Tuesday, June 1, 2010

ATTUNGA POINT QUARRY

Sometime after 1839 William Klensendorlffe (1789-1861)(post here) would have discovered not far from his proposed homestead site a spur of rock suitable for building near the Molonglo River. He would no doubt have used that resource in building his two story stone (with cellar) homestead 'Elizabeth Cottage'. In 1854 the Kaye Family took control of the property and it would have been their Quarry at the time that stone was required for the repair of Canberra's first church.


Rock on...


Abram Orpen Moriarty (1830 - 1918)(bio here) was made Chief Clerk of the Lands Department in 1873. In 1911 after the declaration of the Federal Capital Territory the newly formed Federal Territory's assets were (*possibly) surveyed by Moriarty.

* Moriarty is mentioned as the surveyor and he lived near Braidwood upon retirement, however he would have been 88 years old at the time of the recording dying seven years after in 1918 aged 94.


A view from out on the Point.

Anyway... someone, possibly Moriarty detailed information on the Assets of the territory referencing tenants names, descriptions of land and structures thereon, roads, fences etc.  Moriarty provides us with a date for 'the old road that cuts across the hillside opposite 'Lotus Bay' from the Quarry as about 1890.


The rock-face.

This road, however probably dates from the 1860's when the road was used to take stone from the Quarry to St John the Baptist Church (post here) and used in the rebuilding of the church tower. The new tower was erected between 1865 and 1870 after the old tower developed a 24" (60 cm) lean, was deemed unsafe and dismantled..


Small boulders being overgrown.

Moriarty's detailed records are kept in the National Archives of Australia (website here) and recorded on strip maps produced sometime between 1912 and 1915. I have a post on the Black Mountain Quarry with a more comprehensive look at stone quarries and buildings in the ACT (post here). From 1925 the quarry's privacy concealed a rubbish dump. Spoons, knives, forks and crockery with early Hotel Canberra motif have been recovered from excavations of the old rubbish tip.


Track in and out.

Today 'Klensendorlffe's/Kayes/Attunga Point Quarry' sits just down from Canberra's vanished suburb of 'Westlake' (post here) on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin at Attunga Point. It was wet the day I went to take some photo's but on a sunny day it would be a great place for a BBQ or just a private, quiet place by the lake to contemplate. It is being reclaimed by nature...


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