Central Park - Former Carlton United Brewery

Central Park (Former Carlton and United Brewery)

Historical Archaeology
Excavation Report

Frasers Broadway Pty Ltd

Chippendale, NSW

Frasers Broadway Pty Ltd.’s Central Park development is located on the site of the former Carlton and United Brewery (NSW). The site has a rich history as part of the Tooth & Co Kent Brewery and home to colonial Chippendale residences, shops and cottage industries.

GML Heritage completed historical archaeological excavations at the site between 2009 and 2015. The results shed light into historical lifeways of the people living and working in Chippendale between 1802-2005.

The once slum-like conditions at Central Park in the 1800’s are certainly different now. Central Park is home to 11 buildings, around 2000 apartments and a lively collection of shops, cafes, restaurants, laneways, terraces and offices. The site of the former Kent Brewery in Chippendale has been transformed into a sustainable fusion of heritage and new buildings with public spaces filled with landscaped gardens for the use of residents and nearby communities.

Central Park - Former Carlton and United Brewery

Key Findings

At more than 80m in length, the remains of the Kent Brewery stables represent one of the largest colonial structures excavated in NSW. Although significantly disturbed by later phases of use, archaeological evidence indicates it was a multi-use structure (not limited to just stabling horses) associated with a complex water-reticulation system feeding into Blackwattle Creek.

The management of water was a consistent challenge for residents in Chippendale. This is evidenced by work to enclose the increasingly polluted Blackwattle Creek, introduction of fill to avoid flooding of homes, creation of systems to dispose of wastewater into the creek, and excavation of wells to access fresh water in residential and industrial settings.

Artefacts excavated across the former Carlton and United Brewery (NSW) site provide evidence of daily life for residents at Chippendale, as well as some of the industries and trades working in the properties surrounding the brewery. Residents of Chippendale, or ‘Eau-de-Cologne Valley’, navigated their lives in what was consistently described as a slum by acquiring objects that would make them as comfortable as possible. There is still substantive comparative analysis that could be done with the artefacts to better understand the rich, vivid historic neighbourhood that Chippendale was and continues to be today.