Fremantle Stuff > Hotels > Beaconsfield Hotel
1895, aka Moondyne Joe's, 69-73 Wray Avenue, cnr Hampton Road
Fremantle Library photo #3328, 1932: The Beaconsfield Hotel was erected in 1894. The architect was Herbert M. Davis. Note the hitching post for horses.
Note the verandahs, removed in the early 1960s, and the doors onto them, which have been converted into windows. Note also the tramlines and power cable rounding the corner from Hampton Rd into Wray Avenue. The sign painted onto the verandah reads BYRNE'S BEACONSFIELD HOTEL.
The Beaconsfield Hotel, 69-73 Wray Avenue is a two storey rendered masonry and iron commercial hotel building constructed in 1894-1895. The hotel is located on the corner of the busy intersection of Wray Avenue and Hampton Road. It has later added single storey additions. There is a truncated corner with main entrance facing the street intersection. The walls are generally rendered masonry and the roof hipped corrugated iron with short length sheeting. The windows are generally double hung sashes. Rendered chimneys with rendered corbelling are intact. In 2007 the place is named Moondyne Joe's and contains bars, dining room, bottle shop and TAB.
Significance. The place has aesthetic value for its contribution to the streetscape and the surrounding area. It is representative of commercial buildings in the Fremantle area. The place is an example of the Victorian Georgian style of architecture. The place has landmark qualities being a prominent building located at a busy street intersection.
History. Wray Avenue was originally Hampton Street. The name was changed to avoid confusion with the intersecting Hampton Road. It became Alexander Road, after Laurence Alexander, Mayor 1901-1902, and a representative of Falk & Co. The street name was again changed to avoid confusion with Alexandra Road in East Fremantle, and became Wray Avenue in 1923. It was named for William E Wray, at one time with the Education Dept as Truant Inspector, and a resident of the street. He was on the Fremantle Tramways Board and Mayor of Fremantle, 1914-1918.
The Beaconsfield Hotel was designed by Fremantle architect, Herbert N Davis for the owner E E Davies. The Hotel keeper at that time was James Davey. Other buildings Davis designed in Fremantle included the Union Stores and Occidental Chambers in High Street, James Lilly's building in Cliff Street and the Rialto Theatre. A time capsule is believed to have been buried under the front steps when the hotel was first constructed.
The hotel was owned by Davies until 1903/4 when it was subsequently transferred to Arthur E Davies and Frederick Jones. Hotel Keepers during the early 20th century included George B Beard and William McKenzie. Services offered at that time included bedrooms, sitting rooms, billiards and bars.
A plan of the site in 1908 shows that the hotel consisted only of the stone section with a small timber addition on the Wray Avenue elevation. A series of galvanised iron closets were present adjacent to this addition. A well was located in the centre of the lot close to the rear of the building. Timber structures, possibly stables, were also located at the rear of the lot and on the furthest boundary on the Wray Avenue elevation. A plan of the site in 1913 shows that the form of the building had not changed significantly since 1908.
A photograph of the building in 1919 shows that the roof of the main building was separate to the balcony. The timber balcony and the verandah supports on the ground floor were timber and had decorative ironwork.
In 1920 the hotel was owned by the Castlemaine Brewery and in 1929 was acquired by the Swan Brewery. The manager in 1920/21 was Margaret Herlihy.
A photograph of the building in approximately 1949 shows the hotel with a corrugated iron roof and limestone walls with brick quoins on portion of the main elevations. Extensions in brick are present on the Wray Avenue and Hampton Road elevations. The timber verandah was evident with decorative ironwork on the ground floor level. The roof over the verandah and the main roof was one structure which was a variation to the earlier design.
The Hotel manager in the 1940s and 1950s was Michael Byrne.
In 1960, architects Allen & Nicholas prepared plans for the removal of the verandah and balconies on the Wray Avenue and Hampton road facades. A new awning was to be installed in its place. Additional features of this project were the removal of the original windows to the south of the main entrance and their replacement with a single large pane window and the conversion of the upper balcony access doors to windows.
In 1965, plans were prepared by architects Hobbs, Winning & Leighton for the addition of a new Winter Lounge. This was located on the Wray Avenue elevation on the eastern side of the existing building. The finish of this façade was brick and concrete block panel.
In 1968, the winter lounge was again extended on the Wray avenue elevation. The finish of this exterior matched the concrete and brick extension of 1965. The owners, Swan Brewery Co Ltd designed this extension.
This place was identified by the Fremantle Society in 1979/80 as being of cultural heritage significance. (Coded: Brown: "Positively contributing to the built environment") Photographs at this time show that the façade had been rendered.
In 1984, the property was transferred to Lou and Daphney Exelby. In the following year it was transferred to Rob and Pat Anstiss and Peter and Lyn Edmonds.
Photographs of the place in 1987 show that the original main entry from Hampton Road had been bricked in.
In 1990, the property was for sale and at that time it was noted that the property included 12 upstairs rooms, some of which were rented, three bars, a drive-in bottle shop and an extensive parking area.
The property changed ownership in 1994 and again in 1995 and was transferred to Richard and Elena Bennett who undertook a major renovation of the interior. The remodelling was undertaken by architect Bruce Arnold and included a wide range of facilities.
An assessment of the building was undertaken in 1998 by the City of Fremantle to address an application for development. It was noted at that time that the building bore little resemblance to the original form. Heritage Council.
Beaconsfield is named after a property known as 'Beaconsfield', located in the area in the 1880s. The name was officially adopted for the Post Office in August 1894. The origin is unknown, but is probably from the English town or after Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, created Earl of Beaconsfield in 1879. Heritage Council.
Moondyne Joe was a bushranger. He has no connexion whatsoever with the Beaconsfield Hotel, and it's pathetic that management have used his name.
Herbert N. Davis @ architecture.com.au
Garry Gillard | New: 23 September, 2014 | Now: 17 July, 2019