Location: south of Hobart city centre.
Retaining the character of a Cornish fishing village of the last century, the inner Hobart suburb of Battery Point began life as a home for mariners who worked out of Hobart Town. It is still mainly a residential area, with many historic homes and shops, some which are open for inspection as folk museums and art galleries.
At the heart of Battery Point is Arthurs Circus, a ring of old cottages circling a old village green. It was one of the earliest sub-divisions in Australia, the land having been established by then Governor George Arthur in dubious circumstances in 1829. 18 years later the land was subdivided and the blocks were sold. Auction advertisements described "delectable building sites in a neighbourhood that will inevitably become The Resort of the Beau Monde" for officers of the town and harbour garrison. Most of the quaint privately owned Georgian cottages of Arthur's Circus were built in the 1840s and 1850s, and all have been carefully restored. A visit to Arthur's Circus is truly to step back in time.
The area of Battery Point has a long history. Although the current site was settled in 1804, it was not until 1811 that land grants were given to free settlers. Those grants were used by the first settlers for farming. By 1814 several farms were located in the area. In 1818 a battery of guns, called the Mulgrave Battery, were placed on the southern side of the point as part of the coastal defenses on the deep water port established at Hobart Town. Although the outpost was originally established as a penal colony and defensive outpost, by the 1820's the area had began to have free settlers arrive or establish themselves on farms around Hobart Town. One of the major infusions of wealth into the colony was that the Royal Navy made Hobart Town an important Pacific base. The Navy shipped timber, flax, and rum from the port.
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A large residence on the high side of Hampden Road which offers views across the Derwent River, it was once the home of Andrew Inglis Clarke, one of the authors of the Australian Constitution. It is a two storey townhouse with hipped roof, shallow boxed eaves and symmetrical facade. There are arched windows on the upper level and moulded architraves around the front windows and doorway. There is a fanlight above the front door. 11 Hampden Road, Battery Point.
One of a number of fairy-tale cottages in one of Australia's most unique streets. Built around a grassed area in 1843, Arthur's Circus was the brainchild of Tasmanian Governor George Arthur who built the street and its unique cottages in 1843 to house retirees of the day who could not afford their own homes. No two cottage were alike and many feature dormer windows which let light into their attic bedrooms. Arthur's Circus, Battery Point
One of the finest examples of a double storey Colonial Georgian mansion in Australia, it was designed by Edward Winch for Capt. Andrew Haig, a master mariner who owned a warehouse on Salamanca Place. It is a brick building with a stone facade and features a shallow fanlight window above the entrance door. The building is meticulously proportioned and scaled. Narrynais today an historic gallery. 103 Hampden Road, Battery Point
Imposing double storey Italianate style mansion, built by shipowner and merchant Alexander Mcgregor in the 1870s. Erected in several stages, it is a good example of elaborately detailed high Victorian residential architecture. Its design features richly modelled facade with bay windows, two storey colonnaded verandah, balustraded parapet, elaborate bracketing to the cornice. The slate roof has round head dormers with elaborate bracketing and bracketed cornice to chimneys. 20 Runnymede Street, Battery Point
An architectural landmark in Hobart, Kelly's Steps connect the suburb of Battery Point to Salamanca Place. The staps recall James Kelly, who constructed the steps in 1839. At the time, Battery Point was on a cliff that overlooked wharfs of Sullivans Cove. The steps were cut into the stone of the cliffs. The warehouses that lined the wharfs on what is now Salamanca Place were built with stone quarried from the cliffs. The steps lead up to Kelly Street, Battery Point.
Kelly, a mariner, explorer and port official, was born in 1791 at Parramatta, New South Wales. He was probably the son of James Kelly, a cook in the convict transport Queen, and Catherine Devereaux, a convict transported for life from Dublin in the same ship. Kelly was first apprenticed as a seaman in 1804 and sailed in vessels engaged in the sealing and sandalwood trades as well as making a voyage to India. In 1812 he was chief officer of the full-rigged ship Campbell Macquarie on a sealing voyage when the ship was wrecked on Macquarie Island. He became the first Australian-born master mariner with voyages in the sealing industry and general trade between Hobart and Sydney. In December 1815 Kelly left Hobart in command of an expedition to circumnavigate Tasmania using the whaleboat Elizabeth . The party made the official discovery of Port Davey on the south west coast, and on 28 December of Macquarie Harbour on the central west coast.
In May 1819 Governor Macquarie confirmed Kelly's appointment as pilot and harbourmaster at the Derwent River. In December 1821 as master of the Sophia he assisted in transporting convicts to the newly established penal station at Macquarie Harbour, and in 1825 he helped to set up the secondary penal station on Maria Island. Business interests, mostly in whaling, banking and insurance, saw him resign from Government service in the late 1820s. He was financially ruined by the economic depression of the early 1840s and spent most of the remainder of his life back in the employ of the port authorities. He died suddenly in Hobart on 20 April 1859. Kelly's name is perpetuated by a number of geographical features including Kelly's Steps in Battery Point, Hobart, Kelly Basin at Macquarie Harbour, Kelly Island off Forestier Peninsula and Kelly Point on Bruny Island (later renamed Dennes Point).
This walk takes us up laneways, past old seafarers cottages and through an historic precinct in which the outside of the buildings and the streetscape is largely unchanged since it was built in the 1800s and early 1900s.