The History on the Derwent Light House

Also known by many as the IRON POT LIGHTHOUSE before name change

Prior to the Lighthouse being built, 1804 Liuet Bowen had appointed William Collins as port control officer for Hobart. Collins sent two convicts to Betsey Island they were to light a fire soon as a ship was sighted approaching from Storm Bay.When the fire was seen in Hobart a gun was then fired on Hunter Island to annouce the arrival.Following ships being wrecked or grounded when approaching the entrance to the river Derwent. A request was made for a light to be built. The first construction in 1832 was by Lieut. Hill with the help of convict labour. It consisted of two spars and a cross beam at 40 feet to which the oil burner lantern was attached. Two men had been appointed to maintain the lantern had to sleep in tents until some months later when the two room stone hut was built. The lantern consisted of a ring containing nine burners with a reflector to each, this had to be raised and lowered every few hours to be refuelled

The photo above around the year 1840

The Lighthouse is located at the entrance to the river Derwent. Just 12 miles south of the city of Hobart, on the Island of Tasmania Australia

By the end of 1833 the main tower of stone consruction was completed. It stood 75 feet in height and the light was visible for 12-14 miles in clear weather.In those early years it had several changes to the construction and to the light.The picture on the right shows two houses, one for the head keeper and the other for the two assistants built in 1884-85. It was first named the IRON POT Light house, But this was changed to the DERWENT LIGHT HOUSE on June 27th 1884.One of the keepers was Mr J.C. Parkinson, in the years 1874 He saw many changes to the light during his life on the Light House.

List of Lighthouse Keepers

John Booth 1832 -- 1841, John Pocke 1841---1843, Henry Douglas 1843-- 1858, William Johnson 1858---1863,A.C.Rockwell 1863---1864, J. Oliver 1864---1874, J.C.Parkinson 1874---1887, E.J.Howard 1887--1891, R.Roberts 1891--1896, C.Hensley 1896--1897, H.Nas 1897--1899, S.Grundy 1899--for two months,H. Boon 1899--1903, C. Brown 1903--1904, H.Boon 1904--1913, E.G.Roberts 1913--1916, H.G.Jacobs 1916--1918, P.J.Johnson 1918--to July 1920 .The last Keepers to live on the light were MR. R. JOHNSON, Mr.J.CREESE(sen) and MR.T.LUTTREL. Several different lights had been tried over the years, but today it is Solar Powered.

The lighthouse timing three quick flashes in every 10 seconds

Below the Lighthouse the year 1885.... And on the right as it is today.The house was removed in the year 1921 and from then on the light was gas operated.


The House from another angle..


Click on the map below to see the list of boats that became wrecks around the coast line of the South Arm Peninsula from 1816. Apart from a few, the position of the wrecks is only approximate. "Alfred & Lizzie" was wrecked on Hope beach 20th August 1894. The crew spent 12 hours in the rigging, their cries for help heard by Mr John Potter of South Arm (my Great Grandfather)He was able to swim a line to them to be rescued. Information from Wrecks in Tasmanian Waters by Mr R.D.O'May


Click on photo to enlarge

Joseph Ernest Creece born in Hobart and went to see as a boy when he was apprenticed on the barque "Waratah". During his career Joe worked in the services of a well-known shipping Company of Hobart Messers. Facy and Fisher who owned a number of sailing ships.

This is how I can remember Captain Joseph Creece when he lived at South Arm opposite our farm.

Captain creece commanded the Kassa seen here for many years

Follow this link for the story of a lighthouse keeper and his family on the Iron Pot Lighthouse 1874