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Villa Carlotta


City of Busselton

Place Number

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110 Adelaide St Busselton

Location Details

Other Name(s)

St Joseph's Convent and School (fmr)

Local Government



South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1896, Constructed from 1904

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List YES 13 Aug 2014
State Register Permanent 15 May 1998 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Classified by the National Trust Classified 02 Feb 1976

Heritage Council
Register of the National Estate Permanent 21 Mar 1978

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 20 Jun 1996 Category 1

Category 1

Category 1 places are the most important places in the Shire with the highest cultural heritage values and generally have built features that are part of their significance. Some of these places have been included in the State Register, and are afforded statutory protection under the Heritage of Western Australia Act. Other places in Category 1 should also be assessed by the Heritage Council for possible inclusion in the Register. All places in Category 1 should be included in the Town Planning Scheme, given protection under he scheme, and incentives developed to assist with long term conservation. Incentives might be financial in the form of low interest loans and grants, or non-financial, such as development incentives and conservation advice.

Statement of Significance

Villa Carlotta, a single storey tuck pointed brick and aluminium tiled roof house with a belvedere in the Federation Queen Anne, style has cultural heritage significance as a fine example of the stye and period, for its series of historic uses, for its associations with Frank Backhouse and later the Roman Catholic Church, and as a place that contribute to the community’s sense of place. It is also significant for its role in demonstrating changing patterns of residences and of social life.

Physical Description

A single storey residence with tower in a garden setting.
Villa Carlotta is a single storey tuck pointed brick and stucco, aluminium tiled roof Federation Queen Anne style house, with a tall belvedere as a key design feature. It is set in well-tended gardens. The 1904 framed addition lies to the side of the original building.


The place was built in 1896-7 and initially named Ithaca. Frank Backhouse built it for himself and his family. Backhouse had been an engineer in Coolgardie. In 1904 the place was acquired by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions for a convent and school. It was used by the nuns and for boarders. The place was transferred to the Josephite Sisters in 1922 when they took over the school in Kent Street. The sister relocated in 1951 and Ithaca continued in use as a retreat for children and for holidays for the Josephite sisters. Then in 1952 the place was sold to a Mr. Rushton who may have given the place its present name and ran it as a private hotel. Following several changes in ownership the place was acquired by Troy Buswell in 1995 and the place continues to operate as a guesthouse.


Integrity Notes: Though no longer used as a house, the original use of the place is reasonably apparent. The place retains a moderate degree of integrity.
Authenticity Notes: The place retains a moderate degree of authenticity.

Moderate Degree/Moderate Degree




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Heritage Council Assessment Documentation

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
7189 Very much on watch : the Percy Willmott photos : Augusta, Margaret River, Busselton 1901 - 1919. Book 2003
10208 Conservation management strategy 110 Adelaide Street, Busselton Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2014

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Other Use EDUCATIONAL Primary School
Present Use COMMERCIAL Hotel, Tavern or Inn
Other Use RELIGIOUS Monastery or Convent
Original Use RESIDENTIAL One-and-a-half storey residence

Architectural Styles

Federation Queen Anne

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Wall STONE Limestone
Roof TILE Aluminium Tile

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Education & science
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Sport, recreation & entertainment

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Jan 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.