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Albany Forts


National Trust of Western Australia

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 1891 to 1893

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 27 Oct 2020 City of Albany
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

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.

City of Albany
Local Heritage Survey Adopted 27 Oct 2020 Exceptional


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

City of Albany
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

The place has a high degree of aesthetic value due to its prominent position in the harbour and its relatively undisturbed natural landscape, as well as its close association with the Mt Clarence Parklands. Its current use as a military heritage park lends added aesthetic value to the surrounding grounds and parklands.

The area has historical significance for its role in the first national strategy to defend Australia, as well as providing an example of pre-Federation co-operation between states that continued through two world wars.

The Fortress itself holds the position of being the first fortress constructed in Western Australia for the purpose of defending a harbour and is a rare example of a relatively intact Pre-Federation fortification.

The place is also known for its role in World War One, when it was the principal rendezvous for Australian and New Zealand troops departing for overseas service.

The formal relationship of the main buildings as well as the strategic placement of the Guns demonstrates a particularly military aesthetic that lends value to the place.

Both the history of the place and its current use as a military heritage park provide scientific value as a site for research and education.

The continued use of the parade grounds in conjunction with Australia’s bicentennial celebrations reinforces the strong social value of a place that continually reminds visitors and residents of Albany’s past importance to the nation.

Physical Description

The Albany Forts are located on Mt Adelaide, overlooking King George Sound and the entrance to the Princess Royal Harbour. The site is comprised of two strategically placed guns, an underground magazine, numerous transported buildings, ruins, a few substantially reconstructed buildings, including the Albany Barracks, and a parade ground.

Designed mainly in Victorian Georgian style, the majority of the buildings are rectangular in plan and symmetrical in form. The Military Institute, Guard House, Barracks and Repository Store (now serving as a Warden’s residence) share a formal relationship with each other and are focused around the Parade Ground, which is now a bitumen car park. From the entrance at a lower level, the access road passes the Parade Ground and main buildings before reaching the guns at the summit of Mount Adelaide. Although the current
guns are not original, the two main gun emplacements, comprised of concrete and granite embattlements, are largely intact.

Near the main entrance is the Repository Store, which has been largely reconstructed and now serves as the Warden’s residence. It is a simple shed-like structure with painted corrugated zincalume walls fixed horizontally and a replacement corrugated zincalume roof.

A little further along is a building that was transported from elsewhere in the 1980s and now serves as a Visitor’s Education Centre. The structure is a corrugated zincalume Nissen hut, complete with an access ramp.

The Guard House, set a little ways down the road, is a simple rectangular weatherboard hut that has a replacement corrugated zincalume gable roof and a porch facing the parade ground. The building consists of two rooms and one office. It has recently been replaced in its original location after it was removed and used for some time as a shed by a local farmer. A new brick fireplace and chimney have replaced the originals.

The Military Institute is built of granite walls, brick quoins and a newly reconstructed corrugated zincalume roof. It is symmetrically laid out with a central entrance that originally opened onto a canteen. Beyond the
entrance is another room of equal size that was originally used as a Sergeant’s Mess. Having been substantially reconstructed, the Sergeant’s Mess now houses a kitchen for the adjacent tearoom, situated in the former enlisting, lecture and recreation room. On the opposite side of the building, a room of equal size was used for the same purpose, but has now been converted into the Australian Light Horse Museum.
Nearby is a corrugated iron Water Tank, which appears to date back to the completion of Albany Forts in 1893. Concrete footings have recently been inserted beneath the original timber columns, but the remainder of the structure is largely intact.

Further along the main road are the Barracks, which have been largely reconstructed. The original Barracks appear to have been comprised of two long parallel buildings, with a common wall between and verandas spanning the long sides. The original buildings were constructed of timber on stone footings. To one side are the remains of extensions; floor joists laid directly on stone footings with a rubble binding in the joists. Adjacent to that are the remains of an ablution block. The internal timber framed walls and ceilings have been
lined with pine boarding, but were probably originally lined with plaster on lathing. The remains of the World War II Ablution Block are nothing more than a concrete slab and a central low concrete wall, against which a urinal most likely stood.

Across from the Barracks is the Parade Ground, which has been converted into a bitumen car park, but was probably originally pea gravel.

The Quartermasters Store, which now serves as the Military Heritage Centre, consists of one large room with a double door at one end. The timber framed building appears to date from the time of the Second World War, but the roof and walls have been recently reclad with zincalume sheeting and the original steps have been replaced with an access ramp.

Set a short distance away is the Commanding Officer’s Residence, which now houses a restaurant. In order to accommodate its new function, the building has been substantially renovated, including reroofing, the creation of larger openings between rooms and the insertion of a larger, modern kitchen. A gabled pavilion has been constructed adjoining the front veranda.

A modern skillion roofed replica of the original 1893 weatherboard stables has been built upon the original stables site. Only the adjacent concrete manure pit is original.
The former Married Quarters have been substantially reconstructed with new brickwork, stonework and flooring as well as the partial replacement of roof timbers and the complete replacement of the roof and roof 4 20040922 Assessment Princess Royal Battery Final ALB35 plumbing. These semi-detached brick and stone cottages have also been fitted with new windows and doors.

The Padre White National Memorial Centre is formed of a re-located Nissen hut with an access ramp.

The Warrant Officers House is nothing more than ruins comprised of two chimneys, three fireplaces and a corner wall.

The Artificers Hut dated from World War II, but it has been relocated in Albany and only the concrete foundation remains.

The Underground Magazine, a brick and concrete tunnel that runs through a granite outcrop near the summit of Mount Adelaide, is comprised of Jarrah flooring, combined with what appears to be graphite and includes recessed walls to provide storage for explosives and lights, with shelves for ammunition. Ventilation is
provided by holes in the roof.

The original guns were replaced in the 1930s and are housed in two gun emplacements. Although the guns themselves are not original, having come from Leighton Beach, the concrete and granite embattlements are largely original. Two metre by one metre slits provide access between guns as well as to the underground magazine.

The site also includes several significant monuments and exhibits.


Built in 1893, the Albany Forts, formerly known as the Princess Royal Battery and Barracks, has had a rich and varied history. Built as a strategic defence for Western Australia, and the then Australasian Colonies, the Albany Forts were placed on Mt. Adelaide in order to provide maximum coverage of King George Sound.

Albany Forts originally housed a garrison of 26 men and was later home to the U.S.A.’s ‘Great White Fleet’ in 1908. During World War I, the Forts played a very important role as the last port of departure for Australian and New Zealand troops. Although abandoned for a short time in the 1920s, the Forts reclaimed its importance in 1925 when it housed the nationally acclaimed 24th Heavy Battery Defence Unit, under the command of Lieutenant E.N. Knight. Later, during World War II, two American submarines were based in
King George Sound and covered by the Albany Forts guns
After World War II, the Albany Forts fell into disrepair and were eventually sold to a private businessman whose intention was to convert the site into a holiday resort. These plans never materialized and the land was resumed by the Public Works Department in 1977. Not long after that, the land was vested in the Town of Albany as Reserve 38226 for the purpose “Parklands and Recreation.” Following further renovations in 1986, the place was opened to the public in 1988 and the land was officially declared a military heritage park in 1995. It has continued to serve this role since.


The place was originally constructed as a military base and now functions as a military park, giving it moderate integrity.

It has moderate authenticity, as some buildings have been reconstructed, but this has been sympathetic to the overall original building fabric with a generally consistent attempt to match the original materials.


The condition of the buildings varies, but due to recent conservation efforts and the establishment of the Princess Royal Fortress Military Heritage Park, the overall condition of the place is good.


Name Type Year From Year To
Major Rainsford-Hannay Architect 1891 -

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

30 Mar 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.