The History & Archaeology of Cadia Valley


Archaeological Sites

Cadia Village – finding the buildings in the 1861 inventory.

The excavation of the older part of Cadia Village in 2002 raised a number of issues in relation to the 1861 Inventory of the Cadiangullong Mine. The Inventory records a number of buildings in addition to Smelter No. 1.

While the Assay Office and the Blacksmith’s and Carpenter’s shop were identified in the excavation of Copper Smelter No. 1, some of the other large structures, notably the Captain’s House with working office, valued at £52, and the Manager’s House, valued at £80, had not been identified.

Nor had these two buildings been identified by the archaeological survey of the Village in 2000 and 2001, where house platforms, cut into the slope, would have been clearly visible. Larger buildings were only seen in the upper area known to have been developed in the twentieth century.

The dimensions of the “Single Houses”, 20 or 22 feet by 12 feet (6 or 6.7 by 3.65 metres) represent standard two roomed huts or cottages, while the “Double House” may simply represent two of these buildings joined end to end. These buildings, in contrast, could be readily identified throughout the Village survey.

The maps of the Cadia Properties of 1878-1881 provide clues to the identification of these larger houses. Christoe’s House is shown high on the hill above Cadia, where the twentieth century village developed. It was outside the area of mining and has not been investigated. The well, listed directly after the Manager’s House in the 1861 Inventory, may help to identify this building. The only brick-lined well survived next to the building identified as the Chaplain’s House on the 1881 map and as the Underground Manager’s House in 1914. Although it was on the west bank of the Cadiangullong Creek and outside the original lease to the Scottish Australian Mining Company, was this the original Mine Manager’s House? This building was located within the proposed mining area and was fully excavated (Site W001) in 2002.

While house sites could be located throughout Cadia Village, either by artifact scatters or by terraces cut into the slope, it was realised that the only area where buildings might not be visible was on the flat ground on the west bank of Cadiangullong Creek, to the south of the Chaplain’s House. Investigation of this area provided unexpected results.

Extract from 1861 Inventory.
Refiner’s House 30 x 15 ft £21
Double House 40 x 12 ft £22
2 Single Houses 20 x 12 ft £22
1 Single house 22 x 12 ft £16 10s
Assay Office (Weigh/House/furnace etc) 42 x 15 ft Shingled £53
Powder Magazine £16
Captain’s House and working office 60 x 15 ft £52
Closet/etc £2
Blacksmith’s and Carpenter’s shop 42 x 15 ft £23
Carpenter’s and Engineer’s House £27
Store and Back Shed for hay £8
Manager’s House £80
Well £8