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City of Fremantle

Place Number

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4 Orient St South Fremantle

Location Details

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1905, Constructed from 1981

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

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

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 18 Sep 2000 Level 3

Level 3

The City of Fremantle has identified this place as being of some cultural heritage significance for its contribution to the heritage of Fremantle in terms of its individual or collective aesthetic, historic, social or scientific significance, and /or its contribution to the streetscape, local area and Fremantle. Its contribution to the urban context should be maintained and enhanced.

Statement of Significance

House, 4 Orient Street, is a typical weatherboard and iron single storey house dating from 1905. The place has aesthetic value for its contribution to the streetscape and the surrounding area. It is representative of the typical workers' houses in the South Fremantle area. The place is an example of the Federation Bungalow style of architecture.

Physical Description

Single storey weatherboard and iron cottage with an asymmetrical facade constructed 1905. The walls are painted weatherboard. The roof hipped with no eaves and clad with corrugated iron. The half verandah is under a separate corrugated iron roof with square timber posts. The front facade is asymmetrical with a protruding front room with timber framed bay window. Under the verandah is the front door and a timber framed window. There is a timber balustrade to the verandah as the house is elevated from the street level. There is a rendered masonry and timber picket fence to the front boundary and a small garden area behind.


Circa 1893, Chamberlain, Davies & Wray subdivided the land around Orient Street. Albert Rowe bought the land in 1893 and it remained undeveloped until 1905/06, when Rowe had a cottage built on the lot. At this time, the house was numbered 16 Orient Street.

A 1908 diagram shows the house as a timber cottage, with a tank stand and timber and corrugated galvanised iron outbuildings at the rear. The property was connected to the sewer system in November 1912.

Rowe retained ownership until 1913/14, when the property was purchased and occupied by James Sowden. However, Rowe had let the cottage to tenants from c. 1907/08 – firstly to William Strickland, then to Joseph Pryke and then Indar Singh.

James Sowden had been born in Cornwall in 1869. It has not been determined when he arrived in Australia, but he married Sarah Ann Salter in South Australia in 1891. The couple moved to Fremantle the following year and James opened a butcher shop on the corner of Hampton Road and South Street in 1894. He established other shops in the Fremantle area over the years. One of James and Sarah’s children, James John (aka Jack) was well known for his trumpet playing. When still a child, he often played at the local picture theatres during intermission and he also played at the opening of Radio 6PM in the Fremantle Town Hall. Jack married Isobel Rowe in 1930 and from 1955 to the mid-1960s they lived next door at #2 Orient Street.

The property remained in Sowden family ownership for many years. Title had passed to Annie Sowden by 1930/31, then to Sarah Sowden by 1940/41, and to Edna May Sowden by 1950/51. Miss Edna Sowden retained title and occupied the cottage until c. 1974. The house was renumbered #4 Orient Street c. 1940.

A diagram dated 1954 shows the house as a weatherboard house with a bay window on one side and a verandah on the other. A centrally located path led from the street to the front door. There was also a verandah down one side of the house. A weatherboard sleep-out was at the rear. A path led from the back door to outbuildings in the back yard.

The cottage was subsequently owned by Edna Ross (1977), Gemma Lawlor, John Eaton, Gabrielle Parker and William Duff (1979) and then Stephen and Jennifer Jennings (1981).

In 1981, Fremantle City Council approved plans for a study at the rear (over an existing room), new carport, side verandah and internal alterations to the bathroom and kitchen.

This place was identified by the Fremantle Society in 1979/80 as being of cultural heritage significance. (Coded: Red: "Significantly contributing to the unique character of Fremantle") It was also included in the "Heritage Study South Fremantle", prepared by John Taylor Architects, for the City of Fremantle, June 1993.


High degree of integrity (original intent clear, current use compatible, high long term sustainability).
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).

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


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

Architectural Styles

Federation Bungalow

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall TIMBER Weatherboard

Historic Themes

General Specific
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Land allocation & subdivision

Creation Date

20 Jul 2011

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

06 Mar 2020


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.