Fremantle Stuff > hotels >

P&O Hotel

25 High St

Mrs Pace's 1830s hotel on the SE corner of Mouat and High Street (now 25 High Street) later became the Crown & Thistle, and then the Victoria Hotel in the 1870s. The owner and licensee of the Victoria Hotel in 1888 was Patrick Hagan, who died in 1891. He left his estate to his brother James, (who is the licensee named in the PO directory of 1893) who sold both his hotels (the other was the National) in 1893, and went to the WA goldfields.

Coralie Solomon:
At the beginning of 1870 Solomon & Nephews commenced monthly sales in the stockyards at the rear of the Crown and Thistle Hotel on the corner of Henry and High Streets. Fremantle Studies, 3: 1-13.

The Victoria Hotel was sold again in 1898 and rebuilt as the P&O Hotel, completed 1901. The verandahs of the 1901 building were restored in 2002, tho sadly it is still lacking its original clock tower. Until 2020 it was NDU student accommodation.

In 2021, it has been sold to a new owner, and it seems that Notre Dame has not renewed its lease (blogger).

David Hutchison:
Architects: Cavanagh and Cavanagh (1890s), Allen and Nicholas (1930s)
On the south-east corner at 25 High Street, on the site of an earlier small hotel owned by the Pace family. After the death of Mrs Pace—whose husband Captain Pace had died earlier—this hotel was managed by Ms Scott and Pat[rick] Hagan and named the Victoria, although sailors who frequented it called it the 'Cockpit'. In the 1890s it was purchased by Bernard O'Connor and Timothy Quinlan who commissioned a new building, which was completed in c. 1896. It demonstrates the achitects' liking for an exuberant style with a brick and stucco gabled facade. In the 1930s it was owned by the Bahen family, who held it for forty years. In 1938 they commissioned architects Allen and Nicholson to design internal alterations. Its verandas, removed in the 1960s, were reinstated in 2002, although, unfortunately, its clock tower, demolished in the 1930s, has not been restored. Although the hotel is now owned by Notre Dame University, the ground-floor bar remains open to the public.
2005: NDUA student accommodation.
David Hutchison 2006, Fremantle Walks.

Bruce Graham has pointed out (personal communication) that Frank Hurley's aerial photos reproduced in John Dowson's Port Fremantle, 2011: 113, 114, show that the tower was still in place as late as 1950.

I suggest and indeed urge the powers-that-be to consider replacing this tower and the one on the Fremantle Hotel, as they would be key elements of that photo that every tourist takes from the Round House looking east along High St.

high st

Fremantle Library photo no. 1038, 1901, showing both Fremantle and P&O hotels with their towers.
Fremantle Library:
The railway line is in the foreground with Dalgety's Building, completed November 1901 on the left. The architect was J Talbot Hobbs. Beyond is the Hotel Fremantle (1898) and in the centre background is the Town Hall. The turreted building on the right of the Town Hall is the P&O Hotel (1901). At the front right is the Police Quarters, demolished in 1905 for the Tramways Car Barn. Beyond this are the home and garden of W.F. Samson and the Bank of New South Wales (1899).

Heritage Council:
The Victoria Hotel (c1870) was a smaller hotel which stood on the site of the current P & O Hotel. It was kept by Mrs Scott, widow of a sea captain, and Pat Hagan. It was a favoured place for deep sea skippers, the bar known as the 'Cockpit' fitted out in nautical style. (See Hitchcock's 'Early Days of Fremantle,' and Fremantle Times, 11.4.1919.)
New owners from c1898 were Connor & Timothy Quinlan. The Victoria Hotel was either replaced or renovated, and the name changed to the P & O Hotel from c1901 according to Rates records. (National Trust classification says it was built by Cavanagh & Cavanagh.) The building originally had a clock tower. In 1938 Allen & Nicholas Architects carried out alterations to the interior. The Bahen family owned the P & O from c1932-1972. In 1972 outbuildings on the site were demolished.
New owners in 1985 carried out renovations, including in 1986, removal of three existing shopfronts on the ground floor (not original) and formation of a new entrance. In 1994, Revitalized Shopfitters carried out a refit of the interior. A photographic record was prepared prior to alterations.
In c2002 it became part of Notre Dame University.
A highly decorative and prominent two storey corner former hotel; expressing the boom of the gold period. The main entrance is on the truncated corner and the bull nose verandas have extensive iron lacework) and columns (probably not original). The decorative parapet has balustrade, columns and five large pediments featuring stilted arches with columns and decorative stucco. The corner of the parapet has the remains of a dome featuring the name The 'P&O Hotel' in decorative stucco; the columns and roof are no longer intact. The multi paned windows have stucco architraves.

Garry Gillard | New: 18 September, 2014 | Now: 6 May, 2021