Windsor Bridge Replacement Project

NSW Roads and Maritime Services

Windsor, NSW
2008 – 2021


Cosmos Archaeology undertook a range of maritime archaeological investigations as part of preliminary works for the Windsor Bridge Replacement Project, which was completed in May 2020. The project saw a new bridge constructed over the Hawkesbury River, approximately 35 metres east of the original structure.

Investigations included multiple desktop assessments to identify potential maritime archaeological remains and prepare a Statement of Heritage Impact for the area. In 2016, an underwater test excavation was carried out within the footprint of the former Windsor Wharf (ca.1814-1940), as well as a survey of the riverbank above the former Windsor Wharf site and an underwater survey of a potential second wharf dating from the 19th century. These investigations identified archaeological remains associated with the earliest, if not original, version of the wharf (ca.1810s), which were well preserved under a ballast mound.

These remains were further investigated when a second, larger underwater excavation took place from June to September 2018 and included an underwater excavation of the riverbed within the footprint of the former Windsor Wharf (ca.1814-1940) and a survey of the riverbank above the former Windsor Wharf. The underwater excavation was conducted within three metre depths of water and visibility ranging from 200 – 500 mm. A stratigraphical excavation much like a terrestrial site was successfully conducted underwater. This is a rare occurrence within Australian context as most underwater sites excavated in shallow water highly disturbed due to wave action. 

Artefacts recovered from the site offer a fascinating glimpse into life on and around the wharf more than 150 years ago. The maritime excavation report including artefact analysis will be completed in 2021.

In January 2019, during the installation of the scour protection on the northern riverbank, archaeologists were present on site for monitoring whenever dredging occurred for the installation of the scour protection. Over the course of the monitoring and excavation period, four shipwrecks and numerous other non-shipwreck related items were located. UHRW02 comprises the remains of a carvel-built timber vessel.

Transport NSW (formerly known as RMS) requested that a 3D digital model be prepared of UHRW02 to form part of the package of heritage interpretation materials arising from the Windsor Bridge Replacement Project.

3D Model
Load 3D Model

Maritime Archaeologists: Cosmos Coroneos, Dr Kurt Bennett, Jane Mitchell, Dr Matt Carter, David Steinberg, Rick Bullers and Milly Bendell

Artefact Registrar: Caroline Wilby

Artefact Cataloging and Analysis: Jeanne Harris, Gina Scheer, Sue Hern

Surveyor: Guy Hazel

Multi Beam specialist: Scott Whilam

PDS Commercial Divers: Malcolm Venturoni, Cal Harvey, Felix Venturoni, Kevin Graham, Kent Clifton-Bligh, Colin Silvey and James Parkinson.

3D Model and ship lines creators: Kevin Edwards (Tempus Archaeology) and Ben Wharton



AIMA Newsletter PDF 2018