Bishop's House, Perth

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Bishop's House, Perth

Bishops House is a heritage-listed former residence of the Anglican Bishop of Western Australia at 78 Mounts Bay Road (corner Spring Street), Perth, Western Australia.


Bishop’s House is a two-storey residence constructed in a Victorian Georgian style of architecture,[1] in 1859, for Mathew Blagden Hale, the first Anglican Bishop of Western Australia.[2] Bishop’s House is situated on land known as the Bishop's See, located between St George's Terrace, and Mount and Spring Streets at the western end of the Perth central business district.

In 1856 Bishop Hale, an independently wealthy clergyman, purchased five allotments on St George's Terrace in order to build a residence for himself and his family.[1][3] Bishop Hale favoured this location because of the large grounds and natural spring that flowed all year round, and that there was a house and stables.[3] The land was purchased from Edward Hamersley and Alfred Hillman Senior (Assistant Surveyor General).[1] In 1858, Bishop Hale arranged for the construction of his residence by ticket-of-leave men.[1] In December that year, Bishop Hale and his family travelled to England, not returning until April 1860. Bishop’s House was completed, at Bishop Hale's personal expense,[2] for a cost £2,486, whilst the family was away overseas.[1] The existing house on the site was utilised as a kitchen, and the stables as laundry and kitchen outhouses.

Bishop Hale planted ornamental trees in the front garden, and laid out the fruit garden at the rear. He also had the garden wall constructed at the rear of the property.[4]

In 1860, Bishop Hale had a small cottage built adjacent to Bishop’s House at a cost of £360.[1] This was used as lodgings for visiting clergymen from the country and was known as Clergy House or Bishop's Cottage.

In 1872, Bishop Hale then built another house on the Bishop's See site, near the corner of Spring and Mount Streets, to house and educate Aboriginal children. This two-storey building was known as Hale House.[1]

In 1875 Bishop Hale handed all his Perth properties over to the Perth Diocesan Trust and left Western Australia to take up his appointment as Bishop of Brisbane.[1][2][3]

Bishop's House was then occupied by his successor, Henry Hutton Parry in 1876.[5] Bishop Parry however found the upkeep of the residence beyond his means[6] and moved his family into Bishop's Cottage, with Judge Hensman leasing Bishop’s House.[1] Bishop Hutton died whilst still in office in November 1983.[5]

The next Bishop to occupy Bishop’s House was Charles Owen Leaver Riley who arrived to take up his post in 1895.[7] Bishop’s House was renovated and repaired for his occupancy.[1] In 1904, Bishop Riley enlarged Bishop’s House with funds from a public appeal within the Church.[1] Following his death in 1929,[7] Bishop's House was occupied by his successor, Henry Frewen Le Fanu.[8] In 1930, renovations were carried out to Bishop’s House for Bishop Le Fanu's occupancy.[1]

Following Bishop Fanu's death in September 1946,[8] succeeding archbishops choose not to occupy Bishop’s House as their residence.[1] In 1959, it was leased by Legacy Australia as their Perth headquarters, and became known as 'Legacy House'.[1]

In 1974 Bishop's House was used to accommodate the Anglican Health and Welfare Services (Anglicare) until the service was relocated to the Sambell Centre in Colin Street, West Perth.[9]

In 1982, the Perth Diocesan Trust leased the site to St George's Investments, later known as Australian City Properties (ACP), owned by English entrepreneur Lord Alistair McAlpine,[3] who used the residence as home and as an office. As part of the lease conditions, Bishop’s House and its gardens were renovated and restored by architects Oldham Boas Ednie-Brown in 1984.[1]

Current uses[edit]

In 1999 the Multiplex Property Trust and the Hawaiian Property Group bought the heritage-listed residence as part of the overall Bishop’s See site. The companies subsequently built two (a nine storey and a larger twenty-seven storey) modern office towers next to the Bishop's House.[10]

In November 2010 the building was converted into a multi-level restaurant, Lamont’s Bishop’s House, run by Kate Lamont.[11][12]

Heritage value[edit]

Bishop's House was classified by the National Trust (WA) on 11 May 1998 and listed on the City of Perth's Municipal Inventory, which was adopted 13 March 2001. It was permanently entered on to the State Register of Heritage Places on 5 January 2001 by the Heritage Council of Western Australia.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Register of Heritage Places : Bishop's House (Heritage Assessment)". Heritage Council of Western Australia. Archived from the original (pdf) on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Robin, A. De Q. "Hale, Mathew Blagden (1811–1895)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "St Georges House, 235-239 St Georges Tce, Perth, WA , Australia". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Autumn Newsletter - Maintaining WA History" (PDF). Tim Davies Landscaping. 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2012. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b Haynes, Mark. "Parry, Henry Hutton (1826–1893)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Doncaster, Fr. E. W. "Parry: Henry Hutton". Diocese of Perth. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Boyce, Peter. "Riley, Charles Owen Leaver (1854–1929)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Honniball, J. H. M. "Le Fanu, Henry Frewen (1870–1946)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Signposts - A Guide for Children and Young Children in Care in WA from 1920" (PDF). Department for Community Development. p. 81. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "City of Perth - Design Advisory Committee Minutes" (PDF). City of Perth. 25 January 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  11. ^ Williams, Gail (5 March 2011). "Saint and Sinner". PerthNow. The Sunday Times. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Lamont's Bishop's House now open". Hawaiian Property Group. 9 December 2010. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "Bishop's House". Heritage Council of Western Australia. 16 October 2013. Archived from the original on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Burton, Alfred (1941). Church Beginnings in the West. J. Muhling. 
  • Sanderson, Maude (1945). Personal memories of Bishop's House, Perth. 
  • Alexander, Fred (1957). Four Bishops and Their See: Perth, Western Australia 1857-1957. Perth: UWA Press. 
  • Pitt Morison, Margaret (ed); White, John Graham (ed) (1979). Western Towns and Buildings. Nedlands: UWA Press. 
  • Williams, A. E. (1989). West Anglican Way: The growth of the Anglican Church in Western Australia from its early beginnings. Perth: Province of Western Australia of the Anglican Church of Australia. 
  • A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture Styles - Apperly, Richard Irving, Robert and Reynolds, Peter
  • Hocking, Ian; John Toohey; Marget Blackwell (1999). Bishop's See Conservation Plan. Perth: Heritage Council of Western Australia. 

Coordinates: 31°57′15″S 115°51′05″E / 31.954192°S 115.851390°E / -31.954192; 115.851390