Macquarie Watchtower, La Perouse

Randwick & District Historical Society Inc.
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Bare Island, La Perouse
Bare Island, La Perouse (in the distance, looking South-West)

Bare Island, La Perouse

Bare Island

Old Cable Station now La Perouse Museum

Old Cable Stations, now the home of the La Perouse Museum

La Perouse Monument
La Perouse Monument

La Perouse
Jean-François de Galoup,
Comte de Lapérouse

Father Pere Receveur's Tomb

Father Pere Receveur's Tomb

Other Nearby Historical Sites

Bare Island Fort: Fear of Russian attack led to British military experts Major General Sir William Jervois and Lt. Colonel Sir Robert Scratchley in 1877 to recommend the fortification of Bare Island.

The fort, which included five gun emplacements connected by bomb-proof passages, was completed in 1885. Barracks were completed in 1889. An 1890 Royal Commission found that inferior concrete was used to construct the fort undermining its defensive strength. By 1902 Bare Island Fort was redundant and its guns had never been fired in anger.

War veterans resided in the barracks (except during the World Wars) from 1912 to 1963.

Randwick and District Historical Society took up caretaker occupancy in 1963 and established a Museum in the barracks. In 1967 the Island was declared an historic site and placed under the control of the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The Society vacated the building in 1976.

It is now part of the Botany Bay National Park administered by the National Parks and Wildlife service.

Cable Station: The Cable Station was completed in 1882. Designed by Colonial Architect James Barnett, the building was used for telecommunications, training and accommodation until 1917. When the company moved the cable landing site to Bondi Beach and closed the La Perouse Cable Station the building became nurses’ accommodation for the Coast Hospital. From 1944 to 1987 it was used a women’s refuge run by the Salvation Army. The building was refurbished to house the Lapérouse Museum which opened in 1988.

La Perouse Monument: The La Perouse Monument marks the arrival of the French Expedition led by Jean-François de Galoup, Comte de Lapérouse (1741-1788) which entered Botany Bay and landed at Frenchmans Bay on 26th January 1788, just after the First Fleet had departed for Port Jackson.

The expedition consisted of two ships: the Astrolabe and the Boussole. After a stay of six weeks, it sailed on 10th March 1788 and was not heard of again. It was not until 1828 that and expedition by Dumont d'Urville ascertained that the La Pérouse expedition was wrecked at Vanikoro, Santa Cruz, north of the New Hebrides.

In August 1825 Baron de Bougainville’s expedition visited the site of Lapérouse’s encampment and proposed that a permanent monument be erected to mark the site.

Father Pere Receveur's Tomb: Erected in 1829 to commemorate the death of Pere Claude Francois Joseph Receveur, a Franciscan Priest, who was a chaplain and a scientist with the La Perouse expedition.

Receveur arrived at Botany Bay with serious injuries sustained in fighting in the Samoan Islands which may have contributed to his death and he died on 17th February 1788 at the age of 31. He was buried on this spot.

The gravesite has been repaired on numerous occasions. An iron railing was added in 1876, and replaced in 1909. In 1930, the bronze cross replaced the original iron cross.