Keith Quinton spent much of his childhood visiting Swan Island Naval Mine Depot and various “Heads” fortifications, which fostered a keen interest in the warships and military fortifications that guarded Port Phillip during the 19th Century. After briefly studying architecture, Fine Arts and photography he began pursuing a 30 year career teaching, art, photography and graphic design in various Victorian secondary schools. Since 2002 Keith has authored books including ‘Defending Port Phillip’ (2009) and ’Port Phillip Forts’ (2010). He co-authored ‘Shortland’s Bluff Battery’ (2011), and the definitive study – ‘Stop the Pfalz-1914’ (2012). He is currently researching the 1854-1900 Defences of Hobson’s Bay.
Following his arrival in London in late 1884, and understanding that Russian warships armed with highly effective Krupp guns were likely to be the principal foe of the Australian colonies, Major General Scratchley sought to gain approval from the War Office to purchase of a range of Breech-Loading guns for Victoria.
In December 1879 the guns at Queenscliff were dismounted to allow for the commencement of permanent fortification works and it was also decided that the four gun 80-pdr sandbag battery at Point Nepean was to be enlarged to six 80-pdr guns – with four of the guns to be replaced with heavier 10-inch RML ordnance, […]
The author believes there are no previous in-depth examination of the two temporary sand-bag gun batteries constructed at Point Nepean during 1878-1882. Utilizing contemporary newspaper descriptions and five 1882 Fort Nepean drawings from the Australian National Archives collection, this article provides a comprehensive description of these two significant 19th Century defence works.
The second ‘Report on the Defences of Victoria’ presented in March, 1879, motivated the Victorian government into immediately implementing an integrated system of gunboats, fortifications, and submarine minefields to defend Port Phillip Heads and the Southern Bay channels.
In 1860 the Victorian Colony sought advice on suitable defences to protect Port Phillip from naval attack. An expert fortress engineer, Captain Peter Scratchley R.E., was assigned by the UK Government in 1860 to devise a plan.
Independence from New South Wales and the right to separate governance was granted to Victoria in July 1851.
In part 1 of ‘Fort Gellibrand – Understanding the Trace’ the fortification originally known as Williamstown Central Battery was examined through the gun positions and buildings which still exist on the Fort Gellibrand site. This essay will attempt to establish the initial trace of the fortification in 1860-1865, and the first redevelopment trace which took […]
Understanding the purpose and development of any fortification requires its ‘trace’ to be established (the outline of the fortification at a particular development stage).