Saturday 9 November 2013
Today I made a third attempt to locate the chert deposit that was quarried in 1916 and 1920. The Blue Mountains Shire and Blackheath Municipal council advertisements had said Megalong Rd and Glen Rd. Glen Rd is an old name for the Megalong Valley Rd which descends through Blackheath Glen.
We had seen chert at the third creek crossing and at Coachwood Glen on a previous trip. So I parked the car between Mermaids Cave and Coachwood Glen and followed Pulpit Hill Creek upstream for about 100 metres without seeing any chert in the creek bed. So I returned to the car and proceeded downstream.
A little over 200m downstream I spotted some chert in the creekbed. Clambering carefully down I noted some chunks of chert in the creekbank and lots of chert in the bed. When chipped it has the same light greyish colour inside as the Mt Victoria chert. But a lot of this chert has a very pretty reddish colouring on the outside. The elevation was 808m. Climbing back up on to the bank i explored a flat area and spotted a piece of concrete jutting out of the ground. I recognised it as the leg of an old seat beside the Coachwood Glen walking track at its furthest point from the entrance archway.
Returning to the road I saw another flat area on the opposite side (west). After finding a spot to get up the bank I walked in a few metres and found myself standing in a man-made drainage ditch and beside it was an old road!. it was about 10 feet wide (just over 3 metres) and seems to be a section of the original road to the coalmine. There's about 100m of it in an arc beside the current road. i explored further to the west but so far have not found a quarry excavation!
Back on the road I found a piece of chert just at the edge of the bitumen and some chert in the bank beside the western side of the road.
I shall have to go back and see if there is any evidence of excavations in the vicinity as I think the quarrying must have been done around here.