Friends of the Cerberus Inc. consists of enthusiasts who work hand-in-hand with Heritage Victoria and the National Trust of Victoria, with the sole aim to preserve HMVS Cerberus for future generations…
MHHV Foundation Member
The Cerberus is a highly significant part of Victoria’s and Australia’s military history and heritage. Launched in 1868 Cerberus is the only remaining breastwork monitor class warship left in the world. Cerberus not only has its hull but also its gun turrets and its guns. The first of the modern battleships, preceding HMS Devastation by almost three years, Cerberus was the first British warship to dispense completely with sail power and to incorporate the shallow draft. It was the first, and is the only remaining example, of a Monitor having a central superstructure and to incorporate the combination of a central superstructure with fore and aft gun turrets.
Cerberus is the only substantially intact surviving warship of any of Australia’s pre-Federation colonial navies. Cerberus represented Cutting Edge Technology from the 1860’s, incorporating the latest developments in metallurgy, steam power, gun turrets and the use of low freeboard. Cerberus was the flagship and most powerful warship of the Victorian Navy; in fact the most powerful warship of any of the Australian Colonial Navies – the first armoured warship built for Australia. It is also the oldest as well as the only surviving inaugural warship, to have served in the Royal Australian Navy.
Today, Cerberus rests in three metres of water at Half Moon Bay at Blackrock, in Melbourne’s Port Philip Bay, since being scuttled to form a breakwater in 1926. To the casual observer there appeared to be no deterioration until a major collapse took place in 1993. Since then Cerberus has continued to collapse at a rate of approximately 16 mm per year.
The aim of Friends of the Cerberus is to raise Cerberus and place her on a submerged supporting structure. The plan of attack is based on the Geotechnical Study completed by GHD in 2003. To this end it is necessary to raise approximately $6.5 million.