Fort Ballance is a former coastal artillery battery on Point Gordon on Wellington’s Miramar Peninsula.
Built in 1885 following fears of an impending war with Russia, Fort Ballance is one of the best preserved of a string of nineteenth century coastal defences constructed to protect New Zealand from a naval attack. In 1885, the Government, reluctantly acknowledging that they could not rely solely on Britain for protection, commissioned engineer Major Henry Cautley to design a series of fortifications to protect the country’s main ports. The Fortress is listed as a Category I Historic Place. Fort Ballance was the premier fort in the Wellington area for 26 years (1885-1911). Used by the military over a period of 60 years (1885-1945), the 1880s layout of Fort Ballance is largely unaltered and a good impression of the original nineteenth century fort remains. The fort is a permanent reminder of the technology used in the coastal defence network of the 1880s and it is an early example of the use of concrete as a building material.