Fort Takapuna

Words by Ange Bevan

Photos by Cass Power

Known as the ‘Russian Scare Fort’, Fort Takapuna, designed by Major Tudor-Boddam of the Royal Engineers,was built as part of the network of defensive forts that was established in the late 1800s to defend Auckland from a feared Russian invasion. Features include twin six inch disappearing guns, an underground maganews, barracks, observation posts, and engine room and searchlights.

On the floors of the tunnels you can still see the railway tracks on which the ammunition trolleys ran. In the middle of the underground section there is a well which provided water for the fort. Outside ,a barracks was built to house the soldiers. This is the brick building with the castellated roof. By 1922 the fort’s armament was obsolete and the guns were removed from the gun pits and left outside until they were taken by a scrap merchant in 1959.

The fort is below ground level as it was originally surrounded by a dry moat. Most of the fort was filled in 100 years ago, but part of the fort remains and can be explored.

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