The beautiful building is quite the landmark of Guildford. It was erected on the site of an old Convict Depot hospital. The cell exercise yard and main cell block of the Convict Depot stood to the south of the Post Office as it is now. In 1901 the public clock was added to the tower along with a bell. The bell is still on the roof of the tower but is no longer rung on the hours.
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.
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
Built in 1841, this is what is left of the first government buildings built in the area. There were two prison cells, a constable’s room and a set of stocks. Later an exercise yard was built for prisoners that were held there. Tours are conducted through the Gaol on Sundays at 2.30pm at a small cost.
The town hall was opened in 1938 on the site of the old Snapper’s and Miners Quarters. The central tower is influenced by the Cubist style of modern architecture which reached Australia during the 1930’s. When Midland amalgamated with Swan, the Guildford Town Hall started to loose some of its former importance. It is used as a theatre and as a reminder of local government history in Guildford.
The old courthouse is open 7 days a week and is now the visitors centre for Guildford and surrounding areas. You can even get touring information here for as far as Albany and Esperance. The staff are very helpful whether you are asking the question in person or via email and will promptly mail you anything of interest The Courthouse was built in 1866 by convict work crews.
Open 9.00am to 4.00pm 7 days
This little cottage was thought to have been built around 1880 and at 3 Meadow Street. Which is now part of the Swan Guildford Colonial Museum. You can view the little house by visiting the Courthouse Museum.
Admission is 2.00 – 5.00pm on Sundays but closed Dec, Jan and Feb.
Stirling Square is the centre point of Guildford with beautiful old trees which outline the park and play equipment. Within the park is a memorial for the men who fought in the Australian Imperial Forces during the Great War 1914 – 1919. Their names are unscripted on the side. Another feature of the new refurbished park is St Matthews Church.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.