The Montpelier Retreat car park is being prepared for the arrival of archaeologists from Austral Tasmania Pty Ltd, who will be investigating the site to see what historical remnants may still be in place prior to excavation for the new development.
The site was home to Tasmania’s first Chaplain, the Reverend Robert Knopwood, who was granted 30 acres of land on Battery Point in 1804. He built a house and established a productive garden on the site, which he called Cottage Green. Alexander Orr bought part of the reserve in the mid-1840s. He was a successful merchant and built a two-storey sandstone house adjacent to his mercantile store on the site. The site was developed into a car park in the 1960s and is ready for the next transformation.
Justin McCarthy, Director of Austral Tasmania, is looking forward to investigating the Knopwood estate. “This is a unique opportunity to investigate and record some of the earliest colonial developments in Tasmania” he said. “Cottage Green is of great historical significance and this presents the chance to enhance our understanding of that time.”
The team will start preparatory work on Monday 19 January and may be on site for up to 16 weeks, subject to any findings. Regular updates and progress will be published weekly in our latest news.