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Grassy Hill Lighthouse, Baird Rd, Cooktown, QLD, Australia

Photographs None
List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Historic
Legal Status Indicative Place
Place ID 100348
Place File No 4/06/270/0070
Nominator's Statement of Significance
The lighthouse is significant: as an early highway light on the Queensland coast; for its association with the growth of Cooktown as a port; and for marking Grassy Hill, the site of Cook's observation of the reef in 1770.
Official Values Not Available
In July 1770 Captain Cook's journal documents Grassy Hill as the site on which he stood to survey the ocean for a passage between the reefs for his ship. In 1886 a lighthouse marking the safe passage to the port was erected on this spot, with a lighthouse keeper's cottage attached. The lighthouse lantern was prefabricated and arrived on board the New Guinea via Batavia in 1885. It was initially manned and lit by kerosene. The lighthouse keeper also maintained a signal staff to announce the arrival of shipping and to signal the noon hour to the town by dropping a time ball. The original light source and associated equipment were replaced when the operation of the lighthouse was changed from manned to automatic in 1927. The cottage and signal staff may have been removed at this time. During the period of the Palmer gold rush the lighthouse became a significant landmark for the shipping which made Cooktown a bustling and prosperous commercial port. In 1913 a radio station, VIC was erected on a spur of the hill to permit radio contact with shipping, superseding the flag and heliograph previously used. During 1942-45 a radar station flanked by defensive installations was erected on the hill, but was dismantled and removed after the war. In 1970 a sandstone cairn was placed on the crest to commemorate the bi-centenary of Cook's survey.
The lighthouse is approximately 6m high, set on a concrete base and constructed of corrugated iron on a timber frame. It is conical in form, tapering to a balcony supported on timber brackets. Above the balcony the structure becomes cylindrical in shape and is capped with a hemispherical dome. Small rectangular windows are let into the conical section. It has standard lantern and beam projection apparatus. The light source is now an open flame acetylene gas burner.
History Not Available
Condition and Integrity
Grassy Hill, Baird Road, Cooktown.
ATKINSON, James R. The Lighting of our Coast Proceedings of the Queensland Branch of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, Vol 10, 1894-1895.

JOLLY, P. Survey of Buildings and Sites on Cape York Peninsula Introduction to Cooktown and its Museum NTQ.

Australian Lighthouses - Preliminary Assessment Department of Administrative.

Report Produced  Sat Jul 26 07:01:16 2014