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The Rowly Stone

Where Roleystone got its name from - perhaps?


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The Rowly Stone

Just off Brookton Highway to the right (going uphill having passed the Brackenridge shops) lies the Rowly Stone rock. It can be viewed most clearly from a private road to the right of the highway half way between Soldiers Road and Thompson Road. In viewing the rock please respect the privacy of local residents.

The rock has a deep cleft in it and a few small rounded rocks balanced precariously on top...the "Rowly Stones" or rolling stones. Locally it has also been known as Dog Rock.

The rock has a link to Moondyne Joe (Joe Bolitho Johns), the most famous Western Australian bushranger. In 1865 Moondyne Joe escaped from from a convict road gang and made for the hills. He was serving 10 years at Fremantle Gaol for killing an Ox.

Tracked by native trackers and police dogs the police were soon on his trail. Constable Regan, who was stationed at the time at the 36 mile Police Station on the Albany Road, reported that he had found Moondyne Joe's tracks near the ''rowly stone on the Canning.''

Moondyne Joe is believed to have sheltered in the cleft in the rock.

In another police report, Constable Armstrong also referred to the location as the "Rolling Stone" as being near the "Buckinghams." The Buckingham family had a farm nearby across the Canning River (near where the present Thompson Rd crosses the river and goes uphill).

The Rowly Stone is clearly a very significant feature in this area. The Canning River over aeons has cut a deep valley through the granite here. The surrounding ridge must have once been much higher at the time and at some stage the Rowly Stone has tumbled down from a much higher level and settled on it's side where it now is. Having survived endless years of erosion it now stands proud of the surrounding hill side. looking at it you can only marvel at how long it has taken the Canning to cut such a steep and narrow path through the granite.

-----oo0oo-----

You can see why it was called Dog Rock for a while

The crack in the rock that Moondyne Joe hid in for a short while

The Rowly Stone

 

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