BUILDING THE FORT

An extract from Tasmainian Mail 7/6/1884

?The Kangaroo Bluff fort, to be completed in 3 or 4 months, will be another draw as well as a handsome and formidable addition to the defences of the port?

[EDITOR: The next part of article describes the measurements of the fort and is rather tedious to read so this has been omitted]

... The ditch outside and passages and chambers within, are excavated from the solid rock and faced with masonry. From the wing angles of the outer fort walls, caponiers [rifle ports?] project into the ditch, loopholed in 7 places, each side having slotted shield plates let in. The slots are just sufficiently wide for rifles to move freely.


The barque 'Lufra' unloading Armstrong guns at
Princes Wharf for the Bluff Fort 3rd November 1882.

An assaulting party attempting the fort would be enfiladed [shot] crossing the ditch or planting ladders to scale from these caponieres, which will be covered in shellproof and entered by passages from within. The parapet walls are coped in brick and pointed and in rear of them are banquettes [benches] for riflemen heightened and increased in width at side angles for field guns to be mounted. Ramps are in rear of these at the heads of which steps lead to the gun floor levels which are broad passages between solid stone walls lining the rock faces 8 or 10 feet below the ramparts.

There are landings at the foot of each set of steps from whence the blindages or casemented passages of the interior are entered. The ceilings, so to speak, of these cemented below rafters of railroad iron filled in above to the level with stone. At right angles with the gun floor levels, which conduct to the gun emplacements, the loading galleries extend which are arched with brick in addition to bomb-proofing, observed elsewhere and within which is the intricate machinery for loading. The magazines are approached through side passages from the galleries, which with lamp rooms and artillery stores adjoining, are bomb-proofed as described and additionally have merinos, or angular projections, standing out from the ramparts in front of them and finished above with filling scarped earthwork. A spacious parade is entered towards the rear from the ramparts, the length being about 60 ft and breadth the breadth of the fort within.

The armament is two 18? Armstrong rifled muzzle-loading pivot guns in the emplacements of the front angles revolving  on racers fitted in gutters cut in curbs of 8? blocks of Victorian stone and two 80pounder guns of similar construction in emplacements at the side angles. The curbs here are of local hard freestone. The flag-staff and a revolving shield above will complete the fort. From the latter to the different underground parts ? galleries, magazines etc. communications by means of speaking tubes is established. Drainage, light and ventilation are attended to.

The entrance to the works is by bridge across a ditch on the SE side, through massive shield gates. The big guns have a lateral range of 220 deg., ? Capt E. Tudor Boddam on behalf of the government, drew plans for the fort which are being carried out by the PWD??