Fremantle Stuff > places. See also: breweries, buildings, depots, halls, mills, parks, streets.


The oldest place names in the Perth area are those given by the first people, the Whadjuk Nyoongar, and then those given by Stirling on his navigation of the Swan River in 1827, and at the time of his foundation of the Swan River Colony in 1829.

Alfred Cove is named after Alfred Waylen (1833-1901), pioneer settler who was granted Swan Location 74, covering most of present-day Alfred Cove and Myaree.

Armstrong Spit (Nanulgurup) was named after the family of Adam Armstrong who settled in what he called Dalkeith.

Arthur Head (Manjaree) was given its European name by Captain James Stirling, who named the promontory in 1827 for George Arthur (-1854) Governor of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). Aka Gaol Hill.

Bassendean was so named by Colonial Secretary Peter Broun, who was granted 9000 acres in Upper Swan and West Guildford, and named the land after the ancestral family estate (in the Scottish Borders), and also Eden Hill after Eden Water, the river flowing through it.

Bathers Beach (Manjaree) or Bay was also known as Whalers Beach, and City Beach in 1945. It is shown as Bathers Bay on maps from 1829.

Beaconsfield. The locality 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.

Point Belches. Aka Mill Point/the Narrows. After the third lieutenant on HMS Success, Peter Belches, who was in the cutter with Stirling in the 1827 exploratory navigation of the river. Point Belches is at the southern end of the Narrows Bridge. W.K. Shenton built a wind-driven flour mill near here in 1833. A second mill was built in 1935 and operated until 1859; it was 'restored' in 1959.

Bicton. The present suburb once comprised four grants taken up in 1830 by Alfred Waylen, Joseph Cooper, William Habgood and John Hole Duffield respectively. Bicton was the name of Duffield's estate in his home village near Exeter in South Devon, England. The vineyard he established upon his death in 1859 was also given this name. Landgate.

Blackwall Reach (Jenalup) was named by Commander L.S. Dawson RN, Admiralty surveyor in 1896, probably after Blackwall Reach on the Thames near Greenwich.

Brewery. The former Swan Brewery, on Matilda Bay, near Mt Eliza, was preceded there by other breweries, and, before that, a steam mill.

Point Brown, North Fremantle, northeast of the Gilbert Fraser Reserve, is thought to be named after A.E. Brown who in 1886 opened a shipbuilding yard near Marine Terrace.

Bruce Lee Oval, Beaconsfield. Bruce William Francis Lee was a member of the Fremantle City Council, 1941–1968, and Chairman of the Council's Ovals and Parks committee.

Buckland Hill. Site of the Harley Scramble 1928-1964. Named for William Buckland FRS, first Reader in Geology at Oxford and later Dean of Westminster (-1856). John Arrowsmith's 1833 map of the colony names the whole tongue of land west of Perth as Buckland Downs.

Butler's Hump, afterwards Keane's Point (Beereegup), is now occupied by the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club building, which was originally built as the house of Lilla and Edward Keane in about 1891. John Butler was the first colonial owner of the land.

Canning River was named by James Stirling in 1827 for British PM George Canning.

Cantonment Hill. Cantonment Hill is so called because there was a cantonment (military barracks) nearby, probably to the west of the top of the hill, more or less where the Army Museum is now.

Cappuccino Strip is an informal name for the part of South Terrace between Bannister and Henderson Streets (or Norfolk Street, if you wish). Fremantle real estate agent the late Jeff Brockway told me seriously, in the early 1990s, that he had coined the term: he had an office in South Terrace which John Dethridge remembers (he told me) was advertised as being on the Cappuccino Strip.

Carnac Island. After John Ruett Carnac, senior lieutenant on HMS Success. Carnac Island had previously been called Ile Pelée, then Ile Lévilian and finally Ile Berthelot, before the arrival of Stirling, who whimsically named it Pulo Carnac, 'pulo' being Malay for 'island'. Apart from birds, it's noted for its tiger snakes, so is not a popular place to visit.

Challenger Harbour. Named for Capt Fremantle's ship.

Chesterfield. The area included John Street, Douro Road, Hewitt Street, William Street, and Lloyd Street. Subdivided by John Chester and named Chesterfield in 1887. By 1930 the name was no longer in use.

Chidley Point, Mosman Park, was named after Capt. Frederick Chidley Irwin (-1860) and marked on some early maps as Point Irwin. He arrived on the Sulphur in command of a detachment of the 63rd Regiment.

Church Hill was recorded on the earliest maps of Fremantle. Later named Scotsman’s Hill, it was removed 1964.

Claisebrook. (Goongoonup) Originally Clausebrooke, for Surgeon Frederick Clause, who was with Stirling on his 1827 survey of the Swan River.

Clarence, also known as Clarence Town and Peel Town, was planned by Thomas Peel, with help from various other colonial backers. The first ship of settlers landed in December 1829, but the settlement was abandoned by the early 1830s. The site is thought to have been in the vicinity of Woodman Point. The name refers to the Duke of Clarence, who was the heir to the British throne at the time.

Claremont became a local government authority in 1893, the name coming from the Claremont Estate (Swan Location 350) held by James Morrison whose wife's name was Clara (Williams: 59).

Cockburn Sound. Named for Admiral Sir George Cockburn, Stirling's patron.

Cottesloe. So named by Governor Broome in 1886 after Sir Thomas Fremantle, first Baron Cottesloe of Swanbourne, Bucks.

Crab Bay was on the northern bank of the Swan near where the first rail bridge was built in 1880. It has disappeared due to harbour works.

Crawley Bay, see Matilda Bay.

Currie Bay, see Matilda Bay.

Currie Spit, aka Point Currie. For Captain Currie RN, first harbourmaster. Now usually known as Pelican Point (as it was in 1827).

Dalkeith was named by the Armstrong family, who settled there, after their place of origin in Scotland. Francis Fraser Armstrong married Mary Mews. James Gallop had a house and farm there. Many streets in the area were named by surveyor P.G.S. Hope after yachts on the river in the racing season 1912-13.

Darling Range. The escarpment was named in 1827 after the (1825-31) Governor of NSW, General Ralph Darling.

Point Direction, North Fremantle, is where the Water Police station is. Origin unknown.

Point Dundas. (Moondanup). If named by Stirling, this would have named after the same man as Melville Water: the second Viscount Melville (Robert Dundas), First Lord of the Admiralty 1812-1827. The Majestic Hotel, which has regrettably been demolished, was built as a governor's private residence here in about 1900.

Eden Hill. Colonial Secretary Peter Broun was granted 9000 acres in Upper Swan and West Guildford, and named Bassendean after the ancestral family estate, and also Eden Hill after Eden Water, the river flowing through it.

Mount Eliza (Mooro Katta, Kaarta Garup, Gargatup) was named by Stirling for the wife of the (1825-31) Governor of NSW, General Ralph Darling.

Elizabeth 'Quay' (not a quay) aka Betty Jetty (not even a jetty) is a memorial Premier Barnett had built for himself. It's a commercial development where there used a reclaimed esplanade.

Ellen Brook and Ellenbrook. Ellen Brook, which flows into the Swan River, was named by James Stirling, the first Governor of Western Australia, after his wife Ellen Mangles (1807-1874), who was from Woodbridge, Surrey. Woodbridge House, was also so named. Ellenbrook is now a newish Perth suburb. Ellen Street in Fremantle is also named after Ellen Mangles.

Ferry Point was on the end of some sand which was on the south side of the Swan River at Fremantle until it was removed to create Fremantle Harbour. Colloquially known as Willis['s] Point. The ferry from there would have crossed to Lukin's jetty.

Fraser Point. Charles Fraser was botanist on HMS Success. Fraser Point was the land NW of Heirisson Island, central Perth.

Fishing Boat Harbour, Fremantle.

Fremantle is named for Capt Charles Howe Fremantle.

Fremantle Commonage, Hilton. This area was set aside by the government after the establishment of the Swan River Colony. After WW2 it was developed into housing. South of Carrington Street.

Freshwater Bay (Minderup). A topographical name.

Gage Roads was so named after Rear-Admiral Sir William Hall Gage, Stirling's admiral, who was Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Navy's East Indies Station when James Stirling was surveying the Swan River in 1827.

Garden Island. Governor Stirling named Garden Island after a nickname of the Isle of Wight, according to Pamela Statham-Drew (2003: 71; 2004: 16). It had formerly been named Ile Buache by the French. It's now a 'defence' establishment called HMAS Stirling.

Gilbert Fraser Oval, John Street, North Fremantle. Gilbert Fraser (1894-1958) was a Member of the Legislative Council of WA 1928-1958. He was also president of the North Fremantle Amateur Football Club 1932 -1941, 1946-1953. See also Gilbert Fraser Grandstand.

Graylands is named after Maria Gray (née Wycliffe) who inherited land from her sister Sarah Harding (also née Wycliffe) the widow of harbourmaster Captain Harding, the first private owner of land there. Maria was the (second) wife of John Gray, survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade.

Guildford was established in 1829 at the confluence of the Helena River and Swan River, being sited near a permanent fresh water supply. It was named by James Stirling after his father-in-law’s electorate in Surrey, England. The Governor settled nearby at Woodbridge, bordered by the Swan River, and where Woodbridge House remains open to the public today. Guildford and Woodbridge are both suburbs of Perth on the Swan River in Western Australia.

Point Heathcote was named for the midshipman on HMS Success.

Heirisson Island (Matagarup) was named - before Stirling carried out his naming exercise in 1827 - by Nicolas Baudin in 1801 for midshipman François-Antoine Boniface Heirisson.

Hesperia was the name chosen by Stirling for Western Australia, stating that it referred to a land looking towards the setting sun; but the name was not adopted. I wish it had been, and something similarly short for the ridiculous 'New South Wales'.

Keane's Point (Beereegup), Peppermint Grove, protrudes into Freshwater Bay. It was earlier called Butler's Hump after its first European owner, before Edward Keane acquired it. It is now the site of the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, part of the building of which is still Keane's house Cappoquin, designed by architect Dean Smith (of Wilkinson and Smith) in 1892.

The Kennedy Fountain (named for the Governor of the time) below Mount Eliza, marks a spring which was an early source of fresh water. Before colonisation, it was a significant place for Yellogonga (various spellings), elder of the people of Mooro. There is a small park between the Brewery and Mount Eliza. It is without a unique name, being considered to be part of Kings Park. The fountain is at its eastern end.

Kings Square. George IV (until his death on 26 June 1830) was on the throne in 1829, when Captain Fremantle 'took possession', but when Roe planned the Square after 1830, the monarch was William IV. A Fremantle Library page says that it was named for George IV (who reigned 1762-1830). Take your pick. Personally I think it's neither: just a generic Kings Square to make a pair with Queens Square a couple of hundred metres away, and is not named for a particular king.

Point Lewis. Site of the Swan Brewery. According to the West Australian (see below) it is 'probably after D.A.C.G. Lewis, Imperial officer here, 1831'.

Mangles Bay. Captain James Mangles RN, brother to Lady Stirling, was in this colony in 1831. There was formerly a Mangles Street, but it may have been renamed. There is still a Mangles Street in Bunbury, and Mangles Bay off the Rockingham coast.

Manjaree. Nyoongar name for Bathers Beach/Bay and immediately adjoining land, including Arthur Head.

Marmion Memorial, Adelaide Street. William Edward Marmion (1845-1896) was Minister for Crown Lands.

Matilda Bay (Goodroo) is believed to have been so named after Matilda Bennett, wife of John Septimus Roe. 'Captain Currie was the first colonial owner of the 32-acre (130,000 m2) estate surrounding the bay, at that time known as Currie's Bay. Pelican Point was then known as Point Currie. The estate was sold in 1832 to the Assistant Surveyor and Colonial Treasurer, Henry Charles Sutherland for ₤100. Sutherland named the property Crawley Park after his mother's maiden name and the bay became known as Sutherland's Bay. In 1876 Crawley Park was sold to Sir George Shenton, and the bay was known generally as Crawley Bay.' (Wikipedia) The land was acquired by the state in 1910 and vested in the University in 1922.

Melville Water (originally including all the water between South Perth and Fremantle) was named after (the second) Viscount Melville (Robert Dundas) First Lord of the Admiralty 1812-1827. Statham-Drew (2004: 13) writes that, '[Stirling] named the two large expanses [that is, Perth Water and Melville Water] "Melville Water" in honour of Lord Melville, then first Lord of the Admiralty, without distinguishing one from the other'. Seddon writes that it was Robert Dundas (1771-1851) who was the relevant Viscount. (His father Henry Dundas, the first Viscount Melville, had been First Lord of the Admiralty 1804-1805.)

Mill Point is at least formerly if not formally Point Belches.

Minim Cove (Garangup). Probably a descriptive term derived from the Latin word for 'smallest', in use at least as early as 1831.

Molfetta Quay, Fremantle. Honours Fremantle's Sister City, Molfetta, Italy. Many members of the Italian community in Fremantle trace their origins to this city.

Mosman Bay. Probably in recollection of Mosman in Sydney, at the suggestion of R.J. Yeldon of the local Roads Board, in 1907. Originally part of Freshwater Bay, and for a time known as Samson Bay, Mosman Bay gave its name to the suburb, which was previously known as Cottesloe Beach and Buckland Hill.

The Narrows is the notional division between Perth Water and Melville Water, at Point Belches (Mill Point) and where the Narrows Bridge now crosses the Swan River.

Owen Anchorage. After Rear-Admiral Owen, a Lord of the Admiralty, was originally called Britannic Roads. See Woodman Point.

Parmelia Bank. HMS Parmelia.

Pelican Point, see Point Currie.

Perth (Byerbrup) was so named by Stirling after the city in Scotland, at the wish of Sir George Murray, the Secretary for the Colonies 1828-9, and a compatriot of Stirling's.

Plympton was the earliest area of development in East Fremantle. Plympton is a village in Devon on the Plym River between Plymouth and Dartmoor, but I do not yet know of any connexion between the village and an EF resident—though W.S. Pearse must be the most likely.

Preston Point (Nierganup) and the Road leading to it. After the second lieutenant on HMS Success, and first lieutenant of HMS Sulphur, William Preston. A southwest river is also named for the man who was to become Governor Stirling's brother-in-law.

Proclamation Tree, Adelaide Street.

Queens Square. The Fremantle Library page says this is named for Queen Adelaide. See Kings Square.

Rocky Bay, North Fremantle. A topographical name.

Point Roe, the southernmost place in Mosman Park, is named after Surveyor-General John Septimus Roe.

Rottnest Island (Wadjemup) was named 't Eylandt 't Rottenest (Rats Nest Island) in 1696 by Willem de Vlamingh for the quokkas.

Rous Head and associated Road. Named by Governor Stirling after Sea Lord Admiral Henry Rous, (1795-1877) who served in the Napoleonic Wars, and was in Eastern Australia 1827-9, and gave some places in NSW his own name. He was later First Lord of the Admiralty and Admiral. He organised a regatta in Sydney Harbour in April 1827. The place is shown in 1827 as Rous Point.

Russell Square in Perth is named for PM John, Earl Russell (1792-1878).

Samson. The suburb is named for Lionel Samson and family.

Seven Sisters, Rocky Bay, Fremantle. Also known as 'Seven Hills'. High limestone peaks on the northern shores of Rocky Bay. In the 1890s these were quarried down and later became the site of the Mt Lyell Superphosphate Works & State Engineering Works (now demolished). Of the Seven Sisters, only Buckland Hill remains.

Success Bank, and Success Harbour South Fremantle. HMS Success.

Sutherland Bay, see Matilda Bay. This name of the bay is important because it was its name at the time of the establishment of the government depot beneath Mt Eliza. It's more usually called the Mt Eliza Depot, but there is a case for calling it the Sutherland Bay Depot.

Swan River. Named by Willem de Vlamingh after the black swans he found there, and so formerly aka Black Swan River.

Swanbourne. So named by Governor Broome in 1886 after Baron Cottesloe of Swanbourne, Bucks.

Victoria Quay is the name given to the south wharf of the port. It was originally named South Quay but was renamed in honour of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) by the Duchess of Cornwall and York (later William IV's Queen Mary) during her visit in 1901.

Viveash, the suburb, is named after Samuel Waterman Viveash, the Guildford magistrate 1847-1872. He was responsible for convict labourers in the Swan District from 1850 and was visiting magistrate and surgeon to the convict depot from 1852.

Lake Vincent, Rottnest (formerly Sealers Lake) is named after prison superintendent Henry Vincent. It has been suggested that the name be changed.

Point Walter, Bicton. (Dycondalup) Stirling named this after his uncle Sir Walter Stirling, or his grandfather, whose name was also Walter. (Another source has it that it was his brother.) A canal was cut through the spit at one time, but allowed to silt up again.

Walyalup. Nyoongar name for Fremantle. Name was first recorded by Europeans in the Fremantle area in 1833 by Robert Menli Lyon.

Waylen Bay and Point Waylen are named after Alfred Waylen (1833-1901), pioneer settler who was granted Swan Location 74, covering most of present-day Alfred Cove and Myaree.

Wesley Way (Arcade) Fremantle. Wesley Way Arcade was between Market Street and Cantonment Street, Fremantle. There is now just a passageway behind the (Wesley) church to reach some offices.

Westgate Mall, Fremantle. Westgate Mall is a shopping arcade within the Fremantle precinct. The name was approved in 1965. It runs from Adelaide Street, behind Target, to Point Street.

Willis Point was also known as Ferry Point. It was on sandy land in the river that was removed for the building of the harbour at Fremantle. There was an early settler named James Willis who bought town lot 145 c. 1829-37.

Woodbridge House (and therefore also Woodbridge, the suburb) was named by James Stirling, the first Governor of Western Australia, after Woodbridge, Surrey, as his wife Ellen Mangles (1807-1874) was from there.

Woodsons Arcade, Fremantle. Woodsons Arcade is situated between Cantonment Street and Adelaide Street, Fremantle.

Woodman Point. Thomas Woodman was purser on HMS Success in 1827.

Fremantle and Swan River
Fremantle. Mangles-street, Captain James Mangles R.N., brother to Lady Stirling, was in this colony in 1831; Mouat-street, lieutenant of H.M.S. Challenger, J. A. Mouat; Henry-street, second lieutenant of H.M.S. Challenger, John Henry: Pakenham-street, third lieutenant of H.MS. Challenger, H. Pakenham: Collie-street, surgeon of H.M.S. Sulphur, Alex. Collie: Stirling street, Sir James Stirling; Ellen-street, Lady Stirling; Cockburn Sound, Admiral Sir George Cockburn, G.C.B.; Owen Anchorage, Rear-Admiral Owen, a Lord of the Admiralty, was originally called Britannic Roads; Gage Roads, Admiral Gage; Melville Water (including all between South Perth and Fremantle), after Viscount Melville (Henry Dundas), Secretary of State for Colonies, 1794; Point Dundas, Viscount Melville (Henry Dundas), Secretary of State for Colonies, 1794; Preston, second lieutenant on H.M.S. Success, and first of H.M.S. Sulphur, William Preston; Belches, third lieutenant on H.M.S. Success, Peter Belches; Fraser, Charles Fraser, botanist on H.M.S. Success; Heathcote, midshipman on H.M.S. Success; Lewis, probably after D.A.C.G. Lewis, Imperial officer here, 1831; Roe, Captain J. S. Roe; Matilda Bay, Mrs. J. S. Roe; Currie Spit, Captain Currie, R.N., first harbourmaster; Mount Eliza, Lady Darling; Carnac, John Ruett Carnac, senior lieutenant on H.M.S. Success; Woodman's Point, Thos. Woodman, purser on H.M.S. Success; Leake-street, Samson-street, Lefroy-street, and many others, after well-known colonists. The West Australian, Wednesday 17 March 1909, page 9.

References and Links

Lyon, Robert Menli 1833, ‘A glance at the manners and language of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Western Australia with a short vocabulary’, Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, 30 March 1833: 52. The second part of the article was published in Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, 20 April 1833: 63-4. [The author's real name was Robert Lyon MILNE.] Many of the first people's names for places above come from this source.

Seddon, George 1970, Swan River Landscapes, UWAP.

Statham-Drew, Pamela 2003, James Stirling: Admiral and Founding Governor of Western Australia, UWAP.

Statham-Drew, Pamela 2004, James Stirling and the Birth of the Swan River Colony, Pandorus, Swanbourne.

Nyungar Wardan Katitjin Bidi-Derbal Nara (People's Ocean Knowledge Trail of Cockburn Sound and Districts).

Western Mail 10 November 1927: 2.

Garry Gillard | New: 23 June, 2018 | Now: 30 March, 2020