Rockingham CairnPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Father Ted Doncaster

Rockingham Cairn features brass plaques attached to both the north and south faces.  The north plaque commemorates the arrival of the ship "Rockingham" in 1830 and the south plaque commemorates when the West Australian population reached one million.

Thomas Peel, cousin of the famous British Prime Minister Robert Peel, had developed a scheme to settle 10 000 people in the district. The British Government had granted him 1 million acres (404 million ha). He was preparing to sail to Western Australia when the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Sir George Murray, demanded that the colony be started by 1 November 1829. Peel arrived late and his grant was cut to 250 000 acres (101 000 ha). Peel was furious that his original land grant had been reduced by his failure to arrive on the coast by 1 November.

However Captain Stirling persuaded him to take up land south of Woodman`s Point which he named Clarence, in honour of the Duke of Clarence. The settlement at Clarence was a disaster. The colony could not move until the arrival of the Rockingham (427 tons) which had been delayed by a series of accidents. The Rockingham arrived in heavy weather on the afternoon of 13 May 1830. While easing out the cable in order to bring her closer inshore to facilitate unloading, the pitching seas put such a strain on the capstan that it broke. The ship drifted out of control and ran aground, broadside on. Miraculously all managed to make the shore without loss of life.


Address:Rockingham Beach Road, Governor Reserve , East Rockingham, 6168
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.261471
Long: 115.747325
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Actual Event STart Date:13-May-1830
Actual Event End Date:13-May-1830


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 25th May, 1971
Source: MA,HWA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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