West Leederville Primary School


Town of Cambridge

Place Number



58 Northwood St West Leederville

Location Details

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1910, Constructed from 1998 to 1999, Constructed from 1957, Constructed from 1898, Constructed from 1912 to 1915, Constructed from 1922, Constructed from 1901 to 1905, Constructed from 2009 to 2016

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 27 Nov 2018
State Register Registered 24 Sep 2004 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 17 Dec 1996
Municipal Inventory Adopted 27 Nov 2018 Category 1

Statement of Significance

The following statement is taken from the State Register Entry for Place 2208 prepared in 2004 by the State Heritage Office. West Leederville Primary School, a brick and iron primary school in the Federation Arts and Crafts style, together with a collection of buildings comprising shelter sheds, pavilion classroom, pre-primary, toilet block, covered area, transportable classroom, kindergarten, covered sand pit, and gardener's store, in an open bitumen paved and grassed setting, has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons: the place is a fine example of a Federation Arts and Crafts style school building, with a very fine school hall and well-crafted construction, in a pleasant and leafy landscaped setting; the place illustrates the use and flexibility of standard Public Works Department designs for schools as practised in Western Australia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, along with the subsequent adaptations to those designs through the twentieth century as educational practices evolved; the place makes a positive contribution to its suburban context of mostly Federation period houses and commercial buildings, which extends through a large area of West Leederville; the place reflects rapid growth in the gold boom period and early twentieth century, and, in the post World War Two period, the influx of migrants from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds; the main building derives from a standard design, introduced under George Temple Poole as Assistant-Engineer-in Chief (1892-1896) of the Public Works Department when standard planning was developed as a means of managing rapid expansion and producing efficiency; the pavilion classroom (1915) is rare as an example of its type and for the fact that it is retained on its original site, with few later changes; and, the timber construction shelter sheds (1908) are the only surviving buildings on site that were constructed in the early 1900s. The brick construction toilet block, bricks tore, and kindergarten, covered sandpit and gardener's store have little cultural heritage significance.

Physical Description

Although the school has increased, the original sections of the building which faces both Northwood Street and Woolwich Street remains in a largely authentic manner and has been little altered externally. The place is of brick construction with a rendered band detail extending around the buildings at sill level and at plinth level. The windows are largely timber framed sash windows with timber and iron awnings. Both the roofs and the window awnings have been reclad. The roofs are mid-pitch gables with fibro cladding to the apex of the gable and battened eaves. The roofs are enlivened by tall brick corbelled chimneys. The two ranges to Northwood Street and Woolwich Street both incorporate covered entrances with gabled canopies supported on timber posts, timbered gable detail and the school logo. Further sections of the original school cannot be seen from the road albeit the timbered elements of the gables stand above the ridge line of the front ranges.


The Western Australian gold boom resulted in a great increase in population, and there was considerable expansion of residential and commercial building in the areas to the north, east, and west of the city. It was during this period of rapid growth that the suburbs of Subiaco and Leederville developed, the latter taking its name from William Leeder, one of the first European settlers in the area. In 1896, a temporary school was established in Subiaco. In the same year, the first school opened at Leederville. In August 1897, a number of residents from north of the railway line, representing about 90 children, submitted a petition requesting establishment of a school at West Leederville. On 28 August, O. P. Staples, Secretary for Education, advised the Minister for Education that as both Leederville and Subiaco schools were full, it was advisable to build a new school on a site which had been acquired recently, located between Subiaco and Leederville. Plans for the new school were prepared in 1897 and approved in early 1898. Tenders were called, and the contract was awarded to Carter & O’Daille at a cost of £1,352 18s 6d, with completion due on 14 October 1898. However, subsequently Lake & Gurr were contracted to build the place at a cost of £1292 13s 11d, with completion set for 7 November 1898. On Tuesday, 1 November 1898, the Minister for Education and Colonial Secretary, George Randell, MLC officially opened West Leederville School. It was reported in the local press that the position of the new school was well calculated to meet the demands of such a populous centre and the buildings were described as follows: "The main schoolroom is divided in the centre by shutters which when down enable one half to be used for the infants. In addition it is provided with classrooms, a lavatory and other conveniences, while both lighting and ventilation appear to be all that can be desired. The furnishing of the building is excellent and includes provision for carrying on kindergarten work amongst the infants. The building though complete in itself is designed for future expansion and as occasion justified it additional provision for 50 children at a time can be made." The first head teacher was James Sadler, ‘a gentleman of considerable experience in teaching’, who had previously taught at Albany. It was intended that a female teacher be appointed at once to assist in teaching at the school. Since the opening of the school the original facilities have been adapted and added to in response to the demands of the surrounding population and changes in teaching practices and community expectations. The following developments at the school represent the key government response to these changes. 1899 Acquisition of adjoining half acre lot for future infants school 1901 New classroom built by G. Fraser for £320/10/3 1902 New teachers room, verandah and hat room 1902 Teacher' Quarters built by W. Fairweather for £520/0/4 1903 Two new classrooms, extension of corridor and new corridor, and new boys hat room and lavatory built by W.C. Rose for £667 /7/10 1905 New classroom built by W.T. Deeble for £295/6/10. 1907 School fenced with closed pickets 1907/8 Termite damaged timber replaced 1910 Hall built by N.F. Pedersen for £1,173/11/6 and opened on 5 October 1910 1912 New classroom opening from corridor, built by W. H. Pearman for £322/4/4 1913 New classroom opening from the hall, built by W. Fairweather for £486/4/6 1914-18 Drainage works undertaken 1915 Pavilion classroom erected 1922 New classroom opening from the hall built by W.H.Pearman for £418/19/4. 1939-45 School designated as an Air Raid Precaution (ARP) depot. Slit trenches dug in north eastern corner of school grounds. Pavilion classroom erected at the school, relocated from Bayswater PS. 1945 Stage added to the hall 1953 Open air theatre established but termite damage led to its removal in 1978 1957 Memorial Library instituted and centralised library established 1958 New brick shelter shed 1960 Relocation of the pavilion classroom from bitumen playground 1961/2 Brick toilet block constructed 1971 Migrant teacher appointed 1973-5 Carpet laid over timber floors and refurbished admin areas 1978 School Bell relocated to the school hall 1970s Acquisition of land adjacent to the school 1979 Conversion of Pavilion classroom to a Pre-Primary Centre 1981 New entry steps and door 1987 Construction of the oval and entrance pergola 1989 New toilet facilities added to the Pre-Primary Centre 1995 New gardener's shed built east of the toilet block to replace gardeners store destroyed by fire 1998 Construction of covered assembly area, canteen and store and removal of (1958) brick shelter 1999 Construction of a transportable building for use as a kindergarten 2004 Universal access bathrooms 2009 Multi purpose library, art and music building 2010 New Administration building and relocation of heritage building 2013 Two storey classroom 2016 Five classrooms, second storey addition to library, music and art building


Integrity: High Authenticity: High




Name Type Year From Year To
Hillson Beasley Architect - -
George Temple Poole Architect 1898 -
John H Grainger Architect - -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
B Gill & B Gay;"Remembering the Days..West Leederville Primary School 1898-1988". AG O'Keefe & Son, Subiaco 1988
Aerial photographs, Landgate. Online Reference Documents 1953-2016

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
10203 West Leederville Primary School Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2014

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use EDUCATIONAL Primary School
Original Use EDUCATIONAL Primary School

Architectural Styles

Federation Arts and Crafts

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall ASBESTOS Fibrous Cement, flat
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall TIMBER Other Timber
Wall TIMBER Weatherboard
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Community services & utilities
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Education & science

Creation Date

28 Apr 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

24 Nov 2020


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.