Princess Royal Fortress
Princess Royal Fortress
Forts Road, Mt Adelaide. Albany, W.A
The Forts Museum was opened in 1893 as the first federal defence of Australia and was funded by all the States of Australia, prior to the Federation Act in 1901.
The Forts Museum houses the Albany Barracks and the Princess Royal Battery, the Military Heritage Centre, the Ellam-Innes Collection (extensive collection of war memorabilia of the 11th Battalion and the 10th Light Horse regiments), Underground Magazine, Repository Store and Caretaker’s Cottage, Artillery Display, Torpedoes and more.
The Forts Museum is also home to the SE Asia Memorial, US Submariners Memorial and Merchant Navy Memorial.
Because of its significance in military terms – the various memorials are unique in the region, the site now receives over 20,000 visitors per year.
On the Thursday 2 January 2014 the Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum will be recreating one of Albany’s historic military moments by holding its annual “Albany Gun Salutes” with their nine pound gun. These salutes are to commemorate the first time they were fired in 1893.
Being part of the inititial armament of the forts, six ‘nine-pounders’ were delivered to Western Australia and distributed throughout the colony. Two stayed in Albany and were fired on May 24th 1893 to mark Queen Victoria’s birthday.
In recent years the gun has been restored back to workable order and have been used to mark several ceremonial occassions and yearly public demonstrations that give many visitors to Albany a look and feel of what it is like to fire one of these gun. In 2011 a new Artillery Shelter was built with funds from Lotterywest and was officially opened to mark the day. Over recent years the City’s “Albany Gun Salute” season have attracted many visitors and have developed into a “must see” event on the calendar.
Also in 2011 the Artillery Programme recognised with the Forts being a finalist in the Western Australian Heritage Awards 2011 in the category of Interpretation. Having restoring the guns back to workable order, building the Artillery Shelter and the development of our education program a better understanding of how the guns work “It was a honour to be a finalist in the awards and even though we did not win the recognition was reward enough for all the staff and volunteers over the years who work and help develop what we have on show,” Curator David Theodore said.