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About Fort Scratchley
Fort Scratchley, a historic coastal fortress located in Newcastle East, Australia, provides an intriguing glimpse into the country’s military past. A former defence installation built nearly 140 years ago to protect against a potential Russian attack remained dormant until WWII, when its guns were used during one of only four wartime attacks on Australian soil. After being decommissioned by the Army in 1972 and standing watch for almost nine decades over Newcastle’s shoreline landscape – this iconic site has been transformed into a museum highlighting unique insights from Australia’s colourful history.
Fort Scratchley has a rich and remarkable history associated with the city of Newcastle. The Aboriginals capitalized on its prominent lookout position as well as coal-lined area long before anyone else had access to it. Later in 1977, this headland came under Council’s control, providing an opportunity for maintaining its heritage through the installation of a regional Maritime Museum followed by Military Museum/Fort Scratchley Historical Society 1982. This site also became part recreational space, offering picnic benches and playgrounds for local folks and visitors alike over time. Guided tours were eventually opened up within the inner fort giving people full access to experience all that is hidden inside this historical relic from times gone past!
What to do at Fort Scratchley
Witness a part of early Australian history when you visit the historic Fort Scratchley in Newcastle. Discover the site’s 200-year journey from its origins as ‘Braithwaite’s Head’ to today, where it stands tall, overlooking one of Australia’s most impressive riverfront scenes. Explore an underground coal mine dug by convicts back in 1801 and marvel at how this transformed into an earthen battery named ‘Fort Battlesticks’. Finally renamed after Lieutenant Peter Scratchley, who developed plans for a permanent facility onsite, come witness firsthand why Fort Scratchley is now known as such an iconic landmark!
Visit Fort Scratchley and enjoy a complimentary educational journey through its remarkable history. Explore five carefully curated Museum Rooms hosted by members of the historic site’s own Historical Society; learn about the pre-Fort occupation by Indigenous Australians, pioneering 19th-century coal mining activities, WW1 contributions from Novocastrians, plus much more. Uncover an invaluable chapter in Australia’s story at no cost!
One local company in Newcastle that is involved in this tourist attraction;