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Pier Hotel

Lot 26, Cliff St, cnr Croke St, 1873-1955

pier hotel

The Pier Hotel was in Cliff Street from 1873 to 1955, on the corner of Croke Street. This photo is from about 1903, and is from the Fremantle Library Local History Collection, #604, c. 1903. The text accompanying the photo on their website is as follows:

On the right is the Cliff Street Post Office (opened 10.08.1889). Note the horse hitching rails and the notice boards for shipping news. On the corner of Croke Street is the Pier Hotel, with an advertisement for The Port Brewery Ship Brand Pale Ale. The hotel was opened in 1873 and demolished in 1955.

pier hotel

This earlier photo of the Pier Hotel is from the Fremantle Library Local History Collection, #1396, c1885.

On the right is Flindell's Pier Hotel, originally built for William Brown. He was formerly a Coxswain with the Water Police and applied for a Publican's licence in 1873. The Pier Hotel had a convenient location between the ships and the railway, with a stockyard and holding paddock for horses imported from the Eastern States for the North West. (FHC)

The advertisement (right) is from the 1881 WA Almanack.

One publican was Frederick Caesar (1838-1904) who arrived from Guildford, Surrey in 1871. He later ran the Emerald Isle (Orient) and then the Richmond. James Flindell was the owner around the turn of the century.
Alterations and additions in 1893 were designed by architect, Herbert Nathaniel Davis.
John Dowson tells us that the Pier Hotel 'hosted an outdoor cinema at the rear'. (Dowson 2003: 121)

Cliff St in the 1850s was a busy thoroughfare connecting the sea front jetty with the river. Many businesses were located along the route. The street was paved in 1858 with hand-tolled Yorkshire flagstones by sappers of the Royal Engineers. The job was completed by private contract after the sappers were needed elsewhere. Apparently, convicts were not skilled enough for the job. To meet the expense, dog licences, poundage fees and fines were raised by the Town Trust.
The Pier Hotel was built by William Brown in the 1870s. Brown was an ex-water policeman and sailmaker. The hotel was delicensed in 1922 and demolished in 1955.
As at 2002 the lot was a carpark associated with Notre Dame University. In 2009 plans were approved by the City of Fremantle for development of the site for NDU. Heritage Council.

There is a 2010 NDU Education building, ND4, Tannock Hall of Education, on the site now. The spire in the distance is that of the Hotel Fremantle, on the corner of High St.

The fine building on the south side of the corner of Croke St was the Post Office until 1907 when the current building in Market St took over. It was demolished in 1967, and has been ever since yet another car park.

References and Links

Dowson, John 2003, Old Fremantle, UWAP.

Ewers, John K. 1971, The Western Gateway: A History of Fremantle, Fremantle City Council, with UWAP, rev. ed. [1st ed. 1948].

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

Heritage Council page.

Flindell family photo taken at the rear of the Pier Hotel c. 1901, #1552B. Clara Flindell is shown with her son George Owen Flindell, b. 1899, in the pram. George was married in 1928. Clara lived to the age of 91, dying in the 1960s. Diane Oldman (personal communication).

Garry Gillard | New: 21 September, 2014 | Now: 11 May, 2020