Portland Cement Works Site has played a significant role in the construction of the NSW built environment. Since 1902, the business has manufactured cement that has been used in the “Foundations” of some of this state’s finest buildings while playing an instrumental role in shaping our residential communities. The Foundations
“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.” — David Allen Coe.
Welcome to The Foundations, Portland NSW.
The town of Portland is of interest as an historic mining town, and also as the place of the first cement factory in Australia.
Portland really got its start when Thomas Murray selected 61 hectares of land in 1863 and constructed his first lime kiln on what is now the corner of Lime and Villiers Streets. The railway came to Portland in 1883 and the station was called Cullen Siding until 1889. The Cullen Bullen Lime and Cement Company established operations in the village that year.
During the early 1890s, the first cement-making kilns west of the Blue Mountains were built in Portland. In 1894, the village was gazetted as Portland, the name derived from the cement-making process which was already well underway in the area. The cement works opened in 1902 and Portland was declared a town in 1906.
Many of the original buildings in Portland were built by the cement works company for employees and still stand. Well-known Australian brand names now adorn many of the historic shops and buildings, creating a strong link to “yesteryear” that is celebrated by the town.
Planning Proposal is underway
Planning Consultants, RobertsDay have been appointed to develop a Planning Proposal for the re-zoning of the site, which is required to be approved before Lithgow City Council will consider any Development Applications for the site. It is anticipated that this Planning proposal will be lodged with Lithgow City Council in November 2017.
The use of concrete dates back to the Roman Empire. The Castle de San Angelo was built in Rome in 138 A.D. In 1824, Joseph Aspdin, a British stone mason, obtained a patent for a cement he produced in his kitchen. The inventor heated a mixture of finely ground limestone and clay in his kitchen and ground the mixture into a powder creating a hydraulic cement – one that hardens with the addition of water. Aspdin named the product portland cement because it resembled a stone quarried on the Isle of Portland off the British Coast. With this invention, Aspdin laid the foundation for today’s portland cement industry.
We may almost say of Joseph Aspdin, inventor of Portland Cement what the epitaph in St. Pauls Cathedral says of Sir Christopher Wren: “If you seek his monument, look around.”