Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The White Hart Inn rediscovered

The remains of the White Hart Inn have been unearthed by workers preparing to build the North West Rail link in Kellyville, NSW, and a full archaeological dig has been underway for several months. The footings and a cellar for the two storey building was found with many artifacts including coins from 1816 and 1853.

Images: The Australian 10 March 2014

This inn was owned by William Cox and was probably built by James Gough about 1825 when he was working for Cox in the Hawkesbury district at Castlereagh, Richmond and Windsor, including repairs and renovations to St Matthew's Church in 1824. By then Gough, (who was free and a contract builder with at least five assigned convict tradesmen and an apprentice), had been associated with Cox in Sydney at his various properties in O'Connell Street, and was described when giving evidence in a court case in 1824 as, '' supervising the private concerns of William Cox, Esquire". Gough was the innkeeper at the White Hart in 1826 although the first licence was not issued until 1830.  

There is a full chapter about the history of the White Hart in the James Gough book.

 Update: More info & video here http://nwrail.transport.nsw.gov.au/The-Project/Heritage#1

Image: Marion Starr

Update: Spent a very interesting morning on Sat 5 April at the Open Day on the site. Fascinating to see the actual layout of the inn and imagine the lives of those who stayed overnight or who lived there over many years.  My favourite artifact was the 1816 coin found on the site. Thanks to all who organised this very successful open day inspection.

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