Fort Lytton National Park

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Fort Lytton is a heritage-listed national park located Lytton, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) northeast of the Brisbane CBD. It is located near the mouth of the Brisbane River on the southern bank. Fort Lytton is an important historical site. It is a pentagonal fortress hidden behind a moat and grassy embankments. It is the only fort in Australia with a moat.

Fort Lytton National Park, Australia
Fort Lytton National Park, Australia

Fort Lytton is the birthplace of Queensland's military history. Built in 1880-81 to protect Brisbane from an enemy, martime attack, the Fort is the principal remaining landmark of a reserve that for 40 years was the focus of Queensland's defence activity. It was designed by Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Scratchley. The fort was used for defensive purposes in Brisbane until the end of the Second World War.

Fort Lytton National Park, Australia
Fort Lytton National Park, Australia

Fort Lytton was established in response to the fear of a Russian invasion in the 1870s and 1880s. To guard the river 'two six-inch muzzle loading rifled guns and two 64-pounder cannons' were installed and heavier guns were 'to face the river and sweep the foreshore'. Barracks were established for the permanent garrison and the soldiers who came to train there. Fort Lytton was maintained for many years as a defence force and thousands of soldiers trained there during the Boer War and two World Wars.

Fort Lytton National Park, Australia
Fort Lytton National Park, Australia

The Fort is a typical nineteenth century garrison - a pentagonal fortress concealed behind grassy embankments -surrounded for greater protection by a water-filled moat. Located near the mouth of the Brisbane River, it was designed to support the controlled river mines and counter any determined effort by enemy ships to attack the Port of Brisbane and hold the city to ransom.

Fort Lytton National Park, Australia
Fort Lytton National Park, Australia

The Australian colonies were part of the British Empire, which had made many enemies by the nineteenth century, when colonial powers were rapidly expanding their empires. At the time the Fort was built, Brisbane had fewer than 100,000 people, with an annual trade worth more than four million pounds. Brisbane was more vulnerable to naval attack than Sydney or Melbourne as it was just three days' sail from the French naval garrison at Noumea.

Fort Lytton National Park, Australia
Fort Lytton National Park, Australia

Local defences were essential as Moreton Bay had numerous island on which the enemy could establish a base. Based on the recommendations of the illustrious British soldiers and military tacticians Colonel Sir William Jervois and Scratchley, Queensland opted to rely heavily on Fort Lytton as a fixed defence position for its capital and wealthiest port, Brisbane.

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