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Johnston Memorial Congregational Church

Adelaide St, 1877-1968; Johnson [sic] Court flats now on the site; the church was re-named in memory of Joseph Johnston (1814-1892) - presumably after his death


Fremantle Library photograph #1227B and text: The foundation stone was laid by Henry Trigg on 24.12.1875. The church was designed by Mr Broomhall, the Clerk of Works for Fremantle, and J Manning. It was completed in July 1877 and demolished in December 1968. Photo taken after 1905.

That might be the 1862 manse to the left of the church - but see an earlier photo below.


The Johnston Memorial Congregational Church was completed in July 1877 and demolished December 1968. Photo by Arthur Saxon. Fremantle Library photograph #1656 and text.

This fine building stood in Adelaide St from 1877 to 1969 when, incredibly, it was removed in favour of an appalling block of flats called Johnson [sic] Court - they couldn't even get the name right.

Rowan Strong: ... the Congregationalists were neck and neck with the Catholics when they built their initial church on lot 563 Adelaide street in 1852, completing it two years later. It was enlarged in 1857 and a manse built alongside in 1862. In 1875 they began a new church and relegated the old one to functioning as the Sunday school. The larger church was completed in 1877. That church was demolished in 1972 and replaced with a block of flats known as Johnston [sic] Court.

A sketch reproduced on a postcard of the Congregational Chapel and the Pastor's residence, dated 1871. The original Chapel was replaced by the Johnston Memorial Church: foundation stone laid in 1875, opened 1877 and demolished in December 1968. The Pastor's residence is exactly as shown in 1885, but the Johnston Memorial Church was built to the right of the residence, ie the other side from the first Chapel. Rembrandt Studio, Fremantle Library photograph #5262 and text.


Photo taken about 1865 by Stephen Stout of the 1852-54 Congregational Chapel and Johnston's Manse (1862) reproduced on page 92 of John Dowson's Old Fremantle.

At the time when it was built, it was the called the Independent Chapel.

References and Links

Medcalf, Margaret, ADB bio of Joseph Johnston.

Hitchcock, J.K. 1921, 'Early Days of Fremantle: An Old Church and Its Pastor', Fremantle Times, Friday 4 February 1921: 2.

'Johnston Memorial Congregational Church', Medievalism in Australian Cultural Memory.

National Library, 1905 photo of the Church community. Entry about Joseph Johnston (1814-1892) in the Fremantle Cemetery Historical Walk Trail, 2003; he was buried at D 251.

Strong, Rowan 2012, 'Religious lives in Fremantle', in Paul Arthur Longley & Geoffrey Bolton, Voices from the West End: Stories, People and Events that Shaped Fremantle, WA Museum: 64-85; 66.

Garry Gillard | New: 5 October, 2014 | Now: 23 November, 2023