Fort Scratchley, a former coastal defence installation, is now a museum. It is located in Newcastle East, a suburb of Newcastle, New South Wales in Australia. It was built in 1882 to defend the city against a possible Russian attack. However, its guns were not fired in anger until 8 June 1942, during the shelling of Newcastle. The Australian Army left the site in 1972
Fort Scratchley is situated atop Flagstaff Hill, overlooking the Tasman Sea and the Hunter River, less than 1 km (0.6 mi) from the Newcastle central business district. It is accessed from Nobbys Road, and is directly between Newcastle and Nobbys beaches. Originally built as a coastal defence fort, it is located in a commanding position, guarding the Hunter River estuary.
In 2004 the site was closed for renovation which the city hoped would make the fort a major tourist attraction. Unfortunately, as costs rose due to vandalism and an increase in necessary decontamination to the site, progress stalled. The Australian Government funded the project after reaching an agreement with Newcastle City Council in 2004, and decided to increase its funding from an estimated A$5.5 million to almost $10 million after reaching a second agreement in 2007. The government wanted to ensure that the site was repaired correctly as it sees it as a special place in Australia’s military history. The site re-opened in June 2008; a museum on the site was operational by 2009.