Cox's Road and Early Deviations - Hartley, Clarence Hilly Range / Mount Blaxland Precinct | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Cox's Road and Early Deviations - Hartley, Clarence Hilly Range / Mount Blaxland Precinct

Item details

Name of item: Cox's Road and Early Deviations - Hartley, Clarence Hilly Range / Mount Blaxland Precinct
Other name/s: Coxs Road
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Transport - Land
Category: Road
Location: Lat: -33.559517 Long: 150.100907
Primary address: The Old Bathurst Road, Hartley, NSW 2790
Parish: Antonio
County: Westmoreland
Local govt. area: Lithgow
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Bathurst
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
The Old Bathurst RoadHartleyLithgowAntonioWestmorelandPrimary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Department of Trade & Investment --Crown LandsState Government 

Statement of significance:

The surviving remnants of Cox's Road, built 1814 to 1815, have state significance as the earliest road across the Blue Mountains and the first structure built by Europeans west of the Blue Mountains. Building of this road followed from the prior exploration by Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Wentworth, and the survey by George Evans. The successful construction of the road was symbolic of the conquest of the natural barrier created by the Blue Mountains, and represented Governor Macquarie's vision for the ongoing development of the colony beyond Sydney and its immediate surrounds. Cox's Road enabled the later opening of the hinterland beyond the Blue Mountains for subsequent settlement, pastoral and agricultural expansion, which then escalated the dispossession of Aboriginal peoples from their lands.

William Cox was well known among convicts for his power to recommend pardons and tickets of leave. Most of the convicts who volunteered for the work to open a track to the interior were emancipated, receiving Pardons or Tickets of Leave on completion of the work.

The surviving road fabric demonstrates the crude and hurried nature of Cox's work, and the techniques used in tracing, cutting and forming the road. In conjunction with later colonial road alignments on the mountains and elsewhere, Cox's Road also forms part of a suite of roads demonstrating the wide range of road building styles and standards employed during the colonial period.
Date significance updated: 29 Jan 15
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.


Designer/Maker: William Cox
Builder/Maker: William Cox, Convict Road Party
Construction years: 1814-1826
Physical description: William Cox had been instructed by Governor Macquarie only to open a rough cart road, so that the new lands found in the western plains would be symbolically open. The road from Emu Ford to Bathurst, a distance of 101 miles [163 kilometres] was completed in only six months. Macquarie's instructions specified that the road should be at least 12 feet (3.6 metres) wide in order that two carts would be able to pass each other, and that the timber should be cleared on each side so that the road corridor was 20 feet (6.1 metres) wide. Stumps were to be grubbed out and any holes should be filled in. The surviving physical evidence shows relatively few locations where the extant road conforms with the dimensions specified in the instructions.

A Crown Road is still reserved and shown on the cadastre in this area running from McKanes Falls Road to the Rydal-Hampton Road. Here the line of Cox's Road becomes more difficult to access as the road itself does not always align with the modern tracks or with what is noted as the 'Old Bathurst Road'. Therefore the actual road itself crosses in and out of private property. The physical evidence of the 1814 road where it is present through this area at the beginning of the 'Clarence Hilly Range' is also overlaid with later 1820s work, essentially upgrading, re-building and improvement of the older road for at least a decade (most undertaken c1825 to 1827) before it was by-passed by the new lines selected by Lockyer in 1829 and by Mitchell in 1830. Both Mount York and the road by Mount Blaxland were avoided by the new road route.

The evidence of road-building in this area includes more than one line, with most of the obvious extant fabric appearing to date from a later era than 1814. The modern unsealed farm track which coincides with the Old Bathurst Road runs some distance north of the line surveyed by McBrien in 1823. Cox's original road in this area likely required little cutting or forming over the easy grades, and therefore did not leave extensive physical evidence. There are remnants of pavement, quantities of cut stone, stone retaining walls of different sophistication and style, a constructed road zig-zag and stone box-culverts, all of which appear to relate to much later 1820s improvements.

The reserved Crown Road diverges from the unsealed farm track and begins to climb to the southwest through more thickly timbered country. Here parts are cut through pink granite and various partly worked stone is lying around with short sections of retaining wall and some early road pavement evident, generally with a width of about 3 metres (10 feet).
At approximately 750m from the base of the hill, the road is formed into a substantial zig-zag which extends for 140 metres. The zig-zag is supported by carefully constructed retaining walls which commence with a single course of roughly broken stone as edging and then rise steadily to about 2 metres in height ,with some stones squared, many not, but with a relatively smooth face. The bonding is random with the largest stones at the bottom and an even coping course at the top.

The road here also features a packed stone pavement. Various piles of broken or worked stone left over from building operations scattered beside the road formation.There are also some sections of earth-faced cuttings and the road formation increases in width up to 6 or 7 metres wide (19 to 23 feet). At approximately 30m from the end of the wall , a primitive stone box culvert is present , 45cm wide and 30cm deep , set on walls of 2 courses of squared stone, with a roughly cut lintel and an earthen floor . On the opposite side is a depression over the inlet area , and section of stone edged side drain is visible. The drain may continue further back down to the zig-zag , but it would need archaeological work to clear and excavate the area to determine this.

Although McBrien's 1823 survey follows the line of this zig-zag, Grace Karskens has argued that comparative archaeological evidence suggests that the stone walls, formation width and pavement were added later as part of improvements to the original Cox's Road. Karskens comments that:
'A very similar section on the Fish River Precinct (No . 16) was not in existence in 1823 - it appears that both sections were built by convict gangs just before and during William Dumaresq's term as Inspector of Roads and Bridges (1826). They were probably not commissioned by him, since he disapproved of the steep slopes and evidently sought to find a new line elsewhere. He did regard it as otherwise a "good enough road" and this, together with a reference to a road party stationed at Fish River, suggests that the improvements were underway or complete on the road.Thus these structures are thought to date from 1825-1826'. (Karskens, 1988: Mount Blaxland Precinct 14, p 91).

In the vicinity of the 'Old Bathurst Road' there are also a number of other road formations which appear to be early diversions and attempted improvements. Usually Cox's Road occupies the top or higher contours of the hillside. Cox's Road is characterised by steep unbroken climbs, narrow width , minimal cuttings and very rough simple retaining walls often using un-worked field stone or very crudely shaped boulders. The later road formations tend to be more curved and more carefully follow the contours or are actually built into the hillside in an attempt to improve the steep gradients of the original road. Further along the Old Bathurst Road there is another section of the c1826 walling which extends for almost one kilometre and features stone box culvert in the centre as the road climbs to the summit of the range at a height of more than 1000 metres above sea level. From the summit the line is indistinct, running directly down the grassy slopes of the ridge then passes over a saddle and descending through bushland and then more open and easier rolling countryside.

Cox's Journal also noted that a number of bridges were needed in this area, however, few definite 1814 bridge sites have been located at any of the small creeks crossed by the presently reserved Old Bathurst Road. Remains of an early bridge which had been exposed by recent flooding were previously noted at Mary Anne Creek by Karskens in 1988. That bridge was identified as being pre-1827 and possibly even dating to the first phase of road building. (Karskens 1988: Mount Blaxland Precinct 14, p 88 ff). From Mary Anne Creek the road rises uphill again , simply following vehicle tracks to the gate beside the "Karawatha " property which fronts the Rydal-Hampton Road.

The reserved 'Old Bathurst Road' then crosses the Rydal-Hampton Road where it becomes a modern local road, called Cut Hill Road. The general alignment and formation of the road is close to that of the original Cox's Road, although it has been straightened in some parts and therefore the old line crosses the modern road at some points. The current sealed modern road has also been re-graded and cut deeper. This section of modern local road is situated further west and it is not included in the Listing for Mount Blaxland Precinct.

The proposed State Heritage Register listing of Cox's Road and Early Deviations includes six precincts of Cox's Road:

Cox's Road and Early Deviations - Linden, Linden Precinct - HC Plan 2639
Cox's Road and Early Deviations - Woodford, Old Bathurst Road Precinct - HC Plan 2640
Cox's Road and Early Deviations - Woodford, Appian Way Precinct - HC Plan 2641
Cox's Road and Early Deviations - Mount York , Cox's Pass Precinct - HC Plan 2642
Cox's Road and Early Deviations - Hartley, Clarence Hilly Range / Mount Blaxland Precinct - HC Plan 2643
Cox's Road and Early Deviations - Sodwalls, Fish River Descent Precinct - HC Plan 2644
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good. Substantially intact. Numerous archaeological features from early road lines are evident including road fabric, walling, culverts and road cuttings and formations.
Date condition updated:01 Dec 14
Modifications and dates: 1820s


Historical notes: The road from Emu Ford to Bathurst, a distance of 101½ miles [163 kilometres] was completed in only six months during 1814 and 1815 by a working party comprised mostly of convicts. Governor Lachlan Macquarie decided to have a carriage road constructed across the Blue Mountains, to the country which had been ‘newly discovered’ by Europeans in 1813.

The ridges and valleys of the Blue Mountains, have been used as a transport corridor by people for tens of thousands of years. In the first 25 years of the settlement at Sydney Cove, several attempts were made to cross the mountains, but none resulted in a recognised successful crossing. Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth, searching for new pasturage made their famous ‘first’ crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813. The so called ‘First Crossing’ took place on the traditional lands of the Dharug, Gundungurra and Wiradjuri people. Other routes through the ridges and valleys of the Blue Mountains had been used by Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years.

William Cox was born in Wimborne Minster, Dorset in 1764. He married Rebecca Upjohn at Devizes, Wiltshire in 1789. Cox arrived in NSW on board the 'Minerva' in January 1800. Cox became Chief Magistrate at Windsor in 1810 and in July 1814 Governor Macquarie made William Cox the Superintendent of the works for a new road over the Blue Mountains. His first wife died in 1819 and Cox married Anna Blachford in 1821. He died on 15 March 1837.

The hill now named Mount Blaxland is situated 11 kilometres south-west of Mount York and 8 kilometres south of Lithgow. In the published version of his Journal Gregory Blaxland wrote that on 31 May 1813:
‘The party encamped by the side of a fine stream of water, at a short distance from a high hill, in the shape of a sugar loaf. In the afternoon, they ascended its summit, from which they descried all around, forest or grass land, sufficient in extent, in their opinion, to support the stock of the Colony for the next thirty years. This was the extreme point of their journey.’ From the summit of Mount Blaxland the view westward is actually more confined than this ‘all around’ description suggests, comprising the folds and valleys of the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range. There are, extensive views east over the Hartley Valley to the western side of the Blue Mountains escarpment towards Mount York, Mount Victoria, Mitchells Ridge and Mount Piddington.
(S Lavelle, 2013: Chapter 8 ‘Mount Blaxland: The Terminal Point and the Re-Claiming of Ownership’ p.186).

Mount Blaxland was named by Surveyor G. W. Evans, sent by Governor Macquarie to confirm the discovery of a passage over the Blue Mountains, in November 1813. Evans also plotted the location of the three sugar loaf shaped hills (Mount Blaxland, Lawson’s Sugarloaf and Wentworth’s Sugarloaf) on the map he prepared showing the traverse of the route he had followed.
(G. W. Evans, 1814, Plan of Journey to Bathurst from Emu Ford to Bathurst, prepared by Governor Macquarie’s direction for the Guidance of William Cox, State Records NSW, Map SZ 160-162, SZ 313-315, SZ 316.)

William Cox began to examine a route for the road in the vicinity of Mount Blaxland on 11 December 1814. He commented in his Journal as follows:

Sunday 11 December
At 6 a.m. sent six men back to the mountain to complete the road. At 7 sent 10 men forward to encamp at Blaxland’s Mount under Watson’s charge. At 8 set out on horseback, with Mr. Hobby and Lewis (John Tye and a soldier having previously gone) to go as far as the Fish River to examine the ground for a road. After passing Mount Blaxland we ascended a high ridge and found it still continued to ascend until we got extremely high. Continued on until noon and found the ground very unfavourable for a road, when I made up my mind to return by the route Mr. Evans laid down on his chart; but to my great surprise found it impracticable to make a road even for a horse. I therefore returned and examined all the ridges and valleys for several miles and got back at sunset extremely fatigued and much disappointed. ...
(Whitaker, 2014: Chapter 4, William Cox’s Journal: 65-66).

A line which climbed a very long, steep and high ridge to the south of Mount Blaxland was selected and road-making commenced under the supervision of Mr Hobby by 13 December 2014. A few days later Cox noted that the road was completed ‘except [for] turning some rock out of it after you ascend the hill at Blaxland’s Mountain’. The road was finished as far as Jock 's Creek by December 17 and to around Mary Anne Creek by December 24. Cox’s Journal records that ten small bridges were built over creeks between Cox' s River and the Fish River.

During his tour over the newly completed Cox’s Road in 1815, Governor Macquarie also described both Mount Blaxland and the road in the vicinity:

Mrs M. and myself mounted our horses at the foot of the first high hill near Mount Blaxland, it being excessively steep and long, for which reason I have named it Fag-Hill. A range of very lofty hills and narrow valleys, alternately form the tract of country lying between Cox’s River and the Fish-River, which tract I have named Clarence’s Hilly Range in honor of H.R. Highness The Duke of Clarence.
(Macquarie, Journals of His Tours, entry for 1 May 1815, p. 94. See also Mackaness, Fourteen Journeys, p. 69)

A survey of the route of the Bathurst Road was completed by James McBrien in 1823. McBrien’s fieldbook for this survey included a note that the road begins a ‘descent at the end on [or of?] the highest point of Mount Blaxland’.
(J. McBrien, 1823, Field Book No. 205, p. 44, State Records NSW)

Over the next few years minor deviations and improvements were made to Cox’s Road in this area of hilly country. In 1827 letters describing a journey to Bathurst along Cox’s Road were published in the Australian newspaper under the pseudonym ‘X.Y.Z’, probably by Captain William Dumaresq who had been appointed Inspector of Roads and Bridges in 1826. Describing his journey, ‘X.Y.Z.’ wrote:
The road from Cox’s River is good enough, but every quarter of an hour you must dismount, either to walk your horse up or down the hills, which are tremendous and follow one another in rapid succession. Mount Blaxland is long and steep, and the road is taken over the very summit. The view does not repay you for the trouble of ascending, but ascend you must or stop and starve, for it is a desolate and barren place. (Mackaness, Fourteen Journeys, p. 181).
By 1829 Major Edmund Lockyer had selected a new line of road to Bathurst which completely abandoned the route via the Clarence Hilly Range and the Fish River. Lockyer’s Road was soon superseded by that proposed by Major Thomas Mitchell, who had become Surveyor General in 1828. Mitchell re-surveyed the line of the road between Mount York and Bathurst, preparing a map showing a new line in 1830. This map showed the route of Cox’s Road to Bathurst via the Fish River as the ‘Present Road by Mt Blaxland’. Considering he had found a superior route, Mitchell ordered the transfer of the convict gangs from work near Mount York to the Mount Victoria descent in January 1830.
( ‘Sketch of the Road to Bathurst’ marked out in 1830 according to a sketch made in 1827’, Anon.,[but probably T. L. Mitchell] circa 1830, State Records NSW, AO Map 5027. Same map also included in Mitchell’s 1855, Report on Roads).
These developments meant that the old Bathurst Road ‘by Mount Blaxland’ was little used, except as access to private properties, which in this area were being occupied from the 1830s.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Surviving remnants of Cox's Road have state historical significance as physical evidence of the first road constructed across the Blue Mountains from Emu Plains to the Bathurst Plains (1814-15). Constructed in 1814-15 Cox's Road is one of the earliest Colonial-era road-lines surviving in Australia. The 1814-15 road is tangible evidence of the development of the colony at Sydney and of the expansion of white settlement into western NSW. The road symbolises the occupation of the country and Governor Macquarie's aspirations for the eventual opening of the interior to European settlement after the discovery of the Western plains by G W Evans in 1814. In this respect the 1814-1815 Cox's Road has considerable symbolic significance as an official public work which laid the foundations for future development. Cox's Road is linked with the foundation of Bathurst, the first inland settlement in NSW, which was proclaimed by Governor Macquarie on 7 May 1815 after his journey along the road.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The surviving remnants of Cox's Road have state significance for their close association with Governor Lachlan Macquarie who commissioned the building of the road into the interior, and with the magistrate and ex-army officer Captain William Cox, who supervised the building of the road. The road is also associated with the convicts who laboured on the road to obtain their liberty, and with the officers and men who assisted Cox such as Thomas Hobby, Richard Lewis, John Tighe and Samuel Ayres. The crossing of the Blue Mountains, the surveying of a route to Bathurst and the building of Cox's Road were significant events in the period of Macquarie's governorship. Governor Macquarie's view of the importance of the road is demonstrated by his reports to Earl Bathurst, the British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, and by his journey to the Bathurst Plains immediately after its construction, where he proclaimed the site for the Bathurst township.

William Cox's achievement using a small group of convict men in a short period of time and with no loss of life caused by road-making or other substantial difficulties, was reflective of his reputation as a more humane employer and magistrate than many of his contemporaries. The leadership qualities, vision and skill he showed constructing the road would also be evident in later government contracts won by Cox for other public works .
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The surviving precincts of Cox's Road have state technical significance for their ability to demonstrate simple, pre 1820s road building techniques. Improvement of the 1814 route throughout the 1820s also provide important evidence of later road building techniques and demonstrates the ongoing use of this key route to the interior, before it was superseded by the new Great Western Road laid out by Sir Thomas Mitchell in the 1830s.

The Mount Blaxland - Clarence Hilly Range Precinct illustrates Cox's 1814-15 road and the way it was modified through the 1820s to service increasing traffic, until it became superseded by new road lines after 1830. It is possible to discern and demonstrate the difference between Cox 's first rough track and the circa 1825-26 improvements to the alignment, gradient, width and stability of the road.

The Mount Blaxland - Clarence Hilly Range Precinct has considerable archaeological potential as remains of a very early bridge (1815-1827) were previously identified at Mary Anne Creek, and numerous other potential bridge sites exist through this precinct. It is also likely that further archaeological work to excavate and clear key parts of the road formations in this precinct may reveal more detail regarding the early structures and construction features such as currently silted up or buried side-drains.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Cox's Road and its remnants are demonstrated as having social significance at a state level by the substantial interest in identifying and promoting Cox's Road for cultural tourism and education, and celebrating the bicentenary of the road by the general public, state and local government bodies and a range of community organisations. The road is of particular importance to Cox descendants. The William Cox Fellowship first nominated sections of Cox's Road for heritage listing in the 1980s.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Precincts of Cox's Road have research significance at a state level for their ability to demonstrate early nineteenth century road, culvert and bridge building techniques using basic skills and technologies. The remains of the 1814-15 road illustrate the conditions of the period and contribute to an understanding of the process of exploration and development, and of early colonial road building and road use. The remains represent a major physical, technological and engineering achievement and exhibit fine details of workmanship. Several precincts of the 1814-15 road have specific archaeological potential.
SHR Criteria f)
Surviving precincts of the 1814-1815 Cox's Road from Penrith to Bathurst are rare examples of early Colonial road building in NSW. The surviving remnants of Cox's Road have state significance as a rare example of pre 1820 road building based on the use of manual and primitive tools, and predating the more sophisticated road survey and construction techniques employed on the later 'Great Roads' of the 1820s and 1830s.
Integrity/Intactness: Good. Substantially intact with much physical evidence of various eras of Colonial road present.
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
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.

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


Cox’s Road and Early Deviations—Hartley,
Clarence Hilly Range/Mount Blaxland Precinct

SHR No 1957

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” by the owner, mortgagee or lessee of the land described in Schedule “B” on the item described in Schedule “A”.

The Hon Rob Stokes, MP
Minister for Heritage

Sydney, 5 Day of March 2015

The item known as Cox’s Road and Early Deviations—Hartley, Clarence Hilly Range/Mount Blaxland Precinct, situated on the land described in Schedule “B”.

All those pieces or parcels of land known as Crown Land in Parishes of Antonio and Lowther, County of Westmoreland shown on the plan catalogued HC 2643 in the office of the Heritage Council of New South Wales.

1 Maintenance and Restoration

The maintenance of Cox’s Road and Early Deviations to retain its condition or operation without the removal of or damage to the existing fabric or the introduction of incompatible new materials.

a. Restoration of Cox’s Road and Early Deviations by returning significant fabric to a known earlier location without the introduction of new material.
b. Restoration of Cox’s Road and Early Deviations without the introduction of new material to reveal a known earlier configuration by removing accretions or reassembling existing components which does not adversely affect the heritage significance of the item.
c. Maintenance and minor repairs necessary to preserve and maintain the functioning of Cox’s Road and Early Deviations, especially where it remains in use as a local road or access corridor, including pavement resurfacing (using existing or compatible replacement materials, but not modern materials); maintenance of historic roadside kerbing; maintenance and repair of historic roadside walling; traffic management; relocation and maintenance of existing signage.

Note: Maintenance means 'the continuous protective care of the fabric and setting of a place'.

2. Repairs, including to services

a. Repairs and activities associated with the maintenance and repair of existing services and public utilities including communications, gas, electricity, water supply, waste disposal, sewerage, irrigation and drainage that are situated within Cox’s Road and Early Deviations precincts. This includes replacement of poles, stay poles, wires and associated items where the same locations and fixing points will be reused.
b. The repair (such as refixing and patching) or the replacement of missing, damaged or deteriorated fabric that is beyond further maintenance, which matches the existing fabric in appearance, material and method of affixing or installation and does not involve damage to or the removal of significant fabric.

3. Works

a. The carrying out of road work or traffic control work, within the meaning of the Roads Act 1993, within the road corridor and surrounding land that is required for associated works and infrastructure.
b. Ongoing current operational works and maintenance activities along Cox’s Road and Early Deviations precincts currently carried out by Local Government or other authorities, such as:
• road side vegetation management including vegetation trimming, tree trimming and/or removal (if required for road safety/traffic hazard);
• stormwater drainage works such as shoulder and pit clearing;
• road repairs such as pot hole patching and road sweeping;
• provision of necessary delineation such as guide posts and traffic signage;
• access controls, drainage and erosion control;
• vegetation and bushfire management;
where such works cause little or no impact on existing heritage fabric.
c. Temporary works, not exceeding 12 months, including containment areas, or scaffolding, other works and enclosures necessary for the carrying out of maintenance or enhancement works for Cox’s Road and Early Deviations. All temporary works must be reversible.
d. Minor works that do not alter the appearance or overall form and would not require the removal of significant fabric of the Cox’s Road and Early Deviations.
e. Installation of new access points such as property driveway openings, where made in accordance with the Roads Act 1993 and where such works including new access construction, driveway design and levels would not require the removal of historic Cox’s Road and Early Deviations pavement or other historic road fabric.

4. Signage

a. Installation of new way finding or interpretative signage or relocation of existing signs, except where these are commercial signs, modular sign structures, cantilever sign structures, or signage over 2 square metres in size.
b. Display of any notice on the land for the purpose of site interpretation and/or public information where disturbance of land associated with this activity would 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 1977.

5. Excavation

a. The excavation or disturbance of land that will have a nil or minor impact on archaeological relics including the testing of land to verify the existence of relics without destroying or removing them, where:
i. an archaeological assessment, zoning plan or management plan has been prepared in accordance with Guidelines endorsed by the Heritage Council of NSW which indicates that the land is unlikely to contain relics or deposits (of State or local heritage significance) and/or
ii. evidence relating to the history or nature of the site, such as its level of disturbance, indicates that the site has little or no archaeological research potential.
b. The excavation or disturbance of land is for the purpose of exposing underground utility services or communications infrastructure which occurs within an existing service trench and will not affect any relics.
c. The excavation or disturbance of land is to expose survey marks for use in conducting a land survey.

Note: 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 Council should be informed immediately

6. Landscape Maintenance

a. All landscaping, gardening and fencing works associated with the ongoing use of the land for domestic, pastoral and agricultural purposes, excluding any works that may materially affect the significance of the item or disturb archaeological relics.
b. Weeding, watering, mowing, top-dressing, pest control and fertilizing necessary for the continued health of plants, without damage or major alterations to layout, contours, plant species or other significant landscape features.
c. Pruning (to control size, improve shape, flowering or fruiting and the removal of diseased, dead or dangerous material) between 10% and 30% of the canopy of a tree within a period of 2 years.
d. Removal of dead or dying trees which are to be replaced by trees of the same species in the same location.
e. Tree surgery by a qualified arborist, horticulturist or tree surgeon necessary for the health of those plants.

7. Farming

All activities associated with the ongoing use of the land for domestic, pastoral and agricultural purposes, including road maintenance and fencing but excluding any new development or construction that would materially affect the significance of the item.

8. Safety and Security

a. The erection of temporary security fencing, scaffolding, hoardings or surveillance systems to prevent unauthorised access or secure public safety which will not adversely affect significant fabric of the Cox’s Road including landscape or archaeological features of its curtilage.
b. Emergency stabilisation, erosion control, hazard reduction or bushfire prevention works, necessary to secure safety where Cox’s Road and Early Deviations precincts have been damaged or destabilised and there exists a safety risk to users or the public.

9. Bushfire Prevention

The undertaking of fire prevention works in accordance with a Local Council, NPWS or Rural Fire Services approved Fire Management Plan for any Cox’s Road and Early Deviations precinct. This includes works relating to hazard reduction to: reduce vulnerability; maintain defendable space and protect; or maintain and enhance the biodiversity and ecological values of any relevant Cox’s Road and Early Deviations precincts or adjoining land Reserves.

10. Minor Development Endorsed by the Heritage Council of NSW

Minor development specifically identified as exempt development by a conservation policy or strategy within a conservation management plan or a conservation management strategy which has been endorsed by the Heritage Council of NSW, where such work would not materially impact on heritage significance.
Mar 25 2015

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0195725 Mar 15 27834

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Map 1830‘Sketch of the Road to Bathurst’ marked out in 1830 according to a sketch made in 1827’
WrittenA H C Whitaker2014William Cox and Cox’s Road: A Bicentenary Souvenir
WrittenG. Karskens1988‘Cox’s Way: An Historical and Archaeological Study of Cox’s Road and Early Crossings of the Blue Mountains, NSW’
WrittenG. Mackaness (Ed.)1965Fourteen Journeys over the Blue Mountains, NSW, 1813-1841
MapG. W. Evans1814 Plan of Journey to Bathurst from Emu Ford to Bathurst, prepared by Governor Macquarie’s direction for the Guidance of William Cox, View detail
MapJames McBrien1823 Field Book No. 205
WrittenL. Macquarie1979Journals of His Tours in NSW and Van Diemen’s Land 1810-1822
WrittenWilliam Cox ‘Journal Kept by Mr Cox in making a road across the Blue Mountains from Emu Plains to a new country discovered by Mr Evans to the Westward’ View detail

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: 5062554
File number: EF14/12820

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