Cape St George

I was at Cape St George lighthouse on 4th and 5th April 1987.

Cape St George Lighthouse at Dusk Nagaoka 5x4" field camera 4 April 1987 150mm Linhof Technika Symmar f11 60 seconds Fujichrome 50 (probably)

Cape St George Lighthouse at Dusk
Nagaoka 5×4″ field camera
4 April 1987
150mm Linhof Technika Symmar
f11 60 seconds
Fujichrome 50 (probably)

Prior to construction of the lighthouse, several ships had sunk nearby and the bay immediately to the south is called Wreck Bay.  The lighthouse opened in 1860 but the site was misconceived and as well as that they built it two kilometres away from the intended site as that was closer to the source of the stone.  The consequence of this was that it was visible to ships approaching from the South but not from the North.

The solution was to build another lighthouse on the opposite entrance to Jervis Bay at Point Perpendicular, which was commissioned in 1899, as we saw in the previous post.  Around two dozen ships went down on this part of the coast until the new lighthouse came into operation.

Cape-St-George-Tower-and-Wall_X

Cape St George Lighthouse from front
Nagaoka 5×4″ field camera
6.45am 4 April 1987
90mm Linhof Angulon
f32 1/2 second + Polariser
Fujichrome 50 (probably)

The Cape St George lighthouse was built in the style of the original Macquarie lighthouse and was originally 16 metres high.  Had it survived intact it may have been a contender for the most elegant lighthouse in Australia.  Unfortunately, it was deemed to be a navigational hazard to have two lighthouses so close together. Consequently the Australian Navy used it for target practice between 1917 and 1922.

There were two tragedies associated with this lighthouse.  In 1887, the daughter of the Head Keeper accidentally shot and killed the daughter of the Second Keeper.  Also, in 1895, the Head Keeper was swept from the rocks while fishing and drowned or was taken by sharks, leaving a family of eleven children.

Cape St George Lighthouse looking south Arca-Swiss 5x4" monorail camera 6:20am 5 April 1987 90mm Linhof Angulon f32 5 seconds Fujichrome 50 (probably)

Cape St George Lighthouse looking south
Arca-Swiss 5×4″ monorail camera
6:20am 5 April 1987
90mm Linhof Angulon
f32 5 seconds
Fujichrome 50 (probably)

In 1987, the site was completely open and you could walk will climb anywhere you like. This is no longer the case and there are wire fences around the lighthouse. One can well imagine this was necessary to protect it from vandalism, but it’s still a shame.

4 comments on “Cape St George

  1. […] Cape St George (NSW) […]

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  2. What an unusual idea, to build something where the stone is rather than where it is needed. Had we done that here, Rome would probably be up in the mountains somewhere…

    Another enjoyable post.

    Like

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