We’ve published several articles showcasing highlights of Battery Point, an inner-city suburb of Hobart. Princes Park for example; the Judges Box for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, and RebeccA’s Studio Gallery, just to name a few. Today we’d like to give a brief mention to Arthur Circus.
Arthur Circus: A Little Tasmanian History
Battery Point was named such in reference to a battery of cannons designed to protect the Hobart coastline. The guns have long since gone, but Arthur Circus remains as a reminder of the Tasmanian history associated with the suburb.
The cottages surrounding the village green of Arthur Circus were constructed for the officers of the garrison. They’re small dwellings, probably consisting of just two main rooms when they were originally built in the 1800s. They are in stark contrast to the extravagant homes of their Battery Point neighbours.
Battery Point is regarded as one of Hobart’s more prestigious suburbs, the waterfront location wedged between Salamanca and Sandy Bay. Amid apartment blocks and smaller heritage buildings, many of the large homes are classified by the National Trust. We understand visitors can join a guided walking tour on Saturday mornings, and it’s something we’re keen to investigate further. A walk around the historic houses dating from European settlement days would give a great perspective of the Tasmanian capital once called Hobart Town.
A Circular Street? What a Circus!
Arthur Circus is said to be “the only circus in Australia”. Given the shape of the street, you’d think it would be called a Circle, rather than a Circus. I’m sure the residents think the name is quite appropriate though; they’d be forced to contend with constant rubber-necking, as tourists are drawn to the cuteness of it all.
For the benefit of visitors, an information board reveals the site was purchased by Governor Sir George Arthur in 1829, and that he maintained possession of the land for 20 years. That same sign also reveals that dogs and ball-games are prohibited from the park! A swing set is a great asset for families. Parents may need to appease the kids during a self-guided walking tour of Battery Point.
Salamanca is a good starting point for such a walk. Locate and climb Kelly’s Steps from Salamanca Place. Take the first road to the left, walking from Kelly Street (past the Battery Point Guest House) to Runnymede Street. A right turn will lead you straight to Arthur Circus.
Of course, you could always drive your car to Arthur Circus. Access the narrow streets of Battery Point via Hampden Road, which is an extension of Castray Esplanade (from Salamanca) and joins the main thoroughfare of Sandy Bay Road from Hobart. My sense of direction is atrocious and my map-reading skills are totally non-existent; but hopefully you’ve all got a smart phone with GPS? I can redeem myself by reliably recommending a place to rest your weary feet during a walking tour, while enjoying a nice bite to eat or a cool drink. But as this article is just a “brief mention”, that information will have to be shelved for next time, along with yet more features of the area.
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