The most famous convict to be
sentenced to death here is Francis Morgan, who arrived in
the colony in 1793 on the Sugar Cane from Ireland. He had
been tried for the murder of a man at Glassneven in Co
Dublin, and was caught wearing the murdered man’s watch.
Convicted, his sentence was commuted to transportation for
life. After his arrival in Sydney, he was again charged with
murder, after bashing a man named Simon Raven to death on
the north side of the harbour on 18 October 1796.
By the 1840s the colony, fearing invasion from the
Russians, had converted
the island into a fort and by 1857 the fort was manned,
including two ten inch guns and twelve 32 pounders. The guns
have only been fired during ceremonies and on special
Fort Denison is designed in the Martello style and one of the few intact examples
surviving in the world.
Martello Tower* (a circular masonry fort for coastal
defence). You can climb Australia’s only
Martello Tower and then lunch in the island café gazing at
bustling harbour traffic and a view most Sydney-siders never get to see.
There are guided tours of the fort’s tunnels and cannons.
Bookings can be arranged through the
Harbour National Park Information Centre (The Rocks) and access
can be made via
In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local
tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local
maps and other information.