Though not Hobart’s first weapons depot, John Lee Archer’s 1838 Ordnance Store is certainly the city’s most prominent. Following completion of the new wharf at Salamanca in 1834 hundreds of convicts, housed in hulks moored at Sullivans Cove, quarried the cliffs behind Salamanca, cut the sandstone and built the imposing three-storey ordnance stores at Castray Esplanade at a cost of £3500.

The stores were occupied by the Ordnance Department and the Army for some 120 years, and then the Post Master General’s Department from 1956, who bought it from the Army for less than £15,000 – not much of a profit over a century! Now heritage listed, the store is now home to cafes, galleries, studios, specialty shops and restaurants.

Address: 21 Castray Esplanade, Hobart

Highlights: Architects' offices, colonial store

Building specs: Type: Store. Year Built: 1832. Architects: John Lee Archer


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