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Pass of Victoria MonumentPrint Page Print this page

The Pass of Victoria Monument is dedicated to the sesquicentenary of the opening of Victoria Pass which was constructed under the direction of Surveyor-General Major Mitchell.  The achievement of Surveyor General Major Mitchell in constructing a descent of Mount Victoria is indicative of the importance placed in his role in the development of the colony and its expansion to the western districts.

In 1827 the explorer Hamilton Hume made a Journey over Bell’s Line of Road and located a new line from Hartley Vale to Bathurst. The new Deputy Surveyor, Major Thomas Mitchell was subsequently sent to examine Hume’s discovery and reported it to be “the most eligible that can be found” in terms of avoiding Mt York and Blaxland. However, he also pointed out that it was not accessible to the settlers at Fish River and O’Connell Plains, and that it avoided the grassy flats of Hartley Vale. He proposed a more direct route to Bathurst, descending from Mt York by an “inferior ridge or colline which falls gradually, advancing into the valley near Collit’s Inn.’ In January 1829 the Surveyor of the Roads and Bridges, Edmund Lockyer reported that this line, as proposed and recommended by Major Mitchell when completed would “make the descent comparatively nothing”. 

Work began on this new descent in 1829 under Lockyer’s direction, the third in only fourteen years . This descent became known as Lockyer’s Road. This road involved large scale works including extensive cuttings embankments and type 2b/3a retaining walls up to 2 metres high (refer Section 9). Sometime in 1829, it occurred to Mitchell that a pass might be made over “a great abyss” at Mt Victoria. This would cut off the roundabout location of Lockyer’s Road and the descent of Mt York. In1830, Mitchell suddenly removed the gangs from Lockyer’s line to this new site. Mitchell reported that the new route down Mt Victoria simply required the “lowering of a narrow crest of rocks”. He declined to mention the massive works required to fill and span the chasm in its path. A map was subsequently produced showing Lockyer’s line from Mt York to Bathurst as a “road cleared by mistake”. A great struggle between Mitchell and Governor Darling ensued over this action, as the line had been relocated without approval. Mitchell’s choice eventually prevailed, and by 24 September 1830 convict gangs were carrying out construction at Mt Victoria. 

Location

Address:Michell`s Lookout Road, Mount Victoria, 2786
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.583213
Long: 150.239987
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Sub-Theme:Discovery
Approx. Event Start Date:1832
Approx. Event End Date:1982
Monument Designer:H. L. Blackwood

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 23rd October, 1982
Front Inscription
               PASS OF VICTORIA
THIS PLAQUE WAS UNVEILED ON THE 23RD OCTOBER 1982
         SURVEYOR-GENERAL JACK DARBY F.I.S.
TO COMMEMORATE THE SESQUI-CENTENARY OF THE OPENING OF THE PASS WHICH WAS CONSTRUCTED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
     SURVEYOR -GENERAL MAJOR T.L.MITCHELL
       AND OPENED ON THE 23RD OCTOBER, 1832
           Presented By The Institute of Surveyors
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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