Bowenfels, New South Wales
New South Wales
Bowenfels railway station
|Population||2,048 (2006 census)|
|LGA(s)||City of Lithgow|
Today there are effectively two Bowenfels. Near Lithgow, on the Great Western Highway, is Bowenfels (with the homestead of the valley's first settler, Andrew Brown). About a kilometre south is South Bowenfels. Although both are now essentially suburbs of Lithgow, Bowenfels was, in fact, the first settlement in the valley, predating the existence of Lithgow by nearly 40 years.
Mount Blaxland, a short distance from South Bowenfels, was the furthest point reached by Blaxland, Lawson, and Wentworth on their historic expedition across the Blue Mountains in 1813. Later in that year George Evans followed in the footsteps of the explorers to Mount Blaxland and then headed west to discover the O'Connell plains and the Bathurst plains. At South Bowenfels, Magpie Hollow Road heads west to Lake Lyell and then on to Tarana and O'Connell.
Bowenfels was founded in the 1830s to service travellers along the new road to Bathurst, which opened in 1832, following the opening of the Victoria Pass, which sealed the fate of the old Bathurst road in its descent of Mt. York. It was named by Surveyor-General Thomas Mitchell after George Mears Bowen, a former member of his department. The town was the first settlement in the valley and pre-dated Lithgow by 40 years. The railway opened in 1869, and was electrified in the 1950s, although passenger services no longer service Bowenfels station.
Bowenfels has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Great Western Highway: Fernhill, Bowenfels
- via Kirkley Street: Lithgow Heavy Anti Aircraft Gun Stations and Dummy Station
- Main Western railway: Bowenfels railway station
- Main Western railway: Bowenfels rail viaducts
According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 2,048 people in Bowenfels.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 9.5% of the population.
- 78.9% of people were born in Australia and 84.8% of people spoke only English at home.
- The most common responses for religion were Catholic 25.5%, No Religion 24.2% and Anglican 21.8%.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Bowenfels (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- "Bowenfels, NSW". Sydney Morning Herald, 8 February 2004. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- Bathurst is to the west of Lithgow
- Two Journals of Early Exploration in New South Wales by George William Evans. Entry for Wednesday, Decr. 6th, 1813. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- the road runs west
- Section of Wikipedia article relating to the Great Western Highway. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- The Journal of Gregory Blaxland, 1813, Note 28. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- "Main West Line". Nswrail.net.
- "Fernhill". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00225. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Lithgow Heavy Anti Aircraft Gun Stations and Dummy Station". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01862. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Bowenfels Railway Station and Stationmaster's House". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00475. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Bowenfels Rail Viaducts". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01028. Retrieved 18 May 2018.