Hartley Historic Site NPWS

Blue Mountains

Overview

Step into history in an authentic 19th century village on the western edge of the Blue Mountains. Hartley Historic Site, managed by the National Parks & Wildlife Service, consists of 17 buildings of historic significance dating from 1837, set amongst paddocks, orchards, native vegetation and 19th and 20th century cottage gardens.

Description

Drop into Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre before you tour the village. As well as providing all the information you will need about Hartley’s buildings and history, it stocks a range of Australian souvenirs, snacks and drinks. Changing historical and art exhibitions give fascinating insights into the story of Hartley – spend some time checking out the old photographs and imagining the bustle of this little town in its heyday. Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre is itself housed in a colonial building: the Farmers Inn. The central portion of this single-storey building, corresponding with the verandah, was the original part of the house. At either end of the building are added rooms, which were probably built when the building became an inn in about 1865. Some original iron roof survives today, as well as the chimneys. The centrepiece of the village is the Greek Revival courthouse, designed by colonial architect Mortimer Lewis in the Grecian Revival style. Built in 1837 by convict labour, it is still largely intact and constructed solidly of locally quarried sandstone. It is an imposing building, one of the best-preserved in the region. View the holding cells, original convict carvings, constable’s room, the Magistrate and Clerk’s office and the Courtroom. Many notorious bushrangers and cattle thieves were kept here and inside the cells, with their bars and bolts still in position, you can imagine the thoughts of men used to roaming the country locked up tight in this remote prison. Take a self guided tour for only $4.40, and step back in time via the unique hologram audio vision display. In recognition of Hartley’s heritage significance, an exciting revitalisation plan is being developed, with improved facilities and new exhibition spaces. There are already a number of fascinating tours and events held at Hartley, and accommodation is available in newly renovated historic cottages, Old Trahlee and St Bernard's Presbytery. Hartley is a popular place for picnics and day tours—guided and self-guided tours are available, ask for details at the information centre. Tours for groups larger than 20 must be booked in advance, and staff can prepare special tours for school and interest groups given sufficient notice.

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Visit the Blue Mountains Magazine

Visit the Blue Mountains Magazine