Colonial Naval Guns

Maryborough, Fraser Coast Area

Visit Queen’s Park and marvel at the nineteenth century gun technology, including an early version of a machine gun. You may have noticed there is an empty concrete plinth next to the naval guns. What was it for? To tell the story they need to go all the way back to 1866 and Maryborough’s first timepiece. It was not a clock, but rather a large, heavy ball that was dropped once a day at noon. Dissatisfied with the time ball, Maryborough residents wanted a cannon instead. The Queensland Government obliged, presenting a cannon to Maryborough in 1877.

The cannon had been discovered in sand on an island in the Torres Strait, north of Queensland. It is believed to have come from an unknown Dutch East Indies ship! The cannon was restored and fired for the first time in 1878. The cannon ceased to be used to tell the time in the early 1890s and it was moved to Queen’s Park. By the 1950s Council feared it would be stolen and it was eventually removed. A replica was made and it is now fired every Thursday on Market Day in Maryborough.

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