Last Defence - Cockatoo Island - The HDR Series , Sydney Harbour

Philip Johnson

Newport Beach, Australia

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This is the remains of the Guard House of the convict precinct of Cockatoo Island it was designed with a cliff at the rear, solid Cockatoo Island sandstone walls where the soldiers could retreat to if the convict rioted. If your enlarege it as suggested you may notice hoods still remaining where they hung their jackets and weapons, also there are numerous Rifle holes in the wall each one numbered with roman numerals

Cockatoo Island is listed under the National Trust and has been returned tto the people not the developers ! It is now a very interesting tourist destination on Sydney Harbour, there is even camping on the island.

The history of Cockatoo Island is emblematic of Australia’s history. Before the arrival of Europeans, it was undoubtedly used by the first Australians, the Aboriginal tribes of Sydney’s coastal region. In 1839 it was chosen as the site of a new penal establishment by the Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Sir George Gipps.

Convicts were put to work building prison barracks, a military guardhouse and official residences. Not long after, the maritime history of Cockatoo Island began with the construction of the Fitzroy Dock by convicts.

For the next 50 years the island was both a place of incarceration and the site of the colony’s ship repair and shipbuilding activities. During the twentieth century maritime activity grew, notably during World War I and World War II. For a time, Cockatoo Island was the largest shipbuilding yard in Australia.

When the shipyard closed in 1992, Cockatoo Island lay dormant for a decade until the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust was established and given the responsibility of revitalising this significant site. The Trust is rehabilitating the island and creating one of the most unusual places to visit in the city.

See More From the Cockatoo Island Series
Cockatoo Island Series

Artwork Comments

  • lightsmith
  • Umbra101
  • Philip Johnson
  • Trevor Fellows
  • Philip Johnson
  • Dave Law
  • Floralynne
  • Philip Johnson
  • Tom Gomez
  • emmmee
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