Development of Bell's Line of Road

The ancient Aboriginal route along the Bell Range did not become known to white settlers until 1823, when 19-year-old Archibald Bell was led over Mount Tomah and on to Hartley Vale by Darug guides Emery (also known as Lawyer) and Cogy (also known as Jackie Cogg). Emery is recorded as being from the Windsor or Kurrajong areas, and Cogy was from the Cattai area.

‘Bell’s Line’ was almost immediately surveyed by Robert Hoddle, and ten years later it had become a popular stock route. In the 1850s ‘Bell’s Line’ was a well-travelled walkway to the western goldfields near Bathurst and by 1949 a modern road.

The original line of the road went north-west from Clarence across Newnes Plateau, and descended the western escarpment into the upper Coxs River valley near Lidsdale.