Parramatta - from gaol town to market town
Ted Higginbotham commenced his specialisation in the archaeology of Parramatta in 1981, with the excavation and permanent display of the 1820s brick barrel drain between George and Phillip Streets (see major excavations in Parramatta).
In 1985 he completed the first excavation of a "convict hut" under the Family Court, proving just how much survived beneath the CBD.
He followed up this work in 1987, by preparing with Paul-Alan Johnson an archaeological management plan for the Parramatta CBD, the first in Australia. Completed in 1989 and published by the Department of Planning in 1991, this plan provided the framework for archaeology in Parramatta until the completion of PHALMS in 2000. The report is still a valuable resource document.
Ted Higginbotham has completed 18 major excavations in and around Parramatta and more than 70 other reports within the council area. See list of excavation reports. His most recent project included the excavation of four "convict huts" with later town development in 2005. The excavation highlighted how some of the "convict huts" survived from the 1790s to the 1850s and the important role of emancipists, small settlers and native born in the development of the 19th century market town.
The remains of one of the "convict huts", with a later wheelwrights workshop and adjacent hotel cellar, will be conserved and displayed in the new development on the corner of Macquarie and Marsden Streets.
Download the open day leaflet 1 & leaflet 2 for the site.
The complete excavation report is available in the Library of the Heritage Branch, NSW Department of Planning and also at the Parramatta Heritage Centre. See Links