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161-year-old Cemetery Found At Sydney's Central Station

161-year-old Cemetery Found At Sydney’s Central Station

| On 28, Oct 2021

Under Sydney’s Central Station, a 181-year-old burial vault has been discovered. The discovery was made during excavations for the site’s new metro platforms. The descendants of two colonial Sydney families buried in the crypt are currently being sought. “We’re uncovering some of Sydney’s rich past as we construct Sydney’s transportation future,” Transport Minister Rob Stokes said. Nameplates discovered in the burials identified the Perry and Ham family crypt.

Mr Stokes added, “The three nameplates date back to 1840 and give us insight into early occupancy of the area and burial practices in colonial Sydney.” There are 11 graves in the vault. The NSW government has invited relatives to contact them. Mr Stokes said, “We’re seeking any relatives or descendants of the Perry or Ham families to get in touch with the Sydney Metro team for more information.”

During the construction of the new Sydney Metro stations, a second tomb with a legible nameplate was discovered. In addition, the relatives of Joseph Thompson, whose 1858 nameplate was also found in a cemetery during Central station excavations in 2019, were discovered through a search. His ashes will be reinterred at the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park later this year. The burials were discovered because Central Station was previously the Devonshire Street Cemetery, which was closed in 1867.

Although the majority of the tombs were removed before the station’s completion in 1901, more than 60 graves and five vaults have since been discovered.

Prior to this, there were also horrible mysteries hidden beneath Sydney Central Station.

Sydney's Central Station

Central Station is one of the busiest spots in the entire country. A quarter of a million people pass through Sydney’s Central Station every day. But beneath the platforms, hidden from the view of the crowds above, something had been silent for more than a century. Something that would make the majority of people cringe. That stillness was broken during the construction of the $12 billion Sydney Metro rail line. The massive quantity of construction work at Central cannot have gone unnoticed by most commuters. To develop a new underground station, large sections of the station were taken out and replaced with a 220m wide cavern 30m deep.

The contractors started uncovering something surprising on their way down. Strangely shaped blocks were buried in the deep muck and rubbish. It’s similar to a building but much smaller. “They had to cease digging around platform 13,” Elise Edmonds, a curator at the State Library of NSW, stated. “The archaeologists delved below and discovered these 19th-century constructions, these small brick vaults and crypts,” claimed the narrator.

The company that built the Central Metro station, Laing O’Rourke, estimated that eight skeletons have been discovered since then. They were buried in the ground, with the cheap wooden coffins that encircled them rotting away and many of the bones dissolving into dust. Every day, 250,000 passengers pass through this renowned station, yet beneath their feet, hidden from view, is a sombre reminder of Australia’s past.

Every day, a quarter of a million people pass through Sydney’s Central Station. In order to make space for Central Station, a vast cemetery that once housed 30,000 souls was planned to be unearthed in 1900.

The skeletal bones serve as eerie reminders of the area’s dark history. Some railway employees claim that the eerie echoes of this massive station’s history can still be heard in its more remote corners.

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