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Metro Tunnel digs to reveal Melbourne’s past

The largest archaeological digs in Victorian history are underway in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.

The corner of Flinders and Swanston streets, has undergone tremendous change since John Batman paid £100 for part of the site in 1837 to build a timber cottage and it promises to reveal a treasure trove of early Melbourne life.

The heritage-listed Young & Jackson Hotel and adjoining Dangerfield building remain on-site but 6 other non-heritage buildings have been demolished to make way for the Metro Tunnel’s new Town Hall Station below Swanston Street.

Large-scale digs have also recently started near the corner of La Trobe and Swanston streets, where 9 non-heritage buildings were recently removed as part of Metro Tunnel works to build the new State Library underground station.

Viewing windows have been installed at both sites to enable locals and visitors to watch as the investigations unfold.

The windows were unveiled today to coincide with National Archaeology Week, which aims to increase public awareness of the importance of protecting our archaeological heritage.

We are undertaking Victoria's largest archaeological dig in some of the oldest parts of Melbourne. The sites have been home to countless dwellings and infamous personalities. Drop by our viewing window next to Young and Jacksons to see what we have uncovered.

Metro Tunnel