Fort Scratchley Historic Site open 6 days a week...10am to 4pm...closed Tuesdays ...Free Entry to site ... paid guided tours of tunnels available at 10.30, 11.30, 1.05, 1.40...last tour 2.30pm...3.45pm LAST gate entry

2001 - 2015

2001 - On the 1st of October, the restored 80 pdr RML gun, (circa UK 1850) was fired for the first time in over 100 years to mark Australia's Centenary of Federation.

 

2002 - Dedication of Fort Scratchley to the serving and ex service men and women of Australia by the The Prime Minister, The Honourable John Howard, MP.

 

2004 - Fort Scratchley had been open to the public for some years. This included access to the tunnels. It was closed to the public for restoration by the Commonwealth Government in April when a grant of $5.6 million had been made for restoration works. The Maritime Museum that had been located within Fort Scratchley for some years was relocated to the Honeysuckle area.

 

2005 - 6 inch Mark VII BL guns were fired for special events such as the Queen’s Birthday, Australia Day, Mattara Festival, Anzac Day, Reserve Forces Day and other occasions such as a welcome to passenger cruise vessels entering Newcastle Harbour.

 

2013 - The Time Gun (image right) has been reinstated courtesy of the sponsorship of Newcastle Port Corp and is now fired at 1pm every day excluding Tuesday in conjunction with the raising and lowering of the Time Ball on the Customs House clock tower. The workshop crew have done a masterful full working restoration of one of the shell lift assemblies in the tunnels.

 

2014 - The Museum Staff have opened Room 8 as a display space for ongoing exhibitions of Fort related memorabilia. The Fort's Nordenfelt 1.5 inch gun has been withdrawn from exhibition to undergo a full restoration to firing condition and is expected to return before the end of this year. A grant has been received for the restoration to working condition of the 80 pounder in the western barbette. This event will equip the Fort with seven working guns.

Another restoration was the successful test firing of the Fort's WW2 era 25 pounder Field Gun, which now joins the Fort's arsenal of working guns. History show TV presenter Sir Tony Robinson (video)  visited the Fort again in April to produce a segment for his TV show "Tour of Duty"  shown in 2015.

 

2015 - The Fort's sole Nordenfelt gun was returned to fully functional condition and is fired on special occasions from its position in the underground casemate.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

2 pounder Time Gun

The submarine attack on Newcastle Harbour occurred at 2.17am on June 8 1942. Official records state that 26 shells and 8 star shells were fired at Newcastle, while Fort Scratchley returned a total of 4 shells.

 

On the night of the attack  Fort Scratchley Officers were forced to use a small search light to illuminate the enemy as the larger, more powerful search light had recently been replaced. It is widely believed that this caused a hindrance to the Officers’ ability to target the enemy.

 

The majority of the damage from the submarine attack was incurred at Parnell Place and the only reported injury was to off duty Fort Scratchley Officer Stanley Newton, who sustained a laceration to his face.

 

The Fort's searchight in action

FORT SCRATCHLEY OPENING HOURS

 

The Fort is open 6 days a week, (closed Tuesday) from 10am to 4pm.

Admission and self guided tours (excluding tunnels) of the Fort is free.

Society’s Office

Ph: (02) 4929 3066

 

MOBILE PHONE

Self guided Fort Tour