Culture and heritage

Maritime heritage

Pilot stations

MAP - NSW maritime heritage sites

Pilots help ships to enter and leave port safely. When there was an active coastal shipping trade, most major ports, and certainly those with dangerous entrances, had a pilot.

Pilot stations were built at major ports and therefore help to indicate the important coastal towns. Like lighthouses, government wharves, navigational aids and Customs houses, they show the development of a coastal trading centre.

Pilot stations served as a focal point for maritime related services. They were often near a jetty or landing for the Pilot's boat. The street they were built in was often called "Pilot Street". The Pilot's house was generally built on a high position overlooking the harbour entrance. From here he could record vessel movements, warn of weather conditions, and direct assistance in case of diaster!

Just occasionally, ships were wrecked even when under control of the Pilot! The barque Catherine Adamson in 1857 was one of these.

Page last updated: 31 August 2012