Ripapa (Fort Jervois) - Historic Reserve

Lyttelton Harbour
Lyttelton, Canterbury
The most impressive relic of 19th century efforts to protect Lyttelton is Fort Jervois on Ripapa Island. The island was the site of an early 19th century "musket pa" (a fortification constructed to protect the defenders against fire from muskets) built by a local chief, Taununu.

In the 1880s New Zealand was gripped by fears that Russian ships might attack New Zealand ports. Construction of a fort on Ripapa, by prison labour, began early in 1886. All traces of Taununu's pa were obliterated. The fort was named Jervois after the Governor of the day. Four Armstrong disappearing guns were in place by 1889. The fort was abandoned between 1925 and 1936, but was manned again during World War II.

Since 1990 the island has been an historic reserve.- JW




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  • Ripapa Island
    Ripapa Island
  • Ripapa Island
    Ripapa Island
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