GRAVES from 200 years ago are found under one of Sydney’s most popular train stations
- Construction workers have unearthed a burial vault underneath Central Station
- Sydney’s transport hub is undergoing a major redevelopment project
- Inscribed nameplates were found with archeologists searching for descendants
- Two new metro platforms and a Central Walk concourse are being constructed
A number of graves nearly 200-years-old have been discovered by construction workers under one of Sydney’s busiest train stations.
Archeologists confirmed the discovery of a vault beneath redevelopment work for Central Station’s two new metro platforms.
The vault constructed 181 years ago contains 11 graves from as early as 1840, according to inscribed metal plates.
While the vault mightn’t contain any Indiana Jones-style relics, historians believe the discovery could provide some valuable insight into the city’s colonial history.
Excavation director Dr Iain Stuart and his team are searching for the descendants of two people who are named on the metal plates – the Ham and the Perry families.
Construction workers and archeologists at Central Station in Sydney have uncovered burial vaults (pictured)
A team of archaeologists have been working alongside the redevelopment team at the site which was once a cemetery
‘The Ham family were quite well known in literary circles in Sydney and Victoria,’ Dr Stuart said.
‘These things seem far in the past, but we’re talking to people who are really are very close to them, we’re talking to people who are great grandchildren of them.’
The find is the second vault discovered under the construction site in which legible nameplates were found.
In 2019, workers unearthed a 161-year-old grave nearby sparking a hunt to find the man’s living relatives.
That grave belonged to Joseph Thompson, who died in 1858 aged 80.
Mr Thompson was a draper by trade, who was born in England in 1779 before making his way to Australia.
He had 14 children and was a member of Pitt Street Congregational Church.
A previous vault uncovered in 2019 revealed a metal plaque in remarkably good condition (pictured)
Where Central Station is situated was once the site of the Devonshire Street cemetery which was closed in 1867.
When the train station was built about 30,000 graves were relocated but records were not as well kept then and a number of unrecorded graves have since been unearthed in the redevelopment works.
More than 60 graves and five vaults have been discovered since the construction began in early 2019.
Central station in undergoing a major redevelopment that will include a new Central Walk concourse and two new metro platforms (pictured: an artists impression of the new station)
Central Station is undergoing a major upgrade that will see two new metro platforms built 27 metres underground.
The project will also deliver Central Walk – a new 80-metre long underground concourse connecting platforms.
This part of the project will open in 2022 while construction continues on the Sydney Metro – expected to be completed in 2024 – that will connect rail services between Bankstown and Chatswood.
Escalators will connect central station to suburban light rail when the project is built (pictured)