Archaeological work continues in Thompson Square

19 March 2018

Roads and Maritime Services is continuing to work with heritage experts to determine the best way to interpret and document the brick barrel drain in Thompson Square.

A spokesperson said Roads and Maritime recently confirmed the brick barrel drain will remain in place in Thompson Square, with a design developed to protect the heritage find.

“The NSW Government understands the historic importance of the drain and intends to preserve and protect the drain by leaving it in place and building around it,” the spokesperson said.

“The drain is located close to where the southern approach of the new bridge will sit and Roads and Maritime is adjusting the retaining wall design in this area to ensure the brick barrel drain is not affected.

“Roads and Maritime has worked closely with the specialist archaeologists to determine if the brick barrel drain site can be left open for the community to view.”

The spokesperson said while this option has been considered, experts in heritage conservation have advised the drain has likely been buried for more than 150 years and believe the drain would further erode and deteriorate if left open to the weather conditions.

“A 10 metre section of the drain will also remain buried in the existing parkland of Thompson Square, which could be uncovered and studied if further heritage review is required in the future,” the spokesperson said.

“Archaeologists are continuing to analyse, date and catalogue the drain to ensure the history of the region is recorded.

“While Roads and Maritime works closely with heritage experts to ensure the find is documented for future generations, the community is welcome to provide comments by 2 April about possible heritage interpretation options.”

The spokesperson said specialist archaeologists are also continuing to carry out investigations to minimise any potential impact to Aboriginal artefacts.

“Aboriginal stakeholders are continuing to participate in the salvage work on site to assist with the identification and impact to Aboriginal artefacts,” the spokesperson said.

“There are a number of different options for the items of significance which are uncovered including traditional reburial, donating the artefacts to a museum or other culturally appropriate options.”

“The community is thanked for its ongoing interest in the Windsor Bridge replacement project and will continue to be kept informed as the project progresses.”

Comments about possible heritage interpretation options can be provided in writing to

To keep up to date with the Windsor Bridge replacement project visit

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