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Nelson House Lodge (fmr)


Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


Cnr Hampton & Phillips Sts Bridgetown

Location Details

Part of John Allnutt Town Farm Precinct

Other Name(s)

Bridgetown Motel
Warners Hotel

Local Government



South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1898 to 1899

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 18 Mar 1983

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 29 Mar 2018 Management Category B

Management Category B

Conservation of the place is highly desirable. If not already, to be included on the Local Heritage List. Development proposals to be assessed pursuant to State Planning Policy 3.5 Historic Heritage Conservation; a Conservation Management Plan (if one exists); and to reinforce the significance of the place. Record prior to redevelopment, recognise and interpret if possible.

Municipal Inventory Adopted 28 Jun 2001 Category 2

Category 2

High level of protection appropriate: provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the town planning scheme to conserve the significance of the place.

Statement of Significance

Nelson’s of Bridgetown is of moderate to high local significance for its aesthetic, historic and social values.
Aesthetic Value
The place has been altered on a number of occasions but the traditional form and detailing can still be interpreted. It remains as a prominent landmark building on Hampton Street.
Historic Value
Nelson’s of Bridgetown has a very high historic significance, not only as an early place of social gathering, but also for its many varied and significant uses throughout its history.
Research Value
Social Value
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, holiday makers, traders and professionals, whether from Perth or outlying areas, required accommodation, horse stabling, a good water supply, meals and often a trading display or consulting room. All these were desirably offered at the hotel. These features made Warners Hotel a very important public space of high social value in the period c.1899-1904. It has retained high social value throughout its history for other or similar functions.

Physical Description

Two storey brick and iron hotel with westerly front (and originally south) facing verandahs.
The ground floor now includes a restaurant, kitchen, bar, office and owner/managers’ quarters, plus a conference room adjoining the bar to the rear. There are four standard rooms upstairs and two apartments for the live in kitchen staff. Throughout the original building, many original features and fixtures remain, including windows, doors, skirting boards etc. The interior decorating has been maintained in such a way to retain the early feel of the hotel. The ground floor decking and verandah was extended outwards in 2008.
The motel/resort now includes eleven ‘Standard’ rooms to the rear of the main building, a large central building to the north containing fourteen ‘Deluxe’ rooms and three buildings further north containing a total of ten ‘Executive Spa’ rooms. There is also a tennis court and pool onsite.


Frederick Stanforth Warner was granted a provisional hotel license for this site in 1898 and in 1899 his new hotel was offered for sale:
“Warner's Hotel, Bridgetown. This new and commodious Two-storied brick hotel is one of the finest in the South-Western District of the Colony. Situated in one of the best parts of Bridgetown (the coming inland town of the colony), overlooking the Blackwood River, containing sixteen Rooms, exclusive of splendidly-fitted Bar, Billiard and Bath Rooms, is one of the best investments offered to the Public.”
However, it may not have been fully completed at that time as its opening was subsequently advertised for July 1900:
“Warner’s Hotel, Bridgetown. This new and first-class Hotel will be opened on JULY 1. Every accommodation for travellers, boarders, visitors, from the goldfields, and others. Moderate tariff. Conveyance will meet trains daily. Lawn Tennis Court, billiards, and other facilities for the enjoyment and recreation of visitors. Within easy reach of the tinfields by train. Frederick Stanforth Warner, Proprietor.”
It was obviously a well appointed establishment as in November 1901 this was where Mr & Mrs WJ Diprose hosted the Governor, Sir Arthur Lawley, for the duration of his official visit for the Nelson Agricultural Show. It was at this time that the place was renamed as the “Freemasons Hotel”. Its original years as a Licenced Hotel however only ran until 1904, after which Robert Crawford transferred the Licence to the newly built (current) Freemasons Hotel.
From 1904 the building was left unoccupied for a time, much to the delight to the local children who used it as a haunted house, according to local tales. In the following years it was variously used as a private house, a boarding house, a coffee shop/deli, a Doctor’s surgery, a Dental Surgery, and an Italian Internment hostel (accommodating POWs who were later placed as workers on local farms).
From 1948, under the ownership and management of Mrs Jesse Brierley, the place was once again used for tourist accommodation and as a function venue:
‘BRIDGETOWN: Nelson House, first class holiday resort, all modern conveniences, tariff £5/5/ per week.’
Somewhere around the 1960’s the verandah balustrades were removed and replaced with asbestos sheeting, possibly in 1973 when Jesse Brierley had the motel units built at the rear of the main building. Around this time the office was built out into the corner of the verandah and the kitchen was extended out under the southern verandah, essentially leaving only the front verandahs.
The property changed hands in 1988 and the new owner (Graham Donovan) began to restore the exterior of the building to somewhat more of its original likeness, replacing the boarding with wooden balustrades and adding the upper verandah frieze and brackets (in the style of traditional cast iron lace decoration, which was not an original feature). The Executive and Deluxe buildings were constructed late 1980’s - early 1990’s.
Changes were also made to the middle lounge/bar space on the ground floor, and a rear lounge/conference space adjoining the bar area was added. The internal layout upstairs appears to have been altered a number of times over the years although the original layout is unknown. Visitors to Nelsons have said they had their wedding reception in an upstairs reception room, which no longer exists.


Medium Integrity: The place is currently used as a motel and restaurant, which is consistent with its original purpose.
Medium Authenticity: Despite numerous changes to the building, the place retains many original features. Much can be seen or visually interpreted of the original building.




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
The West Australian 19/08/1899
Contemporary newspaper reports (
Alan Fitzgerald The Italian Farming Soldiers: Prisoners of War in Australia 1941-1947
University Press, Carlton 1981
Oral History: Current employee(s) 2015
Southern Times 30/11/1901
Kalgoorlie Western Argus 25/01/1900
The West Australian 1/05/1948

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
No.B42 MI Place No.
A4620 Assess No (Shire Ref)

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
5706 Bridgetown : a selection of historical buildings. Report 1989

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Two storey residence
Other Use COMMERCIAL Hotel, Tavern or Inn
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Institutional Housing

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Community services & utilities

Creation Date

08 Jul 1988

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

16 Jul 2019


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.