Friday, March 20, 2009

Fort Macquarie

Fort Macquarie was a square castellated battlement fort built at Bennelong Point, Sydney, Australia, where the Sydney Opera House now stands.

Fort Macquarie c. 1880-1900.

View from the western side of Sydney Cove (Circular Quay) looking to Bennelong Point and Fort Macquarie c1841


A half moon battery on the east point of Bennelong Point was constructed in May 1798 when the ship HMS Supply was withdrawn from service, Lieutenant William Kent and crew were assigned to man the battery. The battery consisted of some of the guns taken from HMS Supply.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie directed that a fort was built between December 1817 to February 1821 under the direction of Francis Greenway. The fort was named after Governor Lachlan Macquarie was a square fort with circular bastions at each corner and a castellated square tower.

The battery consisted of fifteen pieces of ordnance: ten 24-pounders and five 6-pounders. Three sides of the fort abutted Sydney Harbour.

The two-storey tower in the middle of the fort, housed a guardroom and storehouse. The tower was 27.4m (90 ft) in circumference. A powder magazine capable of storing 350 barrels of gunpowder was constructed underneath and the tower could provide accommodation for a small military detachment of 1 officer and 18 men, with stores for the battery.

A drawbridge, on the landward side, over a small channel leading to a gate beneath the tower provided entry to the fort.

Fort Macquarie was demolished in 1901 to make way for new electric tramway sheds named Fort Macquarie Tram Depot.

Cannon Disposal

Two 42 pdr ML cannon from Fort Macquarie were removed from the fort and transported to Newcastle in 1903 to form a memorial in Gregson Park, Hamilton. In 2006 they underwent a refurbishment and have been replaced back into Gregson Park.

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