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Lynton Convict Hiring Depot (Ruins)


Shire of Northampton

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


Henderson Tce off Port Gregory Rd Yallabatharra

Location Details

off Port Gregory Road - INCLUDES Sanford House

Other Name(s)

Port Gregory Hiring Station/Depot
Sanford House

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1857, Constructed from 1853

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 15 May 2020
State Register Registered 02 Jun 1995 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
Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register Permanent

Heritage Council
Register of the National Estate Permanent 26 Mar 1985

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Classified 06 Mar 1984

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 19 Apr 1996 Category 1A

Category 1A

HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT AT STATE LEVEL. Highest level of protection appropriate. Provide maximum incentives under the Town Planning Scheme with encouragement to the owner to conserve the significance of the place. Prepare a floor plan and photographically record the place prior to any redevelopment.

Statement of Significance

The ruins of the convict hiring depot at Lynton have very high historic and social significance for the
district and the State for their associations with convicts/ticket-of-leave men and the development of Port
Gregory, the Geraldine Mine and surrounding districts. The convict depot is one of the few physical
remnants of the convict era left in the State.

Physical Description

The limestone ruins of the Lynton convict hiring depot complex sit in a small valley near the coast at Port Gregory.
Enough of the original fabric of two main buildings remains to gain some understanding of the place. The convict
lockup building, with its holding cells, high perimeter, gable end walls and walled exercise yard, sits further up the
valley than the other obvious ruins of the depot building. After the lockup building, the depot/hiring building is the
most complete. Of the several other support buildings around the main depot most have largely disappeared or
remain as piles of rubble or low walls. Interpretive signs, illustrating the layout of the complex, would help with an
understanding of the place.
2004/05 Review: Works undertaken in late 2004 have resulted in one of the buildings being largely reconstructed
and reroofed. Interpretive material has been installed.


The Lynton Hiring Depot was established in 1853, primarily to provide a labour force for the Geraldine Mine (Site
No.7.) and the pastoral stations in the vicinity. On the 22 May 1853 the first ticket-of-leave men, accompanied by a
detachment of Pensioner Guards to oversee them, arrived at Port Gregory on board the Leander and Gold Digger.
Initially camped in tents, the construction of the stone depot buildings soon commenced but proceeded at a slow
pace due to the time taken to cut limestone, lack of suitable local timber and a shortage of skilled tradesmen. The
wrecking of the 'Mary Queen of Scots' in February 1855 also delayed construction as the ship was bringing a cargo
of shingles to Lynton. Located in small valley near a bend on the Hutt River, the buildings included a lockup, depot
building, hospital, quarters, blacksmith's shop and other associated buildings.
The Lynton Hiring Depot was short lived. The isolation of the depot meant that it was a source of considerable
expense for the Government. These expenses could not be justified with the sudden decline in the mining
industry. In addition there were many cases of sickness owing to the salty water and poor soil which made it
difficult to grow vegetables.
On 3rd January 1857 the hiring depot was closed. Since then the buildings have generally remained unused and
have fallen into disrepair, although farm produce has been stored in the depot building. It is said that during World
War II stones were taken from the ruins to construct roads.

Chronology Entries
1853 On the recommendation of Lord Grey, Secretary of State for the Colonies, a Convict Hiring Depot
comprising of pensioner guards and convicts was established at Lynton, near Port Gregory, principally to
build the roads to the Geraldine Mine, but also to build other roads and permanent buildings. Ticket-ofleave
men worked below ground in the mines, side by side with free men as well as working as
shepherds and farm hands for the settlers.
1853 Joseph Lucas Horrocks, who was convicted of forgery and had arrived at Fremantle on ilie 'Marion in
1852, moved to Lynton as a medical superintendent.
Source Pages
Ancient Landmarks, Bain, M. A., UWA Press, Perth, 1975 ISBN:0 85564 090 1 121
1855 Joseph Horrocks resigned his post at the Port Gregory Hiring Station and opened a store at
Wanerenooka. He was also a member of the syndicate which opened the copper mine.
03/01/1857 Lynton was closed as a convict hiring depot, and the remaining pensioner guard families vacated theii"
tents and moved into the stone buildings at the depot.


Integrity: Low




Name Type Year From Year To
Lt. Crossman Architect 1853 -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
GHS3073 - Photograph; "hiring station". 1968
Bodycoat, R., "Lynton: A Study of the Convict Hiring Depot at Northampton, Western Australia," Duncan, Stephen and Mercer, Architects for the Shire of Northampton, 1982
GHS6202 Photograph; "Lynton". 1972
GHS3920 Photograph; "Yard". undated
GHS0529 Photograph; "hiring station". 1968
GHS3068 Photograph; "hiring station". 1968
GHS3075 Photograph; "hiring station". 1968
GHS3919 Photograph; "Cell Windows". 1975
GHS5889 Photograph; "hiring station". 1940
GHS3922 Photograph; "hiring station". 1975
GHS6204 Photograph; "Exercise yard". 1981
GHS6200 Photograph; "Cell". 1981
GHS6203 Photograph; "hiring station". 1981
GHS3069 Photograph; "Cell". 1968
Feilman & Associates, "A Survey of Places of Historic and Landscape Significance in Northampton, Dongara, Geraldton, WA", Feilman & Associates, 1977
GHS2919 Photograph; "Lynton". 1968
GHS6630 Photograph; "hiring station". 1967
GHS6196 Photograph; "Cottage". 1972
GHS3070 Photograph; "hiring station". 1968
GHS7676 Photograph; "Cell". 1949
GHS6199 Photograph; "hiring station". 1981
GHS3923 Photograph; "hiring station". 1975
Lilley, I. & Gibbs, M. "An Archaeological Study of the Lynton Convict Hiring Depot," National Trust of Australia (WA) 1993
GHS6194 Photograph; "hiring station". 1940
Considine & Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, "Lynton Heritage Conservation Plan," 1996
GHS5890 Photograph; "Lynton". 1944
GHS6633 Photograph; "hiring station". 1967
GHS3921 Photograph; "hiring station". 1975
GHS5973 Photograph; "hiring station". 1948
GHS5202 Photograph; "hiring station". 1975
GHS3924 Photograph; "hiring station". 1975
GHS6201 Photograph; "hiring station". 1972
GHS3072 Photograph; "Cell Doors". 1968
GHS5972 Photograph; "hiring station". 1948

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
8474 Building a colony: the convict legacy. Book 2006
4250 Lynton Convict Hiring Depot-Depot Building Port Gregory Conservation Works: Final Report Heritage Study {Other} 1999
2491 An archaeological study of the Lynton convict hiring depot. Report 1993
5592 Sanford House : conservation works (final report). Conservation works report 2002
11815 Henderson & Coy : Royal Engineers & the Convict Establishment Fremantle Western Australia 1850 - 1872 Book 2017
11734 Lynton: a study of the convict hiring depot Heritage Study {Other} 1982
11569 Landscapes of Redemption: Tracing the path of a Convict Miner in Western Australia Heritage Study {Other} 2010
7946 Port Gregory convict hiring depot, lockup. Final conservation works report - grant allocation 2004/2005. Job number 05147 Conservation works report 2005
6426 A preliminary study of convict sites in Western Australia (draft). Heritage Study {Other} 1997
5959 Mrs Mulder's trough; Konnongoring Hall; Perenjori; Hawes, Mullewa; Lynton Heritage Site; Hassell Homestead. Video 1991
5753 Homesteads of the mid west region of Western Australia. Book 1997
3911 Lynton Heritage Structural Report on Stables, Depot and Lockup-Prepared for RW & SF Simkin Heritage Study {Other} 1999
3037 Lynton Conservation Works - Final Report Heritage Study {Other} 1993
5130 Lynton Heritage : conservation plan / by Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1996

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Gaol
Present Use VACANT\UNUSED Vacant\Unused

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall STONE Limestone

Historic Themes

General Specific
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Workers {incl. Aboriginal, convict}

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

30 Apr 2021


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.