Fremantle Stuff > arts > early views


From Cantonment Hill, Ensign Robert Dale drew the site of the future town of Fremantle [above] and this was published in London and distributed with the 24 March 1830 issue of the Foreign Literary Gazette.

Early Views of Fremantle

All but the second of these images, and the text, are borrowed from Errington, 2017.

Charles Pechell, c. 1838

Wallace Bickley, ‘View of Fremantle, Western Australia (from the Canning Road)’ with prominent features numbered (AGWA). Samson’s post office in Mouat Street (#18), Dr Harrison’s house (#17) and the Stirling Arms Hotel (#15) are three of the prominent buildings identified in Wallace Bickley’s painting, published in London September 1832. The painting also shows the limestone bar blocking entry to the Swan River estuary (#5).


[This painting], completed in August 1832, is by Richard Morrell. In the letter written on the back of his painting, Morrell claims that there were about 120 houses in Fremantle sheltering a population of about five hundred. His painting shows Scott's jetty and includes the three-acre wheat and barley fields planted by his family about ‘half-a mile from Fremantle’. His painting (completed in winter) also highlights how the town was divided by the swamp through which raised causeways have clearly been built.


Jane Currie, detail from ‘A Panorama of the Swan River Settlement 1830-32’ (Mitchell Library, Sydney ML 827). The causeways over the swamp also appear in the painting completed by Jane Currie before she left the colony in August 1832.


The settlers on the Calista and the other August arrival the Marquis of Anglesea came ashore at the south bay, now filled in as the Esplanade Reserve. Mary Ann Friend, who arrived on the Wanstead on 30 January 1830, captured the scene showing goods still piled on the beach. Her painting also shows the Marquis of Anglesea which had been driven ashore in a September 1830 gale.


Mary Ann Friend ... thought the town resembled ‘a Country Fair and has a pretty appearance, the pretty white tents looking much like booths -- at present there are not above five or six houses. This is shown in another of her paintings which looks upriver to Perth. It wasn’t actually a good site for a town; it was swampy in winter and the glare from the white sand was blinding in summer.

References and Links

Errington, Steve 2017, 'Fremantle 1829-1832: an illustrated history', Fremantle Studies, 9: 15-29.

Garry Gillard | New: 7 January, 2018 | Now: 4 April, 2022