Garden Island & Naval Museum, Sydney

4.3
#8 of 19 in Nature in Sydney
The Naval Chapel at Garden Island dockyard is the oldest Christian chapel of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). It was established in 1902 after conversion from the former sail loft, and has stained glass windows and plaques from that era to the present. The building is the oldest on Garden Island, two storey, built of stuccoed brick with stone sills, arches and columns. The original loft floor of timber remains, caulked with oakum and bitumen.
Garden Island is on the southern shore of Port Jackson, the proper name for the harbour at Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is second promontory east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Royal Navy used the island from February 1788, just a month after Australia's colonisation by the First Fleet, as a garden for provisioning first and later the fleet based in the port. During the nineteenth century, the island became the support base for the fleet and various buildings were established including houses for senior staff.
The stone and brick Rigging building was built in 1887, on the shoreside shelf at the northern end of the island, in which the chapel was later established. The building bears the dedication "VRI 1887", alluding to its construction during the reign of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom ("Victoria Regina Imperatrix"). The building now sits at the north-eastern end of the Captain Cook Dry Dock, which was constructed in the channel between the island and the mainland and connected the island to the mainland shore at Potts Point. The building has been restored, including the wrought iron swing cranes adjacent to each major upper doorway which were formerly used to get rigging to and from the upper floor. These doorways in the Chapel are now stained glass windows. The main entrance is from the northern side.
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Garden Island & Naval Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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  • At the time of writing (May 2019), this is only accessible on a Sunday because it is only accessible by ferry. It's a very short trip from Circular Quay. Located at the northern end of the Garden Isla...  more »
  • We discovered Garden Island on the way to visit Doyle's at Watson's Bay via the ferry. We intended to stay for an hour but stayed for two and could have stayed longer. The free Naval Museum is informa...  more »

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