A Piece Of Convict History At Round House In Fremantle, Perth Western Australia
I love looking at old things when I'm travelling.
Parts of the built heritage of Fremantle in Perth have escaped the developmental trends that occurred in Perth, where older buildings were removed regularly to be replaced by large office buildings with little character. The heritage status of buildings and streetscapes of parts of Fremantle make it a great place to wander and learn about Fremantles early days.
In Fremantle they don't come any older than the Round House, the first permanent building constructed in the Swan River Colony and the oldest building still standing in Western Australia.
Though its name may suggest otherwise, this historic prison is not in fact round. It has 12 distinct sides, but only got the name Round House from residents in the town nearby from which its sides are too indistinct to notice.
Built on Arthur's Head and overlooking Bathers Beach and Cockburn Sound the Round House was the colony's first prison and when it was completed in January 1830s, it comprised 8 cells and a jailer's living quarters, all opening onto a central courtyard.
The roundhouse shows how the early convicts were housed and describes much of their daily activities. Rooms or cells have been some what restored to give an impression of convict life back in the day.
Sitting on top of Arthur Head and with a commanding view of Bather’s Beach and the nearby harbours, from here you can look out over the Indian Ocean.
Whalers Beach, or Bathers Beach as it's known today, is immediately below the Round House and holds a very important place in the development of Western Australia.
Beautiful views from the top.
The Whalers Tunnel was constructed by Fremantle Whaling Company under the Round House to move goods between the original port at Bathers Beach and the town. It was Western Australia's first tunnel and the only one for 64 years. The tunnel is of exceptional significance as the only structure remaining of the Whaling Station complex.
The vibrant city of Fremantle blends the old with the new, creating an enriching cultural experience. Maritime, convict and colonial history can be explored in one of the best preserved examples of a 19th century port streetscape, while buzzing markets, restaurants and casual street cafés give you a taste of 21st century life with the locals.
The Round House is a great place to take in the view of Fremantle's foreshore. I have a very special feeling about it this part of Fremantle, I highly recommend a walk to check it out!
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