Fremantle Stuff > Streets > Cantonment Road

Cantonment Road—now Queen Victoria Street

Queen Victoria Street is in three parts (one being the roadway that goes over the older Traffic Bridge, which is therefore also known as the Queen Victoria Bridge). One is in North Fremantle and was formerly known as the Perth Road and then Victoria Avenue. Another is in Fremantle and was called Cantonment Road, as it continued Cantonment Street presumably to a cantonment at the base of Cantonment Hill, but its name was changed in 1892 because of the obvious confusion. At some point it was called Victoria Avenue, and I assume this was from 1892, before the final change (despite what Ewers writes - below).

A cantonment is a military barracks, so there must have been one such there, tho it's not known exactly where. It seems likely that it used to be roughly where the Army Museum now is, but perhaps nearer to the corner of the present Burt and QV Sts.

CANTONMENT—This street appears on Surveyor-General Roe's very earliest map [1933], Cantonment Road being a continuation thereof and leading to the base of what was at first called Cantonment Hill (the hill on which the Signal Station was built in 1931). Owing to confusion, the name Cantonment Road was changed to Queen Victoria Street in 1892. Letters are extant written from the Cantonment, Fremantle, but apparently nobody at present alive knows of the exact situation of the Cantonment. As the streets were surveyed before 1833 right out to the present junction of the Canning Highway, it would seem to have been somewhere in that locality. Ewers: 220-221.

cantonment rd

This (part of a) map is actually dated 1844, but is substantially the same as Roe's 1833 survey. From the State Records Office: AU WA S235- cons3868 126 Chauncy.


The housing complex known as the Cold Stores (and apparently also as Fletcher Mews) is on the site of various former building, including most importantly Plympton House - the last dwelling of C.Y. O'Connor. It was from there that he rode to South Beach where he shot himself. He didn't own the house - he never owned a house in Fremantle, merely renting this one and Park Bungalow - which has also been demolished.

This was once a street of elegant houses, of which only this terrace at 20-26 remains.

20 QV

One such elegant house was that of Carl Ratazzi.

villa maria

Ratazzi's house, Villa Maria, was in Queen Victoria Street between James and Burt Streets, in the block from what is now Shack's to Officeworks.

The 1929 Charles Building still stands near the corner of Ord Street.

Another substantial house, on Lot 300, nearly up to James Street, was Yeldham House at 81 Cantonment Road - later 54 Queen Victoria Street (Yeldham is misspelt by Tony Evans as Yeldam House) where C.Y. O'Connor and family lived for a few months. Next door to Yeldham House, on the same lot, 300, was Bardrop House, at 83 Cantonment Road - later 56 Queen Victoria Street. Both Yeldham and Bardrop houses were built by James Manning, who married Jane Yeldham, and were demolished between 1965 and 1974. Yeldham house was a substantial building with 13 rooms, outhouses, good cellar, 2 stall stable, large forge room baths [sic], smoking room, and garage, and was a boarding house. It was subdivided into two houses in 1898, and still a boarding house. (Robert Shand, via FHS)

References and Links

Evans, A.G. 2001, C. Y. O'Connor: His Life and Times, UWAP.

Garry Gillard | New: 8 October, 2015 | Now: 23 December, 2019