Fremantle Stuff > Buildings > 'Marmion Cottage'

Henry Wray's residence aka Government House aka 'Marmion Cottage'

South Terrace, c. 1850-1939, near the corner of Alma St

This building was constructed after 1850 as part of the Convict Establishment as the residence of Royal Engineer Lieutenant-General Henry Wray. It later became the summer residence for the Governor, but was rarely used for that purpose. Later again it was later known as Marmion's House (or Cottage). It was on the Mandurah Road (now South Terrace) not right on the corner of Alma St, but roughly where the middle of the western facade of the Fremantle Hospital now is. According to a governement media statement (see below) it was used as post office from 1879. It was demolished in 1939, and Fremantle Hospital is now on the site. (Lang & Newman: 13)

marmion cottage

Fremantle Library image #LH005168 c. 1935. Vice Regal residence in South Terrace. The Vice Regal residence in South Terrace known as Marmion Cottage was built c. 1850 and rarely used for Vice Regal purposes. In 1850 Lieutenant [Henry] Wray RE lived there and in the 1880s Lady Barker (Broome) was 'at home' there on the 1st Monday of the month. Other tenants included the Colonial Surgeon, Dr Mayhew, W S Marmion MLA and C R Penny, Crown Prosecutor. It was demolished in 1939.

This residence, known as Marmion Cottage, was built in 1852. Lt. R.E. Wray was in residence in the 1850s and Lady Barker (Broome) was "at home" here the 1st Monday afternoon in the month in the 1880s. The property was used by Fremantle Hospital in the 1930s and demolished 1939. Taken 20 April 1938. Text and 1938 photo #2048B from Fremantle Library.

On grounds directly to the west of the hospital and fronting South Terrace, was [in 1903] a strip of land on which a two-storeyed house had been built at [near] the Alma Street corner. The house which had been used by the Governor on occasion as a summer residence, was currently tenanted by Mrs Marmion. Garrick & Jeffery: 100. [Mrs Marmion was the widow of W.E. Marmion MLA, a prominent man who had died in 1896 aged 51.]

By 1889, postal business had grown so rapidly that the Colonial Government provided the new two-storey Commissariat building on the corner of Cliff and Croke Streets to serve the expanding business and residential areas of Fremantle.

References and links

Campbell, Robin McKellar 2010, Building the Fremantle Convict Establishment, PhD, UWA (Faculty of Architecture).

Garrick, Phyl & Chris Jeffery 1987, Fremantle Hospital: A Social History to 1987, Fremantle Hospital.

Lang, Karen & Jan Newman 2004, Wharf Rats and Other Stories: 100 Years of Growing up in Fremantle, Fremantle Primary School.

'Heritage listing for historic Fremantle Post Office', media statement,

Garry Gillard | New: 22 June, 2015 | Now: 8 November, 2019