Wrights Hill Fortress

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Inside the fortress tunnels
Gun Emplacement

Wrights Hill Fortress is a counter bombardment coastal artillery battery in the Karori suburb of Wellington, New Zealand. It was built between 1942 and 1947 and is predominantly underground, with numerous tunnels linking the war shelters, gun emplacements, magazines, plotting rooms and engine room - which are, at some points, over 50 feet underground. The fort was intended to house three 9.2" Mk. XV guns, but only two guns were installed and the fort never saw action. After World War II was over, fort commanders fired both of the guns (Gun number one in 1946 and the second in 1947). The fall of the shot was observed in Cook Strait and these test firings (three rounds on each occasion) were deemed a success. In 1960, somewhat ironically, both of the guns were sold to the Japanese as scrap metal, the very nation Wrights Hill Fortress was constructed to defend Wellington against. The design of the fort is similar to the Stony Batter and Whangaparaoa 9.2" Mk. XV batteries, near Auckland.

Wrights Hill Fortress is currently in the hands of a preservation society and can be visited, by the public, on Waitangi Day, ANZAC Day, the Queen's birthday, and Labour Day. Tours may be booked, at other dates and times, - by prior arrangement. The Fortress is listed as a Category I Historic Place.[1]

TV and Feature Films[edit]

Wrights Hill is frequently used by TV and feature filmmakers. The Fellowship of the Ring sound designers used the tunnels to record echo effects for the Mines of Moria sequence.

The New Zealand horror film The Devil's Rock was filmed in the tunnels and gun pits, standing in for a World War II German bunker.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wrights Hill Fortress". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°17′46″S 174°44′20″E / 41.29611°S 174.73888°E / -41.29611; 174.73888