What is significant?
Tide Gauge House was constructed at Gellibrands Point in 1857 to house one of three tide gauges that arrived from England in 1855. The other two gauges went to Portland and Point Lonsdale. The Point Gellibrand gauge was set in a bluestone structure located on the leeward side of Breakwater Pier. The structure was built by convict labour and the bluestone was obtained from the quarry at Fort Gellibrand. The gauge operated through an aperture in the wooden floor. Tides were measured from here and Williamstown became the origin of the Australian Height Datum. The tide gauge continued to operate in this location until 1943 when silting up of the site reputedly interfered with its operation. It remained on Breakwater Pier until 1955 when the filling in of the boat harbour required that it be moved to its present site in the Commonwealth Reserve. Windows of the house were loopholed to allow warders supervising the convicts to train their muskets on them. The Tide Gauge House is situated in the Commonwealth Reserve near the intersection of Nelson Place with Parker and Cole Streets. It is an octagonal structure constructed of fine dressed bluestone and stands approximately three metres high and three metres in diameter. The Tide Gauge House was originally set on a battered base. Only the upper section of the structure survives and the tide gauge has been removed. The structure is capped by a parapet cornice and a galvanised roof with a wooden ball finial. The doorway is fitted with a metal gate and the four loopholed windows are fitted with metal bars.
How is it significant?
Tide Gauge House is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Tide Gauge House is of historical importance for its associations with the early history of Victoria. It is important for its associations with the tide gauge which was housed at Point Gellibrand was the datum for Victoria before the adoption of the Australian Height Datum. Tide Gauge House is important for its representation of the maritime history of Victoria and Williamstown?s pivotal role in early Victorian History.
Tide Gauge House is of architectural importance as a rare surviving example of a custom-built tide gauge house. It demonstrates early stone construction techniques.