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Joseph Duffel Residence


City of Subiaco

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


135 Hamersley Rd Subiaco

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Duffel House

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1906

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage Area YES 25 Nov 2014

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
RHP - To be assessed Current 06 Jun 2008

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Register of the National Estate Indicative Place

Heritage Council
Register of the National Estate Nominated 23 Dec 1982

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Classified 03 Aug 1981

Heritage Council
Local Heritage Survey Adopted 04 Feb 2003 Exceptional Significance (Level 1)

Exceptional Significance (Level 1)

Listed on the State Register of Heritage Places or recommended for consideration for entry onto the State Register. Essential to the heritage of the City of Subiaco. High level of cultural heritage significance. Rare or outstanding example.

Parent Place or Precinct

25394 Union and Redfern Heritage Area

Statement of Significance

The place has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:
• For its aesthetic value as a good example of a well-designed Federation Queen Anne villa of the early twentieth century, designed to a style and scale suited to the professional/business classes.
• For its landmark values as a well-designed and detailed Federation Queen Anne villa, located on a prominent corner site.
• For its historic value as a demonstration of the period in which Subiaco underwent rapid development in the early 20th century.
• For its occupation as the family home of Joseph Duffell (former Mayor of Subiaco).

Physical Description

135 Hamersley Road is a single storey face brick dwelling with a slate tile hip and gable roof designed in the Federation Queen Anne style of architecture. The residence has an asymmetrical form with a projecting bay addressing the street. The dwelling features a decorative tower above the front entry with a convex pyramidal roof and a decorative iron finial. Below the spire there is a deep moulded cornice with a curved face, decorative ‘Art Nouveau’ styled flower forms, and a central shield. The base of the tower is face brick with a square form. The slate roof has a terracotta ridge capping and features two decorative face brick chimneys with rendered cornicing, detailed moulding and terracotta pots. The dwelling has two prominent gables addressing the street with a rough rendered finish, centrally located moulded elements and a turned timber finial above. The front façade has a complex stepped feature which projects out towards the north west corner. A corrugated steel bullnose verandah extends along the front façade stepping to match the building form. The verandah is supported by fluted square timber posts with decorative timber brackets. A feature of this verandah is the barrel-roofed section, leading from the entry steps to the main entrance. The verandah has a concrete base raised with a set of concrete steps clad with a decorative terracotta tile. The verandah is enclosed by a simply detailed timber balustrade. The external walls are tuckpointed face brick with a rendered string coursing at approximately 1800mm high and a moulded string coursing at sill height. The dwelling sits on a limestone plinth which is exposed along the verandah. The main entry door features decorative stained-glass panes with stained-glass highlights and sidelights. The dwelling has two banks of casement windows at either end of the front façade. The windows feature fixed stained-glass highlights with a moulded projecting sill and a decorative rendered under-sill panel. A pair of narrow, vertically proportioned, accent windows are located within the entry vestibule and feature stained-glass glazing, rounded heads and wide rendered surrounds. They are set over a continuous projecting sill with a decorative under-sill panel. Adjacent to the windows is a name plaque with the title ‘DUFFEL HOUSE’. The front yard is densely planted with some shrubs and palm trees lining the verandah and inner fence line. The place is enclosed by a face brick pier fence with a limestone base and timber picket infill. The dwelling is accessed via a central timber gate with a terracotta tile pathway that leads to the verandah. A plaque on the entry pier wall reads:

‘Subiaco Heritage Trail
135 Hamersley Road
This distinguished house with an unusual
Decorative tower was designed in 1905 by Hine
and Selby, and built in 1906 for Mr Joseph Duffell.
Its features include a unique slate roof, arched
verandah entry and a front vestibule with a small
tower above.
This home is classified by the National Trust of
Australia (W.A.).’

A mature verge tree largely obscures the dwelling from the street. The place is serviced to the side by a laneway which leads to a two-car garage in the rear.


Built for Joseph Duffell, later Mayor of Subiaco in 1914, designed by Hine & Selby. Bricks were from France, brought to Australia as ship's ballast. Folklore has it that the ornate tower, since it had no windows or access, contained treasure.

Perth Suburban Lot 253 was purchased by John Brandon, John Thomas Lawler and Thomas Tate of Sydney in October 1889 and, about six months later, it was transferred to Thomas Read of Sydney, solicitor. Read did not develop the 5 acre site and it was on-sold to the Intercolonial Investment Land and Building Company of Sydney in October 1897. Building lots in Deposited Plan 1933 began to be sold along the Rokeby Road frontage of PSL 253 from May 1898 and the first sites to be sold along Campbell Street (Lots 31 and 32) were transferred to a new owner in June1899. However, development was slow and the first houses were not built until 1903/04. Lots 37, 38 and 39 were sold to William Frederick Robey (a resident of NSW) in March 1903. By 1904, Lot 37 and part Lot 38 had been transferred to Joseph Duffell (butcher) – which was at about the time that he moved to Perth from the eastern states. A house was then designed by Hine & Selby architects and built in 1905-06:

TO BUILDERS. TENDERS are invited for a BRICK VILLA RESIDENCE, At Subiaco, For J. Duffell Eq. Tenders to be sent in by noon November 1. The lowest or any Tender not necessarily accepted. HINE and SELBY. Architects. Queen's Buildings.

Research by others has concluded that it was constructed by local builders, Totterdell Brothers. By July 1905 Joseph Duffell had commenced work as the attorney and manager for Harrison San Miguel (Cork Merchants). Approximately four years later he acquired the Western Australian branch of this company and established the firm of Duffell & Sons, Wine & Spirits Merchants. Joseph Duffell served as a councillor (1906-1911) and Mayor of Subiaco (1912- 1914). He then went on to represent the Metropolitan Suburban Province in the Legislative Council from 1914 to 1926. Joseph lived at 135 Hamersley Road with his wife, Mary, and, during the early years at least, their three children - John (born 1884), Harold (born 1891) and Ruby (born 1895). During this period the house was known as “Ambeena”. He moved away from Hamersley Road at about the time of his wife’s death in January 1919, later settling in Cottesloe. The house was then occupied by Ernest Terry (a senior, and later head-brewer with the Emu Brewing Company), followed by Frederick Synnott (a wool classer). By the late 1920s the name of the house had been changed to “Canberra”, as referenced in the following newspaper article:

Mrs. Margaret Synnott gave a reception at her home, “Canberra,” 135 Hamersley-road, Subiaco, last Sunday evening to Count and Contessa Filippini and some of the principals of the company. (Contessa Filippini was conductor of the Western Australian Grand Opera Company)

The next long-term resident was William Murphy (a manufacturer), who settled here with his wife, Barbara, in 1933. The 1943 electoral roll also listed their sons, Robert Frederick Murphy (a traveller) and William Richard Murphy (a bank officer). William (snr) died in 1947 and Barbara was the only member of the family still listed at this address in 1949, after which she returned to NSW (where she had been born and married).
In 2017, the property was purchased by the current owners. At the time the slate roof (believed to be the original) was showing signs of significant wear and that replacement would soon be necessary. In 2020, the slate roof was removed and replaced by Welsh slate of similar colour. The roofing company (Carter Roofing and Slating Pty Ltd) advised that the original slate was likely sourced from one of the two major Welsh quarries operating at the start of the 20th Century. The new roofing slates used to re-roof the residence in 2020 were sourced from one of these quarries.

The primary occupants of the property from its time of construction until c.1949 included:
• 1906-1918: Joseph Duffell (manager Harrison San Miguel (Cork Merchants) and later proprietor of Duffell & Sons, Wine & Spirits Merchants
• 1919-1924: Ernest William Terry (brewer- Emu Brewing Company)
• 1925-1929: Frederick Arthur Synnott (wool-classer)
• 1930: Vacant
• 1931-1933: Hugo Victor Parrant (dyer)
• 1933-c.1949: William Charles Murphy (manufacturer)


Integrity - High
Authenticity - High




Name Type Year From Year To
Hine & Selby Architect - -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Local Heritage Survey Place Record Local Heritage Survey West Subiaco Precinct 2022

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence

Architectural Styles

Federation Queen Anne

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Roof METAL Lead
Roof STONE Slate

Historic Themes

General Specific

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

26 Jul 2022


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.