Northampton, Western Australia
|LGA(s)||Shire of Northampton|
Northampton is a town 52 kilometres (32 mi) north of Geraldton, in the Mid West region of Western Australia. At the 2011 census, the town had a population of 868. It is an attractive historical town, with an outstanding National Trust building. The town lies on the North West Coastal Highway. Originally called The Mines, Northampton was gazetted in 1864 and named after the colony's Governor, John Hampton. The town was sited in the Nokanena Brook valley, between the hamlets around the two major copper mines in the area, the Wanerenooka and the Gwalla.
It is the service town to the micronation, the Principality of Hutt River.
Lead ore was first found by explorer Pemberton Walcott, a member of A.C. Gregory's party, in 1848 in the bed of the Murchison River. By by 1877, 4,000 tons of copper and lead were being produced each year.
The town was left under water by flooding in 1900 following torrential rainfall. The bridge over Nokanena Brook was swamped with extensive damage resulting, in the highest water levels recorded in ten year.
In 1936, 4,628 tons of lead were produced from the Northampton field followed by 6,163 tons in 1937. Most of this came from the Grand Junction mine which was closed in 1938.
The Northampton State Battery opened in 1954 and operated for about 30 years leaving large amount of tailings stockpiled. Locals removed the waste to use in buildings and other construction works. The battery was demolished in 2010 with the examining tailings being sealed in a containment cell.
An investigation into lead contamination in the town commenced in 2013. The Northampton Lead Tailings Project aims to collect information on all land parcels around the town to determine extent of the distribution of lead tailings, which contain about 3% lead, in the area.
The first Western Australian government railway was constructed from Geraldton to Northampton, a distance of 33 miles 25 chains, and opened on 26 July 1879. An extension from Northampton to Ajana of 33 miles 5 chains was opened on 13 March 1913. The line closed on 29 April 1957.
- Sir David Brand (1912-1979), 19th Premier of Western Australia
- John Drew (1865-1947), newspaper publisher, anti-federationist, Colonial Secretary, Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Lands, Minister for Education.
- Paul Hasleby, Australian Rules footballer, played for East Fremantle (WAFL), Fremantle Dockers (AFL) and South Fremantle (WAFL)
- Herbert Johnson (1889-1962), federal Minister for the Interior
- Josh J. Kennedy, Australian Rules footballer, played for East Fremantle (WAFL), Carlton (AFL) and West Coast Eagles (AFL)
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- Milne, Rod (2001) Rails to Ajana Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, February, 2001 pp. 45-53
- Gibbs, M. (1997) Landscapes of Meaning - Joseph Lucas Horrocks and the Gwalla Estate, Northampton, Western Australia. Historical Traces: Studies in Western Australian History, No. 17. University of Western Australia Press.