Bathurst Region - Live, Visit, Invest, Study

Distance from Bathurst 35kms south of Bathurst Preferred route via Vale Road to Perthville then Rockley turn off.

History

Rockley is one of the oldest settlements west of the Blue Mountains having been discovered by surveyor George Evans in 1813. Land grants were first made to William Lawson in 1818. However, the present site of the village on Peppers Creek was originally kept as a government stock reserve. In 1829 when Captain Augustus Steel was granted a parcel of 1920 acres he called his grant ‘Rockley' after his birthplace in England. The township of Rockley was gazetted on 22 July 1851. Copper was found in the late 1840s with the Summer Hill copper mine opening in 1848. Settlers were drawn also to the area by the discovery of gold around the same time. The prosperity of that era is reflected in the substantial buildings that were erected and still stand in the village.

Present

Today the village of Rockley captures the essence of rural life at the turn of the 19th century leading to it being listed by the National Trust as an Historic Village. Peppers Creek provides a delightful backdrop for the beautiful Stephens Park right in the heart of the village. Visitors can enjoy a picnic in the park or watch the world go by from the verandah of the hotel or tearooms.

What to Do & See

Beautiful, historic buildings including churches, banks, a hotel, shop fronts and private dwellings are scattered through the streets. The old Rockley Mill, once a flour mill, is now a museum that opens on most Sundays, featuring historical machinery, clothing, newspapers and old police records from the district. See well known riders at the famous Rockley Rodeo in February or March each year. Picnic under the beautiful old shade trees by Peppers Creek, enjoy a meal at one of the local establishments or visit a local artist's gallery.

Facilities/Services

Hotel, cafes, gallery, museum, police station, public phone, post box, active churches, barbecue facilities, picnic tables.
Accommodation includes B&B, self contained cottage and hotel.
The village of Rockley is a historic and friendly haven. Its history dates back to 1813 when the area was discovered by Surveyor Evans. In 1818 land grants were made in the are to William Lawson but the actual site of Rockley, on Peppers Creek, was kept as a Government Stock Reserve. Eleven years later, Governor Darling granted land to Captain Steel of the 34th Regiment. He named his grant of 1,920 acres Rockley after his birth place in England.
The opening of the Summer Hill copper mine in 1848 and the discovery of gold in the district soon increased the population of the village and surrounding areas. The township was settled in July 1851. Rockley is classified as a historic village by the National Trust. It has some interesting and attractive historic buildings, including churches, banks, the hotel and shops. The Rockley Mill is now a museum containing interesting artefacts from the area.
A delightful place for picnics is the park in the centre of the village. There are barbecue facilities, swings and toilets, and a swimming hole and wading pool for small children. A major rodeo is held at Rockley every February.

Rockley Village Map