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Albany Forts


City of Albany

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


7 Forts Rd Mount Clarence

Location Details

3/10/2011 Address includes: Lot 1377 Forts Road, Mount Clarence. VFL.

Other Name(s)

Nissen Hut
Princess Royal Battery/Barracks

Local Government



Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1939, Constructed from 1893

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
State Register Registered 29 Nov 1996 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
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.

Statewide Lge Timber Str Survey Completed 11 Dec 1998

Heritage Council
Register of the National Estate Permanent 22 Jun 1993

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Classified 13 Dec 2004

Heritage Council

Statement of Significance

Albany Forts, a renovated artillery battery and army barracks, has cultural heritage significance for the following
the place formed part of the strategic defence of Australia from colonial times, being an early example of
federal co-operation of the states, and through two World Wars;
it was the principal rendezvous for Australian and New Zealand troops departing on overseas service during
World War One;
it is now a unique military heritage park;
it has a landmark quality; and
the place is highly valued by the community.

Physical Description

Albany Forts is situated on the summit and west of the summit of Mount Adelaide, south wast of the southern part of
Middleton Beach. The place consists of two guns, an underground magazine, numerous transported buildings, ruins, a
few substantially reconstructed buildings and a parade ground.
The Military Institute, Guard House, Barracks and Repository Store bear a formal relationship to each other focussing
on the parade ground, whereas the siting of the other buildings appears to be influenced by the topography of the site.
The former buildings are designed in the Victorian Georgian Style and are rectangular in plan and symmetrical in form.
The individual buildings have been constructed from a variety of materials at different times but are essentially simple
designs. The Repository Store is a simple shed like structure of corrugated zincalume walls and roof. It has been
largely reconstructed and now servies as the Warden's residence. The Visitor Education Centre is corrugated zincalume Nissen Hut, which was transported tot he site int he 1980's. The guard house is a simple rectangular weatherboard hut with a corrugated zincalume roof. It was removed from the site and used as a shed by a local farmer but was returned once the renovation work began. One of the most substantial buildings is the Military Institute. It is constructed from granite walls with brick quoins and a corrugated zincalume roof. It has been substantially reconstructed and the building houses the Australian Light Horse Museum and service facilities.
Only a concrete slab and a low concrete wall remain of the World War Two ablution block. However, the Water Tank
is little altered from the 1893 construction. Concrete footings have been inserted under the original timber columns.
The Barracks have been largely reconstructed, the internal timber framed walls and ceilings have been lined with pine
whereas the original material was probably lath and plaster. Remains of extensions can still be seen to one side of the
building, as are the remains of an ablution block. The parade ground is a bituminised car park; the original material was
probably pea gravel. The Quartermaster's Store built during WWII is now used as the Millitary Heritage
Centre. The building is timber framed with corrugated zincalume cladding on the walls and roof. The former
Commanding Officer's Residence has undergone major renovations including re-roofing, enlarging of openings between
rooms and the insertion of a modern kitchen to service a restaurant. The restaurant was not operating as of 1999. A
replica of the original Stables has been built of weatherboard on the same site as the 1893 original. The adjacent
concrete manure pit is original.
The brick and stone semi detached married quarters have been substantially reconstructed, with new brickwork,
stonework, flooring, the partial replacement of roof timbers, new doors and windows, and a completely new roof.
Another relocated Nissen hut serves as Padre White National Memorial Centre. Only ruins remain of the Warrant
Officers House and a concrete pad is the only remnant of the Artificer's hut. The Underground magazine consists of a
brick and concrete tunnel through a granite outcrop near the summit of Mount Adelaide. The floor is of jarrah blocks
and graphite; the walls are recessed for the storage of explosives and ammunition. There are holes for ventilation in the
walls. |The two guns on the site have been relocated from Leighton Beach however the concrete and granite
embattlements are largely original. Linking the guns and the magazine are access slits approximately two metres high
by one metre wide.


In the 1800's, the threat of Russian expansionism was one of the stated reasons for increasing the security of the
Australian colonies. The strategic location of King George Sound prompted the Federal Council of Australasia to
provide three six-inch batteries and machine guns. The colonies jointly funded the building of a garrison. The Imperial
Government supplied the equipment for construction and John Blackburn of the Victorian Public Works supervised
The battery was completed in February 1892 and the garrison in 1893. South Australian troops under the command of
Captain J.C. Hanker comprised the first garrison at Albany Forts. Following Federation in 1901, Albany Forts was
taken over by the Australian Garrison Artillery.
During World War One, Albany Forts served as the principal rendezvous for Australian and New Zealand troops before
embarking on overseas service. Following World War One, Albany Forts was abandoned then reformed in 1925 and
staffed by the 24th Battery Australian Garrison Artillery.
Modernisation was undertaken prior to World War Two and during the war years a command post and naval signal
lookout were added. Two American submarines were based in King George Sound during the war years.
In the post war period, Albany Forts were again abandoned, the guns dismounted and buried. In 1959 the Albany Forts
passed into private ownership and were used as a school and holiday units. The venture did not last long, the buildings
fell into disrepair and were subsequently vandalised.
The site was declared a recreation reserve in 1977 and in 1983 was vested in the Town of Albany. Conservation,
renovation and development of the site began in 1987 culminating in the official opening in November 1988, in
conjunction with Australia's bicentennial celebrations. In 1995, Albany Forts became a military heritage park and
remains a popular tourist attraction.


Integrity; Moderate




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Heritage TODAY Site visit and Assessment 1999
Heritage Council of Western Australia assessment for entry on interim basis 1996

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
6409 Princess Royal Fortress, Albany : conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2002
9731 Great Southern strategic plan for Maritime heritage tourism. The story of the sea in the South. Report 2010
7676 Princess royal fortress Albany: interpretation plan, final draft. Heritage Study {Other} 2004
7881 Albany: spectacular! Brochure 0
1927 Albany and surrounds : data relating to items of heritage significance. Heritage Study {Other} 1980
9231 A sound defence: The story of Princess Royal Fortress King George III Sound Western Australia. Book 1983
1944 Albany heritage park : draft management plan. Report 1987
7736 Draft City Mounts management plan: Mount Melville, Mount Clarence, Mount Adelaide and Bluff Rock. Report 2005

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use MILITARY Fort or Gun Emplacement
Present Use EDUCATIONAL Other

Architectural Styles

Victorian Georgian

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall STONE Granite
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Roof METAL Zincalume
Wall METAL Zincalume
Other TIMBER Slab
Wall CONCRETE Other Concrete
Wall TIMBER Weatherboard

Historic Themes

General Specific
OUTSIDE INFLUENCES World Wars & other wars

Creation Date

12 Sep 1988

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.