Architecture of Bridgetown
Hampton StreetThe main street of Bridgetown is named in honour of J.S. Hampton who
successfully had the town proclaimed in 1868.
Old Gaol and Police Quarters
The town's first police station was located down by the Blackwood River but in 1880 a new one was
built on Hampton Street (this now being the old gaol!).The old gaol included the police quarters which was first
occupied by Constable John Bovell in 1880. The gaol had two cells, a kitchen and an exercise yard. The gaol was
used right up until the 1970's when a new police station (but less attractive one) was built. The police quarters
were used by the police until the 1980's.
Originally known as the "Post and Telegraph" office, the Bridgetown GPO was built in 1890. Prior to
this the postal service was run from the Bridgedale homestead by John Blechynden in Geegelup. Mail came into town
by horse and coach from Donnybrook. In 1895 a regular mail service operated between Greenbushes and Bridgetown and
when the railway was completed in 1898, mail would come in twice a week. The Bridgetown Post Office was built in
Federation Free Classical style.
The Bridgetown Hotel was built in the 1920's to replace the original hotel known as the Dawes
(later the Cowan Hotel). The original hotel was built from mud bricks and was situated just below street level,
making it a steep step to the beer. When the new hotel was built, remnants of the original hotel were incorporated
into the design. The hotel was built in Federation Filigree style. The interior of the hotel features a jarrah
staircase, pressed metal ceilings and a fireplace.
Replacing the Mechanics Institute Hall, the Town Hall and Administration offices were built in 1936
by W & WC Moyes. The original hall was built by Joseph Smith.The building has a blending of several
architectural styles from Inter-war to Federation Free Classical with later additions being of Post-Modern style.
The Town Hall became the epicentre of the towns social gatherings during the 1940's and 50's when the hall housed
the local movie theatre. The building also included a large hall, road board offices and the Commonwealth Banking
Taking up the corner of Steere and Hampton Street is the Freemason Hotel, built by the Bunnings
brothers between 1904-1907. Retaining most of its original construction this fine old hotel once boasted 15
bedrooms, two dining rooms, a drawing and smoking room, gas lighting and best of all hot running water so you could
really enjoy the plunge bath. Outside were stables and garages. It was built in Federation Filigree style (with
Inter-war Art Deco additions) and features red tuck pointed brick, corbelled chimneys and gabled roof line.
Commercial Bank of Australia
This Federation Free style building was constructed in 1909 to become a branch of the Commercial
Bank of Australia.
Bank of New South Wales
This building was constructed in 1938 to become a branch of the Bank of New South Wales. It was
built in Inter-war classical style. Today the building still functions as a bank but is now Westpac.
The Blackwood Pharmacy building was constructed in 1908 and it was one of several places for locals
to purchase medication.
This old brick building was constructed in the early 1900's to house the local solicitor. Built in
Federation style it features a gabled tin roof and face brick with rendered bands.
National Bank Building
The National Bank building was built around 1910 and is indicative of bank construction of the
time. By the 1970's the bank was no longer in use and is now occupied by commercial businesses.
Just about every town, big or small, in Western Australia has a Masonic Lodge. The Bridgetown lodge
is known as the Nelson Freemasons Lodge No 60 of the WA Chapter. The chapter was founded in 1899 (under the
Scottish Constitution) by nine local freemasons. The lodge was built in 1910 and features a gabled roof with a
The first licensed public house in Bridgetown lasted less than a year, due to a disgruntled
settler. The settler on discovering that the owner , Mr Phillips, was serving his shepherds alcohol (must have been
a no no) put in an official complaint and the licence was terminated. A smart thinking local, Henry Doust, bought
Mr Phillip's Stock and built the Farmers' Home Hotel. The original hotel was single storey, featuring a small bar
and a few small rooms, however a second storey was added later and it featured ornate verandahs. Tabs were kept at
the bar for the regulars and at the end of each month the accounts were settled for not only the drinks but the hay
consumed by their horses. A special room was built for the medical officers who would often come into town to give
vaccinations and tend to the medical needs of the locals. In 1890, Mr Doust, leased the property to James Scott for
a three year period but following World War I, Mr Scott purchased the hotel . It continued to operate as a hotel up
until the 1980's when it became a tavern.
Maslin House was built in 1870, out of hand made bricks. The original owners were the Maslin
family. Elizabeth Maslin,who was a local midwife, used the house as a 'lying-in house' for pregnant women. Many
locals were born under the Malin House roof. The house was later owned by a Macedonian woman, Mrs Keremelevich, who
opened it up as a boarding house and shop. The building became known as the 'Macedonia House' where up to 30 men at
a time occupied the premises. The house became so popular it was not unusual to see beds lining the verandah or men
sleeping in the bathroom. The Macedonia House closed in the 1950's and a number of restaurants opened up that was
until 1984 when it became the Bridgetown Pottery and Tearooms. The house features hand cut floorboards and a
pressed metal ceiling in the middle room.
Old Cider Factory
The Old Cider Factory was built around the 1890's, but it didn't become a cider factory until 1918.
Unfortunately the factory didn't last long and later became a jam factory. Following the jam factory it became a
second hand shop, before becoming a restaurant.
The Nelson House was built in the 1890's as the 'Warners Hotel' and featured a public bar.
Unfortunately it was a little too far from the centre of town and the railway station to have any real success
(especially as a bar). The owners later turned the premises into a boarding house and a small doctor's surgery.
Left abandoned for some time, it became the official haunted house of Bridgetown (every town has one). During World
War II it housed Italian interns. Today it is a motel and restaurant.
St Paul's Anglican Church
The first Anglican church to built in Bridgetown was a small wooden structure on Rowley Street
which would later become the parish hall. St Paul's was built in 1911. One of the most unique features of the
church is the lychgate which you walk through to enter. The lychgate is one of only a few that still exist in
Western Australia. The gate was where the coffin was rested prior to the burial. Many of the works inside the
church were created by Gordon Holdsworth, who lived in the town for over fifty years. Holdsworth was also
responsible for the war memorials in both Bridgetown and Greenbushes.
Henry's House, set back and down on Hampton Street, was built in the 1890's by John Moriarity, the
local blacksmith. The house has always been in the hands of private owners.
Links To More Western Australian Architecture
Architecture of New Norcia
Fitzgerald Street in Northam
Wellington Street in Northam