- A.N. Other
- History - general
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- March 1984 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
After over a century of use by members of both the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, the Man O’War Steps at Farm Cove were restored and extended early last year. The restoration and extensions were undertaken jointly by the Department of Public Works and The Maritime Services Board of N.S.W. and provide ferry facilities for patrons of the Sydney Opera House.
To mark not only the restoration works, but also the illustrious history of the Steps, a commemorative plaque was erected on the landward end of the stone jetty. Compiled with the assistance of the Naval Historical Society of Australia, the plaque’s wording records for future generations a significant part of the history of Sydney Harbour. It reads:
MAN O’WAR STEPS
IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE IN 1973 THE STONE JETTY, KNOWN AS MAN O’WAR STEPS, WAS RESTORED JOINTLY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND THE MARITIME SERVICES BOARD WHEN A RAMP AND BERTHING PONTOON WERE ADDED TO THE STRUCTURE.
THE STONE JETTY IS SITUATED NEAR THE SITE OF THE PRIVATE LANDING STEPS BUILT DURING THE ADMINISTRATION OF MAJOR GENERAL LACHLAN MACQUARIE, GOVERNOR (1810-1821) AND FOR A PERIOD FORMED ONE OF THE WALLS OF A SMALL BOAT HARBOUR SITUATED TO THE WEST.
IN ADMIRALTY CHARTS DATED 1857 THE STONE JETTY WAS NAMED “WATERING PLACE” AND NO DOUBT WAS USED BY VESSELS AT ANCHORAGE IN FARM COVE TO OBTAIN WATER SUPPLIES.
THE USE OF THE JETTY FOR MOVEMENT OF PERSONNEL AND STORES TO AND FROM NAVAL VESSELS MOORED IN THE MAN O’WAR ANCHORAGE NEARBY BEGAN EARLY LAST CENTURY AND THE FACILITY CONTINUED TO BE USED BY THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY UNTIL WORK ON THE PRESENT RECONSTRUCTION COMMENCED.
W.H. BROTHERSON C.B.E.
THE MARITIME SERVICES BOARD OF N.S.W.
THE HON. L.A. PUNCH M.L.A.
MINISTER FOR PUBLIC WORKS, N.S.W.
20TH OCTOBER, 1973