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Lennox Bridge east of Blaxland
 

Blaxland
Large township in the Blue Mountains.
Located 67 km from Sydney and 234 metres above sea level, Blaxland is a thriving community of over 10 000 people. Today this substantial community has little to offer the visitor. Its interest lies more in its history rather than any buildings or monuments.

The town was named after Gregory Blaxland (1778-1853). Blaxland's importance is well summed up in the Australian Dictionary of Biography which records that: 'By 1813 he had come to realise that his flocks of sheep and cattle were expanding beyond the resources of his coastal grant. Macquarie could not be persuaded to grant extra lands to large flock owners on the coast, and Blaxland thus drew the correct conclusion that the solution to the pastoralists' land problem lay in discovering a route to the interior. In 1810 he had explored part of the Nepean River. Early in 1813 he requested Macquarie's approval of an exploring expedition across the Blue Mountains, and on 11 May he set out with William Lawson and W. C. Wentworth. Though as early as 1816 Blaxland claimed to have been the leader of the expedition, contemporary records suggest that none of the three assumed this position but that their effort was a joint one. They achieved success by adopting the novel method of traversing the mountains by the ridges instead of looking for a route through the valleys. They found the way across by Mount York, and then went on past Cox's River to a sugar loaf hill later named Mount Blaxland; from its summit could be seen 'enough grass to support the stock of the colony for thirty years'.'

Although the town took its name from this important explorer there is no physical monument to confirm the association.

Equally, all that is left of Blaxland's most important building, the Pilgrim Inn, is some ruins. This building, which was 'in the last stages of ruin and decay' in the 1950s, was built in 1826. It was, according to contemporary descriptions, a gracious hostelry surrounded by cedar verandahs, covered in shingles and with a large well and extensive stables. It achieved some kind of dubious fame in 1865 when Sir Frederick Pottinger, Inspector of Police, fatally (and accidentally) shot himself while boarding a moving coach outside the inn. As the first major inn on the road over the mountains it was known throughout the colony. As the first major inn on the road over the mountains it was known throughout the colony and it was the fillip for the establishment of the original Blaxland Railway Station. Originally called Wascoe's Siding, the name of the station was changed to Blaxland in 1879.

Things to see:   

Pilgrim Inn
All that is left of Blaxland's most important building, the Pilgrim Inn, is some ruins, albeit carefully preserved and accompanied by an explanatory noticeboard adjacent the McDonald's carpark (behind the Caltex Ampol Service Station). This building, which was 'in the last stages of ruin and decay' in the 1950s, was built in 1826. It was, according to contemporary descriptions, a gracious hostelry surrounded by cedar verandahs, covered in shingles and with a large well and extensive stables. It achieved some kind of dubious fame in 1865 when Sir Frederick Pottinger, Inspector of Police, fatally (and accidentally) shot himself while boarding a moving coach outside the inn. As the first major inn on the road over the mountains it was known throughout the colony and it was the fillip for the establishment of the original Blaxland Railway Station. The original sandstone stationmaster's cottage is in the grounds of the service station.

 

Wascoe Siding Miniature Railway
Operating on the first Sunday of each month, this family railway is located at 15 Grahame St, just on the eastern side of both the main railway line and the Great Western Highway.

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Blaxland