From Infrastructure to Icon: a Historical and Archaeological Analysis of the Randell Dry Dock

Dublin Core

Title

From Infrastructure to Icon: a Historical and Archaeological Analysis of the Randell Dry Dock

Subject

Session 7
Preservation and conservation of wet archaeological materials and site management

Description

On the banks of the Murray River in the small township of Mannum, South Australia, lies an impressive and rare feat of early colonial maritime infrastructure; the Randell Dry Dock. Originally constructed as a timber floating dock in 1873, it was purchased by Captain William Randell and towed to Mannum. The imposing structure docked over half of all the paddle steamers on the Murray-Darling river system before being superseded in 1927. It is now only one of a handful of timber docks from this period still existing internationally. Archaeological investigations have been minimal on maritime infrastructure sites along the River Murray. A heritage trail has been implemented by the SA Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the SA Tourism Commission. The Randell Dry Dock is part of this trail and on the State Heritage Register. Archaeological investigations have revealed new information about the dock’s unique construction. This paper will outline the history and construction of this architectural gem, the seriousness of its current condition, and the ongoing fight against the clock by archaeologists and the local community to protect this rare and significant example of South Australian Murray River history.

Creator

Britt Burton

Date

November 2011

Files

Citation

Britt Burton, “From Infrastructure to Icon: a Historical and Archaeological Analysis of the Randell Dry Dock,” The MUA Collection, accessed December 14, 2017, http://www.themua.org/collections/items/show/1219.

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