Today I am going to tell you a little bit about The Shot Tower, we visited this place while in Tassie but on the day we went there it was closed, naturally.
Anyway the Shot Tower is on the Channel Highway about 11.26 kilometres from Hobart, it is one of the states most historical industrial buildings. It was completed in 1870 by Joseph Moir, the tower is the only circular stone shot tower in the southern hemisphere.
It is said that the tower was completed in eight months but realistic it would have been more like eight years he then had to discover how the secrets of shot making. He made his first shot in September 1870.
It was no doubt with some pride that Joseph Moir himself inscribed the keystone over the Tower entrance which records his achievement and reads.
“This Shot Tower was built by the proprietor, Joseph Moir in the year 1870, in its erection he acted as Engineer, Architect, Carpenter and Overseer. With merely the assistance of two masons it was completed in eight months, when the secrets of shot making had to be discovered. After many persevering efforts the first shot was dropped on the 8th September 1870”
The Shot Tower is 48 metres high, has a 6.37metres diameter base and is 3.81 metres at the top. The walls are .86metres thick at the base decreasing to .52 metres at the top. The staircase within the tower was the original scaffold and is made up of 31 landings and 287 steps. The small unglazed openings spaced at intervals in the tower walls give natural lighting to the stairways, the openings were originally glazed during the erection of the tower.
Tim would have liked to be able to climb to the top of the tower but as I said the day we visited it was closed.
On the 8th August 1956 the Tower, Tower House and just over 3.23 hectares was acquired by the Crown and gazetted as a Historical Site. On the top floor of the factory building a museum area was set up with photographs, information panels and short video describing the shot making process. The museum was open when we were there and we had a look around it but the tower itself was closed. There is also a tea room located at the area which also was closed on the day we were there.