Bald Hill Mine


Useful Information

Location: Hill End. 275 km north-west of Sydney, via Turondale. From Mudgee 66km. From Bathurst via Sofala 78km. From Bathurst via Turondale 69km. From Bathurst along the old bridle track 57km.
Open: Tours depart from the Great Western Store.
Fee:  
Classification:  Gold mine
Light:  
Dimension: L=300m, A=870m asl.
Guided tours: L=150m.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: National Parks and Wildlife Service, visitors' information centre, Old Hospital Building, Bathurst Rd, Hill End, Tel: +61-2-6337-8206.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:51:54 $

History

 
1851alluvial gold discovered at Bald Hill.
1856first stamper battery in Australia set up by the Old Company.
1860surveyed and gazetted, mistakenly, as Forbes.
1862renamed Hillend.
OCT-1872Holtermann's Nugget discoverecd.
1908the Reward Company began operations.
1920soperations ceased.
1967proclaimed an historic siteand placed under the care of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Description

Bald Hill Mine is a very early gold mine. It was built using Knock and Hammer, in the early times black powder was used to blast the gold bearing quartz. In 1872 the much safer dynamite replaced the black powder. But still the work remained dangerous and many miners died in the mine. Another danger was the dust in the mine, which caused silicosis.

The mine is entered through the main passage, but left through an air vent. This vent goes up about 10m to the surface, and visitors have to climb up 10 subsequent wooden ladders. The mine has been restored to show mining conditions in the 1870s.

Bald Hill Mine is located at Hill End, a well-preserved goldmining ghost town which is now an important historic site and a major tourist attraction.

A very important find in October 1872 was Holtermann's Nugget. At that time it was the world's largest specimen of reef gold. It weighed 286kg and measured 150cm by 66cm with an average thickness of 10cm.

The years 1872 and 1873 were the most important years of this gold rush town with most of the gold found. There were 8000 people living here and in only half a year dozens of buildings were erected, shops, banks, newspapers, a brewery, pubs and churches. But when the gold became exhausted in 1873, the whole rush collapsed, and after 10 years only 1200 inhabitants remained. There were several attempts over time to revive the mining but most of them failed. In 1967 Hill End was proclaimed a historic site and placed under the care of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.


See also


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