Time to hoist up the flags again at Battery Hill

ONE of most historically important and interesting pieces of the Battery Hill precinct is the flagstaff.

The area was originally called Flagstaff Hill, where the flagstaff was in place by 1856. 

It was erected to direct ships as they were coming in to or passing through the Port Fairy bay. 

Different coloured and shaped flags communicated warnings or weather conditions to ship crews.

The flagstaff was moved from Battery Hill not long after the cannons arrived as it was thought the fluttering flags would betray the location of the cannons to potential enemies. 

The flagstaff was moved to Griffiths Island where it stayed for about 30 years until returning to Battery Hill in 1920.

A small hut once surrounded the flagstaff but that was demolished in the late 1960s.

“I would love to see the restoration of the flagstaff included in Battery Hill improvement plans,” historian Marten Syme said. 

“It was once a very important and practical part of the area and it could be a really colourful and lively feature if it was to have some love put into it.

“Who knows? The old hut around it could be rebuilt. 

That would be a very interesting addition,” he said.

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