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z Fremantle ARCHIVED 201216

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


Rocky Bay Reserve North Fremantle

Location Details

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1901

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List YES 08 Mar 2007 City of Fremantle

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
Municipal Inventory Adopted 18 Sep 2000 Level 2

Level 2

The City of Fremantle has identified this place as being of considerable cultural heritage significance in its own right within the context of Fremantle and its conservation is a priority.

City of Fremantle

Statement of Significance

This area is highly significant for botanical, historical and social reasons. It is regarded as one of three only sites in the City of Fremantle to contain remnant vegetation reminiscent of the years before 1829. Stone quarried above these cliffs and to their north was transported by rail to build the north mole of the inner harbour. The Burford soap works ran a tunnel through the cliffs to drain their effluent into the Swan River. This tunnel is still visible and is evidence of former occupations and use of the environment.

Physical Description

A rocky foreshore environment. Limestone cliff faces, grassed areas, naturally vegetated areas. Contains some seating and table facilities.


Cypress Hill has significant associations for local Nyungar people. The Rocky Bay cave under the hill is where the Waugal (rainbow serpent) rested on its journey home upriver, curling itself around the central pillar.

The reserve was vested in the Fremantle Council in 1901 [reserve 7077].

Cypress Hill is the highest point in North Fremantle and was a popular picnic spot and vantage point, giving good views to the east and west. In 1907, the Morning Herald described Cypress Hill as ‘... another popular resort, and from this also a good view may be obtained’. During World War Two, anti-aircraft guns were installed on the top of the hill. It is likely that they were dug into the flat circular clearing on the hill’s top.

From the 1890s to 1914, T H Briggs and Co. operated a lime burning and quarrying company in the area between Mosman Park and North Fremantle and used the cave to burn their lime. The natural chimney of the cave was squared out at this time, probably so that materials could be hoisted up and down by a headgear on the top.

The hill was also the site of annual bon fire nights (the time of this is not known). Local children would make big bonfires on top of the hill and light it up on Guy Fawke’s night. According to reminiscences, children from other suburbs would sometimes sneak in and light the bonfire early, much to the disgust of local children.

Community action in the 1980s and 1990s preserved the remaining vegetation and provided an access track around the cliffs. It is thus evidence of the important of community interest in landscape.

This place has been identified in 'Fremantle's Landscape: A Study for the Municipal Inventory' as being of cultural heritage significance'.
The place is identified in the North Fremantle Heritage Study (1994) as being of cultural heritage significance to the development of the State of Western Australia.


Medium degree of integrity (original intent clear, current use compatible, high long term sustainability, some later unsympathetic materials).
Medium degree of authenticity with some loss of original fabric.
(These statements based on street survey only).


Condition assessed as fair (assessed from streetscape survey only).

Place Type



Epoch General Specific
Original Use OTHER Other

Historic Themes

General Specific
PEOPLE Aboriginal people
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Land allocation & subdivision

Creation Date

20 Jul 2011

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

22 Mar 2019


This data is provided by the City of Fremantle. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this data, the City of Fremantle makes no representations or warranties about its accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose and disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages (including indirect or consequential damage) and costs which you might incur as a result of the data being inaccurate or incomplete in any way and for any reason. Under no circumstances should this data be used to carry out any work without first contacting the City of Fremantle for the appropriate confirmation and approval.