Sitting atop a hill in Tuakau, and overlooking the Waikato River, is the historic Alexandra Redoubt about to celebrate it’s 150th Anniversary on October 13th at 2:00p.m.
Many of the locals of Franklin are either aware of, or have visited the Alexandra Redoubt, or both (- that’s me!). The redoubt was constructed in two weeks and was named after the, then, Princess of Wales – Alexandra of Denmark.
The position of the redoubt gave the British soldiers who were camped there, wonderful views up and down the Waikato river and surrounding lands during the Waikato Land Wars of 1863 and while there were no major battles there, it was a key location and “was intended to safeguard Lieutenant-General Duncan Cameron’s right flank on the Waikato River. It protected the British naval fleet that transported troops and provisions for the Waikato campaign, and helped to secure the south Auckland region against Kingite Māori forces.”
The region is really quite lucky that the Redoubt has survived as well as it has, and a contributing factor has been the fact that it was made into a cemetery. Many of Tuakau’s early settlers and their families have been buried at the site and it is a worthwhile place to visit for the history, views and bush walk.The Tuakau and Districts Museum Society will be on hand on the 13th October to mark the 150th anniversary with a re-enactment group of the armed constabulary 65th regiment demonstrating. A commemorative kauri tree is also planned to be planted and there will be guest speakers, as well.
It is hoped that any descendants of the original 65th regiment may attend to help with the anniversary celebrations. According to one of the Museum Society members, the 65th was the longest standing regiment in New Zealand as they were there for twenty years. They numbered around 1100 who took their discharge in New Zealand.
So if you are interested in history and want to see a well preserved British garrison right here, head along to the celebrations, or just take a trip any time for a little bit of investigation – it is well worth the effort!
Click on to the links on this page to see more in depth history of the redoubt!