SWAN VALLEY VISITOR CENTRE
A must stop is at the Swan Valley visitor centre in Guildford, as it has free information and brochures on the whole area. The centre is run by helpful volunteers, 7 days a week, who will help find and book accommodation and tours for you.
I found plenty of free brochures and I picked up the Heritage walking trail maps. If you want to remember all the heritage information you saw on the tour, then you may wish to buy the book which covers the four trails, cost of $20, bought from the centre.
Other maps available are cycling in the Swan Valley, the Swan Valley Food & Wine trail map and maps of Guildford itself.
The centre stocks the usual range of souvenirs and gifts.
Toilets are at the centre and parking if free onsite or on the roadside.
The Visitor centre is located in the old Courthouse, built in 1867. Adjoining it, is the Guildford Historical society museum.
OPEN - MONDAY TO SUNDAY 9 - 4pm
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
King's Cottage was built in the 1860’s by George Ogilsby King, the local bootmaker. It has not been altered that much and is still considered a good example of a modest tradesman’s house from that period.
The Commissariat Store
The commissariat store was built in 1853. Lieutenant Edmund du Cane who built the store was responsible for supervising the convict work parties in the area constructing roads and buildings. At the back was a long store which held construction equipment and materials. The building was vacated by the convict department in 1878 and was then used by the local council. Today it is the headquarters of the Garrick Theatre.
Du Cane’s House
This house was built in 1852 and was originally part of the Convict Depot which was built by Lieutenant DuCane. This was his living and office quarters. The house still has its original five rooms and the detached storeroom and stable are still standing. The house is now privately owned but considered to be of historic interest.
This is one of the popular riverside parks for families and picnickers. There are wood bbq facilities, picnic tables and a boat ramp which is suitable for launching canoes or small boats. Good fishing site.
Today the hotel has its own micro-brewery ‘Inchant Brewing’ which uses techniques from the original days. There is a restaurant and motel units.
The Halls Museum, is at the back of the Rose and Crown which claims to have the largest private collection of diverse memorabilia in the southern hemisphere. Some of the displays include inkwells, corkscrews and evening bags – most of which you will not find elsewhere. Tues–Sun 10am–4.30pm.
Rose and Crown Hotel
The Rose and Crown is the oldest trading hotel in Western Australia. It was established in 1841 by Thomas Jecks. There are rumours that there are tunnels that lead from the Rose and Crown down to the Swan River.
Renovations both in the 1850s with additions in the 1880s, have been in keeping with the buildings heritage. The cellars are even the original ones.
Stirling Arms Hotel
A few alterations have been made to the original design of the Stirling Arms Hotel which now makes it completely different to the simple two storey colonial Georgian design which had verandahs on three sides – shame really. The rear of the building still shows the early building and has been less altered than the rest of the building. The hotel has a restaurant, function room and bottle shop.
The Mechanics Institute was built in 1865 and its purpose was to improve the education of the local tradesmen. Today it is the headquarters of the Swan-Guildford Historical Society.
They are open from 2.00pm to 5.00pm on Sundays.
Riversleigh is a beautiful old home on Swan Street. Also known as Crosslands House, it was built in 1896 at a time when Guildford was a fashionable outer suburb of Perth for many wealthy and prominent citizens. Originally built for Charles Crossland who was a surveyor and land agent in Perth. He was known during the 1890’s for his work laying out the railway line to Midland. He wanted to live somewhere peaceful and more rural and Perth and chose Guildford. The house is complete with cellar and servants quarters and has a lovely art nouveau turret which really sets it off. The house is not open for inspection
The Wesley Chapel is next to the Council Chambers and the Town Hall. The original chapel was built in 1856 on land which was later needed for the railway reserve. This present chapel was then built. There is a meeting room at the back. The manse was traditionally designed but the brick walls have been plastered and painted which has unfortunately spoilt the original look of the church.
Old Guildford Council Chambers
Sitting next to the Town Hall are the old Council Chambers which were built in 1900. When Midland and Swan amalgamated in the 1960’s the building was then used as a subscription library by the Shire of Swan. In 1981 they renovated the building and it is now used as a public library service.
St Matthew's Church
St Matthews Church was built in 1873 and sits in Stirling Square. The first St Matthews was build of mudbricks in 1836. It was then replaced by a wooden building which was destroyed by a hurricane in 1860. This current church was its replacement and the bricks were purposely laid alternately lengthwise and pointing inwards to reinforce the building. During World War I, St Matthews was adopted as the Garrison Church for Artillery and Light Horse units training at the Remount Depot in South Guildford
Sugar Gum Trees
Sugar gum trees originate from South Australia where it tolerates a wide range of poorer soils. In many ways it is rated superior to redgum. The early settlers planted some three thousand hectares of sugar gums, some you can find in Stirling Park. They grow to an huge width at their base. This one, if I stood 10 of me around the tree, I doubt would have it covered.
Stirling Square Guns
The two 25 pounder gun Howitzers were placed on the square during the 1960’s to replace a gun that used to be in the park but was used for scrap for munitions in World War II. The original gun was a captured German Krupps 105mm Field Gun. The two Howitzers were purchased for a sum of 10 pounds sterling. However these guns were vandalised and left to deteriorate and were replaced in 1974 by two more 25 pounders. The city has now refurbished those guns as part of the redevelopment of Stirling Square.