York, Western Australia

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Western Australia
York Town Hall, Western Australia.jpg
York Town Hall
York is located in Western Australia
Coordinates 31°52′44″S 116°45′57″E / 31.87889°S 116.76583°E / -31.87889; 116.76583Coordinates: 31°52′44″S 116°45′57″E / 31.87889°S 116.76583°E / -31.87889; 116.76583
Population 2,387 (2011)[1]
Established 1831
Postcode(s) 6302
Elevation 179 m (587 ft)
Location 96 km (60 mi) E of Perth
LGA(s) Shire of York
State electorate(s) Central Wheatbelt
Federal Division(s) Pearce
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
24.7 °C
76 °F
10.5 °C
51 °F
449.8 mm
17.7 in

York is the oldest inland town in Western Australia, situated 97 kilometres (60 mi) east of Perth, and is the seat of the Shire of York. Home to 2,088 people at the 2006 census, it was settled in 1831, only two years after Perth was settled in 1829.


St. Patrick's Church was designed by Joseph Nunan[2] (1886)

With the increasing population of the then Swan River Settlement in 1829, it became evident that suitable land would have to be discovered for the growing of cereal crops needed to provide necessary food.

Robert Dale, a 21-year-old officer of the 63rd Regiment, was assigned the making of the first exploratory journey over the Darling Range during the winter months of 1830 into what was later to become known as the Avon Valley.

As a result of these explorations, Governor Stirling decided that the new district would be thrown open for selection and this was done by Government Notice on 11 November 1830.

Named after the city of York in England, the first settlers in the district reached the valley on 15 September 1831, and immediately set about the construction of huts, the preparation required for their stock and the cultivation of new land.

The first decade of settlement in the Avon Valley showed steady progress and a clear indication that the whole district should develop into a rich and prosperous farming area.

A township did not begin to appear until 1836 when an army barracks and store were built. It then began to take shape and great improvements were noted as private and Government buildings were erected.[3]

By the late 1880s the town was teeming with miners and fossickers, all alighting from the train and preparing to make the long journey across the plains to the goldfields.

Heritage Buildings[edit]

York has so many important heritage buildings, some dating from the 1850s and 1860s, and many from the Gold Rush period (1885 to 1900), that the entire town site of York has been listed as an Historic Town on the Register of the National Estate of the Commonwealth of Australia. Many of York's older homes and buildings have now been sensitively restored and, while some have retained their original use, some others have been adaptively re-used with success. The Victorian Georgian style Resident Magistrate’s House, one of the oldest houses in York (dating from the 1840s) now houses the Residency Museum. York churches include the Victorian Romanesque style Holy Trinity Anglican Church (completed in 1854); St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church (designed in the Gothic Revival style by the convict architect Joseph Nunan and completed in 1886); and the York Uniting Church constructed of local granite in the Gothic style (1888). The 19th century Western Australia Government Architect, George Temple Poole, designed a number of York’s heritage buildings, namely the Federation Arts and Crafts style Post and Telegraph Office (1893); the Courthouse (c. 1896); the Federation Arts and Crafts style York Hospital (opened in 1896); and the 19th century portion of York Primary School: all are on the State Heritage Register. Other Gold Rush buildings include: the railway station buildings, now a museum (built in 1885); the York Roller Flour Mill, a major source of employment, at the entrance to York (1892); and the Victorian Filigree style Imperial Hotel (built in 1886 to accommodate the gold miners). Among early 20th century buildings are the Federation Free Classical style Town Hall (designed by Wright, Powell and Cameron and built in 1911), and the Federation Filigree style Castle Hotel (c.1905).


York is in a temperate climate zone and experiences distinctly dry (and hot) summers[4] and cool, wet winters.[5] Under the Köppen climate classification, York has a Mediterranean climate.

Climate data has been recorded by the Bureau of Meteorology at York Post Office from 1877 to 1996,[6] and another site from 1996 onwards.[7]

At the post office site, the mean annual daily maximum temperature is 24.7 °C (76.5 °F) and the mean annual daily minimum temperature is 10.5 °C (50.9 °F).[6] The hottest month is January with a mean maximum temperature of 33.6 °C (92.5 °F), while the coolest month is July with a mean minimum temperature of 5.3 °C (41.5 °F).[6] Mean temperatures are based on data from 1880 to 1996.[6] York has a mean annual rainfall of 449.8 millimetres (17.71 in).[6] The wettest month is June with 87.9 millimetres (3.46 in) and the driest is January with 9.5 millimetres (0.37 in).[6]

A severe thunderstorm lashed the town and surrounding areas on 27 January 2011, resulting in roofs being ripped off, trees being uprooted and power lines being brought down.[8] About 40 houses were damaged in the town as a result of the storm but no injuries were reported.[9]

Climate data for York (1996–2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.9
Average high °C (°F) 34.2
Average low °C (°F) 16.5
Record low °C (°F) 7.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 28.9
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 2.4 2.4 2.8 5.4 9.3 12.9 15.1 13.9 12.3 5.8 4.6 3.8 90.7
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[10]

Facilities and Attractions[edit]

Inside York Town Hall

The town has adapted by changing from a traditional sheep and wheat agricultural community into a tourist town. It features music festivals, a motor museum, art galleries, recreational facilities including skydiving and paragliding, many bed and breakfast services and the picturesque Avon River. The town population in 2010 was approximately 3800 and increasing 4% annually.[citation needed]

York is well serviced with all essential facilities, including York District High School for students from kindergarten to Year 10. The York Visitor Centre is located in the Town Hall. The York Community Resource Centre enables access to tertiary education. There is a 24/7 medical service, the York District Hospital, library, and swimming pool.


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "York (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  2. ^ St. Patrick's Catholic Church, York, Western Australia,” Medievalism in Australian Cultural Memory, accessed 19 August 2013.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Australian Climatic Zones – All Climate Classes(Map)". Bureau of Meteorology website. Bureau of Meteorology. Archived from the original on 5 August 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Australian Climatic Zones (Map)". Bureau of Meteorology website. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Monthly Climate Statistics for Australian Locations – York Post Office". Bureau of Meteorology website. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Monthly Climate Statistics for Australian Locations – York Post Office". Bureau of Meteorology website. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Wheatbelt towns lashed by thunderstorms, but cyclone warning cancelled". The Sunday Times. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "Houses damaged in trail of destruction across WA". The West Australian. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "YORK". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to York, Western Australia at Wikimedia Commons