The Monmouth Redoubt was one of two redoubts built on the Tauranga foreshore by British troops early in 1864, when a 600-strong force was sent to the mission settlement. Its task was to block the flow of reinforcements and supplies from Maori tribes in the Bay of Plenty and further east to Waikato, where the Kingitanga (King Movement) was resisting the occupation of land declared confiscated by the settler government in 1863.
The 60m square redoubt was erected on a pa site overlooking the harbour. Its trenches and bastions remain well-defined. They are now overhung by pohutukawa trees which also shelter an artillery piece that is said to have been used in the battle of Gate Pa on 29 April 1864. Gate Pa stood on a low hill beside Cameron Rd (named for the general), 5 km south-west of Monmouth Redoubt. The site of the battle – a disaster for the British – is signposted, but no trace of fortifications remains there.
Closer to Monmouth Redoubt are two other sites relevant to the 1864 campaign. The Elms Trust maintains the Te Papa mission station in Mission Street. On display is a table at which nine officers dined on 28 April 1864: eight of them died in battle next day. The mission cemetery at the northern end of Cliff Street has memorials to many of those killed on both sides.
Image attribution: David Green.