Old Kerosene Store

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Old Kerosene Store
WTFr Nov 2011 gnangarra-17.jpg
Former namesHarbour & Lights Department Boatshed
Shipwrights Building
Campbell's Pottery Studio
Alternative namesKidogo Arthouse
General information
LocationBathers Beach
Address49 Mews Road
Town or cityFremantle, Western Australia
Coordinates32°03′27″S 115°44′30″E / 32.0576°S 115.7417°E / -32.0576; 115.7417
Current tenantsKidogo Art Institute
LandlordCity of Fremantle
Design and construction
Main contractorHarwood and Son
Official nameKerosene Store (former)
TypeState Registered Place
Designated20 November 1992
Part ofRound House and Arthur Head Reserve (8965)
Reference no.846

The Old Kerosene Store is located at Bathers Beach in Fremantle, Western Australia, adjacent to the ruins of the original Fremantle Long Jetty. It is a single-storey limestone building and forms part of the historic Arthur Head Reserve precinct.


The building was constructed in 1884 by Harwood & Son[1] as a dangerous-goods store, for the storage of kerosene.[2] At the time, kerosene was used extensively for street lighting and heating. It is a single-storey limestone building with a hipped iron roof.[3] In 1919 it was used by the state government's Harbour and Light Department as a warehouse and later as a shipwright's shed.[1][2][4]

In 1972, the building was saved from demolition and restored as a space for the creative arts.[1][2] In 1975 it was used by local artist and potter Joan Campbell MBE[1] as a pottery studio and gallery[2] until her death in 1997.[5]

The site and building were vested in the City of Fremantle in 1982 and restored as part of the Commonwealth-funded Arthur Head Bicentennial Project in 1986–87.

Heritage value[edit]

The Old Kerosene Store is classified by the National Trust of Australia (WA) with the following statement of significance: "A good example of an early colonial building and one of the few remaining buildings of its type in WA. Along with the Round House and the Government Stores, the buildings form an interesting group."[3] The building was given an interim listing on the State Register of Heritage Places by the Heritage Council of Western Australia[6] on 20 November 1992.[3] It is also listed on the City of Fremantle's Municipal Heritage List.[7]

Bathers Beach location – taken from the north – the building in mid-left, fishing boat harbour behind

Current use[edit]

In 1998 it was leased by the artist Joanna Robertson, founder of the Kidogo Art Institute, who established a popular, multidisciplinary independent art centre there.[1][2][4] In 1998 the building was renamed the Kidogo Arthouse. Kidogo is Swahili for "small".

In 2010 the City of Fremantle received a Lotterywest grant to undertake conservation and interpretation works at the Old Port precinct, including the former Kerosene Store, prior to the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.[8] During the event, as a result of temporary relaxations to the liquor licensing laws, the Kidogo Arthouse housed a small bar, the Kelp Bar.[9]

Kelp Bar[edit]

Since the success of the Kelp Bar during the ISAF Championships the operator of Kidogo Joanna Robertson has been endeavouring to have the bar operating as a permanent fixture of the gallery. One of the major issues in obtaining a license for the premises has been the inclusion of ablution facilities, as of November 2013 the City of Fremantle still declined permission to apply for the installation of toilets facilities within the heritage building, on 13 December 2013 the City of Fremantle granted permission for an occasional liquor license without the requirement for permanent toilets. Kelp Bar re-opened on 20 December 2013 and will operate on weekends through January 2014.[10]

Further reading[edit]

  • Hanley, Luceille (Editor); Garwood, Roger (Photographs); Heymans, Rie; McPhee, John; Snell, Ted (1984). Joan Campbell : Potter. Fremantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press. ISBN 0-909144-83-4.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Venue". Kidogo Art Institute. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e "From Kerosene to Kidogo" (pdf). Heritage Matters (Newsletter of Heritage Council of Western Australia). Heritage Council of Western Australia. February 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Interim listing : Kerosene Store (Fmr) : 0846" (pdf). State Register of Heritage Places. Heritage Council of Western Australia. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Urban Renewal of Maritime Buildings". Australian Federal Government. 7 January 2010. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Campbell, Joan". Australian Pottery at Bemboka. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Register of Heritage Places" (pdf). Heritage Council of Western Australia. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  7. ^ "City of Fremantle Heritage List" (PDF). City of Fremantle. Archived from the original (pdf) on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Fremantle site to get facelift ahead of international event". City of Fremantle. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  9. ^ Broadfield, Roger (6 December 2011). "Relaxed Freo bar rules should stay: Mayor". TheWest.Com.Au. The West Australian. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  10. ^ Foster, Brendon (20 December 2013). "Kelp for Christmas". Fremantle Herald. Retrieved 27 December 2013.

External links[edit]