Observations

Is this Australia’s second oldest bomb-proof?

Have we discovered the bomb-proof?

With construction dating back to 1804, Fort Phillip is certainly one of the oldest structures in Australia. Now thanks to the NSW Department of Commerce and the Powerhouse Museum, extensive archaeology has revealed the first hint of the long suspected bomb-proof!

The bomb-proof hidden deep under the former south-eastern wall of the fort which was demolished in 1856 for the construction of Sydney Observatory in 1858, may be the second oldest powder and storage facility still to exist in Australia. The oldest is part of Dawes Point battery just a few hundred metres away.

Looking carefully at the following image recently uncovered by the NSW Department of Commerce the entry to the bomb-proof can be seen to the left of the shed. The image is courtesy of the State Library and was drawn by George William Evans, 1780-1852. It was bequeathed by Sir William Dixson in 1952 and can be found as part of panorama on the State Library website at http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au with a call number of DL PXX 62.

Drawing showing the bomb-proof by George William Evans, 1780-1852, courtesy of the State Library

What will be found in the bomb-proof once excavated? Find out this Friday 17th October 2008 at 10am, admission is free when Sydney Observatory will give the public a chance to meet with Caitlin Allen Conservation Archaeologist , Heritage specialist NSW Government Architect’s Office and Tony Lowe, archaeologist with Casey & Lowe Pty Ltd for a discussion and tour of this fantastic discovery.

Photographs of excavation showing walls and possible bomb-proof site

Photographs of excavation showing walls and possible bomb-proof site

Photographs of excavation showing walls and possible bomb-proof site

Photographs of excavation showing walls and possible bomb-proof site

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