PRESERVATION/CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT ?· preservation/conservation management plan -=· --~ - ---~ •…

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  • GOODAYWANG RESERVE PRESERVATION/CONSERVATION

    MANAGEMENT PLAN -= --~ - --- ~

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    for GOSFORD CITY COUNCIL by Dr Robert V] P Varman, Archaeologist and Heritage Consultant.

    September 1999

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    CONTENTS

    Introduction ..................................................................... l Summary Recommendations ......................................... 3 Belle Vieu map 1841 ........................................................ 4 Location and Identification ........................................... S Statement of Significance ....................... ~~6 Acknowledgements .......................................................... 7 1v1~1Jttocl()l()~)l .................................................................. j7 ~it~ J?lletsitl~ ...................................................................... ~ Phase 1, Pre 1830 .............................................................. 8 Phase 2, 1830-1841 .......................................................... 10 Phase 3, 1842-1888 .......................................................... 16 Phase 4, 1889-1920 ......................................................... ."20 'Old Farm' Estate map/poster ............... ~ ........................ 22 PhaSe 5, 192.0-1930s ......................................................... 26 Phase 6, 1930s-1954 ......................................................... 31 Phase. 7, 1954-1999 ............... ., .................................... ; ...... 34 Schematic Site map ......................................................... 3 6 Inventory of Historical and Archaeological Sites ... .40 Flora and Fauna ............................................................... S3 Visitor Trends and Impact. ........................................... 56 Preservation/Conservation Recommendations ........ S 8 .Site Interpretation .......................................................... 64 Interpretation Themes ................................................... 64 .Signage ................. ............................................................. 66 Recommended Areas for Future Facilities .................. 70 Walking Tracks ................................................................ 7.3 Appendices ....................................................................... 7 5

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  • INTRODUCTION

    A brief archaeological assessment was commissioned through the Gosford City Council's Environmental Heritage Advisory Committee with the aim of identifying the nature and date of the archaeological remains found at Goodayang Reserve. The report, entitled Point Clare Site: Archaeological Assessment Summary: Foundation Remains at Belle View Point on Lot 1 DP 68582 (Section A 'Old Farm' Estate, Point Clare), was presented on March 26, 1998 ..

    The documentary evidence was compared with actual features found on site. The findings, in summary, were that there were several features surviving from the 1830s/1840s period but that the bulk of the obvious remains on land dated from early in the twentieth century.

    This report was commissioned on june 2, 1999 as a result of the May meeting of the Environmental Heritage Advisory Committee which approved funds for a 'Goodayang Reserve Preservation I Interpretative Plan'.

    The prime aims of this report are to identify the historical and archaeological elements of the site, provide a documentary outline for the items and present a series of suitable conservation and interpretative strategies for the reserve so that all significant surviving elements may be conserved within the framework of a functioning public reserve, or park.

    During the European historical.period the reserve was the physical setting of a series of events that began in 1830. The central part of the reserve was cleared and fenced but after some decades fell into a decline as the Brisbane Water area became more intensively settled. From the present appearance of the remnant flora and fauna of the reserve it is clear that the area reverted to bushland, or secondary regrowth forest.

    The reserve was completely cut off from the bushland and the cleared areas to the west when the Great Western Railway line was established by the cutting of a deep slice out of 'Beautiful Hill'. The appearance of the area was considerably altered when the sloping hill was cut away and the study area became a virtual island. The 1841 plan to subdivide the area into residential blocks and the 'Old Farm' scheme of the early twentieth century were both eventually abandoned, instead, the area under study being developed into a recreational spot and camping area. The house remains represent Langley House. It appears that facilities for campers and day visitors (wq.shrooms, showers etc.) were built toward the back and north side of the house). The south side of the jetty was turned into a protected bathing area~ by about 1920. The development of recreational areas

  • elsewhere along Brisbane Water probably resulted in a decline in popularity of the facilities. The house burned down by the early 1950s and the site was cleared of all 'improvements'.

    Overall, the reserve has retained its present appearance over the last fifty years, though there has been a gradual decline in the extent of the regrowth native bushland.

    The documentation for the site is comparatively sparse because of the lack of urban development, long periods of stasis and private ownership (or leasing arrangements).

    For the purposes of this report a number of aspects have bearing on the archaeological resource, for example: visitor numbers, the nature of the visits, vehicular use, site services, maintenance, neighbours, erosion patterns, weed control. These are taken into account in this report, based on site visits and past experience on similar sites.

    The structure of the report is as follows:

    Introduction: providing the background conditions of the report.

    Phasing: presents the history of the site, as far as is known, so that the value of the archaeological elements can be understood.

    Inventory of Archaeological and Historical Sites: identifies the elements that make up the site to be protected. Summaries of the present state of the reserve are presented involving flora and fauna, site facilities, visitor and vehicular access.

    Preservation/Conservation Recommendations: these are presented according to the site inventory numbers, listing options on how the various elements may be protected and enhanced.

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    Site Interpretation: listing a number of options on how the site may be presented to the visiting public. The low visitor numbers and assumption of limited funding are taken into account but recommendations are provided which may be implemented at some time in the future when circumstances may change.

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    SUMMARY RECOMMENDATIONS

    It is recommended that the 'status quo' be maintained but with active protection of the archaeological resource using methods which will halt surface erosion, promote bush regeneration in some areas and regulate vehicular access.

    The. site should be interpreted using non-intrusive written and illustrated signage in key areas where the remains can speak for themselves. All interpretation elements should be vandal-proof since the area is isolated. Local schools and community groups of the area should be made aware of the resource to further the study and care of the reserve and its relationship with its broader setting.

    Facilities such as public toilets may not be justified at this stage due to low visitor numbers but such facilities should be located in the 'cove' area, _ south-west of the wharf, in the location of item 10.

    Debate should be encouraged as to how the reserve could better serve the community. A long-term project should be to consider opening up the reserve by creating a railway footbridge or underpass at the end of Welwyn Grove. A walking trail should also be considered to take visitors into and beyond the reserve, particularly beyond the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol and link in with the foreshore reserve of the remainder of Fagan's grant. Some form of access across the railway line will have to be considered.

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    LOCATION AND IDENTIFICATION

    The Goodaywang Reserve site is located on the east side of the Great Western Railway and the west shore of Brisbane Water, some distance north of Point Clare railway station and contiguous south of the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol at Point Clare. By 1841 the bulk of it formed the south-east corner of Peter Fagan's grant of 100 acres in the Parish of Patonga, County of Northumberland. By 1901/1902 it formed Section A of the 'Old Farm' Estate, Point Clare, (Application No 18582). The south end of the reserve includes a part of Roberts' grant purchased by Fagan in the 1830s. The land was acquired by Gosford City Council during the early 1960s and is currently described as Lot 1 DP 68582.

    The name Goodaywang is found on the 1841 Belle Vieu plan. The name is sometimes contracted to Goodayang. '

    The 1901 parish map below shows the extent of Fagan's hundred acre grant.

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    STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE

    The area comprising Goodaywang Reserve is a historic landscape forged, during the European settlement period beginning in 1830. This statement of significance largely refers to the European development of the site.

    The area is of high local significance, containing physical remains dating from the earliest settlement period of Brisbane Water.

    The site in its relationship with Fagan's grant represents a remarkable microcosm of the history and development of the Central Coast. Directly applicable themes include: early grants, the convict indenture system, timber getting, clearing, agriculture, grazing, secondary native regrowth, water and road transport, internal and external commerce , boat building, shell gathering for lime, town-planning, the impact of the railway, tourism and recreation.

    The stone wharf is a rare survivor and is representative of the earliest means of access and commerce which was to open up the Brisbane Water area to settlement. The wharf is a significant physical reminder of early means of transport by water, the earliest means of transport during the European settlement of Australia. The wharf and associated hut remains are testament to the early grazing industry and agriculture of New South Wales, possible through the convict indenture system of the first fifty years of Australian settlement.

    The site has a significant degree of association with early pioneers of the district, particularly Peter Fagan and sons and the Gosford magistrate Alfred Holden MP.

    Of medium significance, but an integral part of the archaeological development of the site, are the remains of Langley House - the focus of the Central Coast post-railway recreational phase, (the footings of which drew people's attention to the site in the first place).

    The site is of high significance because of the excellent degree of survival of the natural landscape and elements of all significant major phases of settlement there.

    The natural landscape is of high significance in that it forms an important element of the Brisbane Water foreshores and views from a wide ranging area, not having been spoiled by road, railway or housing development Elements recorded in 1841 such as the 'Swampoaks' and 'Woollybut' still dominate the area. the ground cover under the trees along the bank preserve many native plant and grass species, as well as 'micro fauna' such

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    as the beautiful native snail, Meridolum corneovirens.

    The site forms a significant and underdeveloped element of Peter Fagan's hundred acre grant, (now largely built over).

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    My grateful thanks to Mrs Beryl Strom, historian, who was instrumental in the discovery of a number of unexpected documents. on several occasions since I first became involved with the site; thanks also for helpful comments made on my March draft.

    Grateful thanks to Geoff Potter, Local Studies Librarian, Gosford Library, who spared no effort in uncovering a considerable amount of relevant pictorial, manuscript and printed material from the Library collections.

    As in my report of March 1998, I repeat my thanks to Mrs joan Fenton and Mrs joan Dent for sharing their documentation. Thanks also to Margarite of the Environment Section, Gosford City Council for making available aerial photographs.

    METHODOLOGY

    An examination was made relating to the reserve of primary and secondary research material: documents, maps and photographs, so that surviving man-made and natural features could be located, understood and interpreted.

    Surveys were undertaken between March 1998 and the present under a number of different circumstances, for example, seasonal, high and low water marks and time of day. Man-made and natural above-ground features were examined which might throw light on the site stratigraphy and sub-surface relics in relation to the documentary evidence. Overlays were drawn using the 1841 Belle Vieu map as a base, superimposing later maps to aid the identification of significant site items.

    For the purposes of this report, note was also taken of the types of pressures facing the reserve in regard to visitor access, vehicular use, erosion patterns, weed control, council maintenance and other services as these all have bearing on the archaeological resources.

  • SITE PHASING

    Phase 1, Pre 1830.

    This phase represents the period of Aboriginal occupation and also the initial European exploration and early settlement period in the Brisbane Water district. Few signs of Aboriginal occupation were found at the study site, apart from two possible flint-like stones and a lense of shells just north of Item 24 under the eroding road fill. Shell beds, very likely Aboriginal middens, were indicated along the north shore of Fagan's grant on the Belle Vieu map of 1841. Shell beds, banks and deposits were noted on the early map because they were the only source of lime for mortar in New South Wales until the early 1850s, hence a valuable commodity. Scatters of shells were found all over reserve but these were found to be of recent origin, apart from the example mentioned above~

    The...

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