Heritage Victoria has undertaken yet another excavation site along the Plenty River and within the Plenty Gorge Park. It stemmed from historical investigations carried out as part of the Mernda Rail Extension. This dig site however was to solve the mystery of the whereabouts of the original Bridge Inn Hotel which was one of the earliest buildings constructed outside Melbourne as part of the European settlement.
The Old Bridge Inn was built in the 1840’s near the crossing point ford on the Plenty River in Mernda. The dig uncovered the bluestone walls and hearth of the Hotel.
Over 1000 artefacts were collected including old hand blown glass bottles , China and pottery and a variety of items for everyday life such as coins, cutlery ,jewellery, clay pipes and children’s toys.
Along with these there was quite a collection of Aboriginal artefacts too.
A Public Open day was held on the 8th July 2017 and well over 300 local people turned out to look over the site. Our Society had a table of interesting photos and books on display . This generated a lot of interest and gave the Society the opportunity to came face to face with the public.