The Old Farm, Strawberry Hill was considered old more than 100 years ago. As far back as 1890 it was given the name ‘The Old Farm’, in recognition of being the oldest farm in Western Australia.
A Government Farm was established at Strawberry Hill in 1827 as part of the first European settlement at King George Sound. In 1833, Sir Richard Spencer was appointed Government Resident at Albany. He purchased the Government Farm and resided there with his wife Ann, seven sons and three daughters. They lived in a pise cottage until, in 1836, the current two-storey stone house was built adjoining the older home. Even “old” farms change with the seasons. Come and see what is growing.
By 1836 the well established gardens were producing blood oranges, grapes, raspberries, gooseberries, asparagus, figs and almonds. The new house was the centre of the district’s social life.
After a period of neglect it was purchased in 1889 by Francis and Augusta Maude Bird who restored the house and farmed the land. In 1956 the property was purchased by the Government as an historic monument but fell into another cycle of neglect. Transferred to the National Trust in 1964, the property is being conserved to appropriately reflect its significance.