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Sunday, 23 March 2014

LILLIANS BRIDGE WENTWORTH FALLS, BLUE MOUNTAINS NSW AUSTRALIA



Taken before 1927
It’s a matter of opinion whether we locate this celebrated bridge in Leura or Wentworth Falls, it is in fact on the boundary between the two. Its presence across the gorge known as Lillian’s Glen makes it possible to walk conveniently from Fairmont Resort in Leura down to the Glen and then follow the tracks up or down the Valley of the Waters, returning the same way or by bus (if you can work out the times and routes). A simpler way would be to leave cars at both ends of the walk, if you are going with a group.
Who was the Lillian (or should it be Lilian ?) after whom the bridge and glen were named? The obituary of Elizabeth Lilla Murray (Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 20th September 1916, page 5) tells us that she was the wife of Captain Murray, who was for many years Chairman of the Wentworth Falls Reserve Trust. According to this obituary, “Lilian’s Glen and Lilian’s Bridge, above the Valley of the Waters, are associated with Mrs Murray’s name”.
I believe the bridge was built around 1895. “The Bridge, which consists of an iron framework with wooden fittings, is only 21 feet wide, and yet it spans a gorge over 200 feet deep, and miles in length.” So says an article in the 1905 Katoomba and Leura Guidebook. No doubt repairs were made to the structure many times over the years, but by the early 21st   
Photo taken in 2007
century it was in a state of disrepair. The 2007 photograph shows it as being closed to all traffic. (I’m sorry, I don’t know the source of this photo so please forgive me whoever took it.)
The approach from the Leura side 2013
The top photo was taken before 1927 (from the Mountaineer tourist guidebook of that year) and could be at least 20 years older than that. It gives a good impression of the structure of the bridge. 
Point of entry to the gorge below the bridge
The bridge has now been restored by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and should last for many years to come. If you are bold, follow the Nature Track until you reach the creek in Lillian’s Glen and then go downstream until you are underneath Lillian’s Bridge.
The approach from the Wentworth Falls side 2013
My video of the walk from Fairmont Resort may be found here . My Blue Mountains You Tube playlist may be found here . I have three other playlists - on gem hunting/mining, Glen Innes and New Zealand. Please comment and subscribe.

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