Tuesday 8 February 2022

Mount Nicholson AOP

Visit Date:  9 February 2022

Site: The artillery observation post (AOP) on the southern slopes of Mount Nicholson

The AOP is in quite good condition. The photo below shows some of the original pebble-like cladding (cement globules) used as camouflage on what was then stony ground with low vegetation. Only one of the two steel shutters (for the observation aperture) is intact. The shutters were opened by being lowered outwards. The structure showed signs of having been occupied by squatters and the inside walls had been painted blue. A tough life for who ever occupied it as a squat - without running water, toilet facilities and quite a climb to get to it, but at least solid, dry and well ventilated. I suppose the same applied to the gunners who occupied it but only briefly during the battle. 

Mount Nicholson AOP

I had not been to this artillery observation post (AOP) for some years. I was walking from Pottinger Street in Central to Stanley by way of Black's Link. At Middle Gap I took a path on my left (northwards) marked by ribbons which led steeply down to the area at the back of Rosaryhill School.  This was the wartime site of St Albert's Hospital. Nearby there is a prewar covered reservoir and more recent water work structures.  A path led up to the spur on which  the AOP stands and another path nearby led to West Brigade HQ hugging the slopes of Mt Nicholson above WNC Gap Road. 

The roof and capped ventilation shaft with Mount Cameron in the background

The rear of the AOP and entrance door

The one remaining steel shutter and cement globules (more often stones were used as cladding).

Close up of steel shutter

The inside of the OP (painted blue  by squatters)

Close-up of the steel door showing three bolts, two hinges and the covered spy-hole

This is taken from the front of the OP - it looks out in a  north-east direction

Front of the OP showing the good job done of clearing up the site and making it more accessible

Sketch Map - How to get there:

Assuming you start by walking from Wan Chai Gap. Continue along Black's Link towards Middle Gap. As you approach Middle Gap look for a path on the left leading sharply downhill with ribbons. There is a deep ditch on your right. Go down about 100 metres and you will reach a concrete hut (waterworks).  Look to your right and you will see a bed of concrete (roof of a water tank?) Go to the back of this concrete structure and look for a path snaking top the hillside. You will spot it by the ropes. As you go up the path you will see the remains of steps. This path will bring you out at the AOP. 



  1. Fascinating that this is so little known. Interesting site.