Mt York is an important historic site with physical evidence of the 1814-15 road over the Blue Mountains. This point was where Cox's Road descended steeply down to Hartley Vale in the valley below.
The view from Mount York was regarded as a symbolic vista of the western lands revealed after the struggle and triumph of the First Crossing.
This spectacular view is to the north-west and west over the Hartley Valley, Kanimbla Valley, the Vale of Clywdd and towards the remainder of the Great Dividing range and in particular to Mount Blaxland, the termination point of the 1813 crossing.
Although viewed from Mount York, Mount Blaxland looks like just a low hill, a marker on it's summit makes it clearly visible.
At the site a pavilion and obelisk have been erected to commemorate the explorers Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth, road builder William Cox and Governor Macquarie, as well as listing the names of Berghofer, Howell and Rienits.
Standing just before the cliff line, the Mount York obelisk was completed in 1900. At the base of the obelisk on all four sides are the inscriptions to the above.
The pavilion was erected as part of the First Crossing Centenary celebrations in 1913 - it is in the centre of a courtyard 7.5m square surrounded by a panelled parapet 1.2m high.
A 1.8m high base holds a memorial tablet and 8 Doric columns hold the domed canopy of the pavilion. The full height of the structure is nearly 6m.
Renovations in 1988 added interpretive plaques and a 'heritage' colour scheme.
Mid-way between the Pavilion and the Obelisk a rubble work stone archway with an inbuilt 'Explorers Wishing Chair' was installed in 1931.
Another small memorial was erected by the descendants of James Watsford, 'Australia's First Royal Mail Coachman', in 1974.
The wording reads -
"NOT OF AN AGE BUT FOR ALL TIME"
In commemoration of Australia's First Royal Mail Coachman.
On April 6th 1832, James Watsford pioneered the first official mail service between Parramatta, Penrith, Collit's Inn and Bathurst.
This marked the establishment of a regular carriage conveyance of the Mails over the Blue Mountains Road.
James Watsford reached the ridge of Mount York at nightfall, passengers and horses were rested while he attached drags to the coach to slow it down the steep slopes of the mountain.
His amazing descent down Lawson's Long Alley to The Vale of Clwydd was then accomplished in darkness and mist. The night was spent at Collit's Inn at the foot of Mount York.
On the following day, James Watsford continued his epic journey via William Cox's first road that led across the Great Dividing Range and O'Connell Plains to Bathurst.
There are two wells in relation to Coxs Road - as the sign tells this is probably the site of a construction camp for the making of Coxs descent.
You can also see a rock carving stating 'Mitchells Pass 1832.
Access to Old convict built roads, now Bush Walking tracks can be found further along Mount York Road at Bardens Lookout - Berghoffers Pass, Lawsons Long Alley and Lockyers Road.
Mount York facilities, activities are -
There is a Car park, Picnic Area, Public Toilet and Sheltered Area.
It is a Historic/Heritage area with much native Flora andFauna.
Activities include -
Abseiling, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Bushwalking with Walking Tracks
GALLERY SLIDE SHOW - MOUNT YORK
Click any image below to view the larger image Gallery Slide Show