Early Dutch Settlers soon realised that Hout Bay could serve as an alternative anchorage when prevailing winds made Table Bay unsafe. However, successive Dutch and British administrations also perceived that the Bay offered a possible landing place to an invading military force. Consequently, towards the end of the 18th century, the area saw the construction of a number of fortifications, first at the foot of Hangklip, and later on the eastern side below Chapman's Peak. Initial developments took place after 1775, when both France and the Netherlands came out in support of the newly independent American colonies and declared war on England.
At this stage the French established a garrison at the Cape and a battery of "twenty pieces of cannon" was established on the Western side of Hout Bay. In 1794 this was replaced by three new forts, named Sluijsken, Gordon and Little Gibraltar. A fortified blockhouse was then built by the British in 1796, on the Eastern side of Hout Bay. By 1804 these establishments were in need of restoration, and although the new Batavian administration attended to their maintenance, by 1827 all these fortifications had been abandoned.
It was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 17 April 1936. The remains of the Western Battery, located at the foot of Hangberg, was proclaimed on 31 March 1939.
THINGS TO DO IN HOUT BAY-