Flagstaff Hill Fort

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3 SBML 68 pounder guns at Flagstaff Hill Fort

Flagstaff Hill Fort, was a fort at Flagstaff Point, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.

History[edit]

Constructed between 1890-1891, the fort was built with a disappearing gun emplacement. The fort was dug-out of the hill using face brick walls and then earth was placed over the tunnels. The fort was intended to supersede a battery of 68 pounders to provide a deterrent to a possible Russian attack upon Wollongong Harbour.

In 1879 the steamship ‘Havilah’ landed these 4.6 tonne, 68 pounder cannon as part of Wollongong Harbour defences against the threat of possible Russian attack. The cannon were designed to fire a shell weighing almost 30 kg (68 pounds) up to 1.60 km. They lay unused by the harbour for 18 months without mountings and ammunition. They were finally placed near this site by the local volunteer artillery group. Endeavour Drive now covers the original position.

The gun was commissioned and first fired in 1892. The gun emplacement was provided with two range finder positions.

However by the mid-1880s it became obvious that enemy cruisers could bombard the port out of range of these obsolete guns. In 1890 a larger gun was positioned in a concrete pit near the summit of Flagstaff Hill. Underground rooms protected the ammunition and the gunners. By 1893 further fortifications were completed on Smith’s Hill west of Harbour.

The Wollongong Head Lighthouse was constructed near the fort in 1938.

Armaments[edit]

  • 5.3 ton 6" (150mm) gun
Main entrance

See also[edit]

References[edit]