St Pauls Anglican Church
Built in 1848 to a design by the noted colonial architect Edmund Blacket (he was responsible for the Quadrangle at Sydney University). It was originally used as both a church and a school. While it is still a charming Early Victorian sandstone church it is worth noting that the interior was completely redesigned when the school was removed from the building in 1872. Consequently Blacket's original west window was totally removed. The early church records were destroyed by a bushfire in 1929. To reach it turn north off the old Great Western Highway at Pyramid Street, just west of Emu Park, and then turn into Nixon Street. It is located in Nixon Street.
The present-day Uniting Church in Emerald St is a simple stone structure which was originally the local Methodist Church. It was constructed in 1862 with the builders using local sandstone.
O'Donaghue's Irish House
Built by William George Clark in 1886 and named The Orient until 1939. It has been refurbished as an Irish Pub which offers good bistro food and entertainment. It is one of the thirteen historic inns listed on the excellent History Highway Inns website. Check it out at History Highway Inns which offers detailed information about the historic inns in the Blue Mountains.
Arms of Australia Inn
Located on the old Great Western Highway this inn is thought to have been built as early as 1833 although it might have been built as early as 1826. Not surprisingly it was a popular stopover place for travellers before they began to climb into the Blue Mountains. Consequently it became an important Cobb & Co destination and was used extensively whenever the Nepean River was in flood. It is now a Museum which is open on Sundays from 1.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. It is notable for the large fence around the perimeter and is located at the corner of the Great Western Highway and Gardenia Ave, tel: (02) 4735 4394.
Emu Plains Railway Station
Although built in 1884, with the station master's residence located upstairs, this is one of the oldest railway stations in Australia. The original station building was constructed in 1869 when the train reached Emu Plains. It is located in Station St, just off the highway.
Green Gables Cottage
Visitors interested in exploring the early history of the area can also visit the ruins of Green Gables Cottage which was built at the foot of the hill where the 1867 railway line crossed the main road up the mountains. That main road became the Great Western Highway but, when drivers were steered along Russell St to the Great Western Motorway, the portion of the Highway which contains the Cottage was bypassed. However, that portion of the road on the western side of Russell St is still known as the Great Western Highway and the cottage can still be found where it intersects with the railway line.
Just beyond the railway line is the start of Mitchell's Pass (the main route up the mountains from 1834). It is possible to walk up this hill to Lennox Bridge, although, the road being one way, car access is only possible from Glenbrook. Lennox Bridge is listed by the National Trust. Built by David Lennox (1788-1873), a Scottish master mason who had worked with the great British bridge builder, Thomas Telford, before emigrating to Australia, the bridge is the second oldest stone arch bridge in Australia. There is an older one in Tasmania.
The bridge was Lennox's first job after his appointment as Superintendent of Bridges. He began work, assisted by twenty convicts, in November 1832 and the bridge was completed in July 1833. The bridge is held up on a 3 metre radius stone arch and is about 10 metres above the gully floor. On the keystones were carved 'David Lennox' (now difficult to see) and 'A.D. 1833'. It remained in continuous use from 1833 until 1926 (and remained open until 1964) and is a monument to Lennox's extraordinary building abilities.
For additional information the Penrith Library has been researching and compiling information on all of the suburbs in the Penrith Local Government Area. Their excellent site has a lot of information about the district.
People who are interested, or have need for information on the Penrith-Emu Plains district should inspect their web site which is located at http://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au/Lib/LocalSuburbs/localsuburbs.htm.