Journey into history as investigations dig deep into Singleton’s foundations


Exploratory work to delve into Singleton’s historical foundations – literally – as part of investigations for the $7 million Town Centre Upgrade – Stage 2 have centred on the area believed to have been home to town founder Benjamin Singleton.

Singleton Council undertook a survey of Pearces Park on the corner of John and Campbell streets on Thursday 5 September, which included a ground penetrating radar investigation to look for “unusual objects” beneath the surface.

The survey was required because of the historical significance of the site, to investigate whether any subsurface remnants of historical buildings exist so that any heritage or artefacts could be considered in the design for Stage 2.
General Manager Jason Linnane said it was a timely exercise as the community prepared to mark the bicentennial of the arrival of the European exploration party to Singleton in 2020. 

“The historical significance of this area is an important consideration of the Town Centre Upgrade – Stage 2, particularly given the links to Benjamin Singleton himself,” he said.

“The ground penetrating radar picks up the depth and location of unusual objects, in particular lineal structures that would indicate the presence of building foundations and perhaps point to the location of Singleton’s Inn.

“It’s a practical exercise because of the project, but it’s also a fascinating process that has the potential to unlock more information about the buildings that may have stood on that site, and their connection to the foundations of the township.”

Mr Linnane said the historical component of the Town Centre upgrade also included consideration of the future of Bailey Union Park, with the opportunity for pedestrian connectivity with Pearces Park.

“With plans for Back to Singleton 2020 well advanced for March next year, there is a greater focus on the history of our local government area, particularly the people and places that played a key role in our journey over the past 200 years,” he said.

“Singleton has a fascinating story with Aboriginal and European importance, and Back to Singleton 2020 as well as projects such as the Town Centre Upgrade reinforce that we are walking in the footsteps of history every day.” 

The Town Centre Upgrade – Stage 2 is funded in partnership by Singleton Council and the RestartNSW Resources for Regions program. A concept design is expected in the coming months.