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Museums in Perth CBD

Museums in Perth


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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:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,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.

City of Perth History Centre

The Noongar people are the traditional owners of the Perth region and the Swan Coastal Plain in particular. Perth is a modern and vibrant capital city, boasting a desirable lifestyle, great geographic

  • Museums:Local History,Military

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,By Appointment Only

Description

As the capital city of one of the world’s most significant mining regions, Perth is rapidly growing in both population and economic prosperity.

 
The strength of our economy, especially our capabilities in the resource sector, ensures that both the city and the state are competitively placed for future investment and growth.

Perth's close proximity to Asia opens great potential for investors in energy, minerals, tourism and hospitality, education and agriculture and food.

Perth is in the midst of an exciting period of expansion and new developments. The large-scale capital works projects throughout the city and surrounding areas means Perth will change dramatically over the next ten years, better reflecting the growing global importance of the city.

These developments provide great opportunities for investors and will drive further economic growth, creating more jobs and stimulating commerce in all industries.

While the state of Western Australia is fortunate to have world-class reserves of natural mineral and energy resources, the city has become home to an equally impressive resource - a highly educated, skilled and productive workforce – gathered here by the strength of our tertiary institutions, economic climate and world-class lifestyle opportunities, making Perth the state's leading destination for creative innovation and cultural diversity.

For more information on Perth’s greatest strengths as an investment destination visit the Economic Development section.

Fire and Emergency Education and Heritage Centre

The Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) Education and Heritage Centre is located in the original Perth Central Fire Station.

  • Museums:Local History,Other

Details

  • Open Days:Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday

Description

Now refurbished, the old station characterises both past and present emergency services’ through displays dedicated to the history of Western Australian (WA) fire services and a natural hazards and disasters education gallery.

Museum of Performing Arts

The Museum of Performing Arts houses more than 40,000 catalogued items of theatre memorabilia collected by the theatre's historian. Items such as glamorous costumes, photographs, press clippings, scripts, scores and other historic pieces are publicly exhibited at the Museum, DownStairs at the Maj, with a new exhibition to view every six to eight weeks. The oldest item in the Museum collection dates back to 1854 - a beautiful silk programme from a Perth performance of amateur theatricals.

  • Museums:Other,Local History

Details

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

Description

HISTORY AND TOURS OF THE MUSEUM OF PERFORMING ARTS

Throughout its colourful and exciting history, His Majesty's Theatre has hosted a myriad of performance genres - from ballet to contemporary dance, opera to musical theatre, vaudeville to stand-up comedy, Shakespearean drama to pantomime and more.

Performers who have graced the stage at 'The Maj' include: Dame Nellie Melba, Anna Pavlova, Gladys Moncrieff, Dame Margot Fonteyn and Sir Robert Helpmann, as well as Academy Award winners Katharine Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Sir John Gielgud, Claudette Colbert, Rex Harrison and Geoffrey Rush.


These performers, and thousands more who have performed at His Majesty's Theatre since 1904, have all contributed to the cultural and social livelihood of Western Australia. In a fitting celebration of this, in February 2001, His Majesty's Theatre opened the Museum of Performing Arts.

The Museum of Performing Arts is curated by Theatre Historian Ivan King and Friends of His Majesty's Theatre are only too happy to assist with enquiries.

Read the biography of Theatre Historian Ivan King.

The Museum of Performing Arts houses more than 40,000 catalogued items of theatre memorabilia collected by the theatre's historian. Items such as glamorous costumes, photographs, press clippings, scripts, scores and other historic pieces are publicly exhibited at the Museum, DownStairs at the Maj, with a new exhibition to view every six to eight weeks. The oldest item in the Museum collection dates back to 1854 - a beautiful silk programme from a Perth performance of amateur theatricals.

Find out about our various theatre tours including: Grand Historical, Behind the Scenes, School Education and Technical.

To access the extensive collection of archival production photographs, visit the Museum of Performing Arts website at www.mopa.com.au 

Museum Of Perth

The Museum of Perth chronicles the social, cultural, political and architectural history of Perth.

  • Museums:Local History

Details

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

Description

This exhibition gallery serves as a meeting place of ideas and stories, a retail space, micro-cinema and a cultural hub in a part of the city that is in flux. 

The Museum is an initiative of the Perth History Association Inc, a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2015. 

 

Old Court House Law Museum

The Old Court House Law Museum is unique to Australia and one of a very small number of law museums worldwide. It is housed in the City of Perth's oldest building, constructed in 1836.

  • Museums:Local History,Other

Details

  • Open Days:Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday

Description

The museum's objective is to promote understanding of the law, legal issues and the legal profession in Western Australia’s community and to preserve the history of the law and the legal profession in this state. The museum is a community service managed by the Law Society of Western Australia and is sponsored by the Public Purposes Trust and the Department of the Attorney General.

Early Days
The Old Court House is Perth’s oldest remaining public building and was the most prominent building in the early days of the Swan River Colony. For the first six years of the Colony, court was held in the Anglican Church of St James: a small building with rush walls and thatched roof.

In 1836 Governor Stirling called for tenders for the construction of a new court and accepted the lowest bid of £698. The building was designed by the Colony’s Civil Engineer, Henry William Reveley. When it opened in 1837 it also served as a church for all denominations and a schoolroom.

Concert Hall
The Old Court House was important in the early musical life of the colonists and was the scene of the first public concert. In 1846, Dom Salvado, a Spanish Benedictine Monk, gave a piano recital in the courtroom to raise funds to develop a mission. Salvado walked more than 100 kilometres to Perth from near New Norcia and gave a Bellini recital to a packed audience in the ragged clothes he arrived in.


Trial of John Gaven
The trial of John Gaven, the first European executed in the Colony, took place in the Old Court House in 1844. Gaven, a petty thief, was 15 years old when he was transported from Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight and apprenticed to the Pollard family in the South West. Within a few months of his arrival, he was accused of the murder of 18 year old George Pollard. He was found guilty in the Old Court House and was hanged three days later outside the Roundhouse in Fremantle on Easter Saturday.


Convicts
In February 1849 a meeting of State importance was held in the Old Court House. In response to a labour shortage, farmers and merchants called a meeting at which a motion was passed in favour of a full penal colony. The following year convicts began to arrive.


Representative Government
The Old Court House was the venue for a public meeting to demand Representative Government. The demands were unsuccessful until 1870.

Arbitration Court
From 1905 to 1964 the State Industrial Arbitration Court proceedings were held in the Old Court House.

Law Society of Western Australia
From 1965 -1987 the Old Court House served as the office of the Law Society of Western Australia.

In 1987 the building was refurbished and opened to the public as the Francis Burt Law Education Centre and Museum - one of the few law museums worldwide.

In 1992 the Court House was listed by the National Trust as a Heritage Site.  

Today the Old Court House Law Museum houses exhibition galleries and court room.  It is  home to the Francis Burt Law Education Programme.

 

 

Royal Perth Hospital Museum

The Royal Perth Hospital Museum collects, records, preserves and interprets the history of Western Australia’s longest serving hospital.

  • Museums:Local History,Other

Details

  • Open Days:Wednesday,Thursday

Description

Take a walk through the history of the Hospital from its foundation in a tent in 1829, to the opening of the Colonial Hospital in 1855, to the premier teaching hospital of today.

The original Hospital building still exists on the corner of Murray Street and Victoria Square. Additions and extensions now hide its Murray Street facade.

The medical equipment of the past provides an insight into our social history and changes in healthcare. Discover an iron lung machine used by one patient for over 40 years, some of the earliest Xray equipment in Australia imported from France by Dr W. J. Hancock in the early 1900s, nursing uniforms, photographs and more.

The many extraordinary items in the collection tell the story of nursing, medical and ancillary care provided to West Australians over the decades.

Access to the Museum is via the 10 -14 Murray Street entrance. Please follow the signs and phone the museum on 92243433 when you arrive at the locked gate to be admitted.

Open Wednesdays & Thursdays, 9am - 2pm

YAL Museum

Young Australia League (YAL) has been supporting young Australian’s since it first opened its doors in 1905

  • Museums:Local History

Details

  • Open Days:Wednesday,Friday

Description

With a 110-year history we have a wonderful collection of photos, artefacts and momentos from trips, tours and the evolution of the YAL. Our Museum has a number of unique item which can’t be seen anywhere else. Like US President Hoover’s inauguration wreath, which he presented to the YAL touring party who he invited to his inauguration in 1929. The Museum is open Wednesdays & Fridays from 10am till 2pm, but we are happy to accommodate groups by arrangement on any day. The YAL Museum isn’t just the history of our unique organisation but is also a journey through the coming of age of our great nation.
 
Visit our Gallery for images of some of the items we have on display. Our Curator Jan McCallum would be happy to hear from you if you would like some more information.

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.

East Perth Cemeteries

The cemeteries within the grounds continued to be the main burial ground for the Perth area until April 1899 when burials commenced at Karrakatta Cemetery. It's acknowledged that 10,000 dead are here.

  • Historical Sites:Cemeteries

Details

  • Open Days:Sunday

Description

This website is the culmination of over 50 years of collective effort by a legion of committed volunteers and professional researchers. The National Trust of Australia (WA) in partnership with the Friends of Battye Library Inc. have brought together this work, and with the support of Lotterywest made it accessible to the public.

The site for a burial ground was surveyed at East Perth in late 1829, and the first acknowledged burial was John Mitchell on 6 January 1830. The cemeteries within the grounds continued to be the main burial ground for the Perth area until April 1899 when burials commenced at Karrakatta Cemetery.

The East Perth Cemeteries burial ground were closed for new burials in 1899, except for those in vaults or with the approval of the Governor. Burials at East Perth continued until 1916 when this practiced was ceased with a handful of exceptions.

It is widely acknowledged that there are over 10,000 burials within the grounds of the East Perth Cemeteries. There was no burial register kept by either the Church Wardens or the caretakers of the Cemeteries. This led to researchers having to spend many hours compiling various histories and datasets on the East Perth Cemeteries and these have been produced in various formats.

Lorraine Clarke and Cherie Strickland as members of and in conjunction with the Friends of Battye Library Inc., collated a single database of the numerous existing datasets, once these datasets were combined and differences highlighted, they were then checked against the original source data, these discrepancies were then corrected or comments placed within the database to notate these variations.

Research was then undertaken using TROVE newspapers, State Records Office governmental records, State Library of Western Australia Private Archives, Royal Perth Hospital Admissions Registers to enable the most comprehensive biographical database on the inhabitants of Cemetery Hill. This database is fully sourced and acknowledges previous researchers who contributed to the end result.

 

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:Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday,Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday

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. 

St George's Cathedral

Situated in the heart of the city of Perth, St George's is the principal cathedral of the Anglican Province of Western Australia and the metropolitical Diocese of Perth.

  • Historical Sites:Churches

Details

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

Description

Situated in the heart of the city of Perth, St George's is the principal cathedral of the Anglican Province of Western Australia and the metropolitical Diocese of Perth.

Consecrated in 1888, St George's Cathedral stands as an architectural gem to the glory of God, to the pioneers who funded and constructed it and to the generations of faithful people who have maintained and preserved its fabric and traditions over the years.

St George's is one of only a few cathedrals constructed of handmade bricks.

Its gothic revival design is enhanced by a blend of local and imported materials, including local jarrah roof trusses and arches, limestone from Fremantle, bricks manufactured in three different brickyards along the Swan River, bluestone pillars from Victoria, Oregon pine ceilings, marble reredos manufactured in Italy with English alabaster inserts and a Caen stone pulpit carved in France.

Within the Cathedral are numerous icons, beautiful stained glass windows and memorials to Western Australian pioneers, community leaders and those who served in the wars of the twentieth century. The Soldiers' Chapel is a place of special interest.

The Cathedral's peal of bells, founded as a memorial to Queen Victoria, can be heard each Sunday before the 10.00am Choral Eucharist and 5.00pm Choral Evensong. These services also feature the widely acclaimed Cathedral Choir.

This historic Cathedral in the heart of the city offers traditional Anglican worship, challenging preaching, and a lively Christian community for people of all ages. We hope that you enjoy your visit to our website, and that you will worship with us whenever you are in Perth. 

St Mary's Cathedral

St Mary's Cathedral, Perth, officially the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth, and seat of its Archbishop.

  • Historical Sites:Churches

Details

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

Description

St. John's Pro-Cathedral

In 1843 approval for the request was granted from Rome (Vatican) and Father John Brady, Father John Joostens (Belgian priest) and Patrick O'Reilly (a Catechist) arrived on a ship called 'Water Witch'

  • Historical Sites:Churches

Details

Description

The Cathedral is constructed of brick which has been covered with cement render and painted white. The gable roof is covered with shingles. The north and south facades are punctuated by arched windows. Buttresses have been placed at regular intervals down the length of these facades. The portico, which was removed in 1881, has been reconstructed at the western end of the building. The western gable end is punctuated by four arched windows, a pair above the portico and a single window either side of the portico. A lean-to extension is located at the eastern end of the southern facade. Entry to this section is through an arched door on the north facade. 

The church windows are of coloured glass set in wooden mullions. Those in the lean-to section are square, four paned windows. In 1843 approval for the request was granted from Rome (Vatican) and Father John Brady, Father John Joostens (Belgian priest) and Patrick O'Reilly (a Catechist) were soon to arrive in Fremantle on the ship 'Water Witch'.  Even though Father Brady was to stay in Perth for only two months he was able to claim a land grant for the church, on Victoria Avenue. This was to be the site of the first Catholic Cathedral, The Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist (St John's Pro-Cathedral). Construction commenced on 27 December 1843. The foundation stone was laid on 16 January 1844. Brady left for Rome, in 1844, to ask for assistance and advocate the establishment of a new diocese for the Swan River Colony.

Following Bishop Brady's arrival back in Perth in January, 1846, the Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist became a cathedral as it was now the seat of a Bishop. In 1965, the building was 'modernised' and used as a classroom for convent students and for external students studying English.  Between 1979 and 1980, work was done to restore the building and to remove additions and alterations which were unsympathetic to the original design, and the buildings was adapted for use as a museum by the Catholic Church.

St. John's is now used as a church once again.

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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