Shakespeare Grove

Shakespeare Grove Main Drain Upgrade – Maritime Archaeology

Implementing Consent conditions


City of Port Phillip

The Shakespeare Grove Main Drain is on the St Kilda foreshore and is managed by Melbourne Water. The drain was constructed in the 1860s, and a jetty and boathouse were constructed next to the drain in the 1890s. Because the drain extends 60 m past the high-tide mark, it is a maritime archaeology site.

The drain is listed on the Victorian Heritage Inventory as Brookes’ Jetty H7822-0578 for its archaeological significance and as an example of early drainage systems in Melbourne. However, the drain outlet was at the end of its useful life and needed to be replaced. The work was carried out by a John Holland-KBR joint venture and was subject to a works consent approved by Heritage Victoria.

John Holland-KBR engaged GML Heritage Victoria to implement the conditions of the works consent, which included inducting construction staff and conducting archaeological excavation and archaeological monitoring. A coffer dam was erected around the works area and sea water was pumped out to enable the renovation works and the archaeological survey to be carried out.  GML’s archaeological team also monitored areas previously identified as most likely to contain remnants of the jetty and boathouse.

Remains of the jetty and slipway were found in the form of timber piles and metal rails. A range of artefacts, including bottles, ceramic fragments, bricks, timber and metal objects, and lost or discarded personal items were also recovered. Next, artefacts will be cleaned and catalogued by GML staff.

Shakespeare Grove Artefacts

Shakespeare Grove Artefact