Written by SoudipJuly 7th 2014
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Fort Denison Historical Facts and Pictures
Fort Denison is located on a small island in the Sydney harbor, New South Wales, Australia. A former penitentiary and defensive facility, it is also known as the Rock Island and Pinchgut.
Initially the island was just a 15 meter high sandstone rock, but was later leveled under the command of Captain George Barney. Fortifications of the island began in 1841, with the objective of strengthening Sydney’s defenses against foreign vessels. However due to unknown reasons, the same could not be completed. Construction on the Island resumed again in 1855 when fears of a Russian onslaught surfaced during the Crimean War. The fort was completed in 1857 and was named after the then Governor of New South Wales, Sir William Thomas Denison.
The fort consists of a unique Martello tower – the only one to have ever been built in Australia. The thickness of the tower walls varies between 3-6 meters at the base, whereas the top walls are roughly 2.7 meters thick. The tower quarters could house one commanding officer along with a garrison of 24 soldiers.
The armaments of the fort included 3 muzzle loaders at the top of the tower, 2 ten inch guns and 12 other cannons at the base. In 1906 a saluting gun was also installed at the fort. At present, except for the muzzle loading cannons, all other armaments have been removed.
From the year 1992, the fort is being managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Since then, the tower has been converted into a museum and the island has become a popular tourist attraction.