Adelaide, Queen & William Sts Fremantle
St Johns Square
|Town Planning Scheme||YES||08 Mar 2007|
|Register of the National Estate||Registered||21 Oct 1980||NA||
|Municipal Inventory||Adopted||18 Sep 2000||Level 1B||
Historically significant as a key element of the original Fremantle town plan drawn in 1833 by J.S. Roe. Six Moreton Bay Figs are of aesthetic and historic significance. Socially significant as a meeting place in central Fremantle.
King's Square is a paved and grassed civic square in the centre of Fremantle. It is bounded by William, Adelaide and Queen Streets and the Myer Building. It contains St John's Anglican Church and the Fremantle Town Hall. Other elements contained within the square include public art works including Tom Edwards Memorial, Pietro Porcelli sculpture, signage, seating, giant chess board, Sporting Hall of Fame pavers, playground equipment and several mature Moreton Bay Fig (FICUS MACROPHYLLA) trees.
Also known as St John's Square.
King's Square (and associated Queen's Square) is highly significant as evidence of the first town plan drawn for Fremantle in 1833 by Surveyor General J. S. Roe. Within King's Square are six Moreton Bay Fig trees, also highly significant as remnants of planting during the 1890s when the first concerted efforts were made to beautify the town. These trees are said to have been planted by Philip Webster, Fremantle's auditor and have been placed on Fremantle's Significant Tree Register by the National Trust, W.A. Also in the square is a Phoenix Canariensis, transplanted in July 1984 from Mosman Park as part of an upgrade of the square. King's Square lies at the heart of the City and is a popular meeting place.
Records indicate that the Moreton Bay Fig Trees (Ficus macrophylia) in St John’s Square were planted by Philip Webster in the 1890s.
Philip Webster owned Fremantle’s Esplanade Hotel in the 1860s and 1870s, and was listed as a nurseryman in the 1876. During the 1890s he was an auditor for the Fremantle Municipal Council and has been remembered as being ‘a great lover of flowers’. Webster owned a large house at 195 High Street where another Moreton Bay Fig planted by him in the late 1880s still stands. This tree is believed to be the progenitor or many of the Moreton Bay Fig trees in Fremantle, including the Proclamation Tree (which was planted in 1890), and perhaps, the fig trees in St John’s Square.
The six Moreton Bay Fig trees in St John’s Square trees were nominated to the Tree Society of Western Australia for consideration for entry on their Register of Significant Trees in 1987. Following an assessment process, the trees were included in the Register for their location, linking St John’s Church with the Fremantle Town Hall, and for being representative plantings of the late 1800s. The trees were accepted by the National Trust of Australia (WA) as being significant on 7 October 1987. At the time, they were considered to be in good condition, approximately 90 years in age, 12 metres in height with a circumference of 6 metres and a canopy spread of 18 metres.
High degree of integrity (original intent clear, current use compatible, high long term sustainability, restored).
High degree of authenticity with much original fabric remaining.
(These statements based on street survey only).
Condition assessed as good (assessed from streetscape survey only).
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