Northampton, Western Australia

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Western Australia
Northampton Hampton St.jpg
Hampton Street
Northampton is located in Western Australia
Coordinates 28°21′04″S 114°37′41″E / 28.35111°S 114.62806°E / -28.35111; 114.62806Coordinates: 28°21′04″S 114°37′41″E / 28.35111°S 114.62806°E / -28.35111; 114.62806
Population 868 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1864
Postcode(s) 6535
LGA(s) Shire of Northampton
State electorate(s) Moore
Federal Division(s) Durack
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
27.0 °C
81 °F
12.7 °C
55 °F
432.2 mm
17 in

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.[1] It is an attractive[peacock term] historical town, with an outstanding[peacock term] 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.[2]

It is the service town to the micronation, the Principality of Hutt River.

The town is known for its many wildflowers. Cave paintings at the Bowes River turnoff show that the region has been inhabited by Indigenous Australians.

The surrounding areas produce wheat and other cereal crops. The town has a receival site for Cooperative Bulk Handling.[3]


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.[4][5] By 1877, 4,000 tons of copper and lead were being produced each year.[citation needed]

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[8]


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.[9][10][11][12][13]

Notable residents[edit]

Also see Category:People from Northampton, Western Australia


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics. "Northampton (L)". 2011 census QuickStats. Retrieved 21 Oct 2013. 
  2. ^ Wright, Judy (2006). Selling Sparrows. Dunstable, Bedfordshire: J.H. Wright & The Book Castle. p. 389. ISBN 978-0955351600. 
  3. ^ "CBH receival sites". 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Birman, Mary (1979). Gregory of Rainworth : a man in his time. Nedlands, WA: University of Western Australia Press. p. 32. ISBN 0855641657. 
  5. ^ Gregory, A.C. (25 November 1848). "Geological Remarks". The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News. p. 2. Retrieved 18 Nov 2013. 
  6. ^ "The weather in the Country". The West Australian (Perth: National Library of Australia). 19 June 1900. p. 6. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Northampton lead output". The West Australian (Perth: National Library of Australia). 25 May 1938. p. 16. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Lead inspections begin in WA town". The West Australian. Yahoo 7. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Rogers, Phillipa (compiler) (2007) The First Government Railway 1879–1957: Geraldton to Northampton and onwards in The Westland special edition Issue 256.
  10. ^ "Railway Jubilee.". Geraldton Guardian (WA). 11 December 1928. p. 3. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Western Australian Government Railways Commission (1948), Report on the working of the government railways for the year ended 30th June, Govt. Printer, retrieved 26 May 2012  page 64, appendix G.
  12. ^ "A New Railway". The Daily News (Perth). 5 February 1913. p. 8. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  13. ^ Milne, Rod (2001) Rails to Ajana Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, February, 2001 pp. 45-53

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.