Point King Lighthouse Ruin

Author

City of Albany

Place Number

03212

Location

Point King Albany

Location Details

Local Government

Albany

Region

Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1858

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
State Register Permanent 13 Dec 1996 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Category
Register of the National Estate Registered 22 Jun 1993
Albany Maritime Heritage Survey YES 31 Dec 1994
Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2001 Category A+

Statement of Significance

Point King Lighthouse Ruin has cultural heritage significance as an archaeological site for the following reasons; The place has important historical associations with shipping in Australia, and with the development of the port of Albany as the first port of call for shipping from Europe and Africa. The place has important associations with coastal navigation services in Australia, both as the remains as the first navigational lighthouse for the south west coast line dating from 1858, and as the second lighthouse on the Western Australian coast. The place is socially significant for its association with former lighthouse keepers and for contributing to Albany's sense of place. The place is aesthetically important for its simplicity and the sophisticated utilisation of local material in the natural environment.

Physical Description

The building is located on the tip of Point King at the base of the shore line. The ruin clearly shows the building was formerly four room with a central hallway. It is a random stone construction with brick around the doors and windows. The exterior walls were rendered and the interior walls show evidence of being plastered. The location of the building in a relatively remote and inaccessible position has meant it has been largely untouched by vandal. Nevertheless its position does make it more vulnerable to strong winds and seas. Pilot Cottages The cottages consist of the pilot station which is a stone, iron and weatherboard construction; two timber cottages and a small timber outbuilding. The pilot station faces the ocean and the group occupy a splendid coastal site. The buildings are abandoned and derelict. Gun Emplacement The emplacement consists of a stepped concrete base for a gun and a magazine. The magazine is partially underground with entrances either side of the base. The whole is well surrounded by vegetation and is located close to the coastline. Communication Mast The mast is located between the Lighthouse Ruin and the gun emplacement. It is of metal construction with a platform on the top accessed by ladder.

History

The Point King Lighthouse was built in 1858 as a response to the end of the Crimean War in 1856. It was anticipated that this event would pre-empt the return of the lucrative mail boat service to the eastern states. The benefit of warning sailors of the narrow harbour entry was apparently not the primary concern. In February 1858, the lighthouse became the first to show a light on the south coast of Western Australia. It was used until 1911. The last keeper was Samuel Mitchell and his descendents still live in Albany. In World War Two was the site of a machine gun post and the concrete emplacements for the artillery guns are still evident. The building has been unused for many years and lost its roof which has led to further damage. Its exposed position makes it more vulnerable to the elements and it is now a ruin. A conservation plan was prepared in 1995 in order to restore and stabilise the building. In 1999 no work had been completed on the site. Pilots Cottages The site of these cottages was the same as the original quarters built to house the pilot in 1854. Insufficient information is available to state whether these buildings are remains of the original. The pilot sailed out to met incoming ships and brought the ships into the Albany harbour. It was noted in 1854 that the pilot boat was manned by 'picked' convicts whilst in 1857 at least part of the crew was aboriginal. A former resident of Albany recorded in 1927 that 'the station held the pilot's quarters, a house for his assistant, prisoner's quarters, carpenter and sail shed, two or three outbuildings, a large brick oven, a boat shed, and a flag staff with a yard-arm and semaphore. Gun Emplacement The coastal artillery emplacement and underground magazine at Point King served a single 6 inch gun which formed part of the artillery unit collectively known as Albany Forts. The unit was built in 1983 as part of a national defence strategy. It was possibly the first 'Australian' strategy as distant from local and colonial military installation as it was approved in London, discussed by a Premiers; conference, financed by London and Western Australian administrations, designed and supervised by an engineer from Victoria and initially manned by South Australian troops. The emplacement has been abandoned and left derelict and subject to vandalism. Communication Mast The mast built between the Lighthouse Ruin and the gun emplacement and is associated with the uses of the three places in the group.

Integrity/Authenticity

Integrity: High

Condition

Ruins

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Heritage TODAY Site visit and Assessment 1999
R Bodycoat, Duncan Stephen and Mercer Architects; "Pooint King Lighthouse, Albany WA, ConservationPlan". City of Albany 1995

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
923 Point King Lighthouse Albany WA : conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1995
9731 Great Southern strategic plan for Maritime heritage tourism. The story of the sea in the South. Report 2010

Place Type

Historic site

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Present Use VACANT\UNUSED Vacant\Unused
Original Use Transport\Communications Water: Lighthouse

Architectural Styles

Style
Victorian Georgian

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Other CONCRETE Other Concrete
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall STONE Limestone

Historic Themes

General Specific
TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS River & sea transport

Creation Date

03 Aug 1995

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

31 Dec 2016

Disclaimer

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.