The Armstrong Cannons were originally placed at Fort Gellibrand, located at the southernmost tip of the Williamstown peninsula. The Fort was developed during the 1850s as part of a defensive system for the city and port of Melbourne. The importance of the Fort batteries declined from the 1890s, when they were effectively replaced by new facilities at Queenscliff and Point Nepean, but they were still used for gunnery practice.
Local residents, through the Williamstown Town Council, complained to the Acting Minister for Defence that the concussion from the guns damaged windows, walls and foundations of buildings. The Armstrong Cannons were moved from Fort Gellibrand to the Gardens in 1906.
A primary source of evidence of the cannons being in the Gardens.
The cannons are remembered fondly as play equipment for the local children. Many tales have been told of climbing over them and pretending to be shot out of them
A collection of seven black and white photographs documenting the removal of the cannons from the Gardens
Photo 1 (a) Black and white landscape image. View is looking through the main gates looking at the front of the truck, which has the name Walter Wright across the front bumper, the crane and canon. The gates and fence are painted a light colour, probably white.
Photo 2 (b) Black and white landscape image. Back of loader with cannon on it. Man standing on top of the cannon bending over either tying or untying ropes. Trunk of a palm tree is on the left side of the photo with a top of a palm tree in the background.
Photo 3 (c) Black and portrait white image. A cannon being loaded by the crane on to trailer. Palm tree is in the background and fronds from a palm tree can be seen in the right top corner.
Photo 4 (d) Black and white landscape image. Side on view of a cannon on the truck parked outside the grounds of the Gardens. The logo of the name of the trucking company is on the door of the truck above the words ‘WALTER H WRIGHT / TRANSPORT PTY LTD / S SCHULZ ST WEST MELB’. A second cannon can be seen in the background. A bus is in the background on the middle right side of the image.
Photo 5 (e) Black and white landscape image. Truck with cannon on the back leaving the ground of the Gardens. Tree on the right side of the image and power pole is behind the truck. The logo of the name of the trucking company is on the door of the truck above the words ‘WALTER H WRIGHT / TRANSPORT PTY LTD / S SCHULZ ST WEST MELB’. ‘WALTER WRIGHT’ is on the front bumper
Photo 6 (f) Black and white landscape image. Cannon tied down on the back of the truck as it is being driven across the street.
Three houses in the background and two cars, one is a Volkswagen
Photo 7 (g) Black and white landscape image. Cannon on the back of the truck which is parked over the street from the Gardens. Three houses are in the background. Two trees bare of leaves. The front of a car in in the foreground – it has a sun visor and the steering wheel is a light colour.