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The Retreat


City of Busselton

Place Number

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23 Albert St Busselton

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Barnard's House

Local Government



South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1890

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List YES 13 Aug 2014

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 20 Jun 1996 Category 2

Category 2

Category 2 places are important places in the Shire and generally have built features as part of their significance. These places should be retained on the list and conservation encouraged. Rather than protection under the scheme, conservation should be encouraged through incentives.

Classified by the National Trust Recorded 03 Jul 1978

Heritage Council
Register of the National Estate Indicative Place

Heritage Council

Child Places

Statement of Significance

The Retreat, a stucco masonry and zincalume roof Federation Italianate style residence, converted for use as a medical centre, has cultural heritage significance as a fine example of the style and period, as the residence of the prominent George Barnard and as an example of adaptive re-uses of an important building.

Physical Description

The Retreat’ (Barnard’ House) was a substantial private residence, the building has been restored after a period of neglect.
The building has some stylistic similarities to No 58 west Street. The Retreat is a stucco masonry and zincalume roof Federation Italianate style residence, converted for use as a medical centre. It is symmetrically arranged with gabled bay windows to the east and west of the centrally located front entrance. The roof is steeply pitched and articulated with gables, finials and chimneys with corniced chimney caps. A verandah extends around the building with timber posts and a St. Andrew’s cross balustrade.


Built by Byfield, Allpike and Ashton as a holiday home for themselves. The Guerin family is reputed to have been one of the original owners. Approximately 10 years after it was built, ownership changed hands for the first of many times. The Barnard family moved into the house after the birth of their son Alan Barnard in May 1903. George Jnr and Eliza Barnard were born at the site. Mrs Min Ryan (nee Barnard) lived in the house until she was married at 25 years of age. Mrs Ryan in an interview (1977) ‘we used to have a lot of land around the house down to Prince Street and across to Queen St.’ When Mrs Ryan died she was the last of the Barnard family children who lived at the Retreat. The retreat remained in the hands of the Barnard family for 63 years until it was sold to the Paradise Motel in 1966 when it was considered for demolition to expand the existing Motel (over the road). The Retreat was then sold to Woolworths Pty Ltd who purchased the land for a possible development as a supermarket, however Coles established a supermarket in 1975 and the development was put on hold. The retreat was purchased in 1975 by Dr Robert Jarvis and at this time the building underwent extensive renovations to cater for doctors’ surgeries and professional rooms. In 1977 the building housed an accountants office, a branch of the Busselton Health Centre and a clinical laboratory. Dr Jarvis sold to Keith Howard, car dealer who bought it as an investment property. The property is now owned by Dr John Caldow and is used as doctors’ surgeries and clinical laboratory. It was extended in 2003 and several palm trees were removed. The retreat escaped damage in a fire in 1977 when the Busselton Fire Brigade arrived within three minutes and extinguished a fire in a cupboard that had spread from one of the fireplaces. (Busselton Margaret River Times, 24 March 1977.)
Built for George William Barnard the owner of the Commercial Hotel (built as the Freemasons Hotel) during the 1890s. In recent years the place has been extensively renovated and re-presented as the Retreat, Busselton Medical Practice. The Retreat as a medical centre represents a significant gain to the conservation and presentation of Busselton’s heritage.


Integrity Notes: The place is no longer in use as a residence and retains a moderate degree of integrity.
Authenticity Notes: The exterior and setting have been extensively upgraded, but the underlying fabric of the building would appear to be authentic.

Moderate Degree/-


Good-The place has been extensively upgraded and is in good condition.

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


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

Architectural Styles

Federation Italianate

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Zincalume
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
PEOPLE Famous & infamous people

Creation Date

26 Jul 1988

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Jan 2017


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