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Gallop House

Gallop House, in Dalkeith, was built c. 1872-77 by James Gallop Snr (1811-1880), whose family also owned the Fremantle properties Dalkeith House (in High Street) and the King's Theatre (in South Terrace).

Heritage Council notes

Statement of Significance
Gallop House [c. 1872-1877] has strong aesthetic, historic, social and rarity cultural heritage significance. It was constructed in stone by James Gallop Snr and is significant as the oldest private residence in the City of Nedlands. The place has a strong association with farming that was practised at a time when the Swan River played an important role in the transportation of produce. Gallop House is a rare example of a colonial residence sited in its original garden setting on a high bank overlooking Melville Water. It has significance for its association with James Gallop and his family, early European settlers who prospered and were instrumental in the development of Dalkeith. Gallop House is a fine example of a Victorian Georgian style residence. It has a landmark quality and is a prominent landscape element impacting on vistas from Melville Water. The proximity of the house to the river, and the vistas thereto, is important in establishing and retaining the landmark quality of the house and its surroundings. Gallop House contributes to the community's sense of place by demonstrating European settlement in the district, particularly through its use as a local history museum. Please Note: A conservation plan for Gallop House is being prepared for the City of Nedlands and the Heritage Council of Western Australia by a consultant team of the National Trust (June 1998).

Physical Description
Gallop House is a two-storey residence built in Victorian Georgian style. It is situated, in isolation, on a high bank with steps leading down the grassed hill to the Swan River. The place is set in a garden environment with landscaped lawns and trees. The rear of the residence is tiered with retaining walls that encase gardens and are connected by paths. The building is surrounded by paving on three sides and bounded by a stone wall. The building can be accessed from the river by a large stone and timber staircase, crucifrom in plan, with a solid stone balustrade and lined either side by gardens. The residence is built of limestone with stucco finish, lined to resemble stone blocks. The building is covered with a double hip roof of corrugated iron with a central box gutter and simple chimneys. A balcony and verandah extend across the front and rear facades. The main roof extends to cover the front balcony, while the rear balcony has a separate roof. Both balconies are supported by stop-chamfered timber posts with imported cast-iron infill panels. The underside of the front verandah beam is decorated by a cast iron frieze and cast iron brackets adorn its posts. A timber valance decorates the underside of the rear verandah beam. The front and rear facades are symmetrical with a central doorway and windows either side. The windows have stone lintels and sills except for the lower level windows on the side and rear facades which have timber sills. All windows are double-hung sashes, twelve paned with slim glazing bars. The residence comprises a central passage with three rooms either side. The plan is repeated on the upper level. The two front rooms on the lower level feature stone fireplaces with plaster finish and carved timber mantels. Floors to the interior are pit-sawn timber throughout - saw marks can be seen on the boards. The verandah floors and driveway are brick paved - carried out during restoration in the early 1960s. The interior features high ceilings with simple ceiling rose. An oak staircase in a colonial style with slender balusters and a continuous rounded balustrade is located in the passage. An archway supported on square pilasters is located midway down the passage on both levels. Although the interior was originally wallpapered, it has been removed and is now painted. In the 1963-64 restoration works included: the installation of new ceilings and timber trims; repairs to cracks in the plasterwork in the interior and the stucco to the exterior; the bathroom and kitchen were modernised; and the garden was moved away from the building walls to ease the problem of rising damp. The building was repainted with colours chosen from paint scrapes to be as close to the original as possible. General maintenance was carried out in the 1980s prior to the place being opened to the public in 1985. In 1995, the garage roof was recovered and the roof beams strengthened. Gallop House today (1998) is in sound condition.

Gallop House is a two-storey residential building, constructed c. 1872-1877 by James Gallop Snr, and situated in the Perth suburb of Dalkeith. The riverside suburb of Dalkeith derives its name from an estate of 320 acres taken up in 1831 by Adam Armstrong. He named it Dalkeith Farm after the district near Edinburgh from which he had migrated in 1829. Armstrong had first taken up land on the Murray River south of Fremantle, where be established a farm. However, perceived trouble with local Aborigines forced him to relinquish this isolated holding and establish his home on the Swan River. Here, with his family, he began improving the estate and built Dalkeith Cottage. The exact location of this first house is not known. After suffering financial difficulties, Armstrong decided to return to the Murray River. He sold Dalkeith Farm for £250 on 1 February 1839. At the sale the property included stockyards and five acres of gardens. The new owner was John Lewis, Commissary General and Colonial Treasurer. Two year later, on Lewis's death, Dalkeith Farm was leased firstly to William F. Cook and later to James Gallop. James Gallop had arrived in Western Australia in October 1829 with his two brothers. They were indentured labourers selected by the agents of Colonel Edward Latour. Latour never came to Australia and the brothers were left to fend for themselves. Within a short time they found themselves 'good positions'. Through hard work, Gallop was able to lease and later purchase land in Dalkeith which enabled him to prosper as a market-gardener and wine-maker. In 1847, Gallop bought out part of the Dalkeith Farm lease acquiring the cottage and 65 acres of land, including improvements, for £250. In the mid-to-late 1860s, he acquired the remainder of the 320 acres for £50. The two parcels of land Gallop bought comprised most of the present-day suburb of Dalkeith. By this time, Dalkeith Farm had become a well established market garden which supplied Perth and Fremantle with much of its fresh produce. James Gallop married Elizabeth Spencer in 1843 and by the late 1850s the Gallop family had increased by several children. For the sake of their children's better education the family moved from their isolated farm in Dalkeith to reside at FremantIe [in Dalkeith House, High Street]. However, Gallop continued to work Dalkeith Farm as a fruit orchardist. It is thought that James Gallop Snr built the present two-storey house for his eldest son, James. The West Australian (West Suburbs Supp.) states that "Mr James Gallop, son of the founder of the house, wrote to Mr Williams that the house was built as a wedding present for his mother, about 1875". The construction commenced about 1872 and is thought to have been completed prior to 1877. His son, James Jnr, took up residence after his wedding in December 1877 to Emma Wood of FremantIe. The stone steps leading to the river are believed to have been constructed at this time. Over the years the Gallop family developed a thriving market garden and vineyard operation. However, the growing prosperity of the State around the turn of the century was not reflected in Gallop Gardens, at least in terms of productivity. After James Gallop Snr died in 1897, James Gallop Jnr subdivided the land and sold off land parcels up until around 1911. In 1911, John Scaddan's Labour Government bought the balance of Location 85 and the house for 11,000 pounds. The house had become extremely dilapidated and the surrounds overgrown and neglected. Also, in 1911, the State Gardens Board, which now controlled the foreshore as an "A" Class Reserve, appointed Mr B.V. Brooks, a former Gallop employee, as tenant-caretaker and he eked out a scant living from the land. In the 1920s and 1930s, amid the extensive clearing of bushland in Nedlands and Dalkeith for residential development, the conservation of Gallop House became doubtful as it was in a run-down condition. In October 1959, the WA Historical Society expressed its concern over the condition of the building. However, no work was able to be undertaken immediately and the Nedlands City Council resolved that the place be condemned as unfit for human habitation and a demolition notice was issued on 21 January 1963. Despite this, action was being taken by the Historical Society to organise its possible restoration. After much negotiation. an agreement was reached whereby the City Council agreed to offer the house on a 21 year rent-free lease, in exchange for its occupation, its proper repair and effective maintenance. Gallop House was subsequently leased to Mr and Mrs Anderson and the restoration completed, at their expense, during 1963 and 1964. A memorial erected at the front of Gallop House in 197I by the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, commemorates the contributions made to the early settlement of Dalkeith by Adam Armstrong and James Gallop. The house was further restored after the 21-year lease ended in the mid-1980s. In 1985, Gallop House was opened to the public as an 'Historical Museum and Old Colonial Home'. The rooms to the left of the passage contain sitting, dining and bedroom displays. The rooms to the right of the passage are for private use by the tenant. The furniture on display has been collected over the years. A Bible encased in glass, on display in the sitting room, is believed to be the only surviving remnant of the Gallops' life in Dalkeith.

References and Links

Heritage Council page for Gallop House (as above).

Garry Gillard | New: 22 June, 2020 | Now: 23 June, 2020