Fremantle Stuff > Buildings > Manning Hall

Manning Hall - or Folly

Cnr Pakenham & Short Sts, 1858-1928

This palatial structure was erected on the corner of Pakenham and Short Streets, at great expense, for Charles A Manning. Charles Manning, a Chairman of the Fremantle Town Trust (1859-1867), lived there until he died in 1869. The building was demolished in 1928. Fremantle Library caption.

Fremantle Library photo #2047 c. 1863. The Library caption does not identify the photographer, but John Dowson, who reproduces it in his book, says that it was taken by Alfred Hawes Stone, in about 1865 (2003: 95).


Photo c. 1864 by James Manning, Battye 88272P.

Manning's Hall

The erection of the unique building at the corner of Pakenham Street and Short Street, known to old residents as ”Manning's Folly,” was erected in 1858. It was built by a contractor named Sharpe for the late C. A. Manning and received its name because of the peculiarities of its architecture and the immense amount of money expended upon its erection and exterior embellishments. Its flat roof and glass facades, later replaced by masonry, gave it the appearance of a huge hothouse. Until the death of Manning in 1869 it was occupied by him as a private residence. Afterwards it was occupied by the late Wallace Bickley and then for a number of years by Tolley and Co., wine and spirit merchants. Subsequently it was used by various tenants for trade purposes but eventually it was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair and was deemed unsafe and ordered to be demolished. Manning seems to have had a penchant for flat-roofed houses as the one at the corner of Essex Street and Marine Terrace was of his creation, as also were two others in South Terrace, which were demolished a few years ago. Hitchcock: 40.


Manning's Folly in 1924, FHC image #1935: Mannings Folly was erected in 1858 as a private home for Charles Manning. John MacKnight, a customs and shipping agent, occupied the building from 1914 to 1924. It was demolished in 1928.


Demolition of Manning's Folly in 1928, FHC image #2048A. The very large house was originally built for Charles A Manning in 1858. After his death in 1869 it had various uses including that of liquor warehouse.

In 1929 a new warehouse was built on the site, designed by Joseph Allen. We could call it the Halco building after its most recent tenant before its virtual demolition in 2016. Only the facade has been retained.



Concept of apartment building for the Manning's Folly site


The almost completed apartment building in a photograph from mayor Brad Pettitt's blog post for 24 October 2016, which explains that the artwork on the corner, 'Folly of Follies', by Loreena Grant, is meant to refer to Manning's building.

References and Links

Dowson, John 2003, Old Fremantle: Photographs 1850-1950, UWAP.

Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia, 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.

Walter, Irma 2014, Stout-Hearted: The Story of Stephen Montague Stout, Hesperian Press.

Garry Gillard | New: 28 December, 2014 | Now: 21 April, 2020