Collits’ Inn: Uncovering the Past Surprises found in restoring this 1823 Australian icon
Collits’ Inn sits at the foot of Mount York, in Hartley Vale, just on the other side of the Blue Mountains. The Inn was built by Pierce Collits, an ex-convict, in 1823. This book is my personal story of restoring one of Australia’s earliest Inns. All travellers crossing the Blue Mountains in 1823 had to come down the notoriously dangerous Cox’s Pass past the Inn on their way to the settlement of Bathurst and other lands to the west. There were many surprises in doing the research: The Collits’ Inn Operetta, the early nearby Cemetery, the story of a murder, the many beautiful linoleums, two strange mediaeval customs, and more. When we acquired the Inn in 1998 it was very derelict. By 2002, several awards had been received both for the restoration and for the restaurant.
The project was often challenging, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding, and so has been the process of putting this story together. Many people have encouraged and assisted me with the telling of our story and I am most grateful for their help.