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Sawyers Valley Tavern


Shire of Mundaring

Place Number

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10860 Great Eastern Hwy Sawyers Valley

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Sawyers Valley Hotel

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1930

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List YES 08 Mar 2016

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 22 Apr 1997

Art Deco Significant Bldg Survey Completed 30 Jun 1994

Heritage Council
Statewide Hotel Survey Completed 01 Nov 1997

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Classified 13 Aug 2001

Heritage Council
RHP - Does not warrant assessment Current 31 Jan 2003

Heritage Council

Statement of Significance

The Sawyers Valley Tavern has high aesthetic and social significance for the local community and the Shire of Mundaring. The aesthetic significance is highlighted by the building's Art Deco character that is unique in the Shire. The site also has historic significance as the location of Lot Leather's former store and hotel.

Physical Description

The single storey, Sawyers valley Tavern is one of a few Art Deco style buildings in the shire other than some minor elements on several residence. The scale of the former hotel is quite modest compared to other Art Deco hotels of the period. The front elevation (facing the road and the north) retains much of it's original form although it has unfortunately been adorned with advertising hoardings around the roof-line; lattice work to define the 'drive-in' bottle shop and vertical pipe balustradings to the wrap around verandah on the north and west sides. The overall character of the building is quite simply detailed and the principle focus of Art Deco decoration is the projection through the tiled roof at the main entry of a tall, stepped, rounded and streamline rendered parapet element. Several stepped, rendered chimneys complete the hipped, mottled terra-cotta tiled roof-scape. The front walls of the former hotel feature a face red brick dado which has rough render, perhaps over the original smooth render, above up to the underside of the roof.


In 1874, the land on which the present Sawyers Valley Tavern is built was owned by ex-convict Lot Leather. Leather began pit sawing at Sawyers Valley soon after he arrived on the convict ship "Clyde" in 1863. In the mid 1880's, next to his homestead on the York Road (Great Eastern Highway), he built a store to serve the Eastern Railway construction workforce and the local sawyers. A few years later, he replaced the store with a hotel. Even when the railway was finished, the Sawyers Valley Hotel attracted locals from nearby sawmills. In the mid 1890's, EG Lacey's Enterprise Sawmill employed up to 70 men and 30 found work in the Gem and Federation sawmills.
The recreation ground on the west side of the hotel was the venue for sports meetings promoted by subsequent publicans, including JH Kendall who was licensee for 21 years.
The core of the present tavern was built in the 1930's, when the Kelly's held the license. It is believed to have been designed by WG (Bill) Bennett, in the "Art Deco" style. Although in recent years the building has been modified, it remains the only Art Deco hotel and one of the few prominent buildings from that period in the Shire of Mundaring. It has been listed by the Art Deco Society.


Integrity: High
Modifications: Minor alterations and enclosures.




Name Type Year From Year To
W.G. (Bill) Bennett Architect 1930 -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
I Elliot; ibid pp. 102, 105, 106, 107,
MHHS File; "Swayer's Valley".

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use COMMERCIAL Hotel, Tavern or Inn
Present Use COMMERCIAL Hotel, Tavern or Inn

Architectural Styles

Inter-War Art Deco

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof TILE Terracotta Tile
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Hospitality industry & tourism

Creation Date

18 Jun 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

10 Feb 2017


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.