Cullen Bullen is a little town in NSW and is located on Mudgee Rd and North of Lithgow.
The population of Cullen Bullen is around the 200 people mark.
The name of Cullen Bullen is thought to have come from the language of the Wiradjuri people, who were the original people of this district prior to European settlement, the word is told to have meant “Lyrebird”.
In 1821, the first European in the area was James Blackman, he was in the area surveying a road from what is now Wallerawang through to Mudgee.
Later in 1822 Blackman was followed by William Lawson and then later again in 1822 to 1823 it was Allan Cunningham who was looking at all the flowers and fauna in the surrounding area.
William Lawson followed in 1822 and Allan Cunningham investigated the flora and fauna of the area in 1822-23.
The first land grant was taken up by Robert Dulhunty who selected 2000 acres of land which now lies on the back road from Cullen Bullen to Portland.
Dulhunty built a homestead and started to graze cattle and sheep, he was the person who chose the name Cullen Bullen from the local language.
He also took the first grant of land in what is now the area of Ben Bullen which is just North of Cullen Bullen.
The traffic started to grow as the district to the North became more settled and also the road to Mudgee was getting better too by the late 1840’s, this happened after gold was discovered at Sofala and Hill End.
By 1861 the post office opened at Cullen Bullen.
The Cullen Bullen School was opened in 1875.
By 1880 there was a railway line planned to go to Mudgee, this made the coal resources in the area more commercially viable due to being able to transport the coal more efficiently and so, the first coal mine opened this year too.
1882 saw the railway extended through to 1882 to Capertree which ran West of Cullen Bullen.
The original coal mine didn’t last and so the Cullen Bullen Coal and Coke Company started operating in 1885 and a railway siding then was constructed for them in 1889.
Although Hart’s mine did not last, the Cullen Bullen Coal and Coke Company began operations in 1885 and a railway siding was constructed for their benefit in 1889.
The Hotel was built on Mudgee Rd in 1889.
A school was built directly across the road from the Hotel in 1890.
The coal mine closed during the 1890’s depression due to conflict between employers and employees.
During this time also in the 1890’s the Cullen Bullen and Cement Company commenced operating and the cement making kilns were built during the early 1890’s.
The Cullen Bullen School moved to its current site in 1895.
By 1899 the Great Western Mine had also began operating at Tyldesley which is just West of Cullen Bullen.
1905 the Invincible Mine was opened which employed around 200 men.
The Renown Colliery opened through the early 1920’s as the town continued to grow after World War 1.
The Great Depression in the 1930’s hit Cullen Bullen hard and there were extensive layoffs with setbacks to the mine and a lot of unrest.
After World War II there were still three older mines in the area, these were added too with three new open cut mines during this time.
These mines continued until continuous mining was introduced in the 1950’s, this was because the local mines found it hard to compete and so they began to close from 1956 onwards and in the end Tyldesley ceased to exist.
After this period The Invincible mind was the only mine that was to adapt the continuous process and was the only mine to survive although it survived with a smaller workforce and it still makes up the main part of the local economy in modern times.
1985 the Portland District Motor Sports Club Inc was formed and the Cullen Bullen Raceway didn’t come for a while after this, the track was opened in 1991 and the Cullen Bullen Raceway has penned the name of the “Action Attraction Of The Central West” and have meets about three time a year.
Cullen Bullen is currently sustained by two local mines and also the Mount Piper Power Station.
Modern Cullen Bullen is a little community that is hard to find out much information about on the internet let alone more history about this little town than the above.
In Cullen Bullen there is the Cullen Bullen Speedway and sports field, The Royal Hotel where you can stay a night, School and Post Office / Store from what I can tell.
It is also the gateway to Gardens of Stone National Park which is a four wheel drive access only area and is great for bush walking but there is no tracks marked as such so you would have to make sure you take your compass and supplies.
There is a sign on the road just down from The Royal Hotel that says Cullen Bullen Service Station where the pumps are still out on the roadside, I can’t find any more information on it so I’d say the pumps aren’t working as they are outside a house, but I’m sure the locals get a giggle every time a car stops outside the pumps and tries to fill up, I’ll have to do a bit more investigation on this.
The old Progress Association Hall which is used for town meetings and fundraisers etc and also the Cullen Bullen Tidy Town Committee that plays a part in the up keep of Cullen Bullen with ongoing projects, next to this meeting place is the Post Office / Store of the town mentioned above.
So a long history that dates back to the early 1800’s and still going today, I wonder if there is a little more history left in this old Cullen Bullen town yet, I think there will be for many, many years to come.