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Lapstone, New South Wales

Lapstone is a suburb on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia. Elevation 160m. Lapstone is located 62 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD in the local government area of the City of Blue Mountains and is part of the federal electorate of Macquarie. Lapstone consists of stand-alone housing and has a few public facilities. At the 2016 census, Lapstone had a population of 961 people. Lapstone was bought and developed by Mr Arthur J Hand, an Alderman of the Blue Mountains City Council. Lapstone is the first town in the easternmost escarpment of the Blue Mountains, its name comes from the many water worn stones in the area that resemble those used by cobblers to work the leather when making shoes. Blaxland Lawson and Wentworth, were the first Europeans to explore the Lapstone area, Climbing up the Lapstone Hill reaching Glenbrook Lagoon on 12 May 1813, on their successful trek across the Great Dividing Range; the first road was built by William Coxs and a gang of convicts up the Lapstone Hill through Lapstone and across the Blue Mountains about 1815..

The Cox road was replaced by "The Western Road" across Lennox Stone Bridge up the Lapstone Hill in 1833, following the railway 1867 "The Great Western Highway". The Highway is now the main road across the Blue Mountains; the Lapstone Zig Zag line opened near Glenbrook in 1867. The ascent of Lapstone Hill on a gradient of 1 in 30-33, was built up the side of the range with comparatively light earthwork, includes the substantial seven-span sandstone Knapsack Viaduct; the viaduct was widened to carry the old Great Western Highway, when the deviation around the Lapstone Zig Zag was built. The zig zag is now part of a walking trail on the old railway/highway alignment, including a memorial to John Whitton, the engineer in charge of the construction of the Blue Mountains line and many other early railways. One feature of this line was the Lucasville platform built by John Lucas to access his property at Lapstone. Remains of it can still be seen. A new route was opened on 18 December 1892 to avoid the Lapstone Zig Zag.

After crossing the viaduct, the new line curved around to the west and went through a new tunnel, The Glenbrook Tunnel. The tunnel emerged further west near the Great Western Highway with a total of 660 metres in length; the tunnel can still be seen from neighbouring bush tracks. The new tunnel was hailed as a major improvement, but problems with ventilation and water from the nearby creek lead to trains getting stuck; the Glenbrook Tunnel was closed and replaced 24 September 1913. The abandoned Glenbrook Tunnel was used by the nearby RAAF base during World War II as storage for arms such as bombs and mustard gas; the RAAF laid a concrete floor for access. It has been used to grow mushrooms. In 1913, the present route was constructed to bypass the Glenbrook tunnel, going along the escarpment of Glenbrook Gorge and through a new tunnel at the spot known as The Bluff. One of the features of this project was the construction of a temporary railway line that crossed Darks Common south of Explorers Road.

The rail line has been removed but the cutting can still be seen, as well as the remains of the winding house base near the escarpment. This was known as the Spur-line and was in operation from 1911 until 1913, the line and cutting now form part of a nature walk through Darks Common; the new Glenbrook Tunnel 282 metres in length, came into operation 11 May 1913, is still used today. The land occupied by the present RAAF base was owned in the 1870s by John Lucas, He built a country retreat on the land called Lucasville, close to his private Lucasville railway station, but sold the property to Charles Smith. Smith built his own house, called Logie, higher up the hill, above the railway and Lucas’s little cottage. Charles Smith died in 1897 Logie estate was inherited by his son Colin. In 1921 Logie and its estate were bought by his brother-in-law. Kirkpatrick was a well known architect and from the late 1920s he set out to transform the Logie Cottage and grounds into a luxury Hotel; the Lapstone Hill Hotel was opened in 1930 and was a major Art Deco luxury hotel.

The grounds of some 6 hectares were ‘tastefully planned with lawns, flowers and vegetable gardens, with water pumped from the Nepean River far below. The Hotel offered views of the Sydney metropolis; the hotel was fashionable all throughout the 1930s the Hotel was noted for adverting the benefits of the mountain environment on ones health, attracted many people from Sydney that wanted to escape the city life. 1949 The Lapstone Hill Hotel and grounds were offered to the Commonwealth Department of Defence as a new headquarters for the RAAF’s Eastern Area command, The RAAF Base Glenbrook, No personnel lived in the 57 rooms of the former hotel during the first twenty years of RAAF use, but in 1982 a new administration block was opened and the former hotel became the Officers’ Mess: about 35 officers were accommodated in the upper storey. Downstairs suites are used for visiting VIPs and were created in 1994 by the architect Robert Staas and the interior designer Elizabeth Mackie, retaining the Art Deco theme The New Lapstone Hotel was built in the 1950s further up the Great Western Highway at Blaxland.

After The Lapstone Hill Hotel and grounds was purchased by the RAAF. The Hotel was called "The New Lapstone Hotel" up until the 1980s. Today the hotel is known as The Lapstone Hotel, It was renovated in 2007 after being purchased by the Lewis Group of Hotels; the Suburb of Lapstone was develo

Sacred Books of the East

The Sacred Books of the East is a monumental 50-volume set of English translations of Asian religious texts, edited by Max Müller and published by the Oxford University Press between 1879 and 1910. It incorporates the essential sacred texts of Hinduism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and Islam. All of the books are in the public domain in the United States, most or all are in the public domain in many other countries. Electronic versions of all fifty volumes are available online. Sacred Books of the East, PDF ebooks at holybooks.com Sacred Books of the East, at sacred-texts.com Scanned pdfs of complete set of Sacred Books of the East