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Buildings Historical Sites Museums in Perth Inner City

Museums in Perth Metro


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Burt Memorial Hall Soldier Chapel

CATHEDRAL SQUARE An inner city neighborhood in the heart of Perth. Houses the Burt Memorial Hall named after the 2 sons of Septimus Burt and his wife Louisaso Burt Memorial Hall later chapel was built

  • Museums:Local History
  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

  • Open Days:Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Monday,Sunday

Description

The Burt Memorial Hall stands in the heart of the Heritage Precinct of Perth. It is an important historic symbol of Perth’s Burt family, who played a significant role in the government of the Swan River Colony when it was first established.
 
Archibald Burt came half way round the world to be the first Chief Justice of Western Australia, and earn a reputation for fair dealing with the indigenous peoples.
 
Of the three sons who came with Archibald in 1861, Septimus became the State’s first Attorney General. More recently, Archibald’s great-grandson, Sir Francis Burt, was Judge of the Supreme Court from 1969–77, Chief Justice from 1977–88, Lieutenant Governor of Western Australia from 1977–90 and Governor from 1990–93.
 
Tragically, Septimus lost two sons in the Great War. When Theodore Burt was killed at Montauban in 1916 his father built the Burt Memorial Hall as a memorial to his son. The Foundation stone on the South-West corner of the building was laid by Lord Forrest on 26 October 1917. A year later, Francis Burt was killed at Villers-Bretonneux. A memorial tablet of Donnybrook stone and Australian marble is mounted on the wall of the staircase well near the main entrance.
 
The Burt Memorial Hall is a superb example of a community building constructed in the Gothic Revival style. It was designed by Mr Herbert Parry, son of the second Bishop of Perth.
 
Worked into the fabric on the south side of the building facing St George’s Terrace are the Arms of the Diocese of Perth and the Burt family crest.
 
In 1922 a magnificent stained glass window depicting the Four Virtues was incorporated into this side of the building in memory of Septimus by his wife, Louisa. It consists of four large panels with figures representing the virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude. Beneath these panels are the Coats of Arms of the United Kingdom and Australia together with the Diocesan Arms of Canterbury and Perth.
 
The Hall’s position abutting St George’s Terrace, central to the Heritage Precinct increases its significance as a community facility. The lower dining room was used as a soup kitchen during the Great Depression of the 1930s. In World War II, it was used to house Dutch refugees fleeing from Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) and to provide meals to returned servicemen.
 
In May 1979 a fire in one of the rooms beneath the hall caused extensive damage to valuable equipment, books, furnishings and other effects. The fire also burnt the floor of the main hall, which had to be replaced.
 
The years have taken their toll on the old building. From 2012 to 2014, a new roof was added and a complete refurbishment undertaken as part of the Cathedral Restoration Project. The restored building was reopened and rededicated at Evensong on Sunday 20 July 2014.
 
The Burt Memorial Hall is currently used for a variety of Cathedral and diocesan functions, receptions, workshops, educational visits and exhibitions.

The Benedictine Stables

The last remaining structure of the Benedictine Monastery of New Subiaco.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

  • Open Days:By Appointment Only

Description

Built in 1851 by the Benedictine Monks from Subiaco, Italy the Stables are the last remaining structure from the original Monastery. Purposed as a monastery, orphanages and now aged care facilities, this site has had many uses in it's almost 170 years. With a predicted 10 years left until falling to ruin, the Stables were restored in 2019.

Barracks Arch

Barracks Arch, one of Perth's iconic historic buildings is located at the top of St George's Terrace. Built in 1866 it was originally the entrance to a larger building call the Pensioner Barracks.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

Description

The Barracks was built to house the Enrolled Pensioner Force (also known as ‘Pensioner Guards’). The guards came to Australia on the convict ships that transported nearly 10,000 prisoners to Western Australia between 1850 – 1868.

The Barrracks were in use to house the Pensioner Foruce until 1887, between 1900 - 1904 the building was convered into offices. 

In the 1960’s the Government surmised there was no need for the Barracks and decided to demolish the buildings.The announcement created a public uproar and motivated the Royal Western Australian Historical Society to form a Barracks Defence Council. The Council worked diligently to keep the Arch however demolition proceeded and in 1966 all but the Arch was demolished.

Architect Richard Roach Jewell was appointed to design an appropriate building. He was at the time an employee of the Department of Public Works. He had arrived in Western Australia in 1851 and designed many of the important public buildings in Perth during the latter half of the nineteenth century, including the Pensioner Barracks. Some of his others designs include boys’ schools in Perth and Fremantle, Wesley Church, the oldest section of the Treasury Buildings, Perth Town Hall, Perth Goal and Government House.

Government House

Captain Sir James Stirling RN arrived from England to found the Colony of Western Australia which he proclaimed as the State’s first Lieutenant Governor in June 1829.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday

Description

Government House is currently, and has been the home to successive Governors of Western Australia since 1863. 
 
The spacious, beautiful domain in central Perth on which the current Government House now stands has been the site of two other Vice Regal residences, now demolished, erected in the earliest days of European settlemen

Perth Town Hall

The Perth Town Hall, situated on the corner of Hay and Barrack streets, is the only convict-built town hall in Australia.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday

Description

Designed by Richard Roach Jewell and James Manning in the Victorian Free Gothic style, the hall was built by convicts and free men between 1868 and 1870. Its decorations contain a number of convict motifs, including windows in the shape of the broad arrow, and decorations in the shape of a hangman's rope.

The foundation stone for Perth Town Hall was laid on 24 May 1867 by Governor Hampton in a ceremony involving a lot of pomp and parade. However there were torrential downpours. The ceremony went on anyway with an official procession from Government House and a mock battle performed by the Volunteer Regiments, Enrolled Forces of Pensioners, and the WA Country Regiment.

In 1929, the Centenary of Western Australia one of the events in the city of Perth was the placing of a commemorative plaque in the north west corner of the building by the Governor Sir William Campion. 

The Palace Hotel

The historic heritage listed Palace Hotel has adopted various uses over its life, however the exterior remains largely intact after recent restoration to its former glory

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

Description

The Palace was erected in 1897 during the Gold Rush by an American entrepreneur, John De Baun, on the site of the Freemason’s Hotel. When it opened, it was considered to be the finest hotel in the southern hemisphere. Boasting of marble stairs, electric lights, hot water, and a bathroom on every corridor, no expense had been spared for visitors.

When the Commonwealth Bank bought the place in the 1970s, it was only a hard-fought local campaign which saved the Palace from being demolished and replaced by a modern office building. Even so, after Alan Bond’s company took over the property, it was closed as a hotel and much of the interior was lost, or greatly changed, to erect a tall office block behind the façade.

The Palace Hotel was used as a bank until 2012 and today, after a significant restoration, it is commercial office space, while remaining a significant landmark on St George’s Terrace.

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