Wesley finds

22 March 2017

Foundations from stone buildings have been revealed two metres below ground at the Wesley Church complex in the CBD. They date back to the 1840s which means they could be some of Melbourne's first buildings.

The multi layered site also contains the remains of six tiny terrace houses and their fireplaces dating back to the 1860s.

The archaeological dig, running for the past five weeks as a requirement under the Heritage Act, has found rare artefacts outlining life for women and children in Melbourne's early days.

The collection of artefacts is more like something archaeologists usually find in much older settlements such as Sydney.

Pins, thimbles, writing slates, brooches, jewellery, marbles and other toys have been found at the dig as well as more unusual items including a whale's tooth, a  glass syringe, some gold and Chinese artefacts.

The discovery is rare as it gives a glimpse into conditions during the very first years of Melbourne's historic settlement.  The terraces are very cramped measuring only three metres by three metres.

The finds from the excavation will be incorporated into historic interpretation, required for the new development on the site.

Page last reviewed on 22 March 2017

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