Macquarie Watchtower, La Perouse

Randwick & District Historical Society Inc.
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Macquarie Watchtower December 18 2010

Macquarie Watchtower, December 18, 2010 on completion of restoration project

    Brief Chronology
  • c1822 octagonal stone tower, often known as Macquarie Watchtower, built. Troops Stationed at the site
  • 1826 Troops withdrawn; tower falls into disrepair
  • 1827 Patrick Lally installed at Watchman
  • 1831 Customs Department acquires tower as a Customs Station
  • 1831-1833 Repairs to tower with construction of skillion shed, boatman’s hut and privy
  • Circa 1864 - Construction of a conical peaked roof on Tower replacing former flat roof
  • 1868 Room in Tower dedicated as a schoolhouse
  • 1873 Purpose built weatherboard schoolhouse constructed near the Tower
  • 1901 Federation
  • 1903 Customs Station transferred to NSW Government
  • 1904 Customs operation ceases; management transferred to Department of Internal Affairs
  • Tower houses a series of tenants and caretakers until 1957
  • 1950 Tower site reserved and placed under the care of the La Perouse Monuments Trust
  • 1957 (October 1st) Fire destroys much of the Tower and causes death of caretakers' wife Mrs Mary Donnelly
  • c.1960 Trust removes most of the fabric at the Tower leaving only the stone façade
  • 1961 Restoration undertaken by the Department of Lands including a reinforced concrete slab roof with a hanging beam, stone replacements and repointing with cement mortars and concrete slab floor. New crenulated turret (battlement) added; windows in-filled with stone
  • 1967 – Management of site by National Parks and Wildlife Service
  • 2010 – Major refurbishment completed includes installation of glass windows on upper level