Fort Denison – Guarding Sydney – Perhaps Not

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Today dwarfed by high-rise buildings on the shore and massive cruise ships on the Harbour, Fort Denison was a barren rocky out-crop when the First Fleet arrived into Sydney Cove in 1788. Called Mat-te-wan-ye by local Aboriginals, Governor Phillip renamed it Rock Island. The island was soon informally christened Pinchgut, in memory of the convicts who were, in the early days of the colony, put there on starvation diets as a form of punishment for their misdemeanours. Continue reading “Fort Denison – Guarding Sydney – Perhaps Not”

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Bradleys Head and its Naval Connections

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Bradleys Point is the largest intact area of remnant vegetation remaining in the Inner Sydney Harbour area. This is, in no small measure, due to the fact that the point has, since European settlement, until it became a park been in the hands of the military (navy), thus precluding commercial development. At the very end of the 19th century attempts to develop part of the headland as a mining camp came to nought when a public outcry lead to the cancellation of a mining lease which would have permitted the extraction of a coal seam under the harbour in this area. Continue reading “Bradleys Head and its Naval Connections”

Fort Bedford

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For the best view of Georgetown, the island’s capital, there is nowhere that can compare with the view from Fort Bedford. More on the view later but it should also be clear from the picture above why Fort Bedford, tasked with defending the capital, is located where it is – half way up Cross Hill, just behind Georgetown. The peak of Cross Hill remains a military site and thus out of bounds. Continue reading “Fort Bedford”

Ladder Hill Fort – Soon to be Hotel

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Ladder Hill Fort

This is one of seven former fortifications on the Island and is located above Jamestown on Ladder Hill and accessed by a winding road up the valley side or, more interestingly, via Jacob’s Ladder. The picture below, which I love, is a rather stylised picture of the road to the Fort, painted in 1821 by James Walten – a rather famous British traveller and artist of the time. The cliffs are not quite that sheer – as you can see from photos in my Jacob’s Ladder review. Continue reading “Ladder Hill Fort – Soon to be Hotel”