Previous find of the month - 1/2015 - Page 2

Previous find of the month

January 2015

The Lost Roads of Canberra

Long Gully Road

Residents of Woden and Tuggeranong may be familiar with Long Gully Road, which runs between the Monaro Highway and Erindale Drive at Isaacs. In the 18th Century, Long Gully Road ran between the Cooma Road and Uriarra Road, providing access to rural properties in the Parish of Narrabundah. After the foundation of Canberra, Long Gully Road became a busy public road, as it provided ready access to the popular Kambah Pool.

Until the late 1920s, the properties along Long Gully Road remained unfenced. This was a constant source of annoyance for farmers along the road. Public servants, out for a weekend drive, would often forget to close stock gates and this allowed livestock to wander off into neighbouring properties and forest reserves. This issue was resolved in 1929 when fencing along Long Gully Road was completed.

View Larger Map Here is a current aerial view of the area on Google Maps.

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Comparing Google Maps to the rural lease map below of Stromlo District around 1940, you can see how Long Gully Road continued through what are now Farrer, Mawson and Chifley. The road then continued west through Weston Creek before turning north in Stirling and finally intersecting with Uriarra Road near the Molonglo River.

Route of Long Gully Road c1940

An extract from the Rural Lease Map c1940 held by ArchivesACT. Long Gully Road is marked in red.
You can download a map showing the District of Stromlo c1940 here: (JPG 1.48Mb) and the complete map of the ACT here: (JPG 6.23Mb)

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You can find the last remaining gravel section of Long Gully Road between Chifley and Pearce in Woden Valley. The section is marked with a Canberra Tracks sign located near the western end of Gledden Street in Chifley. This area is circled in red on the maps on this page.

You can also see that the route of Long Gully Road closely matches suburban green belts and footpaths in several places through Weston Creek.

Long Gully Road 2014

The last remaining gravel section of Long Gully Road in 2014.

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The following map is a combination of the 1912 parish maps for Narrabundah and Yarrowlumla. It shows Long Gully Road, along with numerous minor tracks:

Extract of 1912 Parish of Narrabundah and Yarrowlumla maps

A combination of the 1912 Parish of Narrabundah and Yarrowlumla maps from the Environment & Planning Directorate map room. Long Gully Road is marked in red.
You can download the complete Parish of Narrabundah 8th August 1912 map here: (JPG 1.96Mb)
You can download the complete Parish of Yarrowlumla 17th July 1912 map here: (JPG 2.69Mb)

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Time to Explore

While we have highlighted two lost rural roads, there are many other remnants of these early routes around the ACT. Sections of the original Kambah Pool Road are still visible in the grounds of the Murrumbidgee Country Club, and the green belt running through Cook appears to align with a track that ran off the old Weetangera Road.

Summer is the perfect time to explore your own suburb to see if you can find some reminders of Canberra’s rural past. The 1917 map of the Federal Capital Territory - Sheet 2 is ideal for this as it shows both the ACT’s rural leases and the very beginning of Canberra. You can download this map here: (PDF Icon PDF 618Kb)

Happy hunting.

Links to External Websites

The Tharwa (Lanyon) Road - Queanbeyan Age, 2nd September 1869, p. 2:

You can find a full set of the photos of Tharwa Road and Pine Island Road taken on 28/01/2014 here:

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