity of the M4) and that any road improvements that have taken place most likely involved new pavements over older layers, it is likely that the Former Great Western Road has the potential to retain highly significant archaeology of convict built infrastructure and of the colonial era.
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: George Evans was the likely surveyor. Governor Lachlan Macquarie ordered the road be constructed
Builder/Maker: William Cox
Construction years: 1815-1818
Physical description: The alignment of the Former Great Western Road, Prospect, is laid onto the undulating ground to the north of Prospect Hill and to the north of Prospect Reservoir. This alignment (which was by-passed in 1968 for the present day alignment of the Great Western Highway) lies between the junction of Tarlington Place and the Great Western Highway in the east and travels almost 4 kms south west, west and north west to the northern end of Honeman Close at its western extent. The alignment is now not continuous, but is cut by the M4 Motorway between Tarlington Place and Reservoir Road in the east and Yallock Place and Boiler Close in the west.

The alignment of the Former Great Western Road now includes four separately named sections of road. From east to west, the first section commences south of the Great Western Highway at Tarlington Place which terminates north of the M4 Motorway. The Former Great Western Road recommences south of the M4 as Reservoir Road and travels in a westerly direction through the intersection of the Prospect Highway along the boundary of the Prospect Reservoir until its junction with Yallock Place. It then travels north-west to the southern edge of the M4, where it is cut again by the motorway. It recommences north of the M4 as Boiler Close where it crosses the modern section of Reservoir Road to become Honeman Close, terminating south of the Great Western Highway.

A modern extension of Reservoir Road has been constructed from the junction of Reservoir Road and Yallock Place. It extends beneath the M4 Motorway and across the Great Western Highway into Blacktown. This modern section of Reservoir Road is not part of the nominated Former Great Western Road, Prospect.

The subject length of the former Great Western Road as it travels through Prospect contrasts with the straightness of most of the rest of the road from Parramatta to Penrith. The road winds gently up and over the low northern ridge and spurs of Prospect Hill, winding alongside the boundary of the Prospect Reservoir. Beyond the M4 Motorway, the last quarter of the alignment travels north-west down the slope towards the Great Western Highway.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:

For most of its length, the Former Great Western Road alignment consists of a two-laned asphalted pavement with mostly unformed edges that is flanked by wide gravelled and grassed shoulders. There is little obvious evidence of any major drainage infrastructure, other than the use of the sloping ground and the camber of the road, to shed stormwater.

The landscape through which the road travels is mostly open paddocks with stands of indigenous trees with some exotic species and remnants of low scale agricultural activities such as single houses, outbuildings, yards and lengths of fences. The land to the south of the road contains substantial indigenous regrowth within the Prospect Reservoir catchment. The current condition of the landscape (as at March 2012) is of quiet neglect with overgrown paddocks, collapsing fences and houses and sheds that are in need of some repair (with the well maintained Cricketers Arms Hotel a stark contrast) . Most of the landscape, the subdivision patterns and the elements, date from the 1930s and 1940s. The items are not individually significant but are collectively important as evidence of the former agricultural and pastoral use in the vicinity of the road.

The current alignment of most of the Former Great Western Road reflects the original alignment, notwithstanding the loss of the sections cut by the late twentieth century road works for the M4 and Prospect Highway. The asphalt surface along Reservoir Road itself is in reasonable to poor condition. It is still maintained by Blacktown City Council as suitable for the moderate and constant volumes of traffic that use the road. Tarlington and Yallock Places and Boiler and Honeman Closes are in poorer condition. Parts of these sections of the road are closed by gates or cut by the M4; the pavement is degraded and the verges are overgrown. Nevertheless, the condition of these sections is mostly cosmetic and the principal feature of the road persists: that is the original alignment with little modern road infrastructure within a mostly open underdeveloped rural landscape (as at March 2012).

In terms of archaeology, it appears that any maintenance of the pavements, verges and any drainage infrastructure since the middle of the twentieth century has involved patching and laying new asphalt over the older layer and has not resulted in the removal of earlier pavements. The road was metalled in 1865 and asphalted in 1939.

Since the middle of the twentieth century it appears that most of the Reservoir Road section of the Former Great Western Road, between the intersection at Prospect Highway in the east and the junction with Yallock Place in the west , has not been widened and no major traffic management infrastructure such as traffic islands, roundabouts, lights have been installed (as at March 2012). Therefore, earlier pavement layers and drainage infrastructure may still be retained below the current road levels.
Modifications and dates: The Great Western Road at Prospect continued its 1818 alignment over the northern ridge of Prospect Hill until 1968 when the NSW Department of Main Roads bypassed the Prospect section by creating the Prospect Deviation to the north that provided a new straight and more direct alignment. The work was done to avoid the allegedly dangerous bends and slopes of the Former Great Western Road, Prospect.

In the 1970s, the Western Freeway (now the M4 Motorway), running parallel to the Highway, was constructed to terminate at the west end of the subject section. The freeway was extended to Mays Hill in the 1990s. Reservoir Road was deviated to the north to connect onto the new freeway (This deviated section is not part of the Former Great Western Road, Prospect nominated site). These constructions cut through the remnant Great Western Road alignment at Prospect and resulted the current arrangement of shorter lengths at the east and west ends. Nevertheless, the greater part of the road at Prospect is still retained in one section as Reservoir Road from the Prospect Highway roundabout to the junction with Yallock Place.

In the 1980s, the four-laned Great Western Highway was widened to six lanes from Parramatta to Penrith while the bypassed section -- the Former Great Western Road, Prospect -- remained a two-laned side road.
Current use: Road
Former use: Road

History

Historical notes: Prospect Hill, being the highest point between the Blue Mountains and the sea, was used as a vantage point and navigational element for the Aborigines who moved through the area, referring to the place as 'Marrong'. The Prospect Hill area has high cultural significance for the Aboriginal community. Oral tradition identifies the area as a meeting and trading place for groups who were drawn from the Rooty Hill, Parramatta, Penrith, Baulkham Hills, Brooklyn and Richmond areas.

It is believed that up to eight different Aboriginal groups inhabited the area around Prospect and that Indigenous groups remained for short stays only along the ridge with more permanent camps being made along Prospect Creek. Research indicates that the Aboriginal population of the area was quite dense during the initial phases of European contact. Contact with the colonists was often acrimonious, leading to a number of skirmishes. Pemulwuy, an Eora man, led resistance and raids against the colonists (who had claimed large tracts of hunting lands and natural resources) from around 1790 to 1802 when he was killed by bounty hunters. After 1802 Pemulwuy's son Tedbury lead Aboriginal resistance to the Europeans until his own death in 1805. Aboriginal trade networks are believed to have deteriorated following European occupation.

Governor Arthur Phillip explored the Prospect area in 1788 south west of the end of the headwaters of the Parramatta River and named the wide low hill Bellevue Hill (the hill is an ancient volcanic upwelling referred to as a 'Doleritic Laccolith'). Bellevue means 'Fine Prospect'. The area later became known as Prospect Hill and then gradually as Prospect.

In 1791, Phillip granted land on the eastern slope of the hill to thirteen ex-convicts to take advantage of the more fertile soils on the flanks of the ancient volcanic hill in contrast to the heavy clay soils elsewhere across the Cumberland Plain. The grantees took up the land but they all struggled with their improvements on the small plots (up to 70 acres) and remained reliant on the Government stores.

Governor King set aside a large area of land north of the hill in 1802 as a reserve for the Government's livestock herd. Part of this Prospect Stock Reserve was declared a common in 1804 for the use of surrounding settlers. The area of the common was reduced by later grants.

By July 1815, following the completion of the Cox's Road over the Blue Mountains, work was underway on a road from Parramatta to the Nepean River (at Penrith) across the Cumberland Plain that included the section that is the Former Great Western Road, Prospect. The Western Road was one of the three Great Roads that were built with convict labour to open up the colony to European settlement beyond the Cumberland Plain. The other two are the Great North Road (1826-36) to Newcastle and the Hunter Region, and the Great South Road (1819-mid 1840s), parts of which are on the Hume Highway alignment.

The 1812 drought provided an impetus for expansion as it highlighted the failings of the quality of land in the Cumberland Plain to support crop production for the growing colony. Prior to the crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813, road transport out of Sydney and Parramatta had focused on expansion to the north and south. The successful crossing of the Blue Mountains dramatically refocused colonial attention to the fertile western plains beyond the mountains and highlighted the essential role that the Great Western Road played in European expansion beyond the Sydney basin.

William Cox was contracted to construct the road across the Cumberland Plain (including the subject section) as well as being contracted for the road over the Blue Mountains. Cox's specification for the Blue Mountains road (which may also be applied to the subject road at Prospect) determined a width of at least 12 ft (although 16ft was preferred by Cox to permit two carts or other wheeled carriages to pass). The timber along the road was cut and cleared out for a 20 ft wide alignment, all holes were filled and tree stumps grubbed out.

The surveyor of the road has not been definitively determined. George Evans, however, surveyed the road across the Blue Mountains and may have also aligned the road across the Cumberland Plain. The Prospect Heritage Study (T Kass) suggests that the alignment of the road at Prospect may have followed an earlier Aboriginal track for a route over the hill which avoids the creeks and the more flood prone and heavier ground to the north.

Governor Macquarie travelled the Great Western Road from Parramatta to Bathurst and inspected the work in October 1815. The road to Penrith appears to have been completed by 1818 when a Government notice specified tolls payable on the new Great Western Road. In 1814 Edward Cureton was contracted to provide 54 milestones for the road from Parramatta to Penrith. Until recently two milestones stood in, or close to, their original positions on the side of the Great Western Road at Prospect. But these have been relocated to the 1968 deviated section to the north.

The Great Western Road became the main transport route that opened up the vast hinterland beyond the Blue Mountains that bounded the Sydney basin. Helen Proudfoot captured the symbolic importance of the road in her Thematic History of Penrith (sourced from the Prospect Heritage Study):

"The great road west became a symbolic road as soon as it was formed. Its point of departure was George Street and Sydney Cove, the genesis of the colony; it travelled west to Parramatta, and then, near Prospect, its symbolic character begins to become apparent as the topography of long parallel ridges dipping down to the Nepean in prelude to the ascent of the river ramparts of the Blue Mountains beyond the river begins to unfold. The road held a strange sense of promise to its travellers, a sense of anticipation, quite unlike that felt on any other road out of Sydney" (Proudfoot, Fox & Assoc 1987, p. 24).

The Great Western Road was gazetted as a main road in September 1833. Unlike local roads, the three Great Roads were kept under the control of the Colonial Government which maintained and repaired the infrastructure. By 1865, the Western Road from Parramatta to Penrith had been metalled.

From 1820, the establishment of the Great Western Road became a catalyst for the development of the country in the Prospect Hill area. The small (up to 70 acres) first grants established by Governor Phillip on the east slopes of Prospect Hill were consumed within larger grants (over 500 acres) made by Governors Grose, Paterson, Hunter and Macquarie to ex-marines and later to ex-NSW Corps members, free settlers and Government officials. Notably, William Lawson received a 500 acre grant south of the road and established Veteran Hall, which Lawson further expanded with the addition of land to the north and west. Darcy Wentworth, Captain Lethbridge and John Campbell also received over 2000 acres to the north of the road.

Part of the Prospect Common, left after the 1820s grants, was transferred to the Church and School Estate in 1829.

By the 1820s regular coach services were provided along the Great Western Road, with five toll bars placed between Parramatta and Penrith. One of the toll bars was located opposite the entrance to William Lawson's estate, to the south of the road.

From the outset, the owners of the larger grants set about subdividing the land and offering parcels for sale. By the later nineteenth century the Prospect area was a patchwork of remnants of the larger grants mixed with medium sized land parcels. Subdivisions for small lots were not generally popular, exampled by the mostly unsuccessful Flushcombe Village sale in 1879 and the State Land Investment and Agency Co sale in 1929.

By the end of the nineteenth century the eastern section of the Great Western Road at Prospect was the focus of the Prospect Village which had grown slowly through the century to become a scattered collection of buildings flanking the road. Most of the nineteenth century houses have been demolished except for Bridestowe/ Hick's Dairy (c1880s) on Reservoir Road at the eastern end of the Former Great Western Road, Prospect, south of the M4. Other notable buildings in the area include St Bartholomew's Anglican Church, constructed in 1841, which was recently repaired and still stands prominent on its hill viewable from along the eastern approaches and from the highest point of Reservoir Road. The Prospect Inn, at the east end of the village, (licenced in 1850) was demolished and a modern roadside hotel occupies its site. The Fox on the Hill Hotel on the site of the modern Fox Hill Golf Club was originally built in the 1820s. It burnt down and was rebuilt in 1830s and then demolished in the 1970s. St Brigid's Catholic Church, constructed in 1856, was demolished in 1977 for the construction of the freeway. The Prospect Post Office, built in the 1880s, still stands (unused and boarded up) in Tarlington Place. The Cricketers Arms Hotel, built c1870, has been repaired and is a prominent feature on the corner of former Flushcombe Road and Reservoir Road. The Police Station, built 1883, west of Watch House Road still stands, albeit in poor condition and deteriorating.

The construction of Prospect Reservoir (from 1880 to 1888), to the south of the road, was a short, but notable catalyst for development of the area. However, the positive effects of development generated by the reservoir and its workforce was limited to its construction period and any economic activity in the Prospect area faded once the reservoir was completed and the workforce departed. The establishment of the western railway to the north with its local station at Blacktown also drew economic development away from the vicinity of the Great Western Road so that rural activities persisted in the area. The main legacy from the establishment of the Prospect Reservoir is that the land to the south of the Former Great Western Road, Prospect was resumed by the Government and never developed. The land is now a reserve of substantial indigenous regrowth as a secure catchment area surrounding the reservoir.

Prospect Hill provided a valuable source of grey dolerite within the ancient volcanic feature. Quarrying operated from the 1860s until recently and it provided constant low level economic stimulus to the area.

In 1925, the NSW Department of Main Roads was established and took over management of the Great Western Road. The new department reclassified many roads as main roads including the Western Road in 1926. The road was further reclassified in 1929 as a state highway and was retitled as the Great Western Highway. In the 1930s the Main Roads Department experimented with line marking, warning signs and concrete guideposts along the length of the Great Western Highway from Parramatta to Mount Victoria. One of these concrete guideposts survives on Reservoir Road east of the Manning Road junction. By 1939 the full length of the Great Western Highway was sealed and lined marked from Sydney to Bathurst.

The Great Western Road through Prospect continued its 1818 alignment for 150 years until 1968 when it was deviated to the north and straightened as the Prospect Deviation. The work was done to avoid the allegedly dangerous hills and bends on the Former Great Western, Prospect as it travelled over the flanks of Prospect Hill.

In 1948, the Great Western Highway was given the status of State Highway No 5. In the 1970s, the Western Freeway was constructed (and extended to Mays Hill in the 1990s) separating Reservoir Road and creating Tarlington Place in the east and Yallock Place and Boiler Close in the west. The western end of Reservoir Road was also deviated to the north to connect onto the new freeway creating and separating Boiler Close and Honeman Close. In the 1980s the four laned Western Highway and Prospect Deviation was widened to six lanes.

The isolation of the road at Prospect dragged against any intensification in development and subdivision, other than for rural uses (some fodder cropping and dairying, poultry etc) and the area slipped into obscurity. In planning terms, this was formalised with the County of Cumberland Planning Scheme, established in 1951, which zoned the land north of the Great Western Highway as green belt. This action froze the land use and patterns north of the road providing a pocket of open space now encircled by modern land use and subdivisions. One unusual development, contrasting with the predominant rural uses north of the road, involved the establishment of the Blacktown Drive-In cinema in 1963 which is now the site of a regular weekend 'trash and treasure' market.

In the 1990s the State Government commenced resumptions of privately owned land in the area for a special use and open space corridor. The road at Prospect is now within the Western Sydney Parklands, managed by the Parkland Trust on behalf of the NSW Government.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Working for the Crown-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Transport-
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 Travelling to and within remote areas-
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 Road-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Role of transport in settlement-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis Roadways to Inland Settlements-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with William Cox, road builder over Blue Mountains, magistrate, farmer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with George Evans, surveyor-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Aaron Muron Bolot, architect-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Prospect Hill area has strong social and spiritual significance for Aboriginal people as a place regularly visited in pre-European times, as a meeting and trading place, as a place representative of early conflict between Aboriginal peoples and European settlers, and for its associations with the 1805 meeting which marked the beginning of the long road to reconciliation. (Prospect Hill, Heritage Landscape Study and Plan 2008).

The Prospect Heritage Study (T Kass) suggests that the alignment of the Former Great Western Road, Prospect may have followed an earlier Aboriginal track for a route over Prospect Hill which avoided the creeks and more flood prone and heavier ground to the north. The unaltered alignment of the Former Great Western Road therefore has exceptional historical significance for its capacity to demonstrate a potential pre-contact as well as post-contact Aboriginal track.

The Former Great Western Road, Prospect demonstrates exceptional historical significance as a remnant surviving section of one of the three Great Roads (along with the Great North and Great South Roads) which were constructed between the 1820s and the 1840s by convict labour to open up the interior of the colony to agricultural and pastoral production and European settlement.

Prior to the crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813, road transport out of Sydney and Parramatta to the Hawkesbury/Nepean edge had focused on expansion to the north and south. The discovery of the route over the Blue Mountains dramatically refocused colonial attention to the fertile western plains beyond the mountains and highlighted the essential role that the Great Western Road played in European expansion out of the Sydney basin. The former Great Western Road was the foremost route to the west and the section at Prospect was an intrinsic part of this route until it was by-passed in 1968. The 1968 deviation has, however, enabled the retention of the road's original alignment in a largely undeveloped semi-rural landscape (as at March 2012).

Elsewhere along the Western Road (except on the section at Prospect), the carriageway has been substantially widened, straightened and levelled to ease travel. The section at Prospect is the last section to follow its 1815 alignment as a narrow two- laned road. The road is still laid onto and follows the undulations of the original landforms as it winds up and over the flanks of Prospect Hill through a relatively underdeveloped former agricultural landscape. At the highest point of the route, just to the west of the intersection with Watch House Road, the views from the road to the Blue Mountains in the west and the Blacktown hills to the north still convey an understanding of the wider topography and views which travellers on the road for over 180 years would have experienced since the early nineteenth century (as at March 2012).
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The Former Great Western Road at Prospect has state significance for its associations with Aboriginal people and with significant persons of the early colony of NSW.

The Prospect Heritage Study (T Kass) suggests that the alignment of the Former Great Western Road, Prospect may have followed an earlier Aboriginal track for a route over Prospect Hill which avoided the creeks and more flood prone and heavier ground to the north. The Prospect Hill area has strong social and spiritual significance for Aboriginal people as a place regularly visited in pre-European times, as a meeting and trading place, as a place representative of early conflict between Aboriginal peoples and European settlers, and for its associations with the 1805 meeting which marked the beginning of the long road to reconciliation. (Prospect Hill, Heritage Landscape Study and Plan 2008).

The Former Great Western Road is directly associated with Governor Lachlan Macquarie, William Cox of Clarendon (former Captain in the NSW Corps and road builder of the early colony) and most probably with Surveyor George Evans.

Cox was the contractor requested by Governor Macquarie to build the Western Road from Parramatta to Penrith. Cox was also the contractor of the Cox's Road across the Blue Mountains that was constructed under Macquarie's orders from 1814-15.

The Western Road was an important piece of infrastructure stewarded by Governor Lachlan Macquarie as part of his wide ranging town planning and infrastructure improvements to civilise the penal colony.

Surveyor Evans may have been responsible for establishing the alignment of the Western Road, as he was instructed by Macquarie to identify a route through the Blue Mountains for the building of the Cox's Road.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Former Great Western Road, Prospect has aesthetic and landmark significance at state level for its capacity to demonstrate the experience of travel with views of historical significance on a remnant section of the 1818 road that remains largely undeveloped and on its original 1818 alignment as it follows a ridge line and winds up and over the flanks of Prospect Hill in a semi-rural landscape with views of historical significance across to the Blue Mountains from the road's highest point close to Watch House Lane.

The views to the west to the Blue Mountains and to the north to the Blacktown hills still convey the sense of promise and anticipation to travellers, not felt on any other road out Sydney, as described by Helen Proudfoot.

The experience of the road and the surrounding landscape is intensified as the traveller realises that, elsewhere along the road, development has changed and will continue to change and alienate open land. The setting in the vicinity of the subject road at Prospect still retains a bucolic character with its early to mid-twentieth century subdivision pattern, built form, paddock enclosure and tree cover bordering the road. This survival is in contrast to the more intensive development elsewhere along the former Western Road which features road widening to six lanes and substantial traffic infrastructure flanked by suburban, industrial and logistics infrastructure.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Former Great Western Road has local significance under this criteria.

Based on research to date, the road itself does not appear to have any appreciable direct association with a particular European community or cultural group, past or present other than the residents and people that have lived on and used the road. Nevertheless, members of the local community have shown some esteem for the road and its rural character prompted by the recent demonstrations for its retention and care (August 2011).
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The Former Great Western Road, Prospect has the potential for state significant archaeology.

While there has been no formal extensive archaeological assessment of the Former Great Western Road, Prospect, there is every likelihood that the road has the potential to retain archaeology of convict built infrastructure of the early colonial period. This is based on the premise that the road has not been substantially widened or improved since the middle of the twentieth century and that any road improvements until then involved new pavements over older layers. Experience shows that when early roads are disturbed that evidence of earlier road fabric and surfaces may be revealed and that deposits which include archaeological 'relics' may also be encountered.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The Former Great Western Road, Prospect is the only surviving section of Governor Macquarie's Great Western Road (completed in 1818) that folllows its original alignment, is still in use and (at March 2012) remains relatively undeveloped.

The length of the former Great Western Road at Prospect following its 1818 alignment and flanked by an open rural landscape is a rare survivor of one of the Macquarie era Great Roads, particularly as the remainder of the Western Road from Parramatta to Penrith has been irrevocably and comprehensively altered by road improvements and development during the last 50 years.

The road at Prospect, despite the changes to its east and west lengths, remains as a legible rural landscape that retains its historic feel and integrity, with the views to the west and north. On the road, it is a rare opportunity for modern travellers to feel the sense of anticipation that the early road originally presented as described by Helen Proudfoot.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The Former Great Western Road, Prospect has state significance for its capacity to demonstrate the characteristics of the Great Great Roads network of the early colonial period.

It remains in a largely undeveloped condition, retaining its original 1818 alignment (along a potential earlier Aboriginal track) with views of historical significance to the Blue Mountains and potential archaeology of convict-built infrastructure and the early colonial era.

The three Great Roads (constructed between 1815 and the 1840s) were the primary transport routes of the colony, built by convict labour, which remained under the control of the colonial government (rather than local road trusts).
Integrity/Intactness: The alignment of the Former Great Western Road at Prospect and its character as an older, two-laned asphalted highway with unformed edges and verges is still clearly evident. This is despite the loss of some sections and changes wrought by the upgrades and construction of the Great Western and Prospect Highways and the M4 Motorway and its approaches. The road is still laid onto, and follows the undulations of, the original landforms as it winds up and over the flanks of Prospect Hill through a relatively underdeveloped former agricultural landscape. At the highest point of the route, just to the west of the intersection with Watch House Road, the views from the road to the Blue Mountains in the west and the Blacktown hills to the north (and to the 1841 St Bartholomew's Anglican Church) are impressive and still convey an understanding of the wider topography which travellers on the road would have experienced for almost 200 years. Long views to the south are now screened by the trees within the Prospect Reservoir sourrounds and views to Sydney and to the east flank of Prospect Hill are now diminished by large sheds and infrastructure in the Pemulwy industrial area.

The setting in the vicinity of the subject road at Prospect still retains its rural character with its early to mid-twentieth century subdivision pattern, built form, paddock enclosure and tree cover bordering the road. This survival is in contrast to the more intensive development elsewhere along the former Western Road which features widening to six lanes and substantial traffic infrastructure flanked by suburban, industrial and logistics infrastructure.

(as at March 2012)
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.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act - Site Specific Exemptions HERITAGE ACT 1977

ORDER UNDER SECTION 57(2)
TO GRANT SITE SPECIFIC EXEMPTIONS FROM APPROVAL

Former Great Western Road, Prospect

SHR No. 1911

I, the Minister for Heritage, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, in pursuance of section 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, do, by this my order, grant an exemption from section 57(1) of that Act in respect of the engaging in or carrying out of any activities described in Schedule C on the land described in Schedule B on the item described in Schedule A.

The Hon Rob Stokes MP
Minister for Heritage


Sydney, 26th Day of June 2014


SCHEDULE A

The item known as the Former Great Western Road, Prospect, situated on the land described in Schedule B.

SCHEDULE B

All those pieces or parcels of land known as the road and road reserves of Tarlington Place; Reservoir Road (from its termination at the M4 Motorway to its junction with Yallock Place); Yallock Place; Boiler Close and Honeman Close, Prospect in the Parish of Prospect, County of Cumberland shown on the plan catalogued HC 2535 in the office of the Heritage Council of New South Wales.

SCHEDULE C

Exemption 1. The carrying out of road work or traffic control work, within the meaning of the Roads Act 1993, at the following intersections (and surrounding land that is required for associated works and infrastructure):
*Reservoir Road (Former Great Western Road, Prospect) with Prospect Highway and Reconciliation Road and
*Honeman Close and Boiler Close (Former Great Western Road, Prospect) with Reservoir Road
*Honeman Close (Former Great Western Road, Prospect) with the Great Western Highway
is exempt from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977 (NSW), subject to all excavation or disturbance of land being carried out in accordance with any archaeological management plan with which compliance is required either by any approval for those works issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, or required in accordance with a determination of environmental assessment by the determining authority under Part 5 of that Act, and in accordance with the Heritage Controls of the Huntingwood Precinct Development Control Plan (August 2011) adopted by Blacktown City Council and applicable to those above roads.
Should archaeological relics or deposits be uncovered during excavation work, all work must cease in the immediate area. A suitably qualified and experienced archaeologist must be contacted to assess the archaeology and the Heritage Branch should be informed immediately.

The following exemptions apply to Honeman Close, Boiler Close, Yallock Place, Reservoir Road (from its intersection with Yallock Place eastwards to its termination at the M4 motorway) and Tarlington Place:

Exemption 2. Excluding any matter falling within Exemption No.3 or No.5 below, excavation or disturbance of land of the kind specified below does not require approval under subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, provided that the Heritage Council or its Delegate is satisfied that the criteria in (a), (b) or (c) have been met and the person proposing to undertake the excavation or disturbance of the land has received a notice advising that the Heritage Council or its Delegate is satisfied that:
(a) an archaeological assessment, zoning plan or management plan has been prepared in accordance with applicable and current guidelines published by the Heritage Council of NSW which assessment indicates that any relics in the land are unlikely to have state or local heritage significance; or
(b) disturbance of land will have a minor impact on archaeological relics including the testing of land to verify the existence of relics without destroying or removing them; or
(c) a statement describing the proposed excavation demonstrates that evidence relating to the history or nature of the site, such as its level of disturbance indicates that site has little or no archaeological research potential.
A person proposing to excavate or disturb land in the manner described in paragraph 1 must write to the Heritage Council and describe the proposed excavation or disturbance of land and set out why it satisfies the criteria set out in paragraph 1. If the Heritage Council or its Delegate is satisfied that the proposed development meets the criteria set out in paragraph 1 (a), (b) or (c) the Heritage Council or its Delegate shall notify the applicant.

Exemption 3. Excavation or disturbance of land of the kind specified below does not require approval under subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act:
(a) the excavation or disturbance of land is for the purpose of exposing underground utility services infrastructure which occurs within an existing service trench and will not affect any other relics;
(b) the excavation or disturbance of land is to carry out inspections or emergency maintenance or repair on underground utility services and due care is taken to avoid effects on any other relics or historic services;
(c) the excavation or disturbance of land is to maintain, repair, or replace underground utility services to buildings provided these works will not adversely affect any significant archaeology including (but not limited to) historic services.
(d) the excavation or disturbance of land is to expose survey marks for use in conducting a land survey.
A person proposing to excavate or disturb land in the manner described above must write to the Heritage Council and describe the proposed excavation or disturbance of land and set out why it satisfies the criteria set out in paragraph 1. If the Heritage Council or its Delegate is satisfied that the proposed development meets the criteria set out in paragraph 1 (a), (b) or (c) the Heritage Council or its Delegate shall notify the applicant.
Should archaeological relics or deposits be uncovered during excavation work, all work must cease in the immediate area. A suitably qualified and experienced archaeologist must be contacted to assess the archaeology and the Heritage Branch should be informed immediately.

Exemption 4. Pest management activities and vegetation management activities.
Such activities may include weed and feral animal/insect eradication, lawn mowing, topdressing, tree pruning and removal of dangerous trees. The stumps of dangerous trees are to be left in situ.
Any excavation associated with feral animal/insect eradication must be in accordance with the recommendations contained within an Archaeological Management Plan for the site endorsed by the Heritage Council or its Delegate and provided these works will not adversely affect any significant archaeology including (but not limited to) historic infrastructure and services.
Should archaeological relics or deposits be uncovered all work must cease in the immediate area. A suitably qualified and experienced archaeologist must be contacted to assess the archaeology and the Heritage Branch should be informed immediately.

Exemption 5. Road maintenance.
i) Maintenance of the road within the existing road reserve to maintain its condition or operation, including reconstruction of the road pavement, with the minimum necessary impact to underlying fabric.
ii) Works (other than works falling under para (i)) within the road reserve, that do not involve realignment of the road, including repair, restoration and rebuilding of existing drainage, trenches, pavements and fences, and erecting signs where it can be demonstrated that such works will have the minimum necessary impact to underlying fabric and will not disturb or reveal relics within the meaning of the Heritage Act
Should archaeological relics or deposits be uncovered all work must cease in the immediate area. A suitably qualified and experienced archaeologist must be contacted to assess the archaeology and the Heritage Branch should be informed immediately.

Exemption 6. All activities for temporary change of use where such activities do not entail disturbance of land.

Exemption 7. Display of any notice on the land for the purpose of site interpretation and public information where disturbance of land associated with this activity will not adversely affect any significant archaeology including (but not limited to) original road fabric, historic infrastructure or services and 'relics' within the meaning of the Heritage Act.
Should archaeological relics or deposits be uncovered all work must cease in the immediate area. A suitably qualified and experienced archaeologist must be contacted to assess the archaeology and the Heritage Branch should be informed immediately.
Jun 27 2014

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0191127 Jun 14 582417

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenDavies, P2002The Royal Cricketers Arms Hotel, Conservation Management Plan
WrittenDavies, P1996The Former Prospect Post Office, Conservation Management Plan
ElectronicEnvironmental Resources Management Australia2005Lot 1 DP 1045771, Prospect Heritage Management Plan
WrittenGovernment Architect's Office2008Prospect Hill, Heritage and Landscape Study & Plan
WrittenGraham Brooks & Associates2011Lot 1 DP 1045771, Draft Statement of Heritage Impact for Prospect Aquatic Investments
WrittenKass, T; Jackson-Stepowski Planning; Robertson & Hindmarsh2005Prospect Heritage Study - Draft Final Report
WrittenNSW Department of Main Roads1958Historical Roads of NSW, Great Western Highway
WrittenProspect Heritage Trust Records of the Prospect Heritage Trust
WrittenProudfoot, Helen1987Exploring Sydney's West
WrittenProudfoot, Helen & Fox and Associates1987'Penrith Thematic Development History' in Heritage Study of the City of Penrith
WrittenStacker, L2002Pictorial History of Penrith & St Marys

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: Heritage Office
Database number: 5061510
File number: 11/15876-1; EF14/11129


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