Fremantle Stuff > Streets > Cantonment Road

Queen Victoria Street
formerly Cantonment Road

Queen Victoria Street is in three parts (one being the roadway that goes over the older Traffic Bridge, which is therefore also known as the Queen Victoria Bridge). One is in North Fremantle and was formerly known as the Perth Road and then Victoria Avenue. Another is in Fremantle and was called Cantonment Road, as it continued Cantonment Street presumably to a cantonment at the base of Cantonment Hill, but its name was changed in 1892 because of the obvious confusion. At some point it was called Victoria Avenue, and I assume this was from 1892, before the final change (despite what Ewers writes - below).

A cantonment is a military barracks, so there must have been one such there, tho it's not known exactly where. It seems likely that it used to be roughly where the Army Museum now is, but perhaps nearer to the corner of the present Burt and QV Sts.

CANTONMENT—This street appears on Surveyor-General Roe's very earliest map [1933], Cantonment Road being a continuation thereof and leading to the base of what was at first called Cantonment Hill (the hill on which the Signal Station was built in 1931). Owing to confusion, the name Cantonment Road was changed to Queen Victoria Street in 1892. Letters are extant written from the Cantonment, Fremantle, but apparently nobody at present alive knows of the exact situation of the Cantonment. As the streets were surveyed before 1833 right out to the present junction of the Canning Highway, it would seem to have been somewhere in that locality. Ewers: 220-221.

cantonment rd

This (part of a) map is actually dated 1844, but is substantially the same as Roe's 1833 survey. From the State Records Office: AU WA S235- cons3868 126 Chauncy.

This was once a street of elegant houses, of which only this terrace at 20-26 remains.

20 QV

One such elegant house was that of Carl Ratazzi.

villa maria

Ratazzi's house, Villa Maria, was in Queen Victoria St between James and Burt Streets, in the block from what is now Shack's to Officeworks.


Garry Gillard | New: 8 October, 2015 | Now: 5 April, 2016