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Names of places

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The oldest place names in the Perth area are those given by the first people, the Whadjuk Noongar, and then those given by Stirling on his navigation of the Swan River in 1827 and at the time of his foundation of the Swan River Colony in 1829. (There are also a few Dutch and French names, such as Rottnest, and Heirisson Island.)


Alfred Cove is named after Alfred Waylen (1833-1901), pioneer settler who was granted Swan Location 74, covering most of present-day Alfred Cove and Myaree.

Albany was originally called Frederickstown, after Frederick, Duke of Albany. It was the site of the first European colonist settlement in Western Australia, in January 1827.

Albion Town. William Heares Smithers, who had arrived in 1829 on the Gilmore with others of Peel's unlucky settlers, was granted 1806 acres in the Swan district, which he named Albion Town. The name persists in the area.

Anglesea Point was at the southern point of Bathers Bay (Manjaree). It was named after the Marquis of Anglesea, which was wrecked there, also giving the northern point its name: Marquis. Neither point still exists as such: both have been subject to shore realignments. Point Marquis has been flattened and built over by the roadway leading out to the southern lighthouse on the South Mole. Both the Long and Short (or 'Fishermen's') Jetties used to extend from Anglesea Point, which was at the western end of what is now Bathers Beach House - the former Fishermen's Cooperative building - and has become part of the shoreline at the southern end of Bathers Beach, at the point where the fishing harbour breakwater now extends out to sea. Some remant piles in the sea still exist to show where the Long Jetty used to be.

Armstrong Spit (Nanulgurup) was named after the family of Adam Armstrong who settled in what he called Dalkeith.

Arthur Head (Manjaree) was given its colonial name by Captain James Stirling, who named the promontory in 1827 for George Arthur (-1854) Governor of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). Aka Gaol Hill.

Augusta. James Stirling named the town in honour of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the sixth son of George III.

Australind (the word) is a combination of Australia and India, chosen due to the belief that the area could be used for breeding horses for the British Indian Army.

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Bassendean was so named by Colonial Secretary Peter Broun, who was granted 9000 acres in Upper Swan and West Guildford, and named the land after the ancestral family estate (in the Scottish Borders), and also Eden Hill after Eden Water, the river flowing through it.

Bathers Beach (Manjaree) or Bay was also known as Whalers Beach, and City Beach in 1945. It is shown as Bathers Bay on maps from 1829. It is one of three Fremantle sea beaches, the others being South Beach and Port Beach.

Baths. There were sea bathing facilities at the foot of Arundel Street 1896-1910.

Beaconsfield. The locality is named after a property known as 'Beaconsfield', located in the area in the 1880s. The name was officially adopted for the Post Office in August 1894. The origin is unknown, but is probably from the English town or else after Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, created Earl of Beaconsfield in 1879. Heritage Council.

Beeliar has been the name of a modern suburb since 1993, but has long referred to the area where the suburb is, and also to 'river' and 'waterways' generally. It was also the name of the country of Midgegoroo and his son Yagan, south of the Swan and west of the Canning rivers.
Beeliar was bounded by Melville Water and the Canning River on the north, by the mountains on the east, by the sea on the west, and by a line due east from Mangles Bay on the south. It was, as we might say, on the far side of the river, lying between the Canning, Fremantle and Woodman’s Point. It was a large area of land, and the tribe was large, as tribes went, numbering some 58 persons, but there is some doubt as to whether it was not two tribes.

Point Belches. Aka Mill Point/the Narrows. After the third lieutenant on HMS Success, Peter Belches, who was in the cutter with Stirling in the 1827 exploratory navigation of the river. Point Belches is at the southern end of the Narrows Bridge. W.K. Shenton built a wind-driven flour mill near here in 1833. A second mill was built in 1835 and operated until 1859; it was 'restored' in 1959.

Bibra Lake 'is named after a Sicilian-born farming pioneer' (Steve Grant, Herald, 2 October 2021: 5)

Bicton. The present suburb once comprised four grants taken up in 1830 by Alfred Waylen, Joseph Cooper, William Habgood and John Hole Duffield respectively. Duffield's estate was in Bicton, his home village near Exeter in South Devon, England. The vineyard established by the time of his death in 1859 was also given this name. Landgate.

Blackwall Reach (Jenalup) was named by Commander L.S. Dawson RN, Admiralty surveyor in 1896, probably after Blackwall Reach on the Thames near Greenwich.

Boom Defence Jetty is one of the structures built as part of defences related to WW2 hostilities.

Brewery. The former Swan Brewery, on Matilda Bay, near Mt Eliza, was preceded there by other breweries, and, before that, a steam mill.

Point Brown, North Fremantle, northeast of the Gilbert Fraser Reserve, is thought to be named after A.E. Brown who in 1886 opened a shipbuilding yard near Marine Terrace.

Bruce Lee Oval, Beaconsfield. Bruce William Francis Lee was a member of the Fremantle City Council, 1941–1968, and Chairman of the Council's Ovals and Parks committee.

Brucetown aka Bruce Town, much of North Fremantle, was named for John Bruce, the Commandant of the Enrolled Pensioner Force, members of which were granted plots land in North Fremantle.

Buckland Hill. Named by James Stirling for William Buckland FRS, first Reader in Geology at Oxford and later Dean of Westminster (-1856).
John Arrowsmith's 1833 map of the colony names the whole tongue of land west of Perth as Buckland Downs.
Site of the Harley Scramble 1928-1964.

Bullsbrook. May have been named after Richard 'Bull' Jones (1795-1862). WA Dept of Land Information: '...the name originates from the railway station, established during the construction of the Midland Railway in the 1890s and named after an adjacent watercourse, Bull's Brook. The watercourse may have been named after Lt Henry Bull who was granted Swan Location 1 about 8km south on 15 May 1831. Another possibility is that the watercourse was named after Richard ("Bull") Jones, one of Henry Bull's servants, who resided in the region for many years.'

Bunbury (formerly Goomburrup/Leschenault). In 1829, Dr Alexander Collie and Lieutenant Preston explored the area of Bunbury on land. The area was renamed Bunbury by the Governor in recognition of Lieutenant Henry William St Pierre Bunbury, who developed the difficult inland route from Pinjarra to Bunbury.

Butler's Hump, afterwards Keane's Point (Beereegup), is now occupied by the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club building, which was originally built as the house of Lilla and Edward Keane in about 1891. John Butler was the first colonial owner of the land.

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Canning River was named by James Stirling in 1827 for British PM George Canning.

Cantonment Hill. Cantonment Hill is so called because there was a cantonment (military barracks) on the hill or possibly to the west of it, more or less where the Army Museum is now. There is no precise record of either any construction there or its exact location. The Noongar name has been suggested to be DwerdaWeeardinup, but this document makes other suggestions: "Weeardinup – spelling and meaning is confusing. Suggested spelling should be Weerinup or Wirrin-up – spirit. For example, Dwerda Wirrin-up – Place of the Dingo Spirit."

Cappuccino Strip is an informal name for the part of South Terrace between Bannister and Henderson Streets (or Norfolk Street, if you wish). Fremantle real estate agent the late Jeff Brockway told me seriously, in the early 1990s, that he had coined the term: he had an office in South Terrace which John Dethridge remembers (he told me) was advertised as being on the Cappuccino Strip.

Carnac Island. After John Ruett Carnac, senior lieutenant on HMS Success. Carnac Island had previously been called Ile Pelée, then Ile Lévilian and finally Ile Berthelot, before the arrival of Stirling, who whimsically named it Pulo Carnac, 'pulo' being Malay for 'island'. Apart from birds, it's noted for its tiger snakes, so is not a popular place to visit.

Challenger Harbour. Named for Capt Fremantle's ship.

Champion Bay is a coastal feature north of Geraldton, Western Australia, facing the port and city between Point Moore and Bluff Point. It was named by Lieutenant John Lort Stokes of HMS Beagle, who surveyed the area in April 1840, after the colonial schooner Champion, in which George Fletcher Moore had travelled to the region and first located the bay in January of that year.

Chester Park. First name of Hilton Park. Kate Caldwell writes: "... Chester Park ... which is now Hilton Park. When the land was subdivided and put up for sale, a competition was held for a suitable name for the district, and this name was decided on as being most appropriate. [Why?] The location would originally appear to have been granted to one [firstname?] McDermott. About 30 years later it came into the possession of Richard Davis, who after his arrival [1848] from England in 1853 had carried on the Half-way House at Point Walter. With the advent of steam, the boats were not using the canal, and it became silted up and the toll-house fell into disuse. He therefore removed to Bicton, and later to the Chester Park property, which he in turn sold to [firstname John?] Chester. At the time of the subdivision it was owned by Simpson."

Chesterfield. The area included John Street [now unknown], Douro Road, Hewitt Street (now Daly Street), William Street (now Chester Street), and Lloyd Street. Subdivided by John Chester and named Chesterfield in 1887. By 1930 the name was no longer in use.

Chidley Point, Mosman Park, was named after Capt. Frederick Chidley Irwin (-1860) and marked on some early maps as Point Irwin. He arrived on the Sulphur in command of a detachment of the 63rd Regiment.

Chine. The Chine ('deep ravine’) in Mosman Park was the northern valley of two at the point in the Swan River, the other being The Coombe. In the 1880s, the site was owned by Henry Charles Prinsep, a draftsman for the Lands and Surveys Office and later Chief Protector of Native Affairs. Prinsep built a cottage and jetty on the property for family holidays and cut a cave into the cliff to use as a storeroom.

Church Hill was recorded on the earliest maps of Fremantle. Later named Scotsman’s Hill, it [the name] was removed 1964. It would be the high ground above and to the east of Fremantle Oval and bounded on the west by The Terrace and Fothergill Street and occupied by the Prison and the carpark of the Hospital.

Claisebrook. (Goongoonup) Originally Clausebrooke, for Surgeon Frederick Clause, who was with Stirling on his 1827 survey of the Swan River.

Claremont became a local government authority in 1893, the name coming from the Claremont Estate (Swan Location 350) held by James Morrison whose wife's name was Clara (Williams: 59).

Clarence, also known as Clarence Town and Peel Town, was planned by Thomas Peel, with help from various other colonial backers. The first ship of settlers landed in December 1829, but the settlement was abandoned by the early 1830s. The site was at Woodman Point. The name refers to the then Duke of Clarence, who was the heir to the British throne at the time.

Clontarf Hill would have got its name from Dubliner John Healy, whose farm 'Winterfold' was in the area: he used to graze his cattle on the hill. Clontarf is a suburb of the capital of Eire. Healy also named Phoenix Road after Phoenix Park in Dublin.

Cockburn Sound. Named for Admiral Sir George Cockburn, Stirling's patron.

Commonage. The Fremantle Commonage was land set aside for the purpose in the area of the present suburb of Hilton. After WW2, the need for housing was such that a large amount of it was made available for that.

Coombe. The Coombe ('a short valley or deep hollow') in Mosman Park was the southern valley of two at the point in the Swan River, the other being The Chine. WA Commissioner-General Alfred Robert Thompson used this site as a holiday retreat before selling it in 1883. Perth merchant Rice Saunders then purchased the land a few years later and built a homestead that included a cottage, caretaker's accommodation, boat sheds and a freshwater well.

Cossack. On the sea near Roebourne. First known as Tientsin.

Cottesloe. So named by Governor Broome in 1886 after Sir Thomas Fremantle, first Baron Cottesloe of Swanbourne, Bucks.

Crab Bay was on the northern bank of the Swan near where the first rail bridge was built in 1880. It has disappeared due to harbour works.

Crawley Bay, see Matilda Bay.

Currie Bay, see Matilda Bay.

Currie Spit, aka Point Currie. For Captain Currie RN, first harbourmaster, who owned land there. Now usually known as Pelican Point (as it was in 1827).

Cypress Hill, North Fremantle. Just north of Point Direction.

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Dago Bay is a now disused name for a small beach and the body of water to the north of the South Mole. Before there was sheltered mooring in the Fishingboat Harbour, fishermen (who were mostly of Italian and Portuguese origin) would moor their fishing boats in the shelter of the South Mole, whence the name, referring to Italians. With the advent of WW2, the area was taken up by defence structures, including the Boom Defence Jetty and the southern slipways.

Dalkeith was named by the Armstrong family, who settled there, after their place of origin in Scotland - about 10km from Edinburgh. Francis Fraser Armstrong married Mary Mews. James Gallop had a house and farm there. Masons Gardens was and is still there. Many streets in the area were named by surveyor P.G.S. Hope from the names of yachts on the river in the racing season 1912-13.

Dampier is named after William Dampier, explorer and buccaneer, who recorded and named several islands in the Dampier Archipelago during his voyage of 'discovery' in 1699.

Darling Range. The escarpment was named in 1827 after the (1825-31) Governor of NSW, General Ralph Darling.

Defence: coastal batteries etc.

Denmark, on the south coast of WA, not far from Albany, was not named for the Scandinavian land of the Danes, but for a doctor called Alexander Denmark - by his BFF, surgeon Thomas Braidwood Wilson, who 'discovered' the place. Dr Denmark was Physician to the Mediterranean Fleet.

Point Direction, North Fremantle, is the location of the Water Police station. The origin of the name is not known to me. 'From the nineteenth century, Harvest Road was important as an access route to Point Direction, the location of a sheltered landing place. Boat building yards were located at Point Direction for much of the twentieth century, during which time the Harvest Road jetty also became a popular family swimming and picnic area.' (Heritage Council) The tiny beach next to the jetty is called Harvey Beach (from nearby Harvest Road, an affectionate abbreviation).

Point Dundas (Moondanup). If named by Stirling, this would have been named after the same man as Melville Water: the second Viscount Melville (Robert Dundas), First Lord of the Admiralty 1812-1827. The Majestic Hotel, which has regrettably been demolished, was built as a governor's private residence here in about 1900.

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East Fremantle. Suburb east of East Street. Separate (very small) Town Council.

Eden Hill. Colonial Secretary Peter Broun was granted 9000 acres in Upper Swan and West Guildford, and named Bassendean after the ancestral family estate, and also Eden Hill after Eden Water, the river flowing through it.

Mount Eliza (Mooro Katta, Kaarta Garup, Gargatup) was named by Stirling for the wife of the (1825-31) Governor of NSW, General Ralph Darling.

Elder Place. No longer a 'place', it used to be a little square in front of Elders wool store with a few trees on it.

Elizabeth 'Quay' (not a quay) aka Betty Jetty (not even a jetty) is a memorial Premier Barnett had built for himself. It's a commercial development where there used to be a reclaimed esplanade.

Ellen Brook and Ellenbrook. Ellen Brook, which flows into the Swan River, was named by James Stirling, the first Governor of Western Australia, after his wife Ellen Mangles (1807-1874), who was from Woodbridge, Surrey - after which Woodbridge House was named. Ellenbrook is now a newish Perth suburb. Ellen Street in Fremantle is also named after Ellen Mangles.

Esplanade Park aka 'Fremantle Esplanade' is on land resumed from the former South Bay on Marine Terrace (formerly Fitzgerald Terrace) opposite the Esplanade Hotel.

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Ferry Capstan base is a rock structure just west of the Traffic Bridge on the south side of the river.

Ferry Point was on the end of some sand which was on the south side of the Swan River at Fremantle until it was removed to create Fremantle Harbour. Colloquially known as Willis['s] Point. The ferry from there would have crossed to Lukin's jetty at the western end of Lukin's property, Lilburn. Point Street in Fremantle was thought of as leading to this point.

Frazer Point, aka Point Fraser, was the land NW of Heirisson Island, central Perth. Charles Frazer was botanist on HMS Success. He travelled up the Swan River with James Stirling in 1827 - when the point was named in his honour.

Fishing Boat Harbour, Fremantle.

Fremantle is named for Captain (later Admiral) Charles Howe Fremantle.

Fremantle Commonage, Hilton. This area was set aside by the government after the establishment of the Swan River Colony. After WW2 it was developed into housing. South of Carrington Street.

Freshwater Bay (Minderup). A topographical name, from the fresh water springs which seeped from the wetlands to the north of the bay.

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Gage Roads was so named after Rear-Admiral Sir William Hall Gage, Stirling's admiral, who was Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Navy's East Indies Station when James Stirling was surveying the Swan River in 1827.

Garden Island. Governor Stirling named Garden Island after a nickname of the Isle of Wight, according to Pamela Statham-Drew (2003: 71; 2004: 16). It had formerly been named Ile Buache by the French. It's now a 'defence' establishment called HMAS Stirling.

Gilbert Fraser Oval, John Street, North Fremantle. Gilbert Fraser (1894-1958) was a Member of the Legislative Council of WA 1928-1958. He was also president of the North Fremantle Amateur Football Club 1932 -1941, 1946-1953. See also Gilbert Fraser Grandstand.

Graylands was named after Maria Gray (née Wycliffe) who inherited land from her sister Sarah Harding (also née Wycliffe) the widow of harbourmaster Captain Harding, the first private owner of land there. Maria was the (second) wife of John Gray, survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade. No longer a separate suburb, it is now part of Claremont.

Guildford was established in 1829 at the confluence of the Helena River and Swan River, being sited near a permanent fresh water supply. It was named by James Stirling after his father-in-law’s electorate in Surrey, England. The Governor settled nearby at Woodbridge, bordered by the Swan River, and where Woodbridge House remains open to the public today. Guildford and Woodbridge are both suburbs of Perth on the Swan River in Western Australia.

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Hamilton Hill. The City of Cockburn's website tells us who named it, but not why.

Point Heathcote was named for the midshipman on HMS Success.

Hedland. Northwest town still formally called Port Hedland. Named after Peter Hedlund.

Helena River. The river is named after Mrs. Helena Barbara Dance, wife of Captain William Dance, captain of the Sulphur. Mrs. Dance also 'cut' down the tree at the Perth Town Hall site in the ceremony to proclaim the location of Perth. The mouth of the Helena was seen by Stirling and other settlers in September 1829, and the river was explored by Ensign Robert Dale in October and December 1829.

Henderson, the suburb, is named for Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson – who in 1910 suggested that Cockburn Sound would be a good location for a naval base.

Heirisson Island (Matagarup) was named - before Stirling carried out his naming exercise in 1827 - by Nicolas Baudin in 1801 for midshipman François-Antoine Boniface Heirisson.

Hesperia was the name chosen by Stirling for Western Australia, stating that it referred to a land looking towards the setting sun; but the name was not adopted. I wish it had been – and something similarly short instead of the ridiculous 'New South Wales'.

Hilton, formerly Hilton Park, is a suburb to the east of Fremantle. See also Agnieshka Kiera's Hilton plan.

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Jervoise Bay is the name given to the coastal waters immediately to the south of Woodman Point.

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Keane's Point (Beereegup), Peppermint Grove, protrudes into Freshwater Bay. It was earlier called Butler's Hump after its first European owner, before Edward Keane acquired it. It is now the site of the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, part of the building of which is still what was Keane's house Cappoquin, designed by architect Dean Smith (of Wilkinson and Smith) in 1892.


The Kennedy Fountain (named for the Governor of the time) below Mount Eliza, marks a spring which was an early source of fresh water. Before colonisation, it was a significant place for Yellagonga (various spellings), elder of the Mooro people. There is a small park between the Brewery and Mount Eliza. It is without a unique name, being considered to be part of Kings Park. Perhaps it could be called Yellagonga Park. The fountain is at its eastern end.

Kings Square. Now renamed Walyalup Koort. George IV (until his death on 26 June 1830) was on the throne in 1829, when Captain Fremantle 'took possession', but when Roe planned the Square after 1830, the monarch was William IV. A Fremantle Library page says that it was named for George IV (who reigned 1762-1830). Take your pick. Personally I would rather think it was neither: just a generic Kings Square to make a pair with Queens Square a couple of hundred metres away, and not named for a particular king.


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Leighton. Ann Leighton for 24 years was the keeper of the railway crossing on the Perth side of the North Fremantle station. It came to be known as Leighton's Crossing.  The name Leighton came to be given also to the station, beach and the locality.

Point Lewis. Site of the Swan Brewery. According to the West Australian (see below) it is 'probably after D.A.C.G. Lewis, Imperial officer here, 1831'.

Lilburn was Lionel Lukin's property on the North Fremantle riverside. He named it after the captain of the Egyptian, the ship on which he arrived.

Lockridge (formerly Lockeridge): locality, suburb. See also Lockridge Hotel. Named by William Tanner.

Lynton, convict depot near (Port) Gregory on the Hutt River.

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Mangles Bay. Captain James Mangles RN, brother to Stirling's wife Ellen Mangles, was in the colony in 1831. There is a Mangles Bay off the Rockingham coast, a Mangles Street in Warnbro, Lane in Hillarys, and Drive in Ellenbrook (the Brook was so named for Ellen Mangles).

Manjaree. Noongar name for Bathers Beach/Bay and immediately adjoining land, including Arthur Head.

Marmion Memorial, Adelaide Street. William Edward Marmion (1845-1896) was Minister for Crown Lands.

Point Marquis was at the northern end of Bathers Bay (Manjaree). It was named after the Marquis of Anglesea, which was wrecked on Anglesea Point.

Masons Gardens is a park in Dalkeith formerly the property of the family of Frederick Mason.

Matilda Bay (Goodroo) is believed to have been so named after Matilda Bennett, wife of John Septimus Roe. 'Captain Currie was the first colonial owner of the 32-acre (130,000 m2) estate surrounding the bay, at that time known as Currie's Bay. Pelican Point was then known as Point Currie. The estate was sold in 1832 to the Assistant Surveyor and Colonial Treasurer, Henry Charles Sutherland for ₤100. Sutherland named the property Crawley Park after his mother's maiden name and the bay became known as Sutherland's Bay. In 1876 Crawley Park was sold to Sir George Shenton, and the bay was known generally as Crawley Bay.' (Wikipedia) The land was acquired by the state in 1910 and vested in the University in 1922.

Maylands. Origin unknown. My origin.

Melville Water (originally including all the water between South Perth and Fremantle) was named after (the second) Viscount Melville (Robert Dundas) First Lord of the Admiralty 1812-1827. Statham-Drew (2004: 13) writes that, '[Stirling] named the two large expanses [that is, Perth Water and Melville Water] "Melville Water" in honour of Lord Melville, then first Lord of the Admiralty, without distinguishing one from the other'. Seddon concurs that it was Robert Dundas (1771-1851) who was the relevant Viscount. (His father Henry Dundas, the first Viscount Melville, had been First Lord of the Admiralty 1804-1805.) Note that a principal point in the river in Melville Water is called Point Dundas. The City of Melville is probably named after the Water.

Mill Point is at least formerly if not formally Point Belches.

Minim Cove (Garangup). Probably a descriptive term derived from the Latin word for 'smallest', in use at least as early as 1831. A cross-river ferry service terminated there in the 1830s, at the southern end of that part of the first track from Fremantle to Perth along the line of the present Palmerston and View Streets to Claremont and on to Perth.

Molfetta Quay, Fremantle. Honours Fremantle's Sister City, Molfetta, Italy. Many members of the Italian community in Fremantle trace their origins to this city. Molfetta is a town located in the northern side of the Metropolitan City of Bari, Apulia, southern Italy.

Monkey Rock was a name given by early settlers to the rock bar at the mouth of the Swan River, off the northern bank. This was comprised of coralline limestone and sandstone and was submerged other than at low tide when some portions of it became exposed.

Mosman Bay. Probably in recollection of Mosman in Sydney, at the suggestion of R.J. Yeldon of the local Roads Board, in 1907. Originally part of Freshwater Bay, and for a time known as Samson Bay, Mosman Bay gave its name to the suburb Mosman Park, which was previously known as Cottesloe Beach and Buckland Hill. Why do we need the 'Park' if Sinny doesn't?

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The Narrows is the notional division between Perth Water and Melville Water, at Point Belches (Mill Point) and where the Narrows Bridge now crosses the Swan River.

New Norcia is a town in the Wheat Belt founded as a mission by Spanish Benedictines led by Dom Salvado.

Nicol aka Nickol Bay was 'named 4 March 1818 by Captain Philip Parker King RN,
of the HMS Mermaid at the request of John Septimus Roe. Mr Roe, who served under Captain King as Assistant Surveyor, had the honour to name one bay, and chose to commemorate the name of a sailor lost overboard during the expedition.' (Trove)

North Fremantle is a suburb that is part of the City of Fremantle LGA. It had a separate local government identity from October 1895 to November 1961.

North Perth. It has a monastery. Probably no monks, but.

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Owen Anchorage. Named in honour of Rear-Admiral Owen, a Lord of the Admiralty, these waters - immediately to the north of Woodman Point - were originally called Britannic Roads.

O'Connor, named in honour of engineer C.Y. O'Connor, is a suburb of Perth that is also part of the City of Fremantle local government organisation. It is mostly an industrial area.

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Parmelia Bank. HMS Parmelia.

Paddy Troy Mall is the area behind the shops in William Street and in Market Street, so between those two streets. It was merely access to the premises and parking, but is being redeveloped 2022 to attract patrons to al fresco areas. It is named for unionist Paddy Troy.

Pelican Point, see Point Currie.

Peppermint Grove: Swan Location 84.

Peron. Cape or Point. On the coast opposite the SE corner of Garden Island. Named after the French naturalist and zoologist François Péron, who accompanied the expedition of Nicolas Baudin along the western coast of Australia in 1801. (Wikipedia)

Perth (Boorloo/Byerbrup) was so named by Stirling after the city in Scotland, at the wish of Sir George Murray, the Secretary for the Colonies 1828-9, and a compatriot of Stirling's.

Pinjarra. Binjareb. Where the governor led a genocidal massacre.

Plympton was the earliest area of development in East Fremantle. Plympton is a village in Devon on the Plym River between Plymouth and Dartmoor, but I do not yet know of any connexion between the village and an EF resident—though W.S. Pearse must be the most likely. It's worth noting that the river Plym was named after the village, rather than the other way around.

Port of Fremantle.

Port Beach is one of three Fremantle sea beaches. It's in North Fremantle. It is often threatened by erosion.

Port Gregory, on the Hutt River, was near the Lynton convict hiring depot.

Port Hedland. See Hedland.

Prawn Bay. There is a Prawn Bay Reserve (with storage for dinghies) at the end of Johannah Street North Fremantle, indicating roughly where the said bay used to be. Point Brown (qv) was its point. Neither still exists.

Preston Point (Nierganup) and the Road leading to it were named after the second lieutenant on HMS Success, who was also the first lieutenant on HMS Sulphur, William Preston. A southwest river is also named for the man who was to become Governor Stirling's brother-in-law.


Proclamation Tree, Adelaide Street.

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Queens Square. The Fremantle Library page says this is named for Queen Adelaide. See also Kings Square (now Walyalup Koort).

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Randwick Stables, 24 Rockingham Road, Hamilton Hill.

Rocky Bay, North Fremantle. A topographical name. The Noongar name is Garrungup, meaning 'place of anger': it is the also the name of the cave where the Waugal resides. Its Whadjuk Noongar name is therefore thought to be Waugal Mia.

Point Roe, the southernmost place in Mosman Park, is named after Surveyor-General John Septimus Roe.

Roebourne. Northwest town also named to honour Surveyor-General John S. Roe.

Rottnest Island (Wadjemup) was named 't Eylandt 't Rottenest (Rats Nest Island) in 1696 by Willem de Vlamingh for the quokkas. It is is the largest of the islands in the sea off Fremantle, and was once (still in the cultural memory of the first people) part of the continent.

Rous Head and associated Road. Named by Governor Stirling after Sea Lord Admiral Henry Rous, (1795-1877) who served in the Napoleonic Wars, and was in Eastern Australia 1827-9, and gave some places in NSW his own name. He was later First Lord of the Admiralty and Admiral. He organised a regatta in Sydney Harbour in April 1827. The place is shown in 1827 as Rous Point.

Russell Square in Perth is named for PM of Great Britain, John Russell, first Earl Russell (1792-1878).

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Samson. The suburb is named for Lionel Samson and family. It is part of the City of Fremantle LGA.

Samson's Paddock, Mosman Park, Swan Location 83.

Sea Baths. There were sea bathing facilities at the foot of Arundel Street 1896-1910.

Seven Sisters, Rocky Bay, Fremantle. Also known as 'Seven Hills'. High limestone peaks on the northern shores of Rocky Bay. In the 1890s these were quarried down and later became the site of the Mt Lyell Superphosphate Works & State Engineering Works (now demolished). Of the Seven Sisters, only Buckland Hill remains.

Shark Bay was so named by William Dampier (possibly because he saw porpoises there rather than sharks).

South Beach is one of three Fremantle sea beaches. It's in South Fremantle.

South Fremantle has always been part of the Fremantle local government area, tho it is a distinct suburb.


Stirling is a suburb of Perth. The City of Stirling is a local government area which includes these wards: Balga, Coastal, Doubleview, Hamersley, Inglewood, Lawley, and Osborne - giving an idea of which suburbs are in it (as well as Stirling itself). In 2021 it is proposed to change the name, as the memory of the governor after whom it is named may continue to offend Aboriginal People. In 2021, it is also under consideration to discontinue the Federal electorate of that name, due to changes in boundaries.

Success Bank, and Success Harbour South Fremantle. Named for HMS Success, as is also (probably) Success Hill in West Guildford/Bassendean, probably so named by William Preston, who had a land grant there from 1830. Success Springs emerge from below Success Hill.

Sutherland Bay, see Matilda Bay. This name of the bay is important because it was its name at the time of the establishment of the government depot beneath Mt Eliza. It's more usually called the Mt Eliza Depot, but there is a case for calling it the Sutherland Bay Depot.

Swan Location 83: Samson's Paddock, Mosman Park.

Swan Location 84: Peppermint Grove.

Swan River. Named by Willem de Vlamingh after the black swans he found there, and so formerly aka Black Swan River. The Noongar name is Derbal Yaragan.

Swanbourne. So named by Governor Broome in 1886 after Baron Cottesloe of Swanbourne, Bucks.

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Toodyay (Duidgee) known as Newcastle between 1860 and 1910, is a town on the Avon River in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 85 km north-east of Perth on Ballardong Noongar land.

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Uglieland was a fairground on Pioneer Park 1922-1936 sponsored by the Ugly Men's Association, a charitable organisation formed to raise money to alleviate suffering in the community caused by World War I.

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Vasse River and region are named after Assistant Helmsman Timothée Vasse, of the Baudin expedition of 1801. He died at Geographe Bay.

Victoria Quay is the name given to the south wharf of the port. It was originally named South Quay but was renamed in honour of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) by the Duchess of Cornwall and York (later William IV's Queen Mary) during her visit in 1901.

Viveash, the suburb, is named after Samuel Waterman Viveash, the Guildford magistrate 1847-1872. He was responsible for convict labourers in the Swan District from 1850 and was visiting magistrate and surgeon to the convict depot from 1852.

Lake Vincent, Rottnest (formerly Sealers Lake) is named after prison superintendent Henry Vincent. It has been suggested that the name be changed.

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Point Walter, Bicton. (Dycondalup) Stirling named this after his uncle Sir Walter Stirling, or his grandfather, whose name was also Walter. (Another source suggests that it was his brother.) A canal was cut through the spit by Alfred Waylen in 1837, and an inn and boatyard were available. Waylen put the canal and inn up for lease and by 1838 John Gresswell and his wife Henrietta were keeping the house as the Vauxhall Tavern. When steam came into use, there was less interest in using the channel and it was allowed to silt up again. See Halfway House, ferries.

Walyalup. Noongar name for Fremantle. Name was first recorded by Europeans in the Fremantle area in 1833 by Robert Menli Lyon.

Walyalup Koort. 'The heart of Walyalup' in the Noongar language. Presumably the land bounded by William, Adelaide, Queen and Newman Streets. The latter is now a 'Court', apparently.

War Memorial, Memorial Park, Monument Hill (Obelisk Hill).

Waylen Bay and Point Waylen are named after Alfred Waylen (1833-1901), pioneer settler who was granted Swan Location 74, covering most of present-day Alfred Cove and Myaree.

Wesley Way (Arcade) Fremantle. Wesley Way Arcade was between Market Street and Cantonment Street, Fremantle. There is now just a passageway behind the (Wesley) church to reach some offices.

Westgate Mall, Fremantle. Westgate Mall is a shopping arcade within the Fremantle precinct. The name was approved in 1965. It runs from Adelaide Street, behind Target, to Point Street.

Whalers Tunnel. Civil engineer Henry Reveley supervised the construction of the Whalers Tunnel (1837-38) which runs underneath the Round House jail, through Arthur Head. It was (as a sign says) the first underground engineering project in the colony and 'convict labour' was used - meaning the labour of convicted men who were imprisoned in the jail, not that of transported convicts, who did not begin to arrive until 1850.

White Gum Valley is the smallest of the suburbs in the City of Fremantle local government area, and is bounded by Stevens, Carrington, South and Edmund Streets. It is in the East Ward of the City of Fremantle. Presumably it was named for some 'white' eucalyptus trees that were noticeable in the valley - which I believe were tuarts (from the Noongar 'duart').

Willetton, the suburb, is named after (Henry) Willett & Co., who owned land there.

Willis Point was also known as Ferry Point. It was on sandy land in the river that was removed for the building of the harbour at Fremantle. There was an early settler named James Willis who bought town lot 145 c. 1829-37.

Witchcliffe was probably named by the Bussell family, who lived nearby at Wallcliffe.

Woodbridge, the locality and now suburb, was named by James Stirling, the first Governor of Western Australia, after Woodbridge, Surrey, as his wife Ellen Mangles (1807-1874) was from there. Charles Harper's house is called Woodbridge House because it is in that location.

Woodsons Arcade, Fremantle. Woodsons Arcade is situated between Cantonment Street and Adelaide Street, Fremantle.

Woodman Point. Thomas Woodman was purser on HMS Success in 1827.

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York is the oldest inland town in Western Australia, situated on the Avon River, 97 kilometres east of Perth on Ballardong Nyoongar land. The name of the region was suggested by J. S. Clarkson during an expedition in October 1830 because of its similarity to his own county in England, Yorkshire.

The West Australian 1909:
Fremantle and Swan River
Fremantle. Mangles-street, Captain James Mangles R.N., brother to Lady Stirling, was in this colony in 1831; Mouat-street, lieutenant of H.M.S. Challenger, J. A. Mouat; Henry-street, second lieutenant of H.M.S. Challenger, John Henry: Pakenham-street, third lieutenant of H.MS. Challenger, H. Pakenham: Collie-street, surgeon of H.M.S. Sulphur, Alex. Collie: Stirling street, Sir James Stirling; Ellen-street, Lady Stirling; Cockburn Sound, Admiral Sir George Cockburn, G.C.B.; Owen Anchorage, Rear-Admiral Owen, a Lord of the Admiralty, was originally called Britannic Roads; Gage Roads, Admiral Gage; Melville Water (including all between South Perth and Fremantle), after Viscount Melville (Henry Dundas), Secretary of State for Colonies, 1794; Point Dundas, Viscount Melville (Henry Dundas), Secretary of State for Colonies, 1794; Preston, second lieutenant on H.M.S. Success, and first of H.M.S. Sulphur, William Preston; Belches, third lieutenant on H.M.S. Success, Peter Belches; Fraser, Charles Fraser, botanist on H.M.S. Success; Heathcote, midshipman on H.M.S. Success; Lewis, probably after D.A.C.G. Lewis, Imperial officer here, 1831; Roe, Captain J. S. Roe; Matilda Bay, Mrs. J. S. Roe; Currie Spit, Captain Currie, R.N., first harbourmaster; Mount Eliza, Lady Darling; Carnac, John Ruett Carnac, senior lieutenant on H.M.S. Success; Woodman's Point, Thos. Woodman, purser on H.M.S. Success; Leake-street, Samson-street, Lefroy-street, and many others, after well-known colonists. The West Australian, Wednesday 17 March 1909, page 9.

References and Links

Caldwell, Kate 1931, 'Fremantle street names', Early Days: Journal of Royal WA Historical Society, 1, 9: 45-57.

Lyon, Robert Menli 1833, ‘A glance at the manners and language of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Western Australia with a short vocabulary’, Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, 30 March 1833: 52. The second part of the article was published in Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, 20 April 1833: 63-4. [The author's real name was Robert Lyon MILNE.] Many of the first people's names for places above come from this source.

Murray, Ian & Brian Goodchild 2003, Araluen to Zanthus: A Gazetteer of Perth Suburbs and Western Australian Towns, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, in association with the Department of Land Information.

Seddon, George 1970, Swan River Landscapes, UWAP.

Statham-Drew, Pamela 2003, James Stirling: Admiral and Founding Governor of Western Australia, UWAP.

Statham-Drew, Pamela 2004, James Stirling and the Birth of the Swan River Colony, Pandorus, Swanbourne.

Nyungar Wardan Katitjin Bidi-Derbal Nara (People's Ocean Knowledge Trail of Cockburn Sound and Districts).

Western Mail 10 November 1927: 2.

Statements of Significance for the Fremantle Area and Registered Aboriginal Sites—Cantonment Hill, Rocky Bay and Swan River.

Landgate, History of River Names.

Garry Gillard | New: 23 June, 2018 | Now: 4 June, 2024