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Wrensfordley Park

This park is referred to in a letter to the editor by Philip Webster in 1885. It is not presently known where the park was. Webster writes in part as follows:

But what says the rising generation of Fremantle : " We have nice streets and roads, 'Odd Fellows Hall,' 'Masonic Hall,' 'Literary Institute,' 'Grammar School' now rising on the top of Monument Hill, a 'lovely church,' and three Parks, 'The Peoples Park, ' Wrenfordsley Park' and the 'Mayors Park,' the latter although least, is the last, and only just finished, now awaiting the opening day that the Mayor's name may be engraven in Red, White and Blue, facing ' Adelaide Street,' ' Edward Street ' and ' Parry Street.' The first of June is not far distant when the good people of the port are longing to enjoy this gala day.

The Oddfellows Hall was opened in 1867, the Masonic Hall in 1877, the Literary Institute (the first one, in Cliff Street) in 1868, the Grammar School (top of High Street) in 1885, St John's Church (the second one in Kings Square) in 1882, Fremantle Park in 1879. The Proclamation Tree in the Mayors Park (Adelaide Street) was not planted until 1890.

Sir Henry Wrensfordley was an undistinguished lawyer who happened to act as Chief Justice of the colony for a short period in 1891 while Onslow was given leave by the governor Sir Frederick Broome. Before that he was Attorney-General 1880-1883, so it seems likely that the park was named in his honour at the end of that period, when he also received his knighthood, in June 1883.

One guess I may make as to the park's location is what is now called the Princess May Park. It was only given that name in 1901 when the Princess visited. If it was a park before that - rather than just the anonymous ground around the school(s) - perhaps it required a name. Hitchcock provides no help.

References and Links

West Australian, 11 May, 1885, p. 3.

Louch, T.S. 1976, 'Wrensfordley, Sir Henry Thomas (1825-1908), ADB.

Garry Gillard | New: 8 July, 2020 | Now: 26 July, 2020