An archaeological excavation at this site was undertaken between August and October 2008. The project team consisted of 20 professional archaeologists.
The site is located within ‘Brickfield Hill’, an area of Sydney where brick, tile and pottery was manufactured until the 1820s. Depletion of the clay resource and urban expansion contributed to the industry’s expansion east to Surry Hills between 1820s and 1840s. The site was subdivided by the 1820s. The Woolpack Inn was located at 720-722 from c1830. At 710-718 several smaller buildings were constructed and redeveloped throughout the 19th century. Developments in the 20th century included a three-storey sandstone building at 720-722, home to Mick Simmons’ Sport Store.
Archaeological remains from the excavation included evidence of early pottery making, footings of the Woolpack, and a series of building phases indicating the nature of urban development in Haymarket in the 19th century.
Thomas Ball Pottery
The site is adjacent to the Thomas Ball’s pottery kilns. Three large pottery waster pits (pre-1820s) were excavated, one at 718, and two at the rear of 720. A large backfilled clay-extraction pit was also recorded at 722. The pits contained 1000s lead-glaze pottery sherds, kiln furniture such as clay stilts and wedges.
The Woolpack Inn
Sandstone footings of the Woolpack were recorded at 720-722. The pub was built in the 1820s and was demolished c1890. Other evidence included a brick fireplace, underfloor deposits and floor structure and a cesspit.
710 George Street
Remains include an early 19th century building with underfloor deposits and a second building phase from c1860. To the rear was a c4m deep brick-lined well backfilled with rubbish and a cesspit.
712-716 George Street
Early 19th century footings of these houses were built with rubble sandstone. The footings of the later 19th century structures were built using larger blocks of sandstone. To the rear were three cesspits, one made of sandstock brick, and two of sandstone.
718 George Street
Evidence of an early 19th century timber building, consisting of a brick fireplace, several postholes and an underfloor deposit. This was replaced with a more substantial brick building with sandstone footings in the mid 19th century. There was a triangular-shaped cesspit to the rear.