Tag Archives: Regatta Grounds

Queens Battery

One of the great things about my walk along the Derwent River is that I find sites I did not know existed and I also discover new information. The location of the Queens Battery under the current site of the Cenotaph and Regatta Grounds within the broader area of the Queens Domain is one such item.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery have created a short video which uses photographs from its historic collection. See www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVEGkgDZMMg

From my time in an earlier stage of the walk, at the Kangaroo Bluff Fort at Bellerive, I knew that Hobart established a series of defensive posts along the Derwent River. Built in the 19th century by the British colonials who settled here, these defence services were designed to counteract their worries about protecting trading ships and then later concerns that Russian forces might invade (I ask you – really? At the other end of the earth!!!! Was this ever likely?).

Wikipedia informs me that … between 1804 and 1942 there were 12 permanent defensive positions constructed in the Hobart region. The start of construction of the Queen’s Battery began in 1838, named in honour of HRH Queen Victoria who was on the throne at the time of the fort’s construction. This was expected to be the grandest of forts and prominently overlook the entrance to Sullivans Cove; however the full plans were never developed. The battery was delayed by funding problems, and  not completed until 1864. The Queens Battery remained in operation until the 1920s. The excavation of the site in 1992 revealed the hot shot oven and the metal parts for rolling the shot were preserved. The oven and archaeological trenches were filled in at the request of the RSL (Returned Services League). The cannon was never fired in anger.”

Location: https://www.google.com.au/maps/vt/data=U4aSnIyhBFNIJ3A8fCzUmaVIwyWq6RtIfB4QKiGq_w,RxhryNB7L5JOppJVjT-1-R9cFyBVxNXF90HhgNOerRCLFKA0zhnI73KC6M5MNa5q95GGnBSCATceYGtWfCO0Xbhedz4BfgEB94Q8t3utHEcf2IzasqMYwzgOJWcTExF5GUO4ledjJPLwKg

Hobart’s Regatta Grounds and Cenotaph; missing Macquarie Point but reaching Hobart’s Sullivans Cove.

Leaving the navy depot on the edge of the Derwent River, I realised the distance to Hunter St and the beginning of Sullivans Cove in Hobart was not far.  That seemed like a perfect finishing destination for Stage 10 of my walk along the Derwent River, so onwards I plodded.

The ex-navy depot sits immediately next to the Regatta Grounds so I reached the Regatta Stand, set up for the annual audiences, very quickly – by 4.10pm.

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Hobart’s Regatta has a long history.  According to http://www.soldierswalk.org.au/walk_domain.html , “The Hobart Regatta is the nation’s second oldest and commenced in 1838 and has been staged every year since, bar two. A grandstand was built in 1877 and replaced by the John Colvin Stand in 1919-20.”  History and photos (including some of Queen Elizabeth visiting) can be seen at http://www.royalhobartregatta.com/History.html.

The day had become bleak and windswept. The area was empty of people and movement. Nevertheless, I continued walking along the dismal disused railway line and passed empty wood chopping competition blocks.

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Eventually I was stopped from walking to Macquarie Point on the Derwent River by a high fence with locked gates.  I did my best to continue walking around and as far as I could. But it was useless to think I could get much closer to the Point.  It simply was not accessible to walkers like me.

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I clambered up a weedy section and eventually climbed over a lower fence until I was standing on the lower grounds of the Cenotaph, a monument commemorating the men and women who have died in various wars. This is a significant site in Hobart on our nationally celebrated ANZAC Day each April 25th. As I began to leave, the time was 4.18pm.

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I walked around the Cenotaph,

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down an avenue onto the Highway opposite the Aquatic Centre, then turned left and continued until I reached the Grand Chancellor Hotel, which sits opposite the end of Hunter St, at 4.38pm.  A bus stop was nearby and within moments I was on a bus travelling back to the eastern shore to my home in Bellerive.  I felt like I was glowing from the achievement of having covered so much territory and history during this Stage 10 of my walk along the Derwent River. It had been a marvellous day!

The Queens Domain

Hobart’s Queens Domain includes the land encompassing the Botanical Gardens, Government House, the old navy depot, the Regatta Grounds, the Cenotaph and much more.  The Hobart City Council commissioned a Master Plan for the maintenance and development of the social and cultural heritage of this area and it can be accessed at: www.hobartcity.com.au/Recreation/Queens_Domain. A wonderful swag of images of many parts of the Domain can be viewed from this same site.  Simply read down the menu of options and then click on photos of the Domain.