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King George Hostel


Shire of Katanning

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


Albion St Katanning

Location Details

54-62 Austral & 2 Albion

Other Name(s)

St George's Hotel
Temperance Hotel

Local Government



Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1910

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
State Register Registered 25 Nov 1994 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

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
Classified by the National Trust Classified 03 Mar 1992

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 25 Jan 1996 Category 1

Category 1

• Possible state or national significance. • Highest level of protection appropriate.

Statement of Significance

The King George Hostel represents only a few such hostels built in the State and therefore has rarity value. Aesthetically it is a great asset to the streetscape and is associated with one of the most prominent Katanning families - the Piesse Family - as well as Alexander Thomson - who was an active member of the Katanning district as a builder, businessman and as a politician.
The hostel alludes to a prosperous period in Katanning's history and has maintained significant original integrity, having undergone very few modifications.

Physical Description

The King George Hostel, on the corner of Austral Terrace and Albion Street, is important to both streetscapes, its value being simply two storey facade and continuous timber verandahs and plain vertical balustrades. There is also a polygonal tower on the corner site, which is a well-known landmark in the area. The design of the hostel is a simplified version of the (federation) filigree style, which is characterised by shady corner filigree verandahs extended over the footpath.
The building is brick (locally made) and stucco with French Marseilles pattern tiles.


The King George Hostel, called St George's Hostel, opened in 1913 and was built by Alexander Thomson for Melville Piesse, a son of F H Piesse. Katanning was at this time experiencing a boom in farming and so accommodation became necessary for the influx of itinerant workers.
The hostel, which was unlicensed accommodation house, differs from a hotel in that it has shops along the street frontages rather than public bars. Some of the original shops tenants were: an accountant, boot maker, tailor and mercer, an agency for Farmers' Mercantile and Chaff Mills Ltd, an assurance company, Doctor Pope, newsagency and barber and Gilbert's chemist.
Alexander Thomson was an experienced builder, who settled in Katanning in 1905. He built a number of prominent buildings in the Katanning district, as well as homesteads.
Members of the Piesse Family managed the hostel. Melville Piesse, who built it, died in 1920 and his father then managed the hostel. Harold, his brother, also managed it and lived there with his family in one of the flats during the depression years.
The hostel is largely in original condition: brick walls and tiled roof, wooden floors and verandah posts. There are six separate shops on the ground level, including an accountant's business, which has been located in the hostel since 1913. The shops and stairwell have pressed metal ceilings and the wooden staircase is in original condition. In the hall is an ornate wooden hallstand with the Piesse crest carved into it. The public dining room, original large stove and bakers oven have all remained part of the hostel.


Fair - Good


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
"Newspaper Article". Great Southern Herald, 1/10/1913
Documentation of King George Hostel: assessment HCWA
Bignell M; "A Place to Meet: a History of the Shire of Katanning Western Australia". pp. 207,264. UWA Press 1981

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Institutional Housing
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Institutional Housing

Architectural Styles

Federation Queen Anne

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Rendered Brick
Roof TILE Other Tile

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Community services & utilities
OCCUPATIONS Hospitality industry & tourism

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

31 Dec 2016


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.