Fremantle Stuff > jetties


Whalers Jetty

The first jetty was built out from Bathers Beach where Captain Fremantle landed in 1829 near the western end of the (later) Whalers Tunnel, according to Hitchcock (9-10):

Captain Fremantle landed on Arthur’s Head, and on May 2 [1829] took formal possession in the name of His Majesty King George IV. The exact spot where he landed was indicated in a despatch to the Admiralty dated October 8, 1829, wherein he said that: "The landing took place in a little bay close to the mouth of the river, to the southward of it, being the only landing in that neighbourhood where boats could go with security, the bar at the entrance of the river generally being impassable." No doubt that little bay would have been the indentation in the shore between Arthur's Head and the little promontory (Anglesea Point) from which the Long Jetty was later constructed. The landing would have been made somewhere near the western end of where later a tunnel was made through the rocky head, and it was there that the first jetty was situated.

I assume this is the one conjecturally shown at 16 as 'Whalers Jetty' on this modern map of Arthur Head. The Tunnel is shown as 15.


First Anglesea Point Jetty and Scott's jetty

March 1831 saw the first attempt to improve port facilities. Reveley started building a ‘rough stone jetty or landing place for boats’ at Anglesea Point at the west end of the South Bay. [31] However, this was either unfinished or a failure because 12 months later Daniel Scott was building a jetty in ‘Fremantle Bay’ opposite his block at the end of Essex Street and it was already 75 feet long. [32] By July 1832 it was completed and he was able to advertise his landing charges. [33] (Errington)

South Jetty, later Fish Market Jetty

south jetty

Known as the Short Jetty after the Long Jetty was built, this extended south from Anglesea Point, and was completed by 1854. (Hitchcock: 40) The photo is SLWA # 230453PD.

long jetty

Short Jetty, c. 1900, RWAHS UNCR2222

jetty 1870

This is the photo of the Short Jetty used by Hitchcock in his 1929 History. His caption reads: 'The Only Jetty, 1870'.

The next photo shows the relationship between the Short Jetty and the newer Long Jetty.

anglesea pt

A view from Arthur Head lighthouse, with the stone wall around the Round House in front. On the left is the Commissariat; and in the centre, South Jetty. To the right is the Long Jetty with the Kerosene Store and Bathers Bay in front. Fremantle Library photo #1611 c.1891.

Long Jetty aka Ocean Jetty, New Jetty

1873 ... saw the completion of the first section of the old Ocean Jetty [the Long Jetty]. That section ran in a south-westerly direction from Anglesea Point and the structure was afterwards extended in a westerly direction to a total length of 2,830 feet, the depth of water at its head being 20 feet on the north side and, 21 feet on the south. The first section was constructed by Mason, Bird and Co., of the Canning Saw Mills, and later two extensions of 1,000 feet and 450 feet were carried out by R. O. Law and Matthew Price. The jetty was little used after the opening of the river harbour in 1897 and after being closed to traffic and used only as a promenade for some years, it was doomed to demolition in 1921. That old jetty was historic for over its planks the first representatives of many families now well established in Western Australia made their first entry into the Golden West. (Hitchcock: 57-58)

A contract was let to R. O. Law in 1887 to build a new approach and extend the sea jetty by 1,000 feet in a westerly direction towards Gage Roads. The original section was only 15 feet wide and had a narrow approach and the new section was made 42 feet in width. That was the second section to be built to the sea jetty and it is of interest to record that Law at the time of signing the contract was a minor [not yet 21], and at that early age gave evidence of his ability to undertake and complete a big job. Twenty-five years later Law secured a contract for the demolition of the structure, the jetty being of no further use and a danger to pedestrians using it. (Hitchcock: 59)

long jetty

This 1897 photo is Fremantle Library image #2055, with this caption: 'The Long Jetty was completed in December 1873 and extended to over 3000 feet in 1892. Until the Harbour was completed it was a very busy place. The ship on the left is unloading "bulk" using baskets and trams. Taken before 1897.' The photographers' names are in the bottom right corner. My guess is that it is Bertel & Williams.

North Jetty/River Jetty/Cliff St Jetty

This is the river jetty that was constructed with convict labour in 1853. It was at the northern end of Cliff Street. Goods were landed at the southern end of the street and carted to the river jetty for transport to Perth by boat.

river jetty

The Battye Library's photo BA1341/28 is from 1880-90. It is beautifully reproduced in John Dowson's Old Fremantle, page 24, where his caption describes it thus: 'The Swan River from the lighthouse on Arthur Head. c1885. The River Jetty, convict-built in 1853, is on the left; beyond it are Ferry Point, then the 1880 railway bridge and in the distance the 1866 passenger bridge. In the foreground is the Government Cottage or Residency, built in 1851 for the water police, demolished 1967.'

river jetty

Stephen Stout's photo of the river jetty c. 1864

Watering Jetty

An 1865 map shows a 'watering jetty for ships' at the foot of Arundel St, where there was a well.

References and Links

Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.

Walter, Irma 2014, Stout-Hearted: The Story of Stephen Montague Stout, Hesperian Press.

Brief note about and photo of the South Jetty in Fremantle, the newsletter of the Fremantle Society: November 2000.

Garry Gillard | New: 7 July, 2015 | Now: 16 June, 2019