Artisan’s Garden at Fort Canning Park provides a unique opportunity to take a look into the past. This archaeological dig site on the Eastern slopes of Fort Canning Park is a place where you can peer back into Singapore’s ancient past.
Recently revamped along with other gardens at Fort Canning Park, the Artisan’s Garden is so-named because of the site’s historical past. Evidence has been uncovered that it was once the location of craftsmen workshops. It is believed to have been the location where skilled artisans would have once had a base, churning out precious objects for patrons.
Exploring Fort Canning Hill’s Past
Nowadays, the site welcomes visitors of a different sort – those who are curious about Fort Canning Hill’s past.
The Artisan’s Garden was the location of an archaeological investigation back in the 1980s. This yielded the remnants of buildings and other artefacts from Fort Canning Hill’s past. The excavation site is still open and, from a walkway, visitors can view the finds.
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An interpretative gallery at the rear of the dig site provides commentary into the objects – pottery, jewellery and even coins – that were found on Fort Canning Hill and their significance to the history of Singapore.
Some of these objects are displayed beneath a glass panel set into the floor, helping visitors to visualise what they must have been like to uncover them.
There are also multimedia touch panels to explore the history of the site and explain what is on display.
Other high-touch exhibits include a pottery wheel – a way to relate the shards of pottery to actual objects which were once common place in everyday life.
Activities at Artisan’s Garden
While it is not possible to enter into the archaeological dig pit at Artisan’s Garden, there is another high-touch display of the tools which archaeologists use for their work. These include a trowel, brush and sieve.
There is also an outdoor “play pit” under the floorboards at Artisan’s Garden. While not open all the time, it will be opened up for children to have a go at being an archaeologist during special programmes.
The Artisan’s Garden can be found behind the Registry of Marriages at Fort Canning Park.