Fort Largs is a nineteenth century coastal fort at Taperoo, one of three forts planned to protect South Australia's coastline in case of attack.
Fort Glanville was the first fort to be completed, and it remains largely intact at Semaphore Park and is open for visitors to see and watch period reenactments and canon firing. Fort Largs was the second fort to be built, and it was soon realised that Fort Glanville was largely superfluous due to Fort Largs' superior artillery. The third coastal fort was planned for Glenelg but was never built, although Military Road connected all three sites.
During World War 2 it was realised that Fort Largs was vulnerable to attack as its location was well known, and its artillery was moved to a new top secret underground Fort Malta 600 yards to the north. After the war Fort Malta was completely destroyed, and the artillery returned to Fort Largs.
Fort Glanvile - Now One of the Popular Tourist Attractions in Adelaide
In March this year the SA government announced plans to sell Fort Largs and the surrounding land to a private developer. There was strong opposition to this in the community, and a Say NO to Selling Fort Largs page on Facebook grew support rapidly - it now has over 4,000 members. This fort has earned a substantial place in South Australian history - as an active army base between 1883 and 1961, then as the Fort Largs police academy for 50 years until 2011.
The community have been very vocal in their opposition to the sale of the nineteenth century fort, especially throughout the Lefevre Peninsula. It is heritage listed but that is not enough to ensure that the building survives - read the story about Bells Plumbers Shop to find out why.
Despite many representations to the SA government they continue to ignore the community, although the SA Greens and Liberal Party have stated their opposition to the sale. Even prominent Adelaide developer Theo Maras has opposed the sale of Fort Largs and suggested ways to turn it into a tourist attraction.
The Recently State Heritage Listed World War 2 Barracks at Fort Largs
The National Trust of South Australia recently identified two buildings outside the 19th century coastal fort that are worthy of preservation - the World War 2 Barracks and Drill hall which were built in 1939 just before the outbreak of war. These buildings have now been provisionally added to the State Heritage Register by the Heritage Council after a detailed investigation.
The Say NO to Selling Fort Largs Facebook group has now announced a Save Fort Largs Rally, to be held on Saturday October 25 at 12 midday outside the gates of Fort Largs (not the new Fort Largs Police Academy). The rally aims to raise community awareness and prevent the fort from being sold, and to ask the government to consult with the community about future uses for Fort Largs
Everyone is welcome to come along and show their opposition to the sale of Fort Largs. The State President of the National Trust of South Australia will speak briefly on the need for better heritage preservation in SA, and how that can be achieved.
Thanks for making WEN readers aware of the risk Fort Largs is currently experiencing re: closure Dave. My son and I used to live locally to there and have attended 2 open BRILLIANT open days, complete with firing cannons & bagpipes! I shall happily SPREAD THE WORD!!!