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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
Heritage List Adopted 27 Oct 2020
State Register Registered 29 Nov 1996 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
Classified by the National Trust Classified 15 Nov 2004

National Trust of Western Australia
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.

Local Heritage Survey Adopted 27 Oct 2020 Exceptional


Essential to the heritage of the locality. Rare or outstanding example.

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

Parent Place or Precinct

03255 Heritage Park

Statement of Significance

Albany Forts, a renovated artillery battery and army barracks, consisting of two guns, an underground magazine, numerous transported buildings, ruins, a few substantially reconstructed buildings and a parade ground, has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:
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.
The place was the principal rendezvous for Australian and New Zealand troops departing on overseas service during World War One.
The place is now a unique military heritage park at a national level.
The place has landmark quality, being situated on Irrerup/Mt Adelaide, one of the group of significant granite mounts that are strongly identified with the geography and aesthetics of the Albany townsite and to the Menang Noongar creation stories.
The place is highly valued by the community both for its historic heritage and the cultural landscape.

Physical Description

Albany Forts is situated on the summit and west of the summit of Irrerup/Mt Adelaide, south west of the southern part of Binalup/Middleton Beach. Albany Forts, a renovated artillery battery and army barracks, consisting of two guns, an underground magazine, numerous transported buildings, ruins, a few substantially reconstructed buildings and a parade ground. It was the principal rendezvous for Australian and New Zealand troops departing on overseas service during World War One. Albany Forts include many uncommon structures such as the Guns, Water Tank and reconstructed buildings.

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 and which have been adapted for different uses since the Forts closed as a defence base. Other buildings, such as the corrugated zincalume Nissen huts, were transported to the site in the 1980’s and used for a variety of purposes. 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 and reused by the Forts volunteers. 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 has been used for a variety of purposes (including a museum, café, gift shop, offices).

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 World War Two 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 facilitate its use as a restaurant (Carlysles). 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 semidetached 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. 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 1880’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 construction.

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 officially decommissioned and closed in 1956. The guns were 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.

In 2014, the National Anzac Centre (NAC) was officially opened – built on the grassed area south of the parade ground - to coincide with the centenary of Anzac Day and of the role of Albany in World War One as the main point of departure for the troops from the eastern colonies. The former Repository Store was added to and adapted to become the Garrison café and the nearby Nissen Hut was relocated within the Forts. Convey walk was established along the road leading up to the flagpole and a new lookout at the top of Mt Adelaide was built. The Military Institute was converted from being the café to a gift shop and administration offices. There are also walks around the Forts that include the original battery sites on Mt Adelaide such as the Plantagenet Battery.


Integrity: Moderate
Authenticity: High/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
1928 Conservation development and managment programme for the Albany forts Final report Report 1984

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

11 Mar 2022


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.