Written by SoudipAugust 23rd 2014
You Are HereHome > Australia > Fort Denison Historical Facts and Pictures
Fort Scratchley Historical Facts and Pictures
Located in Newcastle, New South Wales, Fort Scratchley was a former defensive unit around the Australian coastline. The actual purpose of building this fort was to defend a possible Russian attack over the city. However, the first guns fired from this fort were in June 8, 1942.
Fort Scratchley Entrance
Overlooking the Hunter River and Tasman Sea, the fort is situated on top of Flagstaff Hill, which was the home of coal shipping throughout the early nineteenth century. The army claimed the land in 1843 and planned to construct a fort here, which they built in the 1870s, when the news of a possible Russian attack spread all over the Newcastle due to the rising enmity between Australia and Russia. In 1882, the fort was finally completed, while the Russians were no longer a threat, Japan became the new enemy.
Design and Armory
Designed by Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Scratcheley, the fort comprised a battery of 2 SB Cannons of 68 pounds, quick firing Nordenfelt machine guns, three 9 inches Rifle Muzzle Loader guns, 3 BL 6 inches disappearing guns along with an 8 inches BL disappearing gun, exemplifying its impressive defensive system. Later in 1911 the 4 disappearing guns were replaced by two 6 inches BL Marks VII guns.
After the World War II, the fort was further fortified with blast walls, search light directing stations and battery observation posts. The fort was closed in 2004 due to renovation purpose, but its progress was stalled due to vandalism. However, in 2008 the fort was re-opened after extreme enthusiasm showed by the Australian Government to repair the fort properly, emphasizing the vital significance of Fort Scratchley in Australia’s military history.