Piecing together The Strand’s past

Excavations under the former Horny Bull site on the Strand have provided a glimpse into the downtown area's past history showing things have not changed much in the last 150 years.

For the last three weeks MishMish Productions have been undertaking excavations on the site and archaeologist Brigid Gallagher says they have retrived a number of items used by early European settlers.


Brigid with some of The Strand's cultural heritage. View video by Tracy Hardy below.

These include a variety of 19th century alcohol bottles, vinaigrette bottles and the remains of plant holder have been located at the rear of the site.

The Strand itself, which in those days was little more than a sandy track between the business frontages and the foreshore, was not part of the investigation.

Brigid says archaeologists have found a plaster mould of part of a child's jaw beneath what they were told was the site of a former dentist-chemist-druggist's business.

“We don't know why a child's jaw was made into a mould, but the artifacts back that up,” says Brigid.

Archeologists have also located barrels butted into the sand at the site of an old spring, and a couple of rubbish pits. They found evidence of a saddler, a lot of leather off cuts, old bits of shoes and stirrup irons.

Also located from under the old tavern was a toothpaste lid from the days of Queen Victoria.


Archaeologists have been digging up the remains of some of the buildings in this picture.

“In the 1900s when you have a butcher's next door, there's not a lot of beef bones,” says Brigid.

But that may have been another sign of the times. Another business in the immediate area was an oyster saloon/hair dresser and tailor.

“In Tauranga they wouldn't get much meat, the people here had to make do with shellfish and oysters.”  

The archaeologists started on May 24, taking three and a half weeks to explore the site under the former tavern. The findings will be examined and a report is expected to be written in the next year.

It may be the first of several, as there is a city council requirement that the sites under all earthquake risk buildings along The Strand be archaeologically examined before redevelopment.

“Things haven't been disturbed under the buildings,” says Brigid.

“It's all waiting there to be understood.”



6 Comments

More P.C

Posted on 20-06-2012 17:55 | By Hector

rubbish, build the glass tower, or what ever, and get over it, we have Tauranga history scattererd all around, even the Historic Village has some.The Council has known this site was being developed,(for even them), some time,so it makes me wonder why, when the building on the site has been demolished, and cleaned up, has the site now become a treasure trove?,the "Roman Sandal Wearers" they are the ones who have started this joke, let them pay, and compensate the developer, and yes Jobsworth, the developer is not building something for love, thats called,making/losing a dollar, this city will never progress, weighed under by bureaucrats that we have running it. Get on with it, and get over it!!

Divine enlightenment

Posted on 20-06-2012 14:51 | By Jobsworth

Its apparent that some people already think they know everything that needs to be known about our past and the area. Alas they're wrong - It isn't reclaimed land, the reclaimed land is infront of these buildings along the esplanade and where the railway now runs. Whoops! Secondly the council and the public don't pay, the developer/land owner pays, that's the risk taken in developing land - afterall a developer isn't building out of the goodness of their hearts, but trying to maximise profit for their personal gain!! Thirdly it's not council policy so much as national policy that dictates these investigations need to be performed. I belive that's three strikes and out! PS what's real value and do you have a divine method for discovery, thought not! so let them use their spades.

Be Careful

Posted on 20-06-2012 14:23 | By Jitter

It might suddenly turn into sacred ground or overnight become the legendary home of an ancient taniwha. Then there will be big trouble for the developers. Ooooooooooh !

This is surely worth more...

Posted on 20-06-2012 10:23 | By SpeakUp

...than the nonsensical, self-serving, sticky-beak 'activities' council in its delusional calling to commit themselves to our salvation in servicing the public engages. They do not serve the public. Instead sticking to CORE council business they waste precious public funds on outrageously ludicrous pet projects, waste time on their petty busy-body agenda and drive the community into debt slavery for decades to come. THAT will come to light when future historians piece together the past. -Citizen Monitoring Council-

Murray's Dilemma

Posted on 20-06-2012 09:05 | By bigted

A very good question Murray. However, I would have thought someone with your knowledge and experience in city matters (especially funding) would know the answer, or have greater abilities to find the answer than us mere mortals?

Who pays for this?

Posted on 20-06-2012 08:08 | By Murray.Guy

Who pays for work of this type and do the developers get reimbursed somehow for costs attached to the extra time associated with foundation preparations? The potential to discover items of 'real value' would surely be very limited in reclaimed areas of this type?

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Waterworld. Photo: Ron Webber.

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