Rockingham CairnPrint Page Print this page

03-December-2015 (Father Ted Doncaster)
03-December-2015 (Father Ted Doncaster)

Photographs supplied by Father Ted Doncaster / Bryan Hardy

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 404 million hectares. 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 101,000 hectares. 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 Road Reserve , East Rockingham, 6168
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.261485
Long: 115.747275
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Actual Event STart Date:14-May-1830
Actual Event End Date:14-May-1830


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 28th May, 1971
Front Inscription

The ship "Rockingham" of 428 tons, Captain Haliburton, bringing 172 settlers (including 76 children) to the Swan River Colony, was cast ashore in a gale on the shores of Cockburn Sound on the 14th May 1830, the passengers struggling ashore through heavy surf.  No lives were lost.

This memorial was constructed by Rockingham Shire Council from ballast stones brought by sailing ships to the port of Rockingham whjich flourished as a major timer port during the years of 1878 and 1908.

Date of erection 28th May 1971

Back Inscription

This memorial also records the occassion in 1971 when the population of Western Australia reached one milion citizens.

This plaque was unveiled by E. C. Rushton, M.L.A.
Meber for Dale on 28th May 1971

As part of the Local Government Centenary Celebrations.

The Rockingham and Districts Branch of the Royal W. A. Historical Society was associated with the erection of this memorial. 

Source: MA,HWA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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