Edward Higginbotham & Associates Pty Ltd
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Port Macquarie - penal settlement and historic town.


The first Post Office in Port Macquarie.


In 2007 Ted Higginbotham undertook the excavation of the former Todd Holden site at 18-20 Clarence Street, Port Macquarie.


The dig revealed how the first Post Office in Port Macquarie survived the closure of the Penal settlement. The building comprised three rooms. Only the northern room survived as the kitchen wing of the 1830s house, built on the street frontage by Stephen Partridge. The Post Office itself had moved to the former Overseer's Cottages (Glasshouse Site).


Stephen Partridge was appointed Superintendent of Convicts at Port Macquarie in 1821. He resigned from this position to open the first public house in Port Macquarie in 1830. He was reappointed as Superintendent of Convicts in 1836, remaining in this position until the final closure of the government establishment in 1846. He lived in this house on Clarence Street with his second wife and up to 11 children. Descendants of the Partridge family still live in Port Macquarie today.


Adjacent to this site and crossing Clarence Street is the only functioning brick barrel drain in Port Macquarie, built in the 1830s. The excavation revealed the original headwall and wingwalls of this important structure.


Download the open day leaflet 1 & leaflet 2 for the site.


Download the summary of the findings from the final excavation report. The complete report is available in the Library of the Heritage Branch, NSW Department of Planning and also in the local studies section at the Library, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. See Links


See Reports.


Excavations in 2007 showed how the original Post Office for the Penal Settlement (1821-1830) was later made into the kitchen wing of a house built on Clarence Street in the 1830s.


A view of the brick barrel drain under Clarence Street. This is one of two functioning brick barrel drains in Port Macquarie.
ABC Radio

Listen to the ABC local radio interview with Pam Macintosh, ABC Mid North Coast NSW
(Australian Broadcasting Commission Library Sales). 4.9MB MP3


More ABC Radio Interviews

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Photo plans

This photograph shows the principal stages of development on the Post Office Site (The oblique photograph has been corrected for perspective to indicate a plan view).

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