The history and heritage of the Old Mountain Church at Bellawongarah.

The Old Mountain Church road sign

Records from the Surveyor General’s office show an original parcel of two acres of land was set aside in the Parish of Bunberra, County of Camden, on 23 September 1865. It was dedicated as the site for a Wesleyan Church and Minister’s residence, with Stephen Rabone, George Hurst and Benjamin Chapman as trustees, on 6 December 1867.

A land grant for a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was made by “Somerset Richard, Earl of Belmore, the Governor of our Colony of New South Wales…unto the Reverends Stephen Rabone, George Hurst and Benjamin Chapman…this twenty second day of January 1872.”

Family descendants advise that the Wesleyan Church was built by the local Boxsell family, for the small local mountain community in 1868, and has remained on the original site at 869 Kangaroo Valley Road, Bellawongarah. The foundations are stone cut from surrounding rock outcrops, and locally felled timber.

The church was used as such for around 100 years, until it was released from the provisions of the Methodist Church in July 1971.

Deb Mitchell & Nev Makin acquired the property in 2002 and ran Bellawongarah (Aboriginal for Place of Many Wonga Pigeons) as a luxurious B&B country retreat, with the old Mountain Church, as it has become known, providing romantic cottage accommodation for one couple.