Shorncliffe Station Artefact Recording and Recovery

Client: Queensland Rail
Industry sector: Government/Linear Infrastructure

Service: Historical heritage artefact recording, recovery, and analysis
Location: Shorncliffe, QLD

The project

Queensland Rail (QR) is undertaking a restoration of the historic Shorncliffe station building. During preliminary exploratory works a large assemblage of twentieth century artefacts were found in a subfloor space underneath the building. Queensland Rail removed the floorboards and exposed a diverse assemblage of beer bottles, industrial items, clothing and railway tickets. It was therefore necessary to record and recover these items before the restoration works could continue.

Our role in the project

Niche Environment and Heritage has been working with Queensland Rail on different aspects of the Shorncliffe station restoration project since 2016. When QR discovered an assemblage of artefacts in the subfloor space they asked Niche to assist them in managing this discovery.

Niche archaeologists developed a number of research questions to guide their archaeological practice, including; “How old is this assemblage of artefacts?,” “Why were they deposited underneath Shorncliffe Station?” and “Who deposited these items?”

To answer these questions, it was critical to accurately record the spatial organisation of the artefacts as some older artefacts may have been deposited underneath the building before it was filled in by later platform construction.

“This assemblage has the potential to provide us with an insight into nineteenth century Shorncliffe. We have already been able to identify a couple of local businesses represented by the recovered items,” said Brisbane-based heritage consultant Dr Xavier Carah.  

All the detailed site plans and drawings will be digitised by Niche’s in-house technical illustrators and used in site interpretation and artefact display.

The advantages we delivered to this project
  • Locally based consultants with in depth knowledge of the history of the Shorncliffe area and wider Brisbane metro region.
  • A team of experienced heritage professionals with diverse skills.
  • Niche’s heritage team is supported by talented technical illustrators who will skilfully digitise all site plans and drawings for our client.  

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