Fremantle Stuff > West End > walks > Walk 1

Walk 1: Pioneer Park > Moores Building


The walk begins at Pioneer Park near the Railway Station and finishes not far from the Esplanade. It takes only 15 minutes ... if you don't stop.
Click/tap on the map for fullsize.

Go south on Pakenham Street.

The walk commences with Pioneer Park on one side, and, on the other, the building at 49 Phillimore St, the former Robert Harper Building, also known as Jebsens, tho it still has Genesis Travel signage.

49 Phillimore

Pakenham Street at its north end has the open space of Pioneer Park on one side, and, on the other, the building at 49 Phillimore St, the former Robert Harper Building, later known as Jebsens, tho it still has Genesis Travel signage.

1 Pakenham

The first building with a Pakenham St address is the 1897 Tolley Bond Store, at no. 1.

Architect: Herbert Nathaniel Davis.

The Tolley sign has been restored above the alleyway, despite their having moved out in 1910.

5 Pakenham

No. 5. James Gallop, a fruiterer and, later, proprietor of the King’s Theatre, owned the lot in 1880 when there was a dwelling on it. In 1893 a member of the Gallop family built a warehouse. He owned the property until c. 1898. From 1897 it was occupied by Tolley & Co. as their head office. A second storey was added in c. 1901 and extensions to the north of the building enclosed the laneway leading to the rear. The existing facade was probably built at this time. From 1912 it was owned by Seppelt and Sons Ltd., also wine and spirit merchants.

7 Pakenham

No. 7. Architect: Joseph Allen. A Mrs McCann owned and occupied a house on this site in 1880 and is believed to have extended it to use as a boarding house. She sold it in 1887 to Fay Lawrence who used it until 1904 when the Strelitz brothers purchased it. In 1907 they erected a two-storey office building for the Vacuum Oil Co. In the same year they bought other lots to expand their warehouse premises, which extended through to Henry Street. Food manufacturers Patterson & Co. bought the Vacuum Oil Co. in 1916 and sold the property to Elder Smith & Co. in 1950. Seppelts bought it in 1968 for storage of wine and spirits.

9 Pakenham

No. 9. M. Higham and Sons owned a dwelling on the site in 1880. It was extended in 1887.

In 1904 the Strelitz brothers constructed a new building on the site.

Since then it has had various owners, including the Fremantle Provedoring/Shipstores until the 1980s.

Corner of Short St (see also Pioneer Park)

The 1921 two-storey limestone building in Pioneer Park, at 1-9 Short St, was first the State Shipping Service Office, and then the Fremantle Art Gallery, from 1978. It is now the home of the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.

8 Pakenham

Architects: Allen and Nicholas (1929). The Lysaght building on the corner of Short St at no. 8, on the corner of Short Street. On this site, in 1858, Charles Alexander Manning had a large building erected, which dominated the town. It was known as Manning's Folly. He had intended it to be a sanatorium for officers of the British Army who had been in India — one of Stirling’s arguments for establishing the colony was that it could serve as a rest and recreation centre for service officers and civil servants in India, but none took advantage of Manning’s venture. Manning, who was Chairman of the Fremantle Town Trust (1859-67), had a private observatory on the roof of the building. He founded the Fremantle Volunteer Defence Force in 1861, and died eight years later. The building was occupied by Wallace Bickley, a businessman, and later by Tolley & Co. In 1928, because of its poor condition, it was condemned and demolished. In 1929 a warehouse was constructed on the site for John Lysaght (Australia Pry Ltd), manufacturers of goods including corrugated iron sheets. Alterations were carried out in 1946 and also in the 1970s. In 2018 this is the 77-apartment building Quest Apartments, and the building you see in the photo has been gutted, and only some of the facade retained.

Manning's Folly

This was Manning Hall, which stood at what is now the corner of Short and Pakenham Streets, and became known as Manning's Folly.

It was built in 1858 for Charles Alexander Manning, and demolished in 1928.

Corner of Leake St

18 Pakenham

The Pearlers Hotel, no. 18, on the north-east corner with Leake Street, architect J.H. Eales, was built in 1887. Nine years later it was leased to Swan Brewery Co., which subsequently purchased it. The name appears to have been changed to the Terminus Hotel then. Later again it was Terminus Chambers, used by lawyers. In 1989 it was bought by Homeswest to provide budget accommodation. The building was refurbished to provide thirty-two lodging rooms with a medical centre on the ground floor.


On the opposite corner of Leake St is a warehouse built in 1907 for Thomas Quinlan.

It was recently tenanted by Shipstores, but is now the house of PS Art Space.

11 Pakenham

The Victoria Coffee Palace at 11 Pakenham St was built in 1895.

A coffee palace was a hotel which did sell not alcoholic beverages.

The building was used as a backpackers hostel until 2015 when it changed hands.

Corner of Pakenham and High Streets

70 High

Mason's Building. Nos. 66-70 High Street, on the north-east corner. Architect: J McNeece. Builder: J Anderson. This has been known as the former Commonwealth Bank Building, but the bank did not own the building until 1925. Part of the site (No. 66) appears to have been part of E.H. Fothergill's estate. From 1882 until 1921 the property was owned by Frederick Mason, alias May, a jeweller and entrepreneur. This two-storey building was built in 1908 as four shops with residences above. Its neoclassical style is ‘softened’ by the plump proportions of the engaged columns. Unfortunately, in 2005, one section of the facade was painted a different colour, disturbing its unity; the awning and shopfront for that section are not original.

64 High

The 1910 Bank of Adelaide building, originally of two storeys, is on the northwestern corner of Pakenham Street at 64 High Street. With commercial premises on the ground floor, the Navy Club is now upstairs in the two-storey colorbond additions on top, straddling Nos. 62 and 60 as well. The Navy Club was previously in the Freemasons Hall in Marine Parade. The details of the original building include a crenellated cornice on the parapet and ashlar effect on the ground floor and engaged ashlar effect pilasters. This lot (105) was allocated in 1829 to Robert Thomson who built and operated the Stirling Arms, one of the first four pubs in the colony.

central chambers

Central Chambers. Architect: F.W. Burwell (1906), Duncan, Stephen and Mercer (1991). Builder: R. Rennie. On the south-east corner at nos. 61-63 High Street. This is one of the most impressive of Burwell's buildings. William Pearse, who arrived in the colony in 1830, established a butcher's shop and premises on the site; he prospered by gaining contracts to supply merchant ships bound for the Cape of Good Hope with salted meat. The original shop was demolished in 1906 to make way for the present building, which was completed in 1907. One of its first occupants was a printer. New owners, J. and W. Bateman, in c. 1956 had a new facade erected, but the original was restored in 1991 during renovations under the direction of the architects Duncan, Stephen and Mercer. The highly decorative first-floor facade features ‘Central Chambers’ in stucco, a parapet with balustrade and five highly decorative pediments. Pilastered and stucco arched windows have decorative stucco above and engaged piers below. The original entrance is between the shops and has stained-glass leadlight highlights. The awning is not original.


Ajax Building. Architect: J McNeece (part, c. 1908). On the south-west corner, at Nos. 49-59 High Street. On this site the Stags Head Inn was opened in 1834. The inn was rebuilt in 1848, and by the 1880s a boarding house, shops and dwellings had also been constructed. The building was sold to John Church, whose company became a substantial enterprise with bulk stores in Pakenham Street. The present building appears to have been built in two stages: in 1900 and c. 1908 — the latter to the design of J McNeece. From 1955 to 1981 it, together with adjoining buildings, was occupied by a furniture retailer, who commissioned internal renovations in 1958 to the design of Eric Moyle.

Proceed west along High St, past the Buffalo Club.

54 High

The Buffalo Club is at 54 High St, and opened in 1938, and was associated with the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.

The building is on what was the original 1833 town lot no. 105 which was granted to GF Johnson. It is now lot 500.

Before it was the Buffalo Club, the building was used as the Madrid Restaurant, owned by the Andinach Brothers, who ran the Madrid Fruit Palace at the same address. Before that there was a cottage housing the telegraph office.

Corner of Henry and High Sts

orient orient

Orient Hotel. Architects: Cavanagh and Cavanagh. Builder: Atkins and Law. At the south-western corner at 59 High Street. The earliest name of the hotel at 39 High St, on the corner of Henry St, from 1849, was the Commercial. From 1851 it was called the Emerald Isle Hotel, where the publican for a time was Frederick Caesar, and where, in 1876, the escape of six Fenian prisoners was planned. The Fenians were members of a secret society plotting the end of British rule over Ireland. They recruited many Irishmen serving in the British Army to their cause; as soldiers they were liable to the death penalty for mutiny. Seventy-two Fenians arrived on the last convict transport, the Hougoumont, in 1868. John J. Breslin arrived in Fremantle from America in November 1875 and took a room at the Emerald Isle Hotel. He arranged for six Fenians to escape to south of Fremantle, on Easter Monday 1876, where they were picked up by boat and taken to an American whaler, the Catalpa. This vessel was able to avoid capture by the colonial steamer, the Georgette, which pursued it.
The former hotel, which was renamed the Club in 1888, was demolished in 1902-03. The proprietor, Thomas O’Beirne, commissioned the new (existing) building, which was considered one of the superior hotels at that time. The hotel underwent various restoration works in the latter half of the twentieth century, most extensively in 1995 when the two-storey verandas were replaced, and again in 2014.
In 2019, the levels above the ground floor are being operated as a backpackers hostel.

36 High

The Adelec Buildings, 28-36 High Street. Architect: F.W. Burwell. Builder: J McCracken.

Opposite the Orient Hotel at 28-36 High Street. This was originally known as Fothergill's Building, as it was constructed for the Fothergill estate. It has had various occupants.

Proceed north along Henry St

9 Henry

The Fremantle Workers Club was at 7-9 Henry St, its second clubhouse, 1956-2015.

It has been demolished, except for the facade.

The site is planned to contain a four-storey apartment building.

10 Henry

Lance Holt School. Architect: Phillip McAlister (2001-02). No. 10. The Federal Coffee Palace operated on this site from 1892. The commercial and warehouse premises are believed to have been built for Fremantle businessman, hotelier and investor Phillip Webster. The place had various occupants including Adams Electric and Port Printing Works (from 1950 to c. 1970). The building was purchased by the City of Fremantle in 1972 and housed a Main Roads Department office and the city’s Planning Department.
Since 1974, it has been occupied by Lance Holt School Inc., an alternative community primary school established in 1970. It is the state’s oldest community school. The school bought the property in 1985 and has carried out various alterations and renovations to facilitate its use as a school and to preserve the site’s heritage.

Turn left into Phillimore St and proceed west, observing the buildings opposite.

33 Phillimore

The Frank Cadd Building at 33 Phillimore St, 1890, known later as Fares House, was built for an importer, J.M. Ferguson.

The new part of the NDU School of Health Sciences building is adjoining, on the corner of Henry St.

On the other, western side is His Majesty's Hotel, on the corner of Mouat Street.

18 Phillimore

The Old Fire Station, 1908, was the Bengal Restaurant from 1977 until recently. It is now accommodation for backpackers.

The current fire station is the next building to the east.

16 Phillimore

The Chamber of Commerce, 16 Phillimore St, 1912, still in use as such. In 1853 the Western Australian Chamber of Commerce was founded. The Chamber originally met at premises in Henry Street before the Phillimore Street premises were constructed. The current Chamber building was designed by Joseph Allen [Allen & Nicholas] and reflects the type of commercial structures erected in Fremantle during the expansive gold boom years. It is a two-storey brick building with cement dressings on the front elevation.
14 Phillimore

Hudson House, 1922, 14 Phillimore St. Built 1922 for Charles Hudson (1865-1949), who came to WA from Adelaide to join Sandover & Co, before establishing his own business as an insurance agent. Hudson was involved in many local clubs and societies. The Hudson Building was occupied by various shipping companies over the years, such as Cunard Line, Australind SS & WA Shipping Association Ltd. In 1989 occupied by Danzas Wills, formerly George Wills & Co. (Heritage Council). in 2019, it is (short stay) Harbourside Apartments.

10 Phillimore

The McIlwraith Building, 1919, at 10-12 Phillimore St, has also been known as Scottish House and Patrick's Building.

The building housing the shipping company McIlwraith McEacharn Ltd., known as Scottish House, was erected in 1917/1919. The company was established in London in 1875 by two Scots, Malcolm Donald McEacharn and Andrew McIlwraith. In 1893 they set up business in Henry Street.

2 Phillimore

The Old Customs House, 1907/8, at 4-8 Phillimore St stands where the first Railway Station and, before that, The Green used to be, on land reclaimed from the river, at the entrance to Victoria Quay. Customs moved into the new Commonwealth offices at 41 Phillimore St before 1987, and the building has since been used by artists, and arts organisations like Deckchair Theatre and the WA Circus School.

Corner of Mouat and Phillimore Streets

2 Mouat

His Majesty's Hotel. The original hotel on the site at 2-8 Mouat St was His Lordship's Larder, a single-storeyed, yellow-painted building. The new hotel - more genteel in style - was obviously built to take advantage of the increased passenger liner trade. The current building, from 1890 - architect Thomas Anthoness, builder Mr Taylor - now part of NDUA, like most of the buildings in these six city blocks of the West End of Fremantle, was briefly called by the former name after its Americas Cup renovation. It was restored substantially in 1999. Now NDUA School of Religious Education, School of Teaching and College of Education.


The horse trough on the corner of Phillimore and Mouat Sts was built in 1924. It was a garden bed for some decades but is now available again for horses tho there is usually no water in it.

17 Phillimore

The P&O Building, 17-19 Phillimore St, dating from 1903, was built for the AUSNC (the Aust Union Steamship Navigation Co), the initials of which can be seen in the pediment.

Proceed south along Mouat St

howard smith

Howard Smith Building, 1-5 Mouat Street.

It was built c. 1900 for a shipping company founded by Captain William Howard Smith in 1854, which was originally a freight and passenger service between Melbourne and Geelong.

After changing the name of the company to Howard Smith and Sons, it expanded its operations to include Western Australia in 1894.

Now ND43 School of Nursing and Midwifery.


The German Consulate, 5 Mouat St, Architect: E.H. Dean Smith, was built in 1903 for William de Lacy Bacon. This is the most idiosyncratic of this architect's buildings. The German Consul, Carl Ratazzi, a wine and spirit merchant, and an accomplished linguist and brilliant orator, was also Acting Italian Consul, and was interned after the beginning of World War 1. He also represented the German shipping line Norddeutscher Lloyd, one of the earliest companies to make Fremantle a regular port of call. It was the first shipping line to deliver mail to Fremantle; other lines, at that time, delivered mail to Albany. The textured, rusticated stonework of the building is not common in Fremantle. The German connection may explain the design, which has echoes of old Bavarian architecture. At the outbreak of that War, NDL ships in Australian ports were commandeered and at the end of the war, they were retained by Australia as part of war reparations and used to found the Australian National Line. Many people remember this building from the 1990s as the Tarantella Nightclub. It is currently a B&B.

12 Mouat

The Adelaide Steamship Company building, at 10-12 Mouat St since 1900. Architect: Oldham and Eales (1900), F.G.B. Hawkins (1947-48). Builder: C Coghill. As the Adelaide Steamship Company’s business expanded it needed a permanent office in Fremantle, so bought this site and commissioned the building, which was completed in 1900. The ground floor has granite plinths, rusticated walls and broad Doric pilasters, false balustrades under windows framed with heavily moulded pilasters supporting a pediment. The cornice is heavily moulded, with a balustraded parapet. In 1947-48, after severe fire damage, extensive work was carried out under the direction of F G B Hawkins. It is now the residence of a former Deputy Mayor of Fremantle, who restored it in 1991.

14 Mouat

Said to have been built in 1896 for Edward Fothergill: tba; 14 Mouat St has recently had a facelift. It was also used by Adelaide Steamship Co. It shares some elements of style, including Italianate stucco details, with No. 12. In 2005 a  penthouse added another two storeys to the building.

Corner of Mouat and High Sts

22 High

Former Bank of New South Wales, on the north-east corner, at 22 High Street and 18 Mouat Street. This former bank building, completed in 1892, for the Bank of Western Australia, is a fine example of Fremantle's neoclassic buildings. It was later occupied by the Bank of New South Wales (now known as Westpac Bank). The ground floor has an ashlar effect above limestone foundations. The decorative parapet has a pediment featuring a decorative arch with ‘AD1891’ in stucco. The entrance has a pediment supported by pilasters; the first floor has engaged Corinthian columns, with engaged pillars below the windows. This building may be compared with another former Bank of New South Wales further east in High Street; the latter has similar elements of style but the engaged columns on this building are more slender.
The building to the east in High St is the Cleopatra Hotel. The flag on the left of the picture normally flies over the Adelaide Steamship Company building.

20 High

The Commercial Bank, 1901, at 20 High St, on the NW corner of High and Mouat Sts, was later a branch of the National Bank of Australia. The Habgood family had a five-roomed cottage here in the nineteenth century. After Robert Habgood’s death in 1882, his wife sold the vacant portion of the property to the National Bank of Australia in 1884. The bank appears not to have been built until 1902. In 1960 the architects Hobbs Winning and Leighton designed renovations.

18 High

Bank of Australasia, 1901, 18 High St. The sign suggests it's the offices of winemaker Leeuwin Estate. The Commonwealth of Australia logo near the door indicates/d the tenancy of a Federal Dept.


The P&O Hotel, on the SE corner of Mouat and High, at 25 High St, was completed in 1896. The verandahs were restored in 2002, tho sadly it is still lacking its original turret.

Proceed west along High St


Owston's Building, at 9-23 High Street (architect: F W Burwell, builder: R Rennie) occupy almost all of the space on the southern side of High St from Mouat St to Cliff St. It was built in 1903 for Captain Owston, a pioneer shipowner—he founded the shipping firm of Pearse and Owston. Owston died the same year, after commissioning the building. The former Sandover buildings were demolished to make way for it. The property was inherited by his grandson William Mason Owston. The ground floor facade is not original. One of the early occupants was Watsons Ltd, a smallgoods business, which was so successful that it opened several other stores in Fremantle and Perth under the name Watsonia. The building housed the Waterside Workers Federation, which purchased it in 1955. The federation subsequently moved to a new building in North Fremantle. In 2005 part of the building housed Notre Dame University's College of Business; at the other end of the building is the Roma Restaurant, established by Frank Abrugiato and his family in c. 1940. It was taken over by Nunzio Gumina when long-term owners the Abrugiata family sold out, and the name changed a little to Villa Roma. Nunzio now has a restaurant in his own name in Essex St, and the Roma has been renovated and opened again by Abrugiato family members as the Cucina Roma. Unfortunately, the Laminex has gone.
It's now occupied by NDU.


Tannatt Chambers and Cellars Building. Nos. 8 and 10. Architect: E.H. Dean Smith. This architect designed several idiosyncratic buildings in the city. Tannatt Chambers was built in 1900 and the Cellars Building probably at about the same time. The former has unusual 'Moorish' architectural elements. The latter was originally known as Craig's Chambers and housed various business enterprises, including the ‘Roo on the Roof’ restaurant in the basement, which was opened in the 1960s by the popular press cartoonist, Paul Rigby, who later moved to the United States where he worked for an American newspaper. It is said that, not long after the building was opened, a sailor was found in an attic room with his throat cut and the murder was never solved. Various owners of the building have claimed that the man’s ghost still haunts it.


The Cellars Building, 10 High St, 1900, aka Craig's Chambers, once housed Paul Rigby's Roo on the Roof restaurant in its cellar in the 1960s.

The restaurant was later (or also) known as The Cellars, giving the building its current name.

Paul Rigby, together with Alec Smith, of the Fremantle Hotel, lobbied Tony Samson to save the Liebler building, nearby in Cliff St. Samson saved only the facade, which still stands.

Corner of High and Cliff Sts

nsw bank

The Bank of NSW building, at 7 High St, on the SE corner with Cliff St, was designed by Wilkinson & Smith, and built for the Bank on land owned by Pearse and Owston in 1899. On the south-east corner at No. 7 High Street. This was constructed for Captain W M Owston in 1899, and he operated a branch of the bank there until 1916-17. It has a superb carved jarrah ceiling, typical of the sober opulence of older banks. On the top of the facade are scallop shell mouldings, a decoration found on other buildings in the West End.
The building was fully leased to NDU when it was sold in 2014. Now NDUA Comms Lab and offices. See also: Wikipedia page.

union bank

The building on the NW corner with High St is the former Union Bank building, no. 4 High Street. Architects: Robertson and Inskip (Melbourne). The first building on the site, on town lot 5, was Captain Daniel Scott's residence. The Union Bank of Australia purchased it in 1881 and operated in it until the present building was constructed in 1889. The monogram ‘UB’ can be seen above the doorway. The Church of England bought it in 1930 for use by the Flying Angel Mission to Seamen. The Seamen’s Chapel, next to it, was built in 1937 and functioned until the 1960s; it was deconsecrated after 1966 when the church sold the former bank building and moved to new premises in Queen Victoria Street. It is now Notre Dame building 32: Arts & Sciences. NDU has preserved the name of a previous occupant on top of the door, and on the corner first-floor window: G. S. Murray, Customs Brokers.


The Seamen's Chapel 1937, dominated by the Samson bond store on the left and the (former) Union Bank on the right. Both Chapel and Bank are now part of NDU.

See also Flying Angel Club.

fremantle hotel

Hotel Fremantle, 6 High St, on the NE corner with Cliff St, lacking its corner turret and flagpole, like the P&O Hotel. This was designed by Wilkinson & Smith and built in 1898-99 for Bacon Forrest Co. At the rear, part of W.D. Moore's house survives, converted for use as a kitchen. During the defence of the America’s Cup, the hotel was headquarters for the New Zealand team, with Steinlager on tap. At that time application of a heavy surface coating masked the texture of the limestone and detail of the stucco mouldings. It lacks its original corner turret and flagpole. The garden area to the north was created in 1986. It is now the NDU Chancellery and includes, I believe, the staff club.

Look west down High St


High St begins (or ends) at the 1831 prison, the so-called Round House (it has twelve sides), with the Whalers Tunnel (1837) beneath it.

The Round House is the oldest building in the state. Both it and the Whalers Tunnel were planned by engineer Henry Reveley.


High St looking east from the Round House c. 1890, RWAHS R2225. The 1898 Fremantle Hotel has not yet been built.

The building middle right was the first dedicated police station.

Further east is Mayor W.F. Samson's two-storey house which was in existence from the mid-1850s to 1954-55.


Looking back west, the Tramways Building, number 1 High St, is on the left. Next to it to the east is an NDU carpark, where W.F. Samson's house stood for a hundred years from the 1850s.

Opposite to no. 1 is 2 High St, the other end of the Samson bond store, formerly Dalgety's building (1901), the other end of which may be seen as 1 Phillimore St.

Proceed south along Cliff St

wf samson house

On the SW corner with High St is an NDU parking area, with the remnant Liebler Building facade on the Cliff St frontage. The corner was the site of a house which was the residence of Mayor W.F. Samson 1881-1700. The house apparently dated from about the late 1850s and was demolished by Elders who put a metal shed there for the storage of wool. The story of the site is told by the Fremantle Society in its newsletter for August 1991. Another photo of the house features on the cover of the special newsletter of 2000.


Facade (only) of the Liebler Building, at 21-29 Cliff St. Nos. 21-29. The building was also known as the Reckitt and Colman Building and is believed to have been constructed in the 1880s or 1890s for the Samson family. The facade was to be demolished in 1967 but, due to two Fremantle identities—Alec Smith, then owner of the Fremantle Hotel, and the cartoonist Paul Rigby—it was saved.
In 2018 it was renovated, with the door and window openings reopened.
The site behind the facade is a car park, tho NDUA has plans for a building there.

22 Cliff

The McDonald Smith Building, 22-32 Cliff St, has had various owners, including Vincent, James Lilly, and Tompkins and Co. The Vincent Family rented a cottage and warehouse on the site in the 1870s and 1880s. The buildings were acquired by Captain Lilly for a time, and it was owned by J.E. McDonald and Smith from 1961 until the 1970s and then Tompkins and Company took it over as their general store. The building was designed, as Cliff Street Chambers, by architect Herbert Nathaniel Davis. To the right: Lilly's Building, 1896, 34-42 Cliff St, also designed by architect Davis, now mostly private dwellings; then NDU's Tannock Hall of Education, named after the first VC. This stands where the Pier Hotel was once.

Between 32 and 34 Cliff Street is a laneway which has a name and is possibly a gazetted street. It is called Mary Lilly, after James Lilly's wife.

31 Cliff Samson Building, 1892, 31 Cliff St. Architects: J.J. Talbot Hobbs (1892), F.W. Burwell (1898). Lionel Samson, who arrived in the colony on the Calista in 1829, is believed to have been one of the first three people to take up allotments in Fremantle in September 1829, when surveys were completed. In that year he was granted a spirit merchant’s licence and began to operate a wine, spirit and grocery business in a small cottage. He was the acting postmaster in 1830. During a trip to England in 1842, he married Fanny Levi, whose grandfather founded the London Stock Exchange. His son, W.F. Samson, took over the company after his death in 1878, and the business remained in the family’s hands until recently. Possibly no other business in Australia remained in the one family on its original site continuously for nearly 200 years. The original cottage and an office building were destroyed by fire in the 1890s. W.F. Samson commissioned the architect J.J. Talbot Hobbs to design a new warehouse and premises which were built in 1892. The building was extended six years later, to a design by F.W. Burwell.
Part of one of the original buildings, 'Fanny Samson's Cottage', survived the fire and now houses a company museum.

33 Cliff

'Fanny Samson's Cottage'. One of oldest houses in the state and used by the same family for more than a century and a half. The imposing building to the right is the Samson Building which was built in 1892, after a fire destroyed most of the original house and office that had been on the site. However, part of this original building survives and houses a Samson museum.

37 Cliff

Elder Shenton & Co Building. Architects: J.J. Talbot Hobbs (1903), Allen & Nicholas (1957). At Nos. 37-45 Cliff St, on the corner of Croke Lane. The site featured a number of buildings from as early as 1868. One of them housed the Fremantle Literary Institute and Working Men's Association. George Shenton bought the site in c. 1881 and had new offices and a warehouse constructed on the site in 1883. In 1896 he commissioned the building of a new two-storey facade along Cliff Street for existing buildings. In 1903 a new warehouse and cellar were built, the former designed by J.J. Talbot Hobbs. The upper part of the facade of the building was removed c. 1925 and four separate buildings on the site were amalgamated. Renovations were designed in 1957 by Allen & Nicholas and, in 1992, the upper storey was converted into residential apartments. The offices of the local newspaper the Fremantle Herald are also housed in it. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Pier Hotel directly across the road.

34 Cliff

Lilly's Building, 34-42 Cliff St, completed 1896, designed by architect Herbert Nathaniel Davis. There was a stone house on the site as early as 1844. Captain James Lillyacquired the property in 1880 and operated a business there. He was known as the 'Father of Western Australian Shipping', as he operated the first regular mail service between Western Australia and the other states, and was later manager of the Adelaide Steamship Service Company and co-founder of the Fremantle Gas and Coke Company. An earlier two-storey building was demolished to make way for the existing building in c. 1894. Lilly died in 1903 and the property was managed by his executors. The building was bought by the City of Fremantle in 1973, and demolition was scheduled. Public pressure from the Fremantle community and a National Trust of Australia (WA) covenant enabled it to be saved. It was bought by Peter Grace in 1977 and used as an art gallery for two years. Renovations for this purpose were carried out by Grace and architect Richard Longley. Part of the building is used for residential accommodation.
Tannock Hall (NDU) is on the NE corner of Croke St. On the SE corner is yet another of those carparks where once a fine building stood - in this case the Cliff St post office, built 1889, demolished 1955.
The next buildings, the Water Police Station and Quarters, are on the corner of Marine Terrace.

47 Cliff

Buildings of the Imperial Convict Establishment, built 1852, 1894, 1896, 1897, occupy all of the space on the west side of Cliff St between Croke Lane and Marine Terrace. The central portion is the oldest. Worth noting are the mail slot under a window to the left of the main entrance, showing the use of this part of the building as a post office, and the flagstones in front of the doorway. These would have been imported as ballast and to use to construct pavement. They were damaged by gas workers in about 2010.

Turn east into Croke St and walk the two blocks east to Henry St, passing the NDU Chapel on the left. Turn north into Henry St.


Holy Spirit Chapel, Croke St


Tho the street frontage, this is the rear of the NDU School of Law building, in Croke St. The entrance is from the other side. Provenance unknown to me atm.

law library

Also the street frontage but the rear of the NDU Law Library, in Croke St. The front entrance is from the north, off the Bateman Courtyard. Provenance unknown to me atm.

52 Henry

The former warehouse at 52 Henry St is said to have been the offices of Elias Solomon, and was an auction room in 1880, then Manning's warehouse. At one time it was Pietro Porcelli's workshop. Later it was Greg James's - coincidentally, as it was he who sculpted the bronze of Porcelli in King's Square. The Fremantle City Council owned it 1970-1993; it is now residential. (Davidson 2007: 216)
An unusual building with relatively massive columns. The first record of a building is in 1880, an auction room, which later became a bonded warehouse, the property of Charles Manning. Offices and stables were added by 1900. Manning sold the property in 1921 and there were several occupants until the building passed to city council in 1970, which sold it in 1995 when it was converted into residential apartments. (Hutchison)

42 Henry

Moore's Building, 42-46 Henry St, is now an art gallery and coffee shop (called Moore & Moore). The facade is from about 1900. The City of Fremantle owned and restored the building 1986-7. See: Robyn Taylor 1995, The Moores Project: Conservation of the The Moores Complex of Buildings, Architecture & Heritage Section, City of Fremantle.

End of the walk. Have a coffee.

References and Links

West End | High St | Pakenham St | Henry St | Mouat St | Cliff St | Phillimore St

Davidson, Ron 2007, Fremantle Impressions, FACP.

Hutchison, David 2006, Fremantle Walks.

streets index

West End walks

Note. This page was the original reason for the existence of this whole website.

Garry Gillard | New: 28 September, 2014 | Now: 22 June, 2020