kids encyclopedia robot

Escort Rock facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Escort Rock
1827 - The Ben Hall Sites - Escort Rock (5052218b3).jpg
Location Escort Way, Eugowra, Cabonne Shire, New South Wales, Australia
Built 1862–1862
Official name: The Ben Hall Sites - Escort Rock; Eugowra Rock
Type state heritage (landscape)
Designated 8 October 2010
Reference no. 1827
Type Geological site or area
Category Landscape - Natural

Escort Rock is a heritage-listed geological formation at Escort Way, Eugowra, Cabonne Shire, New South Wales, Australia. It is one of a group of historic sites labelled the Ben Hall Sites for their association with bushranger Ben Hall, along with Ben Hall's Death Site, the Bushranger Hotel, Cliefden, the Grave of Ben Hall and Wandi. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 8 October 2010.

History

Bushrangers Eugowra Rocks
Stage coach hold-up, Eugowra Rocks, painted by Patrick William

The robbery of the gold escort at Escort Rock was one of the better known robberies by Frank Gardiner's gang, which included Ben Hall at this time.

The Eugowra Gold Escort carried gold and money from the goldfields to Sydney every week. On 15 June 1862 the covered mail coach drawn by four horses was carrying 14,000 pounds worth of gold and money. Guarding this shipment were four police and a driver. Gardiner's gang stopped two drays and ordered the drivers to position the drays across the road to block the passage of the Gold Escort. The coach arrived in the late afternoon at the blockade and Gardiner ordered his gang to open fire. The guard fled leaving the coach to the bushrangers. Gardiner, Hall and the other members of the gang Dan Charters, John Gilbert, Henry Manns, John O'Meally, John Bow and Alex Fordyce retired to a camp on Mount Wheogo. The gang broke up but were later tracked down by police who recovered the gold.

Ben Hall and Dan Charters were arrested while mustering on Hall's property on 27 July 1862. Hall was freed on 23 August 1862 with a bail of 500 pounds and two sureties of 250 pounds each.

Description

1827 - The Ben Hall Sites - Escort Rock - The old coach road in the foreground. (5052218b4)
Escort Rock with the old coach road in the foreground

Escort Rock is located approximately four kilometres north east of Eugowra on the Escort Way. The site is located 200 metres to the east of the Escort Way on the site of the old road. A large boulder has been marked "Escort Rock" and is set to the side of what was once the coach road from Eugowra to Orange. The original coach road wound around the base of the boulder strewn hillside and then after a sharp bend curved back towards the existing road. The evidence of the original road is the only physical evidence to show where the robbery took place.

As at 3 July 2009, it was in good condition, and the original coach road was visible.

The integrity of the rock, coach road, and surrounding area is high, mainly due to the new road being built 200m away from the original road.

There is a picnic area next to the highway that has been constructed for tourists to stop and see the site. There is also a plaque which commemorates a re-enactment which took place on the centenary of the hold up by the Gardiner gang.

Heritage listing

1827 - The Ben Hall Sites - Escort Rock - SHR Plan 2276 (5052218b100)
Heritage boundaries

Escort Rock contributes to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites as the site of the first crime Hall can be positively linked to. The activities of Hall and his gang had significant impact on the movement of people, money and gold through regional New South Wales between 1862 and 1865. The Escort Rock robbery was the first of many road side hold-ups and it was the increasing frequency of such hold-ups which lead to the widespread expansion of police forces into rural areas and increased security for mail coaches and gold escorts.

Escort Rock is associated with the bushranger Frank Gardiner, who lead the robbery on 15 June 1862. Halls association with Gardiner played an important role in Hall becoming a notorious bushranger.

Escort Rock contributes to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites as a site recognised by the public to be associated with Ben Hall. Hall is one of the best known bushrangers who operated in New South Wales and forms a significant element to the construction of Australian identity. The Escort Rock site is well marked and is a popular tourist destination.

Escort Rock is of State significance as being representative of the type of places used by bushrangers to hold up coaches and travellers. Escort Rock is an example of the type of place Ben Hall and his gang used for road side hold ups and which helped define these criminal activities as "bushranging" due to the men appearing out of the bush on horse back and then escaping into the bush with the proceeds of the robbery. Escort Rock is an identifiable location of a highway robbery. The majority of roadside robberies took place at locations without relocatable landmarks.

Aesthetically Escort Rock is of local significance as an impressive landmark on the Old Coach Road from Eugowra to Orange. This road is no longer used for traffic, a new road being built 200m away.

The Ben Hall Sites - Escort Rock was listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 8 October 2010 having satisfied the following criteria.

The place is important in demonstrating the course, or pattern, of cultural or natural history in New South Wales.

The activities of Hall and his gang had significant impact on the movement of people, money and gold through regional New South Wales between 1862 and 1865. Escort Rock became one of many road side hold-ups. The increasing frequency of hold-ups lead to the widespread expansion of police forces into rural areas and increased security for mail coaches and gold escorts. Aboriginal people with their skill at tracking and their intimate knowledge of the bush were employed in order to help the police match the local knowledge of the bushrangers.

The place has a strong or special association with a person, or group of persons, of importance of cultural or natural history of New South Wales's history.

Escort Rock contributes to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites as the first major crime Ben Hall participated in. Hall went on to have a bushranging career that lasted until 1865.

Escort Rock is associated with the bushranger Frank Gardiner, who lead the robbery. Halls association with Gardiner played an important role in Hall becoming the notorious bushranger he was to destined become.

The place is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics and/or a high degree of creative or technical achievement in New South Wales.

Aesthetically Escort Rock is of local significance as an impressive landmark on the road from Eugowra to Orange.

The place has strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group in New South Wales for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

Escort Rock contributes to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites as a site recognised by the public to be associated with Ben Hall. Hall is one of the best known bushrangers who operated in New South Wales and forms a significant element to the construction of Australian identity. The Escort Rock site is well marked and is a popular tourist destination.

The place has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of the cultural or natural history of New South Wales.

The original old coach road is partially visible and archaeological research would reveal more about its original route.

The place possesses uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of the cultural or natural history of New South Wales.

Escort Rock is unusual as an easily recognisable and well documented place where a road side hold up by bushrangers took place.

The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural or natural places/environments in New South Wales.

Escort Rock is of State significance as being representative of the type of places used by bushrangers to hold up coaches and travellers. Escort rock is an example of the type of place Ben Hall and his gang used for road side hold ups and which helped define these criminal activities as "bushranging" due to the men appearing out of the bush on horse back and then escapinging into the bush with the proceeds of the robbery. Escort Rock is an identifiable location of a highway robbery. The majority of robberies took place at locations without relocatable landmarks.

kids search engine
Escort Rock Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.