In December 2018 an archaeological excavation began at the site of the Taree Police Station. The dig uncovered the remains of four cesspits, two brick cisterns, sandstone footings of the old sergeants’ residence, shed and toilet block.
The first police building on the site was a lockup built in 1863 consisting of a guardroom, police barrack room, two small cells and a courtroom at the front. Taree had one mounted senior constable and one ordinary constable stationed there from 1862. In 1884 the 1860s lock-up was demolished and a new police station was erected behind the Taree Courthouse which was built in 1881.
This 1884 station served as both a lockup and police residence. The lockup had a charge room, four cells and an exercise yard while the residence had two bedrooms, sitting room and kitchen. Over the years renovations and extensions have been carried out with the old buildings being repurposed and a new police residence built nearby. In 2018 the 1884 police station and stables were demolished to make way for a new police station.
While excavating the yard in 2018, items such as an 1880s revolver, 1936 helmet badge and 1920s car and motorcycle licence plates were found. Archaeologists also found a special area where up to 14 dogs were carefully buried indicating that police dogs may have been used for an extended period at the station.
“The Taree Police Station is significant for its long and continuous association with the NSW Police Force and the maintenance, promotion and enforcement of law in Taree since 1863.”
Based on: Sophie Jennings, “Taree Police Station: Historical archaeological investigations summary report”, GML Heritage: 2019. Report viewed on 13 September 2021 https://www.gml.com.au/stories/archaeology-at-taree-police-station/