Little Lonsdale Street

In the summer of 1987-88, almost an entire block at the northern end of Melbourne's Central Business District was excavated by a team of historical archaeologists, before being redeveloped for tall office buildings. About 17,000 items were collected and described, and they are now held within Museum Victoria's Department of Social History.

This Web site provides an introduction to the collection and its significance. Some of the objects found by the archaeologists are described and interpreted. There are images of the streetscape and how it has changed, information about some of the people who lived in the area, and descriptions of activities and events which occurred there.

Content Summary
The archaeological dig of 1987-88
Exploring a vanished community
Maps of the area
The study area today
Oddfellows Hotel
Black Eagle Hotel
Residence at 17 Casselden Place

The collection in the Museum of Victoria's Social History Department.
A selection of objects from No. 60 Lonsdale Street

An interpretation

The brothels of Little Lon
A streetscape in Lonsdale Street 1870-1920

Nos 6 & 8
Nos 32-40 Lonsdale Street
Nos 38-44 Lonsdale Street
Nos 46-52 Lonsdale Street
Nos 50-56 Lonsdale Street
Nos 56-60 Lonsdale Street

Growing up in Little Lon
Other buildings of interest in the area 1870-1920

At the Oddfellows Hotel
At 17 Casselden Place
At 42 Cumberland Place, c.1920


A second archaeological dig was undertaken at Little Lonsdale Street in 2002. To find out about the Casselden Place site and what was uncovered, visit

See Map

❊ Web Links ❊

Little Lonsdale Street 

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