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The Residency, Arthur Head

The Residency 1856-1967, aka Government Cottage/Quarters, now a carpark: no. 8 in the following map:


Modern map indicating the position of former structures


Arthur Head c1870. The large building right of centre is the Government Quarters aka The Residency, which was built in 1856 (Dowson has 1851) for the Water Police and demolished in 1967. To the left is the second courthouse, left of which may be seen the steps going up to the Round House. To the left again is the harbourmaster's house. On the right is the first lighthouse. The photo (WAHS R2775) is beautifully reproduced in John Dowson's Old Fremantle, pages 26 and 27. His caption on page 26 has a brief but complete history of the occupancy of the Residency. The photo is also available from the Fremantle History Centre, photo #1801, and the FHC text is as follows.

Library: The Residency first appears on a plan dated 1856, built for the Water Police. It was demolished in 1967. The lighthouse was erected in 1850 by convict labour. About 1876 the tower was cut down and the stump covered with a conical roof. The flagstaff was originally at Anglesea Point and was moved to Arthur Head before 1837. The house in the left background with the verandahs was the Harbour Master's house. Between it and the Residency is the second court house. Reproduced from "Twentieth Century Impressions of W. A.", 1901. Taken before 1876.

view from arthur head

Fremantle History Centre c. 1888 photo #3108A. Looking east from Arthur Head. At the left is the Residency (1856), demolished 1967, with the Cliff Street Railway Station (1887) behind. Behind again and to the centre is Manning's Folly (1858-1928). Just to the right of centre are W D Moore's home (1884) in Cliff Street and Daniel Scott's home. Also in Cliff Street is W F Samson's home (1881-1950s). Between it and the Roundhouse (at the left) is the Police Quarters.

The building on Arthur Head to the left of the Round House with the external staircase is the Second Courthouse. The one in the extreme foreground, at the bottom of the photo, is the Lightkeeper's Quarters. The photo would have been taken from a lighthouse.

arthur head

Fremantle History Centre photo #4702. Houses on Arthur Head in the 1910s. The house on the extreme left was occupied by the Windsor family and on the right side by the Nicholas family. The steps of the Roundhouse are to the left.


The Residency, in the right foreground, as seen from Arthur Head, probably from the lighthouse. The Cliff St river jetty is on the extreme left. The first railway bridge crosses the river in the background, and behind that again is the 1866 road bridge. The building in the middleground on the right is the first railway station, 1881-c1905. This is FHC photo #LH000083, 1890s, with this caption: ' View of the Swan river mouth; in the middle ground is Ferry Point, familiarly known as Willis' Point. Note Railway Station and goods sheds in Cliff Street. Distant view of old Railway Bridge (1881-1964). Residency demolished 1967.'


FHC image #530 c1900: View of Railway Yards and Eastwards over the city from the Lighthouse on Arthur Head. Note: 'The Residency' in left foreground. Appears on a plan dated 1856, built for the Water Police. 1867 occupied by Superintendent of the Water Police. c1900 - Chief Pilot's house. 1929 - Wharf Manager's house. Demolished March 1967. Cliff Street railway station (1887) and goods yards. The station was an extension of the original 1881 station. The Falk building corner Henry and Phillimore Streets. Originally built in 1888 and extended in 1896 and 1903 (around the corner into Phillimore Street). Architect F.W. Burwell. See: 725.35 Miscellany File. Tower of Mannings Folly, corner of Pakenham and Short Streets, erected 1858 for Mr C.A. Manning. Demolished 1928. Police Quarters, High Street (far right of photograph). Demolished to make way for Tramways Carbarn built 1905. Rear of Samson Home, corner High and Cliff Streets. Demolished in the 1950s by Elder Smith. Cliff Street facade and tower of Hotel Fremantle, High Street. Erected 1898 to designs by Wilkinson and Smith. Bank of N.S.W., corner High and Cliff Streets (Lot 19). The building first appears in the rate records in 1899 as a Bank Chamber and 3 rooms. In use until 1926. From 1926 to 1960 the Swan Wool Scouring Company of W.A. Ltd. were the occupiers. 1974 to November 1983: Abrugiato Pty. Ltd. occupiers: December 1983 - Fremantle Gazette Newspaper offices. See: 725.24 Miscellany File. Second courthouse on Arthur Head, built between 1851 and 1853. Demolished 1904. Phillmore Chambers (1899) on corner Phillimore and Cliff Streets. Roof of Abrugiato Pty. Ltd., Cliff Street, next to Phillimore Chambers, built between 1892 and 1900.

References and Links

Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.

Wikipedia page

Garry Gillard | New: 30 April, 2016 | Now: 10 December, 2023