Fremantle Stuff > West End > High St

High St

Roundhouse to Town Hall, west to east. Click on any image to see a larger version.


High St begins at the 1831 prison, the so-called Round House (it's dodecagonal), with the Whalers Tunnel (1837) beneath it.


High St looking east from the Round House c. 1890, RWAHS R2225. The 1898 Fremantle Hotel has not yet been built. The building middle right was the first dedicated police station. Further east is Mayor W.F. Samson's two-storey house which was in existence from the mid-1850s to 1954-55.


The Tramways Building, number 1 High St, is on the left. Next to it to the east is an NDU carpark, where W.F. Samson's house stood for a hundred years from the 1850s. Opposite to no. 1 is 2 High St, the other end of the Samson bond store, formerly Dalgety's building (1901), the other end of which may be seen as 1 Phillimore St.


The facade of the Fremantle Municipal Tramways Car Barn, at number 1 High St, behind which now are apartments, with offices and a coffeeshop on the ground floor. See also: Wikipedia page for Trams in Fremantle.


The Seamen's Chapel 1937, dominated by the Samson bond store on the left and the (former) Union Bank on the right. Both Chapel and Bank are now part of NDU. See also Flying Angel Club.


Union Bank of Australia, 1889, 4 High St, cnr Cliff St. The Church of England bought the building in 1930 for the Flying Angel Mission to Seamen. The small building to the left was the Seamen's Chapel 1937-1960.


Hotel Fremantle, 6 High St, lacking its corner turret and flagpole, like the P&O Hotel. This was designed by Wilkinson & Smith and built in 1899, and a renovated version was the Kiwi headquarters for the Americas Cup defence in 1987, Steinlager on tap.


The Bank of NSW building, at 7 High St, cnr Cliff St, was designed by Wilkinson & Smith, and built for the Bank on land owned by Pearse and Owston in 1899. The building was fully leased to NDU when it was sold in 2014. See also: Wikipedia page.


Owston's Buildings, at 9-23, occupy almost all of the space on the southern side of High St from Cliff St to Mouat St. Owston was a shipowner.


Tannatt Chambers, 8 High St, 1900, has 'Moorish' elements. It was designed in 1900 by E.M. Deane Smith as was Craig's Chambers (Cellars Building) adjacent.


The Cellars Building, 10 High St, 1900, aka Craig's Chambers, once housed Paul Rigby's Roo on the Roof restaurant in its cellar in the 1960s. The restaurant was later (or also) known as The Cellars, giving the building its current name. Paul Rigby, together with Alec Smith, of the Fremantle Hotel, lobbied Tony Samson to save the Liebler building, nearby in Cliff St. Samson saved only the facade, which still stands.


12 High St is a commercial building apparently built 1897.


National Bank, 1887, 16 High St, is now NDU's Study Abroad Offices and part of the School of Arts and Sciences, building ND20.

18 High

Bank of Australasia, 1901, 18 High St. The sign suggests it's the offices of winemaker Leeuwin Estate. The Commonwealth of Australia logo near the door indicates/d the tenancy of a Federal Dept.

20 High

The Commercial Bank, 1901, at 20 High St, on the NW corner of High and Mouat Sts, was later a branch of the National Bank of Australia. The building was renovated in 1960.

22 High

Western Australian Bank, 1891, 22 High St, aka Bank of NSW, Westpac Building, Challenge Bank. The building at 22 High St is also 18 Mouat St, being on the NE corner, and was later a branch of the Bank of NSW (/Westpac). The pediment has AD 1891 in stucco. The building to the east in High St is the Cleopatra Hotel. The flag on the left of the picture normally flies over the Adelaide Steamship Company building.


The P&O Hotel, on the SE corner of High and Mouat Sts, at 25 High St, was completed in 1896. The verandahs were restored in 2002, tho sadly it is still lacking its original turret.


Baird's Buildings at 33-37 High St, between the two hotels, P&O and Orient, recently housed two restaurants. Athena Lodge (1901, whatever it was) was at 35 High St, up the stairs through the entrance between the two other premises. In June 2015, this building was being completely renovated. In August 2015, the ground floor facades are now all glass. In March 2016, one of the shops is a pharmacy, and there is a yoga school upstairs.

24 High

Cleopatra Hotel, 24 High St, 1907, with me standing outside in the Google Street View photo

36 High

The Orient Hotel looks down on the Adelec Buildings, 28-36 High St, originally known as Fothergill's Building.

40 High

Marich Building, c1897, 36-44 High St, on the northeast corner of High and Henry St, has been proposed for redevelopment since before 2006, when an application to build a 5-storey hotel/apartment complex at the rear was refused. The Rialto Apartments door is at 44, and they presumably occupy all of the upper floor. The Royal Hotel was on this site in 1844. The original town lot numbers were 80/81.


The earliest name of the hotel at 39 High St, on the corner of Henry St, from 1849, was the Commercial. In 1876 it was called the Emerald Isle Hotel, where the publican for a time was Frederick Caesar. This is where the Catalpa incident was planned: the escape of six Fenians from Fremantle Prison. From 1888 it was the Club Hotel. The earlier building was demolished in 1903 after which the Orient Hotel was built. It was renovated in 1995, and again in 2014.


The Henry St side of the Orient.


On the SE corner of Henry and High Sts is the Union Stores building, designed by architect Herbert Nathaniel Davis for J & W Bateman, and formerly the largest hardware store in Fremantle, Bateman's Hardware. The verandahs were restored in the Americas Cup defence renovation in 1986. It's owned by the City of Fremantle, and has just at the time of writing had more renovations completed. The tenant in the corner store is now the New Edition bookshop, which was previously over the road at 82 High St (now Common Ground) and before that in Market St.

48 High

The building at 48-50 High St is occupied by Bill Campbell Secondhand Books and an 'adult' store.

54 High

The Buffalo Club at 54 High St


Between the Union Stores and the Ajax buildings is 49 High St, Hooper's building (1887).


The Ajax Building, 49-59 High St, is on the site on part of which the Stag's Head Inn stood in 1834, on the corner of Pakenham and High Sts.

64 High

On the NW corner of Pakenham St at 64 High St is the Navy Club, upstairs, with commercial premises on the ground floor. The Navy Club was previously in the Freemasons Hall in Marine Parade. The two-storey building was built for the Bank of Adelaide in 1910. This lot (105) was allocated in 1829 to Robert Thomson who built and operated the Stirling Arms, one of the first four pubs in the colony.

70 High

On the NE corner with Pakenham St, 70 High St is Mason Buildings, also known as a former Commonwealth Bank.


On the south-east corner with Pakenham St, at 61-3 High St, is Central Chambers, built in 1906, and restored in 1991, and with other changes 1993-94. William Pearse's butcher's shop stood here 1850s-1906.


High St looking west from near Pakenham St corner c. 1894, RWAHS UNCR2227.

73 high

I'm calling this building at 71 High St, between Central Chambers and Jenkins & Co, the Watsonia building, because Watson's Foods had a store here in living memory (mine).


Jenkins & Co. store, at 75-79 High St, was built in 1929, and in March 2016 is threatened with demolition by the architect who owns it, who has his offices upstairs.

72 High

Pearse's Building, 72-78 High St, 1899?

80 High

Commercial Hotel, 80 High St, 1908. There has been a hotel on this site since the 1840s, first called the Albert Hotel. In 1888 it changed its name to the Commercial. The hotel was rebuilt in 1908, with John McNeece as the architect. Not to be confused with the hotel which is now the Orient, which was also called the Commercial Hotel at one point in time.

80 High

Wyola RSL Club was at 81-3 High St. The building (1903, 1946) remains, tho the club has been wound up.


Commonwealth Bank building, 82 High St, 1934. Now a retailer called Common Ground and a cafe called The Banker.


ANZ Bank building, 86 formerly 84 High St, 1930, formerly the Union Bank of Australia.

80 High

Davies Building, 1905. Only the western half remains. At present it houses the Record Finder. The eastern half was demolished in about 1970 for the TAB building, which was set back to allow for the widening of High St which fortunately never happened.


Now the local police station, 88 High St was previously a branch of the National Australia bank.




Lapa Brazilian Barbecue is now at 96 High St in what is effectively a new building. It is the most hideous building in the West End, in the most inappropriate place: next to the magnificent National Hotel.


Higham's Buildings, 101 High St, cnr Market St. The plaque says ESTd 1863, referring to the business begun by Mary Higham; the building is from about 1890. The left-hand end of the building in Market St once housed the Palladium Theatre (cinema).


National Hotel, 98 High St, on the corner with Market St, 1902; restored 1995, 2001, 2013.


High St looking west from Market St c. 1894, RWAHS UNCR2223. On the right is an earlier version of the National Hotel with J.P. Hearns in the corner pediment. On the left is the Highams' store with 1853 in the corner pediment and the initials MHS in the iron lace on the verandah.


Barney Silbert's Corner, c. 1900, on the opposite corner of Market St. The sign with Barney Silbert's name was removed about 2015-16.


Manning Chambers, 1906, occupies the whole of its side of the Mall from the 'Barney Silbert' corner up to the Town Hall corner and around into William St, and houses what is left of the Majestic Theatre.


Atwell Buildings, 112-122 High Street, was completed between 1895 and 1929, by architect J. NcNeece, and occupy most of the northern side of the High St Mall. There was a delightful Atwell Arcade through the building, designed by Harold Boas, but a large glass box office building has been constructed on the site, and the Arcade was not preserved in its original design.

References and Links

Hutchison, David 2006, Fremantle Walks, Fremantle Arts Centre Press.

Note about the (non)-widening of the eastern end of the street in Fremantle, the newsletter of the Fremantle Society: Vol 4 No 3 1976.

Garry Gillard | New: 28 September, 2014 | Now: 10 October, 2017