Friday, June 22, 2007

The Round House

Freo was Manjaree, Nyoongar people's land, before it was a British settlement. The Swan River Colony started in 1829 with free settlers and the convicts started coming in 1850.

The Round House Fremantle Western Australia

But the first permanent building was a prison anyways, built in 1830 to house local white crims.

They bunged it up on Arthur Head, a knob of high ground looking out to sea, over the mouth of the river and down to Cockburn Sound (Map).

Out the back they bunged up navigation lights and signalling. Near Arthur Head they built cottages for the harbour-master, the pilots (boat pilots) and the lighthouse-keeper.

The Round House Fremantle Western Australia

The guards quarters above the entrance and office. The well in the foreground. If you look carefully through the entrance on the big version you can see a view down High Street to the pointy tower of the Town Hall.

When the convicts came in 1850 the Round House was too small to hold them and they were put to work building their own prison a couple of kilometres away. That was Fremantle Prison and it held convicts then crims until 1991.

(Go to the Ducktionary for the difference between convicts and crims.)

The Round House Fremantle Western Australia

A cell (right), stocks (wooden thing) and yards for washing and so on. In the left foreground is the well supplying the building with water. You can see them better in the big version.

Taken from the doorway of a cell and showing the width of the building minus 6-8 feet.

"...[T]he Round House was used as a police lock-up through until 1900. It then became the living quarters for the chief constable, his wife, and their ten children."

How fucking cool would it be living there as a kid? Only living in a lighthouse would top that for PCF (Playground Coolness Factor).

View west from The Round House Fremantle Western Australia

Taken from the back of the Round House, looking out to west.

Garden Island (left), Rotto (centre) with the corner of Success Harbour on the left (middle distance) and what must be the road to South Mole in the right foreground.

Garden Island is a naval base, HMAS Stirling.

Rotto is Rottnest Island, popular local tourist destination and former prison for Aboriginal prisoners. Success Harbour used to be Fishermans Harbour, before the America's Cup business way back in the eighties, and it's still a working harbour. No visit to Freo is complete without fish & chips from Cicerello's at Fishermans Harbour.

That's the Indian Ocean yer looking at, by the way. The next major landfall is South Africa.

Freo, Perth & Australia

The red dot at the mouth of the harbour is the Round House.

Round House website

Magic spray

Torchwood started here the other night. It's on Ten, home of Big Bother, so there was some wanky promo for it which pissed me off no end and was pretty irrelevant.

But it's a Dr Who spin-off so it was rather fun. Particularly when that guy uses the Alien Randy Spray(TM) on some chick at the pub and she's snogging him then her boyfriend comes after her all aggro and the guy sprays him as well and then he snogs the guy and they all go off for some three-way action.

More please!


Spike said...


1831 painting of the Round House & so on.

Belongum said...


You were in the neighborhood and you didn't visit...???

Time to take piccies and all - but no phone call Spike? Sheesh!

You could hurt a blokes feelings that way... lol ;-)

Woulda been sitting at the Norfolk with a beer waiting for ya mate - or - as the circumstances of your visit come to light - perhaps something a little (or a lot) stronger - or not!

I like the shots and the run down of my adopted home town mate - It's a shame it was under such circumstances though, so my best to you and yours Spike, no fella should have to travel for such reasons... I feel for you mate.

Stay well as you can...


Spike said...

*hanging head in shame*

Didn't even think of it once, mate, and there was the Norfolk barely a step from the hospital. Bugger.

Ta. I was glad to be away during the storms and be in Freo but not for such a reason.

Mum's more comfortable physically now BTW but not in any way better.

Aesthetic said...

I feel like I've just been on a little holiday myself after reading this and your latest.

I could do with some of that spray...

Spike said...

Thank yer.

Couldn't we all :)