1. CALEY'S REPULSE, LINDEN
When Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth, during their 1813 expedition, were in the vicinity of present-day Linden they “found a heap of stones piled in the shape of a pyramid” and assumed that this had been constructed “by some European” (Blaxland thought it might have been Bass). Later, in 1814 and 1815 respectively, William Cox and Governor Macquarie also noted the stones and took their description one step further by linking them (incorrectly) with the earlier explorer Caley. Macquarie, who stated in his Journal that the pile of stones “is supposed to have been placed there by Mr. Caley, as the extreme limit of his tour”, then enhanced the growing myth with official standing by giving “that part of the Mountain the name 'Caley's Repulse'.” In fact, as we all know, Caley travelled nowhere near this location.
For the next twenty years or so travellers made mention of the pile in their journals and The NSW Calender & Post Office Directory in its various 1830s editions referred the traveller's attention to the “pile of stones called Caley's Repulse, well known in the history of this road.” While it did not specifically honour the expedition of 1813, Cayley's Repulse was, if you like, the first commemorative marking of the Blue Mountains landscape, the first attempt to create a visitable place that drew the imagination back to earlier events. We will return to it briefly a little later.
© John Low 2001