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Swan Brewery

A major brewery close to Perth city, the Swan Brewery, was established at Point Lewis on Matilda Bay not far from Mount Eliza, near the site of previous buildings, one of several of which was a steam mill. After the mill failed, its building was used by the government to accommodate convicts. ( '... the Mount Eliza men slept in a nearby Steam Mill while constructing their new quarters'. Gibbs: 64)

brewery site

Plan of the brewery site, G.W. Leeming, 1895, SRO Cons 3868 item 346, via Heritage Perth in Facebook

The State Heritage Council has published an excellent report (v. infra) on the former brewery and other buildings on the Point Lewis site, recording that activities conducted there included: boatbuilding (innovatively using jarrah); the first Aboriginal school; the first use of steam for flour and timber milling; and tanning. It was also the villa and stables of the de Burgh family from 1846.

The buildings, which include a tall, high roofed structure with dormer windows and a turret, were built in 1838 as mills for timber-cutting as well as flour-grinding. The steam mills were later taken over as a convict depot, then used as a tannery, then a restaurant. In 1879 it was acquired by the Swan Brewery Co. who sold it in 1979 for redevelopment. ANU openresearch page.

References and Links

Gibbs, Martin 2001, 'The archaeology of the convict system in Western Australia', Australasian Historical Archaeology, vol. 19: 60-72.

Oldman, Diane, 'Mt Eliza Convict Depot', on her Sappers and Miners website.

WA Heritage Council page for the Old Swan Brewery Precinct (2186), and its thorough descriptive entry for the same.

Heritage Perth page.

ANU openresearch page.


Garry Gillard | New: 28 June, 2018 | Now: 26 April, 2019