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Convent of the Sacred Heart (fmr)


Shire of Northampton

Place Number

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51 Hampton Rd Northampton

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Nagle Centre

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1919

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
State Register Permanent 26 Feb 1999 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 19 Apr 1996 Category 1A

Category 1A

HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT AT STATE LEVEL. Highest level of protection appropriate. Provide maximum incentives under the Town Planning Scheme with encouragement to the owner to conserve the significance of the place. Prepare a floor plan and photographically record the place prior to any redevelopment.

Statement of Significance

The former convent has high local significance for historic, social and aesthetic reasons, particularly for
its contribution to Northampton's townscape character. It has high significance on a State level for its
associations with Mons. Hawes. Until the late 1950s, the convent bells marked time for many years, with
the school bell times in between angelus rung at 6 am, 12 noon, 6 pm, and 12 midnight.

Physical Description

Two storeyed stone building with surrounding timber verandahs on both levels covered with a large CGI hipped
roof with vented gambrel ends. A large internal staircase provides access to the top floor, several rooms and the
upper verandah. Generally access to most of the rooms on both levels is external via the verandahs. The plan
form is simple, being only one room wide to give good cross ventilation. The building fabric is in reasonably good
condition although there has not been as much care with additions, the installation of services, repairs and
maintenance over recent years to preserve the integrity of the original fabric. For example downpipes adjacent to
the front tower are not are not well integrated and paving against the walls is aggravating damp problems.
Although simple compared to Mons. Hawes better known work, the building is another excellent example of his
work and forms a significant precinct with his adjoining church (see Site No.81).
2004/05 Review: Since the last review the roof to the central tower has been reinstated.


In 1899 the Presentation Sisters succeeded the Sisters of St. Joseph in the Convent School. The Sisters lived and
worked in very poor conditions until 1919 when the existing convent building was built. The convent building
housed the sisters who ran the Day and Boarding School, which were in separate buildings. However, over the
years their numbers declined until in 1983 the Presentation Sisters vacated the convent.
Although demolition was considered, in 1984 the Northampton Parish decided to renovate the building, turning it
into a camp centre. Several outbuildings of the original precinct have been demolished, including the dormitories,
music room, boarders' dinning room, laundry and maids' room, old school and toilet blocks. Initially called the Irwin
Centre after parish priest Mons. J. Irwin, the name was changed in 1989 to honour the sisters who no longer lived
in the town. The name of Nagle Camp Centre was chosen in memory of the founder of the Presentation of the
Blessed Virgin Mary Sisters, Nano Nagle (1718-1784).
The Northampton Tourist Bureau opened in the building on 4 September 1993. The Tourist Bureau has since
relocated to the Old Police Station (Site No. 91), and old convent continues to be used for backpackers


Integrity: Low
Modifications: Brick Function Room and Toilet Block
added at reat c1984
Orig'l Fabric: Mostly intact, turret to tower demolished


Name Type Year From Year To
Monsignor Hawes Architect 1919 -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Marchant James, R., "Cork to Capricorn" The congregation of The Presentation Sisters of WA 1891-1991". The congregation of The Presentation Sisters of W. A., 1996
Taylor, J;" Conservation Plan for the Nagle Centre" HCWA 1997
Taylor, J; "Condition report on the Nagle Centre". HCWA 1993
"Monsignor Hawes Heritage Trail" Brochure
Feilman & Associates; "A Survey of Places of Historic and Landscape Significance in Northampton, Dongara, Geraldton, WA". Geraldton Building Co Pty Ltd 1977
'Restoration for Convent Tower" Geraldton Guardian 05/08/1998.
"The Hampton Road Heritage Walk."

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
3532 Conservation Plan for the Nagle Centre (Former Presentation Sisters' Sacred Heart Convent) Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1997
3440 Report on 1998 Conservation Works at the Nagle Centre (Former Sacred Heart Convent), Lot 28 & Lot 29 Hampton Road Northampton - Heritage Grants Program 1997/8 (i 95/84) Heritage Study {Other} 1998
4310 Nagle Centre : former Presentation Sisters' Sacred Heart Convent : former Irwin Centre: condition report. Heritage Study {Other} 1993
1685 Nagle Centre former Irwin Centre : Former Presentation Sisters' Sacred Heart Convent, Hampton Road, Northampton : conservation guidelines. Heritage Study {Other} 1993

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use COMMERCIAL Other
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Institutional Housing
Original Use RELIGIOUS Monastery or Convent

Architectural Styles

Federation Gothic

Construction Materials

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

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Education & science

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.