Ascot Kilns and Chimneys

Planning, design and conservation works to Australia’s largest cluster of circular kilns and associated chimneys.

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The former Bristile Kilns site reflects an important part of Western Australia's rich industrial past and hosts the largest group of circular ‘beehive’ kilns and associated chimneys still standing in Australia today.

The place has a long history dating back to the early 20th century, with Pitman, Piercy & Co establishing the State's first specialised pottery works there, before it evolved into the local manufacturing site for Bristile. The kilns produced clay pipes for the construction of sewerage, drainage and stormwater systems, and terracotta roofing tiles in the later years of operations that characterise many of Perth's inter-war suburbs.  

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage is overseeing a comprehensive program of planning, design and works to conserve the kilns and chimneys, following a significant State Government investment of up to $6million. Estimated for completion in mid-2023, the project will ultimately ensure that the heritage assets are protected and enable longer term planning to reinvigorate the entire precinct.

 

FAQs

What does the conservation project involve?

The Ascot Kilns Conservation project involves a staged process of planning, design and works aimed at ensuring the long-term conservation of eight circular ‘beehive’ kilns, five chimneys, and tunnels. 

Given the heritage value of the structures, it is important that the works are undertaken sensitively, under the guidance of experts with substantial relevant experience in heritage conservation. Local firm Hocking Heritage + Architecture has been contracted to assist with delivery of this project.

The first stages of the project involve structural assessment, planning and design – all central to ensuring the project can proceed safely and successfully. Following on from this, the conservation building works will include, but not be limited to:

  • Kiln conservation including repointing of brickwork, and replacement or reassembly of deteriorated brickwork as required.
  • Conservation and structural upgrades to the chimney stacks. 
  • Construction of a new protective roof canopy for the kilns.
     
How long will the project take to complete?

It is anticipated that the conservation works will be completed by mid-2023.

How much will the project cost?

The project has received funding of $6 million over three financial years as part of the WA Recovery economic stimulus program. 
 

Will Ascot Kilns be open to the public on completion of the works?

No. These essential conservation works are intended to stabilise and prevent further degradation and damage to the heritage assets. The current funding does not extend to development of the site for community purposes. Beyond this, State and local government are committed to working together to develop a plan for the area that will provide opportunities into the future for the community to engage, up close, with these structures and the story of their history.

What are the benefits of conserving the Ascot Kilns?

The Ascot Kilns conservation project ensures that this distinctive Perth landmark is preserved for the benefit of the community into the future.

The cultural heritage significance of this rare cluster of kilns and chimney stacks was recognised with their entry in the State heritage register in 1992, followed by permanent registration in May 2020. 

The conservation project is expected to generate significant economic activity, including contracting and employment opportunities.

How can I find out more?

This page will be updated at key project milestones, or you can get in touch with the project team on 6551 4131 or email marlise.dossin@dplh.wa.gov.au.  

Page last reviewed 6 April 2021
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