Edward Higginbotham & Associates Pty Ltd
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In the basement of the Glasshouse at Port Macquarie, the new cultural centre on the Mid North Coast, the archaeological remains of the Penal Settlement (1821-1830) are conserved and put on display.
The site will become the hub for heritage tourism.
Interpretation and Display – practical solutions.

EHA is dedicated to finding practical and effective solutions for the display of archaeological sites. We offer a complete service for clients, from excavation, conservation in situ, the protection of sites during redevelopment and finally reopening for display.


We offer advice on how to overcome the common problems, how to avoid expensive mistakes in design and coordinate the relevant experts to provide on time services in conservation, interpretation and display. Please contact us for further details.


Site – The “Small Miserable Hut”, Belgenny Farm, Camden, NSW.
Client – Belgenny Farm Trust.

Where the client required a low maintenance approach to the display of the archaeological site in a rural setting, EHA suggested simply laying hardwood timbers in the backfilled excavation to indicate the wall lines of a timber hut and the reuse of the stone and brick rubble from the collapse of the fireplace. The archaeological remains were protected by a layer of geotextile and sand. When the grass regrows, the vegetation can be maintained by merino sheep and occasional weeding. The merino sheep are significant as the breed made famous by John and Elizabeth Macarthur on this very site at Belgenny Farm, near Camden.


The site will be used in educational programs by the Camden Park Environmental Education Centre.


Site – The Glasshouse Cultural Centre, Port Macquarie.
Client – Port Macquarie Hastings Council.
The remains of Overseer’s Cottages 2 and 3 (1821-1830) and an impressive brick barrel drain have been conserved under the new development of the Glasshouse in Port Macquarie. While the brick footings and cobbled floors were substantial remains and could easily be cleaned, the footing trenches, cut into sand, posed problems for display. Different coloured gravels were used to indicate the footing trenches, once filled with sandstock brick rubble and lime mortar. The gravel, as opposed to sand, allows for maintenance and is much more hard wearing.


The Glasshouse will be the hub for heritage in the region, so it is important that the archaeological remains are displayed to look their best.


See other examples of recent projects, now conserved on public view:
North Parramatta.

Lucknow, Central West

The “Small Miserable Hut” - the site is protected using geotextile and sand, the wall lines marked by hardwood timbers, stones mark the collapsed fireplace, before the site is backfilled with topsoil.


The job finished. Just let the grass grow and the sheep move in to keep it all trimmed.


The Glasshouse – team members use garden edging to define the original wall lines in the natural sand, relocating the original layout using the archaeological site plans.


Different coloured gravels are used for wall and internal spaces.


The remains are conserved in their original position in the basement of the new cultural centre – the Glasshouse.

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© 2010 Edward Higginbotham & Associates Pty Ltd.
This web site last updated – 20 April 2010
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