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Arthur Head
Arthur head res gnangarra.JPG
Arthur Head Reserve from near the Old Kerosene Store on Bathers Beach
General information
Type Headland
Location Fremantle, Western Australia
Coordinates 32°03′25″S 115°44′29″E / 32.056847°S 115.741461°E / -32.056847; 115.741461 (Arthur Head)
Official name Round House and Arthur Head Reserve
Type State Registered Place
Designated 19 November 1993
Reference no. 896
Fremantle map053 May 1914
1914 map of Arthur Head area Fremantle. Notable features are the Round House, tram sheds, Long Jetty, Old Kerosene Store.

Arthur Head (also known as Arthur's Head) in Fremantle, Western Australia, is a former large limestone headland on the southern side of the mouth of the Swan River, now also the entry to Fremantle Harbour.

Historian Bob Reece identifies the geographical prominence of the location in his entry in the Historical Encyclopedia of Western Australia:

Fremantle is a narrow peninsula of land located at the estuary of the Swan River within Cockburn Sound, its principal landmarks from the sea being the limestone outcrop known as Arthur Head and the two hills known as Buckland Hill and Monument Hill

Also the strategic quality of the head is noted as:

In May 1829 the strategic location of Arthur Head led it being chosen by Captain Charles Fremantle RN as the site for his fortified beach camp.

It has been significantly altered since European settlement in the 1830s, and is the site of a large number of demolished structures.

Archaeologist Michael Pearson in his 1984 report identified the following:

  • 1851 Lighthouse (first)
  • 1876 Lighthouse (second): 22 feet (6.7 m) in diameter, 72 feet (22 m) high; constructed by convicts in 1876–1879; decommissioned in 1902.
  • 1834 Courthouse (first)
  • 1840 Courthouse (second)
  • 1852 Police station complex
  • Lighthouse keeper quarters
  • Harbourmaster quarters

The structures remaining on the head are the Round House, the oldest remaining building in Western Australia, and the pilots' cottages, all of which are heritage listed. Passing through Arthur Head is the Whalers Tunnel that enabled ease of access to Bathers Beach, Fremantle and the Long Jetty.

A significant part of the Arthur Head area was utilised during World War II; the slipway constructed then for submarine repairs was known as the Arthurs Head Slipway.

PWD 8474
1900 era plan of area surrounding Arthurs Head
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