Shortland Centenary FountainPrint Page Print this page

16-October-2017 (Russell Byers)
16-October-2017 (Russell Byers)

Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown / Russell Byers

The fountain erected by the Mayor David Miller in 1897 and originally located at Newcastle Beach, commemorates the centenary (1797-1897) of the European discovery of the site of Newcastle by Lieutenant Shortland.  A plaque was added to the fountain by the Fellowship of the First Fleeters in 1997.  The fountain is now located at Christie Place.

On 9 September 1797, while on his way to Port Stephens in pursuit of some runaway convicts, Shortland entered the estuary of the Hunter River on which Newcastle, New South Wales is situated. During his brief stay, Shortland named the river, though for some years it was often referred to as the Coal River, made the first chart of the harbour in the form of an eye-sketch and collected some samples of coal. In a later letter to his father, Shortland predicted that his discovery would prove a great acquisition to the settlement.

A special meeting meeting of the City Council was held yesterday afternoon for the purpose of dealing with the proposed erection of a drinking fountain in commemoration of the landing of Lieutenant Shortland. There were present: -- The Mayor, Aldermen Moroney, Sharp, Smith, Kidd, Thorn, Lock, Webb, Rodgers, Asher, and Alcock.The Mayor said the committee had inspected the site at the rear of the hospital, where the council had decided to erect the fountain, and they were unanimously of opinion that the little reserve was by far the more desirable spot. He submitted a minute recommending the removal of the present fountain to the site chosen in "Shortland," at the last meeting of the council.
Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners' Advocate (NSW ), 7th September 1897.

A magnificent ivory mallet and trowel, to be presented to the Hon J. N. Brunker on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone of the centenary fountain in Shortland Park on Saturday next, is now on exhibition in the window of a jeweller.  The trowel is one of the finest specimens of the silversmith's art, and bears the following inscription :— ' Presented to the Hon. J.N. Brunker, Colonial Secretary, by the citizens of Newcastle at the laying of the foundation stone of the centenary fountain, 18/9/97.'
The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW), 16th September 1897.



Address:King Street, Christie Place, Newcastle, 2300
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.92796
Long: 151.771667
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Fountain
Monument Theme:Landscape
Approx. Event Start Date:1797
Approx. Event End Date:1897


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 18th September, 1897
Front Inscription

Shortland Centenary Fountain


Foundation stone laid by the Hon. J. N. Brunker M.P. Colonial Secretary

18th September 1897

Back Inscription

Erected 1897

David Miller Mayor

R Gaites

Right Side Inscription

Lieutenant John Shortland R. N. arrived First Fleet 26 - 01 - 1788

Died 21 - 01 - 1810

Fellowship of the First Fleeters 


R. Gaites

Source: MA,H,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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