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City of Fremantle

Place Number

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31 Russell St Fremantle

Location Details


Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1860, Constructed from 1870

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List YES 08 Mar 2007

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Register of the National Estate Permanent 28 Sep 1982

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Classified 06 Oct 1980

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 18 Sep 2000 Level 2

Level 2

The City of Fremantle has identified this place as being of considerable cultural heritage significance in its own right within the context of Fremantle and its conservation is a priority.

Statement of Significance

House, 31 Russell Street, is a typical masonry and iron single storey house dating from c1860s - 1870s. The place has aesthetic value for its contribution to the streetscape and the surrounding area. It is representative of typical workers houses in the Fremantle area. The place is an example of the Victorian Georgian style of architecture.

Physical Description

31 Russell Street is a single storey, masonry and iron house with a symmetrical facade designed as an example of the Victorian Georgian style of architecture. The walls are masonry. The roof is hipped and clad with corrugated iron. The facade has a central front door with fanlight flanked either side by double hung sash windows. The verandah has a broken back corrugated iron roof and is supported by timber posts. There is a masonry and timber picket fence to the front boundary line.


House, 31 Russell Street was formerly 21 Russell Street; the numbering changed in 1935/36.
The construction date of this house is not known but the original four roomed cottage is believed to have been built during the 1860s or early 1870s. Recollections from Mrs Williams stated that her father, who was running a dairy on the site, built the cottage. Rates records do not exist prior to 1880 therefore it is not possible to establish the exact date of construction. Further research of the Certificate of Titles or Memorial books may clarify this issue. It is known that in 1880 that policeman, John McKay Jnr, owned the property. He occupied the house for some time during the 1880s but at other times leased it to Frederick Bates a boilermaker.
During the 1890s McKay built a duplex on the site and leased out the two dwellings.
A plan of the site in 1908 shows the cottage was made of brick with a verandah across the full width of the front and rear elevation. A stonewall was located across the front boundary with a small break for pedestrian access and a driveway access on the northern end. The property was fenced around all other boundaries.
In 1910, McKay was still the owner of the place and he occupant was Jane Carter. By 1920/21, the house was owned by Alice Mary Catherine Rinaldi and Mary Agnes Atwell, they lease the house to George Hanham. Later owners and occupants were Margaret Todd, Ada Elizabeth Hart who later changed her name to Ada Bradbury.
A plan of the site in 1923 shows that portion of the lot had been excised to allow driveway access on the north eastern boundary. This plan shows that the four roomed cottage was basically unchanged from the 1908 plan.
In 1974 the property was transferred to Peter and Jan Newman. At that time the cottage was uninhabitable with only one tap for running water. The Newmans added to the cottage at the rear with a structure of brick on a concrete slab. A timber shed was also built in the back yard.
The Fremantle Society inspected the house in 1976 and noted that the features of the house included; many paned windows, thick walls, low ceilings, simple chimneys, jarrah mantelpiece with a b built-in jarrah cupboard, shingled roof under iron, planked jarrah floor boards with hand-made nails, wind window sills, plain skirting boards, no hallway
In 1978 the Fremantle Society Classified this cottage as ‘purple’ which designates it as of being Of architectural and historic significance in its own right. A photograph of the cottage at this time shows that it was in good condition with a picket fence on the front boundary. The roof was corrugated iron and the walls were rendered. The front door and windows appear to be original.
In 1980, the house was classified by the National Trust.
A plan of the house and photographs were prepared in 1988 by architect Gerard McCann. These photographs show that the house was in good condition with a brick paved courtyard at the rear of the house.

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


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

Architectural Styles

Old Colonial Georgian

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall STONE Limestone
Wall STONE Local Stone
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

31 Dec 2016


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.