Bridgefield Monument


Shire of Augusta-Margaret River

Place Number



69 Bussell Hwy Margaret River

Location Details

30 yrds SE of present bridge where Bussell Hwy crosses Margaret River

Local Government

Augusta/Margaret River


South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1894

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

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 Jun 1996 Criterion 5
Municipal Inventory Adopted 01 Jul 2012 Historic Site 3

Statement of Significance

Bridgefield (Site and Monuments) is of significance: • For its association with the opening of a new road (now Bussell Highway) connecting Busselton with Karridale in the 1894. • As a marker of the approximate location of the livery stables for horses used in the coaching business operated by Thomas and Elizabeth Higgins from 1894. • For its historical association with the subsequent establishment of the area’s first post office and shop, sports oval, show venue, and community hall. • As a community memorial recognising the founding of the settlement of Margaret River.

Physical Description

Bridgefield (Site and Monuments) is located in a small clearing on the southern embankment of the Margaret River (eastern side of Bussell Highway). The main monument on the site is a single, roughly squared, stone column with a plaque which reads: ÓhUigin Bridgefield ‘Gort na Droichead’ estab. 1894 Thomas, son of John (from Ireland 1841) and Catherine Higgins (Nee Fannan, from Ireland 1852) and Elizabeth, daughter of John (from Ireland 1829) and Mary Dawson (nee Dooley from Ireland 1853) Parents of Arthur, Mary Agne,s Edward (Ned), William and Letitia. Site of livery stables, first Post Office & shop, sports oval, show venue, focus for Catholic community and Community Hall (doubled as Doctor’s surgery and barbers shop). After 4 years WWI service, Ned purchased what is now the town site of Margaret River in 1919. There is a second, smaller stone plinth nearby with another plaque whichreads: Higgins House Site Built by Thomas and Elizabeth Higgins 1894 Coach Staging Station First Post Office 1910 The site is currently (2012) being developed as a new entrance to the Old Settlement (Place # MR(T)-15).


Caves Road was the first road leading to the south west. In the 1890s M.C. Davies lobbied for a shorter road to be put through from Busselton to Karridale, with obvious benefits for his burgeoning timber industry. This new road (now the Bussell Highway) was opened in1894. Davies set up a staging post and stables at the new bridge over the Upper Margaret. The stables were run by Thomas and Elizabeth Higgins who had previously run the Old Bridge House on Cave Road (See Place # MR(L)-02). Coach horses, owned by Davies, were changed at Bridgefield stables on their long journey from Busselton to Karridale. The Higgins’ saw the opportunity to establish their own business, which they did with the construction of a boarding house, named ‘Bridgefield’ This provided meals for travellers and the opportunity for passengers to break their journey with an overnight stay.The wonders of the local caves were also being promoted at this time and this added to the Higgins’ potential clientele: ACCOMMODATION, good for Visitors to the Caves. Mail coach from Busselton to Margaret three times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; fare, 10s. A conveyance leaves Margaret for Caves. Meals, 1s. 6d.; Beds, 1s. Good sporting country. T. E. Higgins, Margaret Bridge, Bridgefield. [The West Australian 5 Feb 1902 p 12] The first post office was established at Bridgefield in 1910. Thomas Higgins and his daughter, Mary, handled roadside delivery three times a week to about 80 residents. After Thomas Higgins died, and Mary married and moved to Marble Bar in 1921, another daughter, Agnes, took over Mary’s job running the Post Office.In 1931 the original boarding house was replaced by new premises nearby (also named Bridgefield), which were also run by Agnes (Place # MR(T)-01). The monument for the original Bridgefield house was dedicated by Sir Stewart Bovell. It is a single vertical granite stone with a bronze plaque that was originally established on a cement platform. The monument originally marked the site of the stables, but was moved in c1978 to allow the Bramley School to be transported into the ‘Old Settlement’ precinct. In 2012 it remains on the 1978 site.


Historic site – N/A Memorial - High: The original use has been maintained. Historic site – N/A Memorial - High: The original/significant fabric is largely intact.


Good (Memorials) *Assessed from streetscape survey only


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Cresswell, Gail J,The Light of Leeuwin:the Augusta/Margaret River Shire History Augusta/Margaret River Shire History Group 1989
The West Australian p12 5/2/1902
Municipal Heritage Inventory 1996

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
MR(T)-02 MI Place No.
A3879 LGA Site No.

Place Type

Other Built Type


Epoch General Specific
Original Use MONUMENT\CEMETERY Monument
Present Use MONUMENT\CEMETERY Monument

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Other METAL Bronze
Other STONE Granite

Historic Themes

General Specific

Creation Date

04 Nov 1996

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

10 May 2019


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