In 1818, the first of a series of defensive installations, the Mulgrave Battery, was constructed on the site of the present Castray Esplanade. The commander of the Royal Engineers, Major Roger Kelsall proposed an ambitious plan for the defence of the harbour with heavily armed batteries at Macquarie Point, Battery Point and on the eastern shore of the river. Work on the hillside above the old Mulgrave Battery, began in 1840 using convict labour. Early the following year the guns were mounted and the battery named after the new Prince of Wales. Despite these new defences, the faulty position of the Prince of Wales Battery was obvious. In 1854 at the height of the Crimean War alert, a third battery – the Albert Battery – was built behind the Prince of Wales. By the 1870s, the defences of the port were again under scrutiny. Both the Prince of Wales and Albert Batteries were heavily criticised for their location and inability to protect the town. By 1878 both batteries were condemned, and were dismantled by 1880. The following year the reserve was offered to the Hobart City Council for public recreation uses, formally opening in 1882. The site, particularly the tunnels and magazines, became a favourite haunt with local children. The magazine was also a regular haven for men who met there to drink and play cards until its closure in 1934.
Address: Castray Esp, Battery Point
Open: 10am–1pm, Saturday 5 November
Highlights: Heritage listed, subterranean magazine
Tours: 10am, 11am & 12pm. Bookings not required
Building specs: Type: Magazine, Built: Unknown, Architect: Unknown