Mariners Cottages

42 Napoleon Street, Battery Point


Built: 1839

The Mariners Cottages have a long connection with Tasmanian shipbuilding and are believed to be the oldest remaining buildings on the site of the ship building yards in Napoleon Street, Battery Point. The Cottages are constructed of painted brick: English bond, three bricks thick, with lath and plaster inside. The internal walls are timber, with random-width tongue and groove boards. The ceilings are the same and inside the roof are the battens to which shingles were once attached.

The cottages were built on a portion of the 90 acres of land originally granted to William Sorell, third Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen’s Land. In 1839, shipbuilder John Watson leased the site on which the Cottages stand from James Kelly, Master Mariner of Hobart town. Watson set up his business on the site and among the ships he built were the famous ‘Flying Squadron’ – Flying Squirrel, Flying Fish, Flying Childers (the ship on the crest of the Hobart City Council) and Flying Fox. He eventually purchased the site from Kelly in 1843 and the conveyance documents mention ‘land and buildings’ – it is believed that Watson may have already built the lower cottage before purchasing the site. It is presumed that Watson used the lower cottage to store timber and other articles for shipbuilding. Nearby were a blacksmith’s shop and carpenter’s shop.

This open has been facilitated with the assistance of TasPorts and the Wooden Boat Guild of Tasmania.

Tours:  Saturday 11 November 2023 10 am, 10:45* am, 11:30 am, 12:15 pm, 1 pm, 1:45 pm and 2:30 pm

Duration: 15 minutes


*  On Saturday, 11 November, Open House Hobart ask everyone to observe a minute silence at 11 am for Remembrance Day.


Battery Point



Building Types

Intact Interior


Architectural Period

Pre-separation Colonial (1836-1850)



History of Hobart


Level Changes

Uneven Surfaces

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