The Richmond Park Cannons are located adjacent to the War Memorial in Richmond Park, East Market Street, Richmond, New South Wales.
One of the cannons in Richmond Park adjacent to the War Memorial. Cathy McHardy 2013
In 1903 the Australian federal government offered obsolete military hardware to regional councils such as Richmond Borough Council for commemorative purposes. In 1905 council decided to accept the cannons and to place them on either side of the timber grandstand overlooking the cricket oval known as The Pavilion. A plaque was to be attached to each explaining the significance as a memorial to soldiers who died in the Boer War in South Africa. More than £10 had been collected to provide funding for the transport and installation of the cannons in the park. When the work was completed, The* Windsor and Richmond Gazette* published a mayoral minute on the 11 March 1905 detailing the costs incurred.
Excerpt from the Windsor and Richmond Gazette, 11 March 1905, page 6, Richmond Borough Council
By 1933 the community had long forgotten the origin of the mounted cannons and they were deemed by council to be of ‘no sentimental value to the town as they had come from Wollongong’. The decision was made to remove the brass plaques and bury the cannons where they lay due to the deterioration of the timber carriages which supported the heavy iron objects. The fate of the plaques is unknown.
Councillor Dr Rex Stubbs and local identity Alex Hendrikson showing off one of the newly discovered cannons in Richmond Park. From the Hawkesbury Gazette 27 February 1985
They were manufactured in 1855 by Low Moor Iron Company in Bradford Yorkshire, England and were once located in Sydney as part of the harbour defences before being removed to Wollongong in 1884. Then in the mid 1970s, well-known Hawkesbury identity and antique dealer Alex Hendrikson became firmly convinced that somewhere in Richmond Park two cannons had been buried for unknown reasons over 50 years ago. After several fruitless searches Hendrikson enlisted the support of Richmond local Henry Gascoigne and Eric Ridgeway of Wilberforce who commenced a survey of the site using a metal detector.
Potential sites were identified and excavation commenced with the assistance of Hawkesbury City Council. Finally both of the cannons were unearthed in February 1985. They were restored by No 2 Aircraft Depot RAAF Base Richmond and presented to council in 1988 and placed in their current positions on either side of the War Memorial on the East Market Street side of Richmond Park.
Read more about the history of the Richmond Park Cannons Oct 2021.pdf
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