History of The Rocks
The building was built in 1882 for one of Albany’s first Mayors, Mr William Gryllis Knight. It is understood that he chose this site to capture the spectacular and totally unobstructed views of the Princess Royal Harbour and the whole town of Albany.
Purchased by the Government in 1913, the property was refurbished with the intention of providing Western Australian Governors with a summer residence. In 1915, the governor made the property available to be used as a convalescent home for returning soldiers.
In 1920, the Governor again decided to use the property as the Vice Regal summer residence and it was used as such by Governors Macartney, Newdegate and Campion. Governor Campion and his family were frequent visitors and one of the Executive rooms has been named in their honour.
Between 1933 and 1948, The Rocks had a variety of uses including a maternity hospital, a school, a surgery and doctor’s residence, and a US Officers’ R & R centre. In 1948, the CWA (Country Women’s Association) took over and ran a Girl’s Hostel for regional girls attending the Albany Senior High School.
In the late 1970s, the property underwent another renovation which removed all of the original timber windows, doors and verandah balustrade replacing them with aluminium or steel. After this was completed, the Activ Foundation (then known as the Slow Learners Childrens Group) used The Rocks as a school and hostel.
Sold in 1998 to the owners of Mount Romance, the property was then occupied as a private residence and saw the beginnings of a massive renovation effort. Due to the amount of work completed by these owners, one of the Executive Rooms has been named in their honour.
The Evans family (the current owners) purchased the property in 2003 and began a three year renovation, restoration and landscaping project. They believed that a property which is such an integral part of the region’s history, as well as its uniqueness of style and grandeur, proximity to the main street of Albany, expansive gardens and unlimited panoramic scenery deserved to again be utilised to its fullest potential. It was their vision to restore this iconic property to its former glory and to share the history, views and experience through providing exceptional accommodation.
The renovations have enhanced the historical feel but have also added modern facilities to enhance guests’ experiences. The six expansive guest rooms all have ensuites and all have varying ‘themes’ and features – allowing The Rocks Albany to cater for a variety of tastes.