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Directed Study Blog Post 4 (Last One!)

Beaumont House circa 1890






All Wrapped Up

This is my fourth and final blog post for my Directed Study. My big assignment is done and dusted, and now I can tell you the results of my project. The award for the most artefacts is a tie between brick fragments and pieces of metal. The metal consisted of lots of nails, all weathered in some way, as well as pretty random metal sheets. The brick fragments were not overly varied, they were all the same terracotta colour and ranged from quite small to reasonably large. There was a decent amount of glass fragments within the collection. Most of these were small pieces, completely useless for diagnostics or dating. There was one bottle neck with a ring seal finish, although even that was chipped. There was also a small ink bottle that seems to be a boat style in an olive green colour. It was very pretty but was, unfortunately, broken. It was cracked in two so I was still able to see how it looked together, however the bottle’s finish was missing. Regarding ceramics, there was a pretty blue bowl base, however this had no makers mark or stamp and the pattern was not discernible. The collection had one intact saucer, however this was an extremely 1970’s looking earthenware saucer, which I think held little significance to Beaumont House. There was a large amount of wood and small animal bones in the collection. Most of the wood was insignificant, however there was one artefact that looked like a picket fence post and it was charred on one end. That, however, was the extent of the intriguing artefacts. The range of nails is one aspect of the collection that can be kept and used as teaching materials, because a lot of them seemed to be handmade and in reasonably good condition. It seems from the types of material analysed and the large amount of broken artefacts, that the site excavated was most likely some sort of rubbish tip, and possibly a fairly recent one. It was good fun analysing all of the artefacts and imagining what they were used for, as well as corresponding with people who participated in the first Field Methods class in 1992. I will leave you with a picture of the glass ink bottle and a picture of Beaumont House circa 1890.

The Glass Boat Kink Bottle

One of the Various Nails in the Collection

Blog Post 3, Directed Study

The Houses of Beaumont Village

Beaumont House is not the only house that was built at the early stages of South Australian settlement. There are other houses nearby in what was the village of Beaumont, that were built early and some of which still remain. For example there is Gleeville, a six roomed wooden house, built in 1838- 1839 (Simpson 1993: 146). The house has since been demolished, however, the stables built on this bit of land for the owner’s stallion, Abdallah, still remain (Simpson 1993: 145). On an area nearby stands Tower House, which is known to have been built sometime before 1850.  The house had eight rooms but it is believed the house had no tower until the late 1960’s (Simpson 1993: 148). A large number of various occupants transferred in and out of Tower House in the twentieth century (Simpson 1993: 149). Ferndale is another house that went through various occupants and was transferred numerous times until it was demolished in 1980-1981 (Simpson 1993: 150).

Norley Bank, another nearby house, was built in 1853-1854 by Peter Egerton Warburton. Warburton was commissioner of police, a justice of the peace and he was also an explorer. He led teams to places like Streaky Bay, Lake Eyre and Cooper Creek (Simpson 1993: 150). He also led an exploration in 1872-1873 across Australia from the centre to the Western Australian Coast. This made him famous and his book Journey across the Western Interior of Australia was published in 1875 (Simpson 1993: 151). Warburton retired to Norley Bank in 1877 and spent the rest of his life there. The house was transferred between various relatives until Norley Bank was demolished in 1972 (Simpson 1993: 150).

Holly Grange is one of the houses that still remain today. The house was built in the early 1850’s and had seven rooms. The house and land expanded over time and received various occupants throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Simpson 1993: 152). The Giles House is the last of the noted houses in Beaumont Village, built in 1855-56 by William Giles (Simpson 1003: 153). Giles House has a similar story to that of Ferndale, in that numerous occupants lived in the house until it was demolished in 1962 (Simpson 1993: 154). The history of these houses and their proximity to Beaumont House demonstrate a close community when Beaumont Village was at its peak. Although not all of the houses still exist, the ones that have remained are more important because they can tell us a great deal about the history and people of Adelaide.

Reference: Simpson, E. R. 1993 Beaumont House: The Land and its People. Adelaide: Beaumont Press.

Blog Post 2 for CHM Practicum

The Australian Cultural Heritage Management Office, 446 South Road, Marleston

The Office and the Field

While completing my Practicum at Australian Cultural Heritage Management Pty Ltd I have noticed there are times when the office is nearly empty. Where is everyone? Out in the field of course! Everyone I have asked all agree that the field is so much more fun. But, there is still a lot of paperwork and research that must go on in the office. I have been lucky enough to experience both worlds but at the moment – I am going to focus on the office. “Why?!” you shriek, “We archaeologists belong in the field!” I believe you have all underrated the office. It seems like a pretty relaxed environment. You should see the scanner, all you have to do is press a few buttons and then just watch your documents go through. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the luxury coffee machine!

Many important skills are learnt and repeatedly honed in the office, such as writing reports, letters, tender responses and cost estimates. It seems you also become pretty fluent in legislation, which is definitely important. I have had a great time scanning field journals and hard copy documents and seeing how the whole system works. It’s also amazing how much you can learn about a place when all the documents regarding it are neatly organised.

The moral of this post: don’t hate on the office, without it you wouldn’t gain or improve your skills. You will miss out on a wealth of information…- and some pretty good coffee.

It’s Kind of a Complicated Story

 On researching Beaumont House for my directed study I have realised the house has quite a complicated history, jumping between various owners. Dating from the 1840s, the house and grounds are registered as State Heritage. Parcelled in 1838, section 296 was the original allotment of the house, which then contained a small brick cottage. The allotment was bought by an Edward Gleeson in 1841. The allotment was sold another two times before being bought by Samuel Davenport in 1846. At this time the allotment was called Gleeville Farm. Two smaller allotments, 8 and 9, were created within the larger Section 296 in 1848, as well as a lot 10 created in 1850. These smaller sections were leased to a Bishop Augustus Short, who eventually purchased the three allotments in 1855. In 1857 Bishop Short sold the three allotments back to Samuel Davenport, who remained on the property until his death in 1906.
A large number of extensions to the front, side and back of the original structure were added in 1880. After the death of Samuel Davenport, Howard Davenport became the owner of the property. Howard sold a large number of allotment sections to a William Lennox Cleland. In 1907 the allotments were transferred to the ownership of an Emily Alice Vincent, and in 1911 belonged to a Richard William Bennet. The property remained under ownership of trustees until 1967 when the National Trust of South Australia became manager of the estate.

Kinloch, Ann and John Videon 1992 Site Report of Beaumont House, Flinders University, Department of Archaeology and Visual Arts.

Samuel Davenport

Bishop Augustus Short, Circa 1847

Samuel Davenport and Beaumont House Circa 1880

A Little bit of Field Methods History

Beaumont House: Going Back in Time

My directed study is to go through the Beaumont House collection in the archaeology lab. This is from one of the first field method excavations in 1992/1993 conducted under Susan Lawrence. Beaumont House is located on Glynburn Road, Beaumont. The house was built in 1849 and was a residence for various people over time. It is now owned by the National Trust and is their State Office.

The aim of this study is to summarise the collection in photographic and written form, assess the significance of the collection and make recommendations for any artefacts that could be kept as teaching material. In the lab there is one box of site documentation, including detailed site reports, and one box of photo negatives. There are also three boxes in the lab that contain artefacts. Although I have only had a brief look through them, there does not appear to be anything particularly special. There is mostly building materials, such as brick and slate, and a large amount of soil samples. There are also numerous glass fragments, and some pieces are diagnostic. There is an interesting ink bottle, however it is unfortunately quite broken. There are also ceramic sherds, the larger fragments being plain while some of the smaller pieces have patterns.

From looking through the site reports and the fact that the ceramic and glass seemed to have been broken before it was placed in the area that was excavated by Flinders University, it is possible that these artefacts are from a rubbish deposit from Beaumont House. The next phase of my study will include cleaning some of the artefacts, such as the ceramic and glass fragments, and then taking photographs of the collection.