Monday, 2 February 2015

January 2015

Final Lapstone report....

On the 3rd of December 2014, Chris Hewitt, Rachel Wong and Richard Ward from Nepean District Historical Archaeology Group (NDHAG) along with Neville Pollard from the Australian Railway Historical Society, met Stuart Sharpe, retired Heritage Officer from State Rail Authority, at the archaeological site at Lapstone.

After inspecting the site, Stuart came to the conclusion that the building was used as an onsite office by a Senior Civil Engineering Officer, called the resident Engineer.

His findings that the foundations were continuous walls made of concrete that extended down into the soil for about two feet, (600m) down to bedrock, as consistent with the practice of the railways of that era (1909 to 1913). There were bolts built into the concrete footing allowing for timber plates to be bolted down onto which the walls would have been attached. There were also signs that the footings had been rendered on top to allow for these plates to be levelled.

The concrete pit in the corner would have been used as the base for a cast iron stove or an open fireplace.  The office would have been furnished with a desk, one or two chairs and possibly a cupboard.

He also said that the foundations at Lapstone have a very high conservation value and recommended the following,

(a) That the archaeological relics be added to and specially mentioned in the existing listings of the site on the various heritage registers.

(b) That the site be protected and conserved as an item of high cultural significance.

(c) That the relics be used as an educational aid to interpret the site.

All in all it was a good result for N.D.H.A.G. We would especially like to thank Stuart for coming all the way to Penrith, then the long walk, and for writing such a thorough report.

The full report is available to see at the Nepean Archaeology workshop.

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