The sighting by Surveyor George Evans in 1813 of 'three hills to the south', is the first European record of the Blayney district. Evans named these hills the Three Brothers and during an expedition in 1815, Evans set out from the fledging village of Bathurst towards the Three Brothers. As he travelled west, he observed a large flat mountain to the north which he named Mt Lachlan, later to become Mt Macquarie. His expedition took him through the present districts of Neville and Lyndhurst, before discovering the Lachlan River.
There was temporary settlement throughout the area between 1821 and 1828 before the gold rush of the 1850s and 60s sparked the development of a number of settlements throughout the region including Blayney and Forest Reefs. Initially the shire was allocated for farming, however, with the opening and working of many mines, the townships flourished. The site eventually decided upon for the township of Blayney was in a picturesque valley with the Belubula River running along its eastern boundary.
With valuable gold came feared bushrangers, including the notorious Ben Hall, John Gilbert, John O'Meally, John Vane and Mickey Bourke. They were active throughout the district with a number of hold-ups along the roads to Carcoar.
The coming of the railway to Blayney in 1876, encouraged further development of the region with the towns of Newbridge and Millthorpe flourishing. The 1870s to 1880s saw great development in Blayney and it was during this time that many of the significant buildings, which still stand today, were built. For further information and links to other sites of interest within the Shire, please visit the Blayney Tourism site.
Blayney - The Village Shire
Blayney, the Village Shire lies within the Central West of NSW and has a rich and fascinating history, stretching back more than 170 years. As soon as Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson forged their way across the Blue Mountains, they opened up the heart of Australia, and the Central West was the first part of this Heartland to be settled.
Today Blayney boasts number of well preserved historic villages including Barry, Carcoar, Millthorpe, Lyndhurst, Mandurama, Neville and Newbridge; where you can see magnificent country homesteads, tour interesting museums, inspect historic buildings, fossick amongst old mining sites and view nature at its very best during any one of the four distinct seasons that the region enjoys. Art studios, craft outlets, restaurants, cafes and tea houses all offer pleasant ways to while away your time. Shady parks and gardens offer pleasing surroundings to relax, play with the children, picnic and take in the clean air.
In addition to the region's history, there are many attractions and features that make this Village Shire a unique holiday destination. Bush walking, cycling and horse riding in the picturesque countryside, the water sport paradise located at Carcoar Dam, fishing in the shire's streams and waterways and exploring the unique mining heritage of the area all offer a variety of attractions.
There is so much to do, so many beautiful views and lots of spots to unwind. Picturesque villages, rolling hills, bubbling streams, spectacular waterfalls, aquatic playgrounds and majestic caves are all part of this historic region.
Last modified: 24 Sep 2014