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Challenger Battery


City of Rockingham

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


Entrance Pnt Garden Island

Location Details

Other Name(s)

"J" Heavy Battery

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1943

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Commonwealth List Adopted 22 Jun 2004 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
Municipal Inventory Adopted Category A

Category A

Worthy of the highest level of protection- recommended for entry into the State Register of Heritage Places. Development would require consultation with the City of Rockingham. Maximum encouragement to the owner should be provided under the City of Rockingham Planning Scheme to conserve the significance of the place. A detailed Heritage Assessment* and Impact Statement should be undertaken before approval is given for any major redevelopment. Incentives to promote heritage conservation should be also be considered.

Classified by the National Trust Classified 07 Dec 1992

Heritage Council

Statement of Significance

Aesthetic Value: The various batteries were located to exploit the natural terrain of Garden Island, and form attractive and evocative ruin-like structures throughout the island.
Historic Value: J Gun Battery is historically important as the first gun battery constructed on Garden Island.
The gun mountings and magazine buildings demonstrate the principal characteristics of coastal gun batteries constructed during WWII and the overlapping fields of fire achieved through strategic siting of individual batteries as part of a network.
The batteries and magazine structures exhibit design innovation in their successful use of reinforced concrete and brick.
Important part of the coastal defense gun batteries constructed during Second World War.

Social Value: The places are valued by the community as remind- ers of the role of Garden Island and Fremantle in the coastal defence of the west coast following the entry of Japan into the Second World War.

Physical Description

Scriven Hill Battery is the largest of the former battery complexes and comprises the remains of a pair of concrete gun emplacements, located approximately 250m apart, as well as a number of brick and concrete shelters connected by tunnels, and a concrete magazine building. The structures are considerably overgrown with native vegetation and also partially covered by sand. One of the shelters has been considerably damaged by an explosion. Challenger Battery and Beacon Battery are located at the northern most end of Garden Island and are also overgrown. They comprise the remains of concrete gun emplacements (typically circular in plan) and a number of concrete and brick shelters.


During the Second World War, Cockburn Sound was protected by anti-aircraft guns on Garden Island and the mainland. The first of these to be established - J Gun Battery or Challenger Battery, in 1942 - was located at the north western tip of the island. A second complex, Beacon Battery, completed in the same year, was located at Beacon Head. The two largest gun emplacements were constructed late in 1943 on Scriven Hill in the centre of Garden Island. This complex included its own shell store, magazine, pump chamber and power house in addition to a plotting room and command post and battery observation posts. The two guns were to be located 250 yards apart. Scriven Battery was never completed and the guns were sold for scrap in 1962. A boom barrier was positioned to control access to the sound from the south. Collie Section Battery at Collie Head was intended to defend the boom in conjunction with a battery at Peron Head on the mainland. These batteries were complemented by the construction gun batteries on Rottnest Island and coastal batteries on the mainland extending from Swanbourne in the north to Rockingham in the south. Special training units, including the Z Force Unit, were also stationed at Garden Island during the War.


Integrity: High Degree
Authenticity: High Degree



Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use MILITARY Fort or Gun Emplacement

Historic Themes

General Specific
OUTSIDE INFLUENCES World Wars & other wars

Creation Date

10 Dec 1992

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

22 Sep 2020


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