Frequently Asked Questions
Has there ever been a battle here? Did the Fortís guns ever fire?
The HISTORY page discusses the shots fired from
While the coastal artillery guns at
In February 1942 the Japanese submarine 1-25 launched its seaplane in
In the early morning of 1 September 1942 a sentry at the Crows Nest Battery at Queenscliff, Gunner Hulston, was discovered missing from his post. Marks on the ground indicated a heavy object had been dragged along the beach. During the search for Gunner Hulston, two soldiers were fired upon with one being wounded in the thigh. On 10 September Gunner Hulston's body was found in the sea off Queenscliff.
What happened at the Fort or near it during World War I & World War II?
In July 1917 the German commerce raider Wolf laid two minefields in
In early October 1940 the German commerce raid Pinguin (Penguin) captured the Norwegian tanker Storstad off the northwest coast of
Throughout 1942 and 1943 Japanese submarines operated in
In late 1944 the German submarine U862 operated in the western approaches to
How many soldiers manned the fort?
A fortress engineer company that operated the searchlights and the minefields and a garrison artillery battery that operated the guns manned
When was the fort built?
The first temporary earthworks were built in 1861. The first permanent battery position (the "Brick Battery") was built in 1863-69. The upper and lower batteries were built in 1879-85, the walls in 1882-83, the Keep in 1883-85 and the gorge in 1885-86.
What is the basis for the colour scheme used on the historic buildings?
The International Convention on Monuments and Statues (ICCMOS) lays down guidelines for the restoration of historic structures. The guidelines are that an historic building should be restored as closely as possible to the most important era for that building. The era chosen for the fort is the early 1880s when most of the fort was constructed. The colours are those used in the early 1880s.
Why is the fort's site known as Shortland Bluff?
The bluff (or headland) is named after Lieutenant Shortland of HMS Rattlesnake who first landed here when surveying Port Phillip in 1836.
What are the guns in the park at the front of the fort?
The gun on the right, as you face the fort, is a nine-inch rifled muzzle loader. These guns were emplaced at the fort from 1879 to 1891. It fired a 116 kilogram, or 256 pound, projectile to a maximum range of 6,030 metres, or 6,600 yards. The gun on the left is an eight-inch breech loader originally emplaced at the Crows Nest Battery. It fired an 82 kilogram, or 180 pound, projectile to a maximum range of 8,000 metres, or 8700 yards.
What is the name of the pink flowering trees throughout the fort?
They are Norfolk Island Hibiscus or Lagunaria patersonia.
For more information visit the HISTORY page