History & Education

Fort Scratchley History

Fort Scratchley is situated on the eastern end of Newcastle on the site originally named Braithwaite’s Head by Lieutenant John Shortland. Convicts created Australia’s first coal mine here in 1801.

To protect the coastline in the event of an attack in 1828 an earthern battery named Fort Battlesticks was constructed, and the site, became known as Signal Hill.  Further fears of an enemy attack saw a permanent facility completed and it was renamed Fort Scratchley after Lieutenant Peter Scratchley who was responsible for planning the permanent facility.