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  Corner Pitt & Campbell Streets, Haymarket


420-426 Pitt Street & 36-38 Campbell Street, Haymarket.

The Project

Archaeological excavation was undertaken over a period of 10 days in March 2005. The area to the north and east of the Chamberlain Hotel, on the northeast corner of Pitt and Campbell Street, Haymarket. Due to the impacts of the Hazell & Moore building and the earlier buildings at 420-426 Pitt Street archaeological remains only survived on the northern part of the site. The surviving remains found during the excavation included:

  • Remnant sandstone footings of William Hutchinson’s house
  • Remains of William Hutchinson’s stables buildings
  • Evidence of site preparation activities prior to the stables construction
  • Limited evidence of Hutchinson’s garden
  • Locally manufactured lead-glazed and slipped earthenware found in deposits specifically relating to site drainage. These were probably made by Thomas Ball who operated a pottery on the northeast corner of Campbell and George Streets.
  • Remains of the post-1865 Agricultural Hotel

Historical Background

As early as March 1788 this area was used for brickmaking and became known as Brickfield Hill. After holding it by lease from 1823 the site was granted to the successful emancipist William Hutchinson in 1831. By 1830 a house was built on the corner of Pitt and Campbell Streets and another structure, probably the stables, was situated on the northeast corner of the site. His house and grounds extended to the north of the current study area. By the 1880s Hutchinson’s house and gardens had become the Agricultural Hotel and associated billiard room. The Agricultural Hotel was demolished in the 1910s and the current Chamberlain Hotel was built by 1920.

No clear evidence was found of the early brickfields other than that much of the site was stripped down to clay and shale with all the topsoil and subsoil removed. This required Hutchinson to try to alleviate drainage problems in the area of the stables, by putting down of well-drain fill which included numerous pottery wasters.

Locally-manufactured Ceramics

The majority of the artefacts recovered from the site were recovered in drainage fills and did not relate to activities undertaken on the site. These artefacts were mostly locally-manufactured ceramics, including lead-glazed, slipped and self-slipped earthenware. These fills were sourced from nearby pottery waste dumps.

An archaeological excavation undertaken in 2008 at 710-722 George Street, Haymarket, on the corner of Campbell Street, included the possible location of part of the pottery belonging to the early Sydney potter Thomas Ball. The site yielded four large pits filled with lead-glazed wasters, and although analysis of the ware is still in its preliminary stages, it has already been noted that the lead-glazed ware has marked similarities to that found at the Pitt and Campbell Streets site. The location of a pottery so close by would make it an ideal source for drainage fill material.


Meriton was the client for this project.


Plans and images used in the report are from NSW State Records, the City of Sydney Archives and the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.

The photos used in this report are by the Casey & Lowe excavation team, artefact photos are by Dr Mary Casey, and the scanned ceramic images are by Rowan Ward.

Current Reports

Final excavation report.

Download page, four PDF files and one spreadsheet, total approx 8.1 MB.

lead-glazed earthenware Haymarket NSW
Some examples of the decorated locally manufactured lead-glazed earthenware. Scale 10cm.

waster with kiln prop/bob evident on base Haymarket NSW
Example of a waster with kiln prop/bob evident on base. Scale 10cm.

plain lead-glazed earthenware Haymarket NSW
Examples of plain lead-glazed earthenware. Scale 10cm.

self-slipped earthenware Haymarket NSW
Examples of self-slipped earthenware. Scale 10cm.

excavation site Pitt Street Campbell Street Haymarket NSW William Hutchinson
Excavation site, corner Pitt and Campbell Streets.

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