Fremantle Stuff > Hotels > P&O Hotel

P&O Hotel

25 High St, 1901

Mrs Pace's, later the Crown & Thistle, became the Victoria Hotel from about 1870, on the SE corner of Mouat and High, at 25 High St. The owner and licensee in 1888 was Patrick Hagan, who died in 1891. He left his estate to his brother James, who sold both his hotels (the other was the National) in 1893, and went to the WA goldfields.

The Victoria Hotel was sold again in 1898 and renovated and renamed the P&O Hotel, completed 1901. The verandahs of the 1901 building were restored in 2002, tho sadly it is still lacking its original clock tower. It is now NDU student accommodation.

There is some confusion about the Victoria Hotel. Some online sources suggest that the 1898 [1896-1901?] building was a renovation of the existing 1870s building, whereas David Hutchison writes that the P&O Hotel was a new building. I quote him in full, with emphasis added.

P&O Hotel
Architects: Cavanagh and Cavanagh (1890s), Allen and Nicholas (1930s)
On the south-east corner at 25 High Street, on the site of an earlier small hotel owned by the Pace family. After the death of Mrs Pace — whose husband had died earlier — this hotel was managed by Ms Scott and Pat Hagan and named the Victoria, although sailors who frequented it called it the 'Cockpit'. In the 1890s it was purchased by Bernard O'Connor and Timothy Quinlan who commissioned a new building, which was completed in c. 1896. It demonstrates the achitects' liking for an exuberant style with a brick and stucco gabled facade. In the 1930s it was owned by the Bahen family, who held it for forty years. In 1938 they commissioned architects Allen and Nicholson to design internal alterations. Its verandas, removed in the 1960s, were reinstated in 2002, although, unfortunately, its clock tower, demolished in the 1930s, has not been restored. Although the hotel is now owned by Notre Dame University, the ground-floor bar remains open to the public.
2005: NDUA student accommodation.
David Hutchison 2006, Fremantle Walks, Fremantle Arts Centre Press: 113-114.

Bruce Graham has pointed out (personal communication) that Frank Hurley's aerial photos reproduced in John Dowson's Port Fremantle, 2011: 113, 114, show that the tower was still in place as late as 1950.

I suggest and indeed urge the powers-that-be to consider replacing this tower and the one on the Fremantle Hotel, as they would be key elements of that photo that every tourist takes from the Round House looking east along High St.

high st

Fremantle History Centre photo #1038, 1901, showing both Fremantle and P&O hotels with their towers.

The railway line is in the foreground with Dalgety's Building, completed November 1901 on the left. The architect was J Talbot Hobbs. Beyond is the Hotel Fremantle (1898) and in the centre background is the Town Hall. The turreted building on the right of the Town Hall is the P&O Hotel (1901). At the front right is the Police Quarters, demolished in 1905 for the Tramways Car Barn. Beyond this are the home and garden of W F Samson and the Bank of New South Wales (1899).


Garry Gillard | New: 18 September, 2014 | Now: 19 January, 2017