| Find Lucknow
The old gold mining town of Lucknow, 250 km north-west of Sydney, was established as a result of the second major gold discovery in Australia in 1851 – the first official find had occurred earlier that year at Ophir, near Bathurst.
In 1838 the Lucknow estate was taken up by William Charles Wentworth, who together with Gregory Blaxland and William Lawson made the first successful European crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813. It was on his property that gold was discovered in May 1851.
The estate was purchased by the Wentworth Gold Field Company in 1852. The company was liquidated in 1860 and from 1862 the land was leased to the public.
The settlement that grew on the goldfields prospered during the 1860s. In 1863 the first post office opened and the town was named 'Lucknow'. The decade also saw the addition of a Catholic Church (1864), police station and lock-up, as well as numerous businesses, including a substantial collection of inns.
The shallow alluvial gold deposits were exhausted by 1872. During the 1870s deeper mining operations began.
In 1873 a bluestone Anglican Church was constructed. Previously Anglican and Wesleyan services had been held in a bark hut which was also used as a schoolhouse. A Wesleyan Church was built in 1886. The school of arts (1887) has also been a library, dance hall, silent movie theatre and meeting centre. During WWI Gilgandra's Coo-ee marchers stopped at the building during their recruitment march to Sydney.
|Looking west with Reform Mine, Lucknow, in foreground (courtesy Orange Visitor Information Centre)
Gold production at Lucknow was at its height in 1895 and mining continued into the 20th century, finally ceasing in 1954. The area yielded in excess of 14 tonnes of gold between 1851 and 1927.