Location Mitchell Highway, South East of Orange, a place within the Precinct of Frederick’s Valley.
Statement of Significance
The landscape of Lucknow has significance for its historic link to the gold mining operations that were important for the early prosperity of Orange. Several periods of intense mining have shaped the landscape of Lucknow since the first payable gold was discovered in 1851.The remnants of these mining operations define the landscape, with the mining machinery silhouetted against the skyline and the earth broken by the mining process. The run-off from water used in the mining process caused erosion which has left a marked effect on the environment surrounding the mining area at Lucknow.
A number of thorough studies of, or including, Lucknow have been prepared for Orange City Council, including the 1986 Hughes, Trueman and Ludlow Heritage Study; the 1996 Lucknow Village Heritage Analysis; and the 2001 Wentworth Main Shaft Mine Interpretation Plan.
Objects and Elements: Lucknow
The landscape of Lucknow is characterised by the industrial forms of the remaining mining machinery, with the poppet heads particularly distinctive. The community consultation process identified the poppet heads and mine buildings as significant landscape features. The Reform Mine is a Schedule 8 Heritage Item of State Significance and the Wentworth Mine (pictured) is a Schedule 8 Heritage Item of Local Significance in the Orange Local Environment Plan 2000.
It is said that the mine was developed some time after 1922 by the Lucknow Pups Gold Mining Company. The first mine manager, Samuel Walsh, resigned after disputes over the safety of the mine. In 1922 the mine suffered a major cave in (Cook:37). Following this event a prospecting shaft was sunk to a depth of 140 feet to reach the reefs running beneath this area. This was named Bowyer’s Shaft, presumably as it was located on land in Spring Hill Road owned by Mrs TA Bowyer.
In 1925 Andrews gave the Directors of the South Lucknow Mine the opinion that the 15,000 Pounds already expended by the syndicate in prospecting “could not be recalled”. He expressed the view that further prospecting was very speculative. (Dept. of Mines 1925).
Lucknow Pups developed another list of machinery and plant on 30 November, 1934. This appears to be a checklist of remaining equipment and may have been part of the winding-up process of the company. It is likely that mining and exploration activity at Bowyer’s Shaft had ceased by this time.
Public Art, adjacent to the Northern side of the Mitchell Highway
Summer Hill Creek Weirs (below Wentworth Mine)
The bluestone weirs have historic significance as physical evidence relating to the mining activities of Lucknow. The community consultation process identified the weirs as significant landscape features.
The community consultation process identified erosion and landslip around Lucknow as a significant feature of the landscape. The erosion is due to the disturbance of the land by the mining activities and also by the felling of timber to fuel many of Summer Hill the mining operations.
Built in 1873 and the only one of Lucknow’s churches to survive today. The building of the church formed part of the consolidation of the town in the 1870s.
The Wentworth Main Mine, located on the Eastern side of the village, relates to the 1890s and 1930s mining booms. Evidence of earlier prospecting activity suggests that gold was first mined on this site in the 1860s. Building on the mine site include an equipment store, medical room, blacksmith, machinery building, stamper battery shed, mine office and the mine manager’s cottage.
The Reform mine sits on a small area of 1.8 hectares and incorporated five of the principal gold-producing shafts and one tunnel in what has been described as the world’s most concentratedly rich small goldfield.