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Former CSR Site, now Jacksons Landing, Pyrmont
During October to December 1996 Casey & Lowe undertook the archaeological excavation and testing of areas within the former CSR site, in Pyrmont, NSW. This site was acquired by Lend Lease to develop into residential accommodation and is now called Jackson's Landing.
Prior to British colonisation, the Pyrmont and Ultimo peninsula in Sydney Harbour consisted of a rocky sandstone ridge which formed a spine along the length of the peninsula with numerous freshwater streams running down off the ridge. The Pyrmont end of the ridge formed two separate headlands. The peninsula was granted quite early after white settlement (1788) and amalgamated into two main land holdings by prominent men in colonial NSW, John Macarthur and Surgeon John Harris.
The excavation area was within John Macarthur's land grant (Pyrmont) but was immediately adjacent to those parts of Harris's estate (mostly Ultimo) that were not developed until the 1890s. Development of the northern part of the peninsula was limited until the new the Pyrmont Bridge (1858) provided easy walking access from the nearby wharves of Darling Harbour and Sydney city.
During the second half of the 19th century, houses were built in the study area. These were used mostly for residential purposes. A dairy from the same period also was located within the area of these excavations.
By the 1920s the freehold of many of the houses within the study area had been purchased by CSR, with some being demolished soon afterwards. Other houses remained standing until the 1950s, when they too were demolished. Many workers from the CSR site lived in these houses.
The following research design shaped the excavation of the site:
The potential archaeological remains of the whole of the CSR site were addressed in an archaeological assessment of the site written by Casey & Lowe in August 1996 Archaeological Assessment CSR Site, Pyrmont, for Howard Tanner & Associates on behalf of Civil & Civic. This report identified the potential survival of archaeological remains in a number of areas throughout the CSR site. Those sections where the remains were considered to have the greatest potential for survival and were accessible were tested. Three areas were found to have considerable remains and were excavated. Two other areas were found to have limited archaeological remains and were also excavated.
Casey & Lowe undertook this excavation for Lend Lease Development.
The excavation photographs used in this report are by Tony Lowe and Mary Casey. Other photographs and plans in the attached report are from the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW and various published sources, which are appropriately acknowledged when used.
Current Reports about the former CSR site
Archaeological Reports for the former CSR site, now Jacksons Landing, Pyrmont.
Other Related Reports and Publications
Casey, M. 2004 'Falling through the cracks: method and practice at the CSR site, Pyrmont', Australasian Historical Archaeology 22:27-43. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29544516. Abstract only, a subscription is required for the 17 page article.
Lindbergh, J. 1999 'Buttoning down archaeology', Australasian Historical Archaeology 17:50-57. Available at: http://www.ashadocs.org/aha/17/17_04_Lindbergh.pdf. Free to access, paper about clothing and buttons at the CSR site, pdf file 5MB, 8 pages.
View to the northeast with House 21 to the south (right) and House 15 in the northeast (left). Harvey Street is to the south and New Street runs along the eastern side of the houses. The photograph was taken from Jones Lane.
Aerial view of the CSR site, 15 May 1951 showing the extensive industrialisation of the sugar refinery and its expansion into what were once residential areas. The houses in Areas A and B were demolished by this time but the four houses in Area C were extant. None of the structures recovered in Areas D and E were extant.
CSR refinery, 1878 showing the houses in Areas A, B and C. McCredie Brothers stone yard is centre left with heaps of timber piled up. NBA, CSR Ltd. neg. #1362, Deposit #171/835.
Study area in 1947. By this time all of the houses in Areas A and B were demolished while the houses in Area C were still standing. By this time the CSR buildings surrounded the study area. CSR Ltd, NBA, ANU, Deposit #171/832, Neg. #1353.
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