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26 Finnerty St

Fiona MacLennan (in Facebook) informs that her partner Ken Norrish removed the iron roof in the early 1980s and reinstated the shingles with special sarking layered underneath. It was his understanding there were drawings showing the house before 1881 but no title was issued until 1881?

Heritage Council:
Exceptionally significant residence built [on Lot 867] to accommodate the warden of the adjacent asylum (Fremantle Arts Centre) in 1881. The place contributes to a substantially intact late nineteenth and early twentieth century streetscape close to the centre of Fremantle.


Physical Description
Single-storey rendered with ashlar effect house with a timber single-hipped roof. The dropped verandah extends to the pavement and is supported by timber posts. There are eight-paned timber casement windows.
Finnerty Street is named for Colonel Finnerty of the Western Australian Pensioner Forces. In 1876, while still a Major, Finnerty was in charge when the Georgette tried to obtain the return of the escaped Fenians from the American ship Catalpa.
The eastern end of Burt St from East St to the bend also used to be Finnerty St, but was renamed Burt St in 1995. 26 Finnerty Street (Lot 867). Between 1875 and 1878, Lot 867 Finnerty Street was vacant and owned by Thomas Paisley, chief warder of the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum (1876). In 1880, the lot was still vacant and owned by Elias Solomon. A year later a cottage is listed on the lot. It was occupied by Matthew Butler, a mason by profession, and owned by Mr Solomon. No. 26 Finnerty Street appears quite clearly on PWD maps dated 1898, 1902 and 1904. On a map dated January 1909, the cottage (then No. 50) appears as a stone dwelling with side (west) and front verandahs. The property was sewered in August 1914. According to Council Health files, dating from 1952, the dwelling was found to be sub-standard. In 1962, it was recommended that demolition or rebuilding take place. In 1977, the building was condemned for want of repairs. By April 1977, Mr Ken Norrish was the new owner of the property and he wrote to Council asking for the condemnation order to be lifted so that he could move and complete restoration works. He had already: completed and renewed the plumbing; repaired and straightened all internal floors; repaired and sealed most internal walls; restored the bathroom; new roof and guttering at rear; enclosed back verandah properly and re-floored. The cottage received a Fremantle Award in 1980 for its outstanding contribution to the built environment of the city.

References and Links

Heritage Council page for this building, copied here.

See also: pages for Finnerty, EPF, Georgette, Catalpa.

Garry Gillard | New: 2 June, 2018 | Now: 22 October, 2023