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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

Fort Scratchley Interpretation



Fort Scratchley, Newcastle


Commonwealth Department of Finance and Deregulation

Newcastle City Council

Suters Architects




2009 Energy Australia National Trust Heritage Awards - Highly Commended for Interpretation and Presentation


The interpretation of the nationally significant Fort Scratchley Historic Site was one component of the major conservation project carried out at the site during 2006-2008 by the Commonwealth Department of Finance and Deregulation prior to the transfer of ownership to the Newcastle City Council. This work comprised extensive works to the buildings, structures and landscape in order to address deterioration of the fabric, as well as environmental and OHS issues.

International Conservation Services were engaged to develop an interpretive approach for the site. This required integration with the interpretation strategy for the surrounding Coal River Precinct (also listed on the NSW Heritage Register). It was necessary to work closely with the volunteer Fort Scratchley Historical Society, as well as with several other community groups with an interest in the Fort precinct.

For more information on the heritage of Fort Scratchley, and the restoration works to this site, click here.

Scope of Works


• Consultation with community stakeholders

• Preparation of an Interpretation Works Plan outlining a strategy for interpretation of the site

• Delineation of four access zones across the site so that interpretive devices could respond to the different visitor types and extent of guiding available to visitors in each zone

• Budget costing of proposed interpretation works

• Design and documentation of interpretive devices

• Preparation of strategy documents outlining principles for future development of exhibits, and guided tours

• Preparation of a maintenance manual for the interpretive devices

Project Team 

Commonwealth Department of Finance and Deregulation

David Lawrence, Lauren Gray

Newcastle City Council

Bruce Carpenter

Suters Architects

Mark Fenwick

International Conservation Services

Ian Trapnell, Fiona Tennant, Liz Holt, Ceri Kirkendoll, Eleanor Sampaga, Erin Watson



Trilogy Design

James Draper Models


  FS Gun empplacement stencil

Tunnel stencilled sign


FS 3D model

3D model of tunnel system


FS lasercut entry sign

Laser-cut entry sign