Sydney Architecture Images- Gone but not forgotten

Fort Macquarie , Bennelong Point

architect

Lieutenant Watts, of H.M. 46th Regiment, under the supervision of Major Druitt

location

Bennelong Point, Circular Quay (Opera House site)

date

1819

style

Victorian Mannerist

construction

sandstone

type

Government
  The building of the old fort dated back to the days, of Lachlan Macquarie, who was “also responsible for the erection of many other, fortifications for the defence of Sydney Cove. The redoubt “was a most’ conspicuous landmark in pictures of “Old Sydney” and was commenced at Bennelong Point in on December 17, 1817.
By November, 1819, the fort was completed, and it mounted 15 guns, ten of which were 24-pounders, and five were six-pounders. When originally constructed, the fort was built on an isolated reef, separated from the mainland by a channel of water, across which was a bridge. The latter remained, in position till the redoubt was demolished, but the channel was long ago filled in, and a road constructed over it.
In 1903 it was knocked down and converted into a tram depot which was in turn demolished in 1958 to make way for the Sydney Opera House.
On this site:
-Fort Macquarie , Bennelong Point
-The Fort Macquarie Tram Depot
-Sydney Opera House
 
  This photograph is of Bennelong Point around 80 years before the construction of the Sydney Opera House. Henry King took this image of Fort Macquarie from the Farm Cove side sometime around the middle of the 1880s.



The building of the old fort dated back to the days, of Lachlan Macquarie, who was “also responsible for the erection of many other, fortifications for the defence of Sydney Cove. The redoubt “was a most’ conspicuous landmark in pictures of “Old Sydney” and was commenced at Bennelong Point in on December 17, 1817. Governor Macquarie laid the foundation-stone of the fort that after wards bore his name for 86 years. The stone used in its erection was, hewed from the rocks in the Governor’s Domain by convict labour, and its facade was a tribute to the workmanship put into it. Its tower was typical of’ the best work of the “Building; Governor’s” regime and it was thought to have been designed Lieutenant Watts, of H.M. 46th Regiment, under the supervision of Major Druitt and the Governor himself.



By November, 1819, the fort was completed, and it mounted 15 guns, ten of which were 24-pounders, and five were six-pounders. When originally constructed, the fort was built on an isolated reef, separated from the mainland by a channel of water, across which was a bridge. The latter remained, in position till the redoubt was demolished, but the channel was long ago filled in, and a road constructed over it.



Fort Macquarie in 1820 may be described as a square redoubt, three faces of which were washed by the waters of Sydney Harbor. At each angle there was a raised circular bastion for the purpose of supporting a 24-pounder gun mounted on a traverse supported a six-guns embrasure. Inside the redoubt was situated the two-storied stone tower, measuring 90 feet in circumference, which was utilised for a dual purpose, as an ordnance store and guardroom, while in its basement was a magazine whose capacity was 350 barrels of gunpowder. It was in this tower that the garrison of one officer and gunners had their quarters, the officer being the chief artillery officer of the colony. Here also was quartered the Commandant of the Governor’s bodyguard of cavalry: this was Captain Bellasis, who, incidentally, was also the officer who gave Sydney its first lesson in gunnery.

In 1903 it was knocked down and converted into a tram depot which was in turn demolished in 1958 to make way for the Sydney Opera House. In the foreground we can see an number of wooden row boats lined up, while resting against the walls of the fort are masts with furled sails.

Photography by Henry King
No known copyright restrictions

- See more at: http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/imageservices/2011/08/fort-maquarie-at-bennelong-point/#sthash.LApYuyxL.dpuf
 
   
 
  Nineteenth Century images- State Library of New South Wales
 
  The tram depot that replaced it.
 

 

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