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Union Bank

Union Bank of Australia, 1889, 4 High St

Union Bank of Australia, 1889, 4 High Street, cnr Cliff Street. Town lot 5 was first granted to William Lamb, who had arrived with wife and three children on the Marquis of Anglesea in 1829, and was later, c. 1855, the site of a three-storey house built for Daniel Scott. It was later inhabited by Commissary-General Charles Eichenbaum, and then George and Charlotte Seubert, who ran it as a boarding house—until the house was demolished in 1888 to make way for the bank.
The monogram UB (Union Bank) may be seen above the doorway. NDU have preserved the name of a previous tenant in the fanlight, and on a corner first-floor window: G. S. Murray, Customs Brokers.

The Church of England bought the building in 1930 for the Flying Angel Mission to Seamen. The one-storey building to the west was the Seamen's Chapel 1937-1960. The Chapel was deconsecrated in 1966 when the church moved the mission to their current premises in Queen Victoria Street.

Fremantle Advocate 1931:
The official opening of the "Flying Angel" will take place on the 29th inst. and structural alterations to the building in Cliff-street are nearing completion. The banking chambers used by the former occupiers of the building have undergone a complete change and have been converted into one large hall. The Port chaplain (Rev. J. W. Clift, who is in charge of the mission, told a representative of The Advocate that he proposes to have a portable platform erected in the main hall, one end of which will be curtained off to form a reading-room. Two adjoining rooms are to be converted into a chapel for the men and a room on the other side of the passage is to be converted into a billiard room. Since he has taken control of the mission, Mr. Clift has arranged competitions between the various ships visiting the Port, and these have become so popular that this branch of the mission's activities threatens considerable inroad on the time of the chaplain. Fremantle Advocate, Thursday 23 April 1931: 2.

Both buildings are now part of NDU.

Seamen's Chapel 1937

Heritage Council:
Designed by W. E. Robertson of Melbourne and completed in 1889, the Union Bank was one of the first banks to establish a major building in the west end of Fremantle. The bank bought the land in 1881. In 1930/1 the bank moved further east down High Street and the Flying Angel mission of seamen moved into its old premises.
In 1937 a chapel was built alongside the former bank which functioned for the following 30 years. In 1955 alterations and additions to the building were approved by Council. In 1974 the facade of the former bank was classified by the National Trust.
Currently (2002), commercial, although not in use
Two storey smooth rendered and Colorbond roofed building with balustraded parapet and a former chapel sited on the west side of the 1889 building. The original building has a truncated corner entrance and a decorative stucco gable edged with stucco brackets above pilasters, and a recessed arched doorway with a fanlight and a timber and glass door. There are arched timber double hung sash windows on the ground floor and double hung sash windows with stucco architraves and three arched windows at rear of building on the first floor.
The former chapel comprises a single storey painted brick building, with a low-pitched hipped tile roof and simple crenelation cornice. The west side of the façade features a mitred hip roof and a brick inbuilt cross above the arched entrance with two tongue and groove timber doors with large exposed hinges. The facade also has three metal-framed arch windows.
The place is historically significant as a former bank representing the development of Fremantle’s Old Port City as a centre of commerce and trade from the gold boom period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The place is significant because, when viewed from the street, it is a substantially intact example of a federation period commercial building which contributes to the very significant Old Port City of Fremantle. The place is of social significance as evidenced by its classification by the National Trust.

References and Links

Neville, Simon J. 2007, Perth and Fremantle: Past and Present, privately published, WA. He states that Daniel Scott's house was the one on lot 5.

Garry Gillard | New: 29 August, 2015 | Now: 10 December, 2023