A former Kings Meadows convict site – labelled “highly significant” by Australia’s peak historical archaeology body – has been nominated for state heritage listing, a department spokesperson has confirmed.
City of Launceston Council announced the discovery of the previously unknown site earlier this month after supporting an exploratory dig on land approved for a residential subdivision in December of 2016.
In announcing the discovery, council noted advice given to them suggested the heritage value had been suitably captured and no further dig processes would be undertaken as development continued.
The Launceston Historical Society, the Australasian Society of Historical Archaeology and Woolmers Foundation chair Peter Rae have all called for the public release of a report prepared for City of Launceston Council on the findings at the site.
Asked this week if Heritage Tasmania had received any nominations for the Kings Meadows Convict Station site, a DPIPWE spokesperson confirmed they had.
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The spokesperson said: “The Department can confirm that the Tasmanian Heritage Council has received a nomination for this site. It is currently being considered”.
The Tasmanian Heritage Council is the statutory body responsible for administering the Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995, along with the the establishment and maintenance of the Tasmanian Heritage Register.
Development occurring on places listed with the register require the approval of the Heritage Council.
Constructed in 1837, the Kings Meadows Road Station is thought to have operated for a short period until the early 1840s to assist with the unsuccessful Evandale to Launceston Water Scheme and the construction of the Midlands Highway.
The recent study was negotiated with landowner Darren Goodyer and Southern Archaeology after local historian and surveyor John Dent approached the council about conducting an archaeological investigation earlier in the year.
Structural remnants and other artefacts were found in the recent study, according to Southern Archaeology’s Darren Watton.
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