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The Rocks


City of Albany

Place Number

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182-188 Grey St Albany

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Government Cottage
Government House

Local Government



Great Southern

Construction Date

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage Agreement YES 22 Feb 1999 Text of the Heritage Agreement
Heritage Council
State Register Registered 01 Apr 1999 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Register of the National Estate Permanent 26 Oct 1980

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Classified 04 Apr 1977

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2001 Category A+

Category A+

• Already recognised at the highest level – the WA State Register of Heritage Places. Redevelopment requires consultation with the Heritage Council of WA and the City of Albany. • Provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the City of Albany Town Planning Scheme to conserve the significance of the place. • Incentives to promote heritage conservation should be considered.

Statement of Significance

The Rocks, a large two storeyed stone house built on a site overlooking Albany town site has aesthetic, historic, social,
representative and rarity cultural heritage significance for the following reasons;
The place exhibits aesthetic qualities that contribute to it being is a fine example of the Victorian Regency style.
The place is indicative of the development of Albany during the late Victorian era.
The place has a close association with the Grylls family.
The place was for a number of years during World War I and II used as a hospital/nursing home for the
convalescing of war service soldiers.
The place is associated with vice regal visits to Albany.

Physical Description

The Rocks is located on an imposing site overlooking the town and harbour. It is set within a wide expanse of lawn and
mature trees.
The large building is made of local stone, brick, timber verandahs and a corrugated iron roof. The building has been
altered as its function changed but most changes have been internal and have not diminished the restrained character of
the exterior of the rocks, typical of a large house of the period.


The Rocks was built in 1882 for prominent local identity, William Grylls Knight and his family. Knight was Mayor
of Albany from 1886 to 1888. The Knight family occupied the Rocks until 1910. The last occupant was artist Mary
Knight, the daughter of William Knight.
The state government purchased the property in 1910 for use as a vice regal summer cottage. Contractor, C D Keyser,
made alterations to the home at this time. During World War I the building was used as a convalescent home for
wounded servicemen. It continued to provide this service until 1921 when it was again used for vice regal visits. By
1937 the building was no longer needed for the Governor and served variously as a school, maternity and general
hospital. It was again used for servicemen in World War II until becoming a private residence in 1944. Since that time
the building has had other uses including a hostel.
The Rocks remains the property of the state government and in the early 1990s was vested in the Minister of Public
Health and used as a hospital.




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Heritage Council of WA Assessment for entry on Interim Basis 1992
Heritage TODAY Site visit and Assessment 1999

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
328 Albany, Western Australia : the first hundred years, 1791-1891. Book 1992
7384 The Rocks Albany : conservation works to verandah & rising damp at 182 - 188 Grey Street, West Albany WA for B & C Evans : Federal Cultural Heritage Projects Program. Conservation works report 2005
6976 Specifications and details of proposed verandah remedial works at The Rocks, Grey Street West, Albany. Conservation works report 2004
7341 The Rocks, Albany : revision B (final report). Heritage Study {Other} 2005
913 Reserve 27280 "The Rocks" Albany: Conservation Plan Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1994

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Two storey residence
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Government Residence

Architectural Styles

Victorian Regency

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall STONE Local Stone
Wall TIMBER Other Timber

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Government & politics

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

31 Dec 2016


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.