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Museum and Arts Centre, Fremantle


City of Fremantle

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


1-21 Finnerty St Fremantle

Location Details

The place is currently known as Fremantle Arts Centre.

Other Name(s)

Asylum for the Criminally Insane
Lunatic Asylum & Old Women's Home

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1861

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage Area YES 08 Mar 2007
Heritage List YES 08 Mar 2007
State Register Registered 16 Nov 1993 Register Entry
Heritage Council

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
Classified by the National Trust Classified 11 Jun 1973

Heritage Council
Register of the National Estate Permanent 21 Mar 1978

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 18 Sep 2000 Level 1A

Level 1A

The City of Fremantle has identified this place as being of exceptional cultural heritage significance in its own right within the context of Fremantle. This place is entered onto the Heritage Council of Western Australia’s Register of Heritage Places. All development applications must be referred to the Heritage Council for approval.

Statement of Significance

Refer to HCWA's Assessment Documentation of Places for Entry in the Register of Heritage Places.

Physical Description

Refer to Heritage Council of Western Australia's Register of Heritage Places - Register and Assessment Documentation.


Refer to Heritage Council of Western Australia's Register of Heritage Places - Register and Assessment Documentation.
Designed by Jewell and built by convict labour the Lunatic Asylum was originally one result of the Convict System, although free patients were kept there also. The Convict surgeon was responsible for their health and the nursing was done mainly by ex-warders and by some inmates. The building was later extended. These additions were designed by George Temple Poole and built by Robert and Arthur Bunning. This addition accommodated mainly elderly indigent women. During the Second World War it became a headquarters of the US forces stationed in Fremantle and later again was used as an annex to the Technical College. In the 1970s the building was carefully restored and now houses the Fremantle Arts Centre and a branch of the WA Museum. Some sources suggest that the building was originally designed by Col Henderson.
This place was included on the list of heritage places in the City of Fremantle identified by the Fremantle Society in 1979/80.
This place received a Fremantle Award in 1980.


Name Type Year From Year To
George Temple Poole Architect - -
Jewell Architect - -

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
5767 A report on the restoration of the Fremantle Museum and Art Centre. Report 1987
7659 Fremantle museum and arts centre conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2001
11561 Building the Fremantle convict establishment - Henderson and Coy Heritage Study {Other} 2011
6426 A preliminary study of convict sites in Western Australia (draft). Heritage Study {Other} 1997
9629 Fremantle museum and arts centre conservation plan: DRAFT 30/6/99. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1999
11859 Fremantle Arts Centre Finnerty Street, Fremantle Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2020
3024 Historical traces. Serial 1997
7467 Fremantle : beyond the Round House. Book 2005
11358 Cast iron pillar boxes of Western Australia: An early history of the J & E Ledger foundry Book 2015
11815 Henderson & Coy : Royal Engineers & the Convict Establishment Fremantle Western Australia 1850 - 1872 Book 2017

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Other Use MILITARY Other
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Institutional Housing
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence
Original Use HEALTH Asylum
Present Use EDUCATIONAL Technical School
Other Use MILITARY Office or Administration Bldg
Present Use EDUCATIONAL Museum

Architectural Styles

Victorian Georgian
Victorian Tudor
Old Colonial Gothick Picturesque

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall RENDER Smooth
Roof TILE Terracotta Tile
Wall STONE Limestone
Roof TIMBER Shingle

Historic Themes

General Specific
OUTSIDE INFLUENCES World Wars & other wars
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Workers {incl. Aboriginal, convict}

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

25 Jun 2021


This data is provided by the City of Fremantle. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this data, the City of Fremantle makes no representations or warranties about its accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose and disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages (including indirect or consequential damage) and costs which you might incur as a result of the data being inaccurate or incomplete in any way and for any reason. Under no circumstances should this data be used to carry out any work without first contacting the City of Fremantle for the appropriate confirmation and approval.