National Bank (fmr)


Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes

Place Number



97 Hampton St Bridgetown

Location Details

Local Government



South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1909

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 18 Mar 1983

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
RHP - To be assessed Current 24 Jun 2005

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 29 Mar 2018 Management Category B
Municipal Inventory Adopted 28 Jun 2001 Category 2
Statewide Bank Survey Adopted 01 Nov 1997
Art Deco Significant Bldg Survey Completed 30 Jun 1994

Statement of Significance

The (fmr) National Bank is an important local landmark building, which represents the major development of Bridgetown in the decade following the opening of the railway line in 1898. Aesthetic Value The (fmr) National Bank building is a noticeable landmark on Hampton Street in the centre of Bridgetown and is of high aesthetic value with its many moulded decorative motifs. It forms an important part of a significant streetscape which contains many fine late nineteenth century and early twentieth century buildings and retains much of the ambience of a pre WWI rural town centre. Historic Value The (fmr) National Bank building is of moderate to high historic value for its role in the development of Bridgetown from the early twentieth century. The place remains a good example of the work undertaken by R H B Downes, Architect for the National Bank in WA. Research Value NA Social Value The (fmr) National Bank building was of moderate social value as a commercial bank for both clientele and employees.

Physical Description

The former bank is constructed of tuck-pointed stretcher bond brickwork (double brick) with rendered detailing and a random-coursed, stone foundation. The brickwork was re-mortared and tuck-pointed in the late 1930’s.The rendered detailing includes a triangular central parapet (with moulded shield and leaf motifs), parapet posts, moulded cornice, moulded window and door hoods (with triple brackets), plain string courses, moulded window sills and plain plinth. The rendered detailing was previously painted yellow with green highlighting, then re-painted grey with an earthy red highlighting in 2015. The entrance to the building is emphasised by a slightly projecting central bay and recessed door, forming a shallow porch. The glazed, double front doors are not original. The decorative detailing is pronounced to the main (eastern) façade and returns along the southern façade to a projecting side bay. The northern façade is utilitarian in character, with no decorative detailing (other than painted string courses). The internal decorative detailing is of a similar quality to the exterior, including highly decorative moulded ceilings (most including pressed tin), original vents, decorative moulded hallway arches, fine jarrah fire mantle and large decorative jarrah skirting, door framing and doors throughout. The flooring throughout is wooden boards, except for the raised concrete floor of the safe. There appear to have been no structural changes internal to the original building. There are however two later additions. On the south wall a small brick room protrudes under a separate roof, forming a brick framed porch in front of the original residential entry door. Above the front door is a decorative leadlight window which appears to be original and in good condition. This addition opens into a room of the original build with a central portion of the original exterior wall having been removed, leaving the double brick original wall edgings in place, being easily interpreted. The other addition to the rear north corner is plasterboard (possibly asbestos) with louvered windows, and sits high above the ground as the land slopes away. Both additions could be circa 1950.


The National Bank of Australia began operating in Bridgetown from around 1907 and bought a parcel of land in 1908. Tenders for the construction of these premises were called in mid-1909: “Tenders are invited until 3 p.m. on Monday, the 6th July, 1909, for the erection of Banking and Residential Premises at Bridgetown. Plan and specifications to be seen at my office. Neither the lowest nor any tender necessarily accepted. Tenders to be addressed to the under, signed and endorsed "Tender National Bank, Bridgetown." R. H. B. Downes, Architect.” R.H.B Downes was an Engineer and Architect who settled in Western Australia in 1895, then working in the PWD until 1905 when he commenced in private practice. Much of his work was in the design of country branches for the National Bank and Bank of Australasia. By November of that year the place was already nearing completion: “The buildings, which are of brick, are strikingly fine, catching the eye immediately Hampton Street is entered, and the good impression formed from an outside view, is more, than confirmed after an inspection of the whole building. The banking chamber is very roomy - 19ft. x 22ft. and the fittings are of polished jarrah. The manager's room, which is entered from the banking chamber, is 12ft. x 11ft. The strong room— 8ft x4ft 6in.— is probably, one of the best its kind in the State. It is fitted with one of Chubb's best doors, complete with all the latest appliances, and fittings. It is stated that if the whole building was burnt to the ground the strong room would remain intact, and all documents therein unscorched and free from any damage. The residential portion of the premises is all that could be desired. Gas fittings appear in every room. Two 2,000 gallon tanks will provide a plentiful supply of water, and one erected at a height to give a refreshing shower in the bathroom. The living apartments consist of drawing-room, dining room, two bedrooms, kitchen and pantryroom. The private entrance, which leads into a spacious hall, is from the side verandah. Every possible convenience that a well-appointed house contains has been provided for the future occupants of this fine building. Stables, chaff-house and buggy shed are also provided, to which gravelled roads have been made. The contractor also has to fence in the land with sawn, jarrah. Local bricks have been used internally, whilst Armadale bricks form the external walls. Metal ceilings obtain in every room. The designs are extremely pretty, of fine finish, being the best that Wunderlich Ltd. could produce. The contract price for the building was £1,600.” The building remained as a bank until the early 1970’s and was then adapted as offices.


Medium While it is no longer used as a bank, the building continues to be occupied as a finance related commercial service premises (accountants office). Medium to High The exterior of the building remains largely as constructed.




Name Type Year From Year To
Robert herbert Downes Architect - -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
The West Australian 26/06/1909 wa-notable-buildings/downes-robert-henry-burnside.pdf
Oral history Current tenant 2015
The Blackwood Times 16/11/1909
Contemporary newspaper reports (

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
No.B45 MI Place No.
A4882 Assess No (Shire Ref)

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use COMMERCIAL Office or Administration Bldg
Original Use COMMERCIAL Bank

Architectural Styles

Federation Free Style

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Commercial & service industries

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

22 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.