"Glen Davis" Rylstone Things to Do Tip by iandsmith

Rylstone Things to Do: 10 reviews and 33 photos

  Ruins of yesteryear
by iandsmith
  • Ruins of yesteryear - Rylstone
      Ruins of yesteryear
    by iandsmith
  • Inside the retorts (furnaces) - Rylstone
      Inside the retorts (furnaces)
    by iandsmith
  • Outside the retort - Rylstone
      Outside the retort
    by iandsmith
  • The scenery alone makes it all worthwhile - Rylstone
      The scenery alone makes it all worthwhile
    by iandsmith
  • This was once a backdrop for a "D" grade movie - Rylstone
      This was once a backdrop for a "D" grade movie
    by iandsmith

I first visited here probably in the early 80s with my eldest son. It was an evocative ruin of something of which I had little knowledge and it fascinated me. Eventually, in 2009, I returned and this time it was on the cusp of burgeoning tourism.
Bill, the historical tour guide, said that he used to get about 2 people on Saturday afternoons but now he averages around 7.
Frankly, the trip in here using the loop from Capertee to Glen Davis to Rylstone is worth the effort on its own. The informative historical tour (wheelchair access also) takes around 2 hours and will illuminate you on just how significant this place once was.
The retort used to heat the oil shale is the most significant and intact ruin (pics 2 & 3). It contained about 60 furnaces and the collapsed brickwork adjacent had around 40. The latter bricks were reportedly going to be used in construction of a church but this appears not to have happened.
Sir George Davis was knighted for his efforts in this venture but is probably better known for his association with Davis Gelatin, a famous brand in Australia.
Bill does tours other than Saturday by appointment (see phone number).

Directions: Turn at Capertee or Rylstone and head east. It's well signposted
Phone: 02 63797200

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 26, 2009
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