Fremantle Stuff > Buildings > Victoria Hall

Victoria Hall

The Victoria Hall, 1897, 179 High St, was originally the St John's Parish Hall.

victoria hall

Photograph of a painting by Toby Leek, courtesy of the artist.

victoria hall

Victoria Hall located on High Street, Fremantle designed by J.J. Talbot Hobbs was built between 1896 and 1897 as St John's Parish Hall and renamed for the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. It was opened by Governor Smith and his wife on 28 September 1897.
After the Second World War, Bob Wrightson leased the hall for use as a dance studio; some years later he bought it.
Victoria Hall, one of few goldrush buildings remaining in the east end of High Street, sits in a predominantly 1960s streetscape. In 1974 a plan to widen High Street meant that Victoria Hall would be demolished, but a green ban put in place by the Builders Labourers Federation prevented this from happening. Wrightson still owned the building at this time.
The building is listed on the Register of the National Estate. Wikipedia.

The Parish Hall recently erected by the vestry of St. John's Church, Fremantle, to be known as the Victoria Hall, will be formally opened by His Excellency the Governor and Lady Smith on September 28. The Hall is built on an excellent site in High-street; it is well proportioned and lofty, while the elevation is particularly striking and effective. We understand that it will be used primarily for Church of England purposes, but that it will also be available as a public hall. A strong committee is now busily engaged in organising a series of inaugural entertainments which will extend over five evenings, commencing the 28th prox. The West Australian. 11 August 1897, from Wikipedia.

The Victoria Hall was used by Norm Wrightson and his Orchestra for Saturday night dances for thirty years from 1949, and by his brother Bob Wrightson as a dance studio. More recently, it was the home of Deckchair Theatre until 2012 when the lighting rig was deemed to be dangerous and the play in rehearsal (Ingle Knight's The Fremantle Candidate) was moved to the Perth Cultural Centre, after which Deckchair Theatre closed permanently. The Hall is currently leased by the Fly by Night Club.

Physical Description
A stone building with brick quoins and reveals. It has been re-roofed with zincalume, the roof having a Dutch gable behind the parapet of the front facade. The front facade has paired Corinthian columns flanking the entrance. Classical pediment with a dated florid tympanum. Denticulated moulding three circular windows with stucco drapery as detailing Timber sash windows with restrained stucco architraves. Above the windows are moulded pediments. Continuous sill moulding forming a dado. Fluted pilasters define the ends of the facade. Articulated parapet interrupted by half piers. Rusticated stone base. Double doors. The lintels of the windows of the side elevation consist of a three course radiating arch. Much of the internal decorative finishes and detailing is intact. Heritage Council.

References and Links

Davidson, Ron & Dianne Davidson 2010, Fighting for Fremantle: The Fremantle Society Story, Fremantle Society.

Heritage Council page

Heritage Council assessment documentation

Notes in Fremantle, the newsletter of the Fremantle Society: Vol 2 No 1 1974Vol 2 No 2 1974Vol 2 No 6 1974.

The photograph of Victoria Hall is from Wikipedia.

Garry Gillard | New: 22 August, 2015 | Now: 26 May, 2018