Monday, 10 July 2017 13:16

Mernda Unearthed

RESIDENTS across the district had a rare view into the history of Mernda on Saturday, July 8 at a community open day at the Old Bridge Inn dig site.
For the past three and a half weeks, archaeologists have been digging near the bank of the Plenty River, south of Bridge Inn Road.
The project, funded by the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) as part of the Mernda Rail Extension Project, has confirmed the location of the original site of the Old Bridge Inn built in the 1840s.
Attending the open day, more than 400 community members were treated to a tour of the excavation site and given the opportunity to talk with LXRA, Heritage Victoria, Parks Victoria, the Mernda Historical Society and Wurundjeri Elder, Uncle Perry Wandin.
Lead archaeologist for the project, Michelle Negus Cleary from Dr Vincent Clark and Associates, and Heritage Victoria principal archaeologist, Jeremy Smith were among the archaeologists running the tours.
“The project is a lot bigger than anyone expected as the site is much more substantial,” Ms Negus Cleary explained.
“The structure is a lot more substantial and a lot larger. It shows that it was definitely a proper inn than just a pioneer hut.
“One of my interests and passions is trying to communicate archaeology to the wider public. To engage and share the finds and discoveries that were made.