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Chapel of St Michael the Archangel


Town of Cambridge

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


50 Ruislip St West Leederville

Location Details

Part of the Ruislip St Catholic Precinct

Other Name(s)

Catholic Education Centre (Church)
Convent of the Good Shepherd

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1938

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 27 Nov 2018

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 27 Nov 2018 Category 1

Category 1

Exceptional Significance Essential to the heritage of the locality. Rare or outstanding example. Recommended for inclusion on the State Register of Heritage Places. The place should be retained and conserved unless there is no feasible and prudent alternative to doing otherwise. Any alterations or extensions should reinforce the significance of the place, and be in accordance with a Conservation Plan (if one exists for the place).

Municipal Inventory Adopted 17 Dec 1996

Parent Place or Precinct

08880 Ruislip Street Catholic Precinct

Statement of Significance

The chapel has aesthetic value as an intact and well detailed example of the Inter War Gothic style executed in stone, brick and tile.

The chapel has historic value for its association with the provision of services by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd from 1904 to 1979.

The chapel has historic value for its association with the prominent ecclesiastical architect, Edgar le Blond Henderson and his partner Alan Gamble.

The chapel has social value for the members of the community who attended the place from 1938 to 1979 when it was an adjunct to the Home of the Good Shepherd institutions for women and girls.

The chapel has social value for the immediate and widespread community for its use as a wedding venue in recent decades.

Physical Description

The church is one of an impressive precinct of striking buildings set within a landscaped setting in the heart of residential West Leederville. The buildings are set atop a grassy bank, with views up a central driveway from McCourt Street towards the building. The church is located on the eastern side of the land parcel and is linked to the main building (former convent and now administration centre) by a colonnaded walkway.

The church was constructed in the inter-war era and expresses gothic design influences including the tall lancet windows, the verticality of the building and the buttresses with pinnacles. The church is of similar stonework as the main building and laid in a distinctive bond. The lancet windows contain stained leaded glazing with the main windows positioned above the doorways to the south and west elevations. The east elevation takes on a different character than the principal façade and consists of three faceted towers, reminiscent of European castle architecture. The roof is shallow pitched to the main roof, clad with terracotta tiles. The north face of the church presents with ashlar stonework creating a contrasting smooth aesthetic to the other elevations. The details remain the same with a regular rhythm of buttresses and windows to both elevations.

No internal inspection of the chapel was undertaken at the time of assessment.


The Chapel of St Michael the Archangel was designed by architects, Henderson and Gamble and built by contractors, C.W. Arnott for £20,400. The chapel was built to serve the community of Sisters and those living and working at the Home of the Good Shepherd which provided institutional care for women and girls as well as an Industrial School for girls which operated from the site.

The partnership of Henderson and Gamble only existed for a short period. The most well-known of the pair, Edgar Le Blond Henderson (1890-1971) is best-known for his succession of Inter-War Gothic and Inter-War Romanesque style Catholic churches, hospitals, convents and schools. E Le B Henderson formed a partnership with Fremantle born architect-artist Allan Gamble (1907-2001) from 1937 to 1939. Gamble’s fine sketching abilities were a great asset to the Henderson & Gamble practice, andhe was later to exhibit art works as far away as New York.

The chapel was consecrated by Archbishop Prendiville on 30 September 1939, the Feast of St Michael the Archangel to whom it is dedicated. E Le B Henderson was then engaged to convert the old chapel into a classroom and concert hall for the inmates of the convent.

The church has some fine decorative features and art works including stained glass windows installed in the chapel in 1951, and in April 1952, Greek artist George Krafilakis was commissioned to paint a crucifixion scene on the wall behind the high Altar. In March 1953, a Carillion of four bells with Westminster chimes was installed.

The Industrial School for girls and the Home of the Good Shepherd closed in the 1970s.

The church has changed little since its original construction although modified for current standards and community expectations. The chapel is now a popular venue for wedding ceremonies.


High Degree




Name Type Year From Year To
Henderson & Gamble Architect 1938 -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Aerial photographs, 1953-2016, Online Reference 1953-2016
Architectural Features of the Catholic Education Centre and Chapel of St Michael the Archangel, Catholic Education Centre. Brochure
The West Australian, p. 4. 4 June 1938,
Taylor, Dr John J., ‘Edgar Le Blond Henderson (1890-1971) ', Western Australian Architect Biographies Online Document
Cambridge Notes, Town of Cambridge Item T460, Local Studies Centre, Online Document

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RELIGIOUS Church, Cathedral or Chapel
Present Use RELIGIOUS Church, Cathedral or Chapel

Architectural Styles

Inter-War Romanesque

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof TILE Other Tile
Wall STONE Sandstone, other
Wall STONE Limestone

Historic Themes

General Specific

Creation Date

02 Feb 2005

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

24 Nov 2020


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.