Fairbridge Farm School (fmr)


Shire of Murray

Place Number



Fairbridge Rd Fairbridge

Location Details

consists of: Church of the Holy Innocents & Graveyard; rectory; school house and classrooms/training rooms; laundry; pump house; staff quarters/dining room/kitchen; bakehouse; cottages (see CP for names); Principal & Asst Principal houses; dairy & dairyman's house; engineer's house; farm manager's house; office; men's quarters; refrigerator room; Scratton Memorial

Other Name(s)

Fairbridge Village

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1920

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted
State Register Registered 02 Jun 1998 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
Local Heritage Survey Adopted 26 Mar 2020 Category A
Art Deco Significant Bldg Survey Completed
Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register Permanent
Restrictive Covenant YES
Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register Recorded
Register of the National Estate Registered 27 Oct 1998
Classified by the National Trust Classified 04 Jul 1977

Child Places

  • 03953 Saumerez Cottage, Fairbridge

Statement of Significance

The Church of the Holy Innocents, Fairbridge House and the Old Fairbridgians Clubhouse have high cultural heritage significance in their own right. Fairbridge Village is an excellent example of the use of the Inter-War Old English architectural style. Fairbridge Village was the first of a number of similar institutions established by the Child Emigration Society and is the only remaining site where tangible evidence remains to illustrate how the institution was organised. Fairbridge Village is important for its associations with Kingsley and Ruby Fairbridge, Sir Herbert Baker, who designed the Church of the Holy Innocents, and for its associations with the architectural firm Powell, Cameron and Chisholm. Fairbridge Village has a high level of significance to members of the Old Fairbridgians' Association who continue an active involvement with the place.

Physical Description

The majority of buildings at Fairbridge Village are of timber frame construction with weatherboard cladding to the external walls. They were constructed with either sheoak shingles or corrugated iron roofs. Chimneys and fireplaces were generally face red brick. Internal wall linings were of vertical timber panelling to dado height with battened plasterboard above and to ceilings. Timber framed windows were mainly pairs of small paned casements. The principal residences, Heath and Fairbridge House, were of masonry and pise construction to first floor level respectively with half timbering used for the upper storey. Generally the buildings can be described as being in the Inter-War Old English style. This style is distinguished by the use of the visual attributes of English rural architecture including half timbering, small-paned casement windows, shingled roofs, tall chimneys and textured brickwork. Generally the two-storey buildings at Fairbridge Village reflect this style, while the singlestorey cottages were closer to the Western Australian vernacular architecture of the period. The main exceptions are the Old Fairbridgians Clubhouse and Church of the Holy Innocents. The Clubhouse is distinguished by the prominent Dutch gable on the front elevation of the building. The church is unusual in its style and scale using an unusual combination of elements including round arched openings, together with prominent steeply pitched shingled roofs.


Fairbridge Village is a former children’s home developed on the cottage accommodation model. Cottage homes for orphaned children were well known in Australia, and the concept had been utilised by the Salvation Army in Collie and by the Anglican Sisterhood at the Parkerville Home. However, Fairbridge Village brought the planning and building of cottage homes to a new level, one of self-supporting village, a model copied in other States. The following chronology summarises the key events in the construction of Fairbridge Village: - 1909 Kingsley Fairbridge founds Child Emigration Society in Oxford - 1912 Kingsley and Ruby Fairbridge open Fairbridge House, Blythewood - 1918 Establishment Children's Farm School Immigration Society of WA 1920 3,000 acres of Creaton Estate purchased for new farm school site - 1921 Five cottages, kitchen and store completed - 1922 Fairbridge House completed - 1922 Four classrooms constructed. - 1923 Eight more cottages completed - 1924 Kingsley Fairbridge dies - 1927 Seven more cottages; visit of Duke and Duchess of York - 1928 Principal’s Residence constructed - 1932 Church of the Holy Innocents completed; golf course begun - 1933 Old Fairbridgians Clubhouse completed - 1934 Concrete weir constructed across river to provide a swimming hole - 1935 Arthur Scratton Memorial residential building completed; Domestic Science building constructed - 1938 Staff dining room, kitchen and quarters constructed. - 1948 Renovations on site begin - 1949 First British migrant children arrive after WWII - 1950 School buildings renovated - 1954 Renovations to eighteen cottages completed - 1961 Big Brother Movement began to utilise Fairbridge; plans for new swimming pool, oval and sports pavilion completed - 1964 Visit of Queen Mother - 1965 Barnardo children stop arriving in Australia - 1973 Government restricts immigration - 1981 Fairbridge Farm School closed - 1983 Alcoa purchase site and erect memorial over Fairbridge's grave - 1989 Fairbridge WA lease the site for 44 years on a peppercorn rent - 2019 Major conservation works to Fairbridge Chapel including removal of shingles and replacement with welsh slate; demolition of Lister Cottage






Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Heritage & Conservation Proffessionals 'Former Fairbridge Farm School Conservation Plan' 1997

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
5446 Report to Alcoa : Fairbridge Village Feasibility Study. Report 1996
7154 The Fairbridge chapel : Sir Herbert Baker's labour of love. Book 2004
3796 Former Fairbridge Farm School : conservation plan. Volumes 1 & 2. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1998
7257 Good enough never is : lessons from inspirational businesses in rural Australia : a report for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. Book 2005
2106 Bibliography of 16mm film produced in Western Australia to 1950 from the State Film Archives of Western Australia : Vol. 2. Government and Fairbridge collections. Book 1993
5516 Reroofing workshop at Fairbridge Village. Conservation works report 2002
7265 Exeter Fairbridge : conservation works. Conservation works report 2005
9409 Photographic record for Jenner Cottage former Fairbridge Farm School, Pinjarra. Heritage Study {Other} 2009
5440 Fairbridge : style manual. Report 2002
9466 Signposts: a guide for children and young people in care in WA from 1920. Electronic 2010
8305 The story of Kingsley Fairbridge by himself. Book 1945
5439 Fairbridge Village : interpretation plan. Heritage Study {Other} 2002
11672 Fairbridge Chapel, Fairbridge Archival Record 2018
4023 Fairbridge : Empire and child migration. Book 1998

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RELIGIOUS Housing or Quarters
Original Use RELIGIOUS Church, Cathedral or Chapel
Original Use EDUCATIONAL Special School
Present Use SOCIAL\RECREATIONAL Other Community Hall\Centre

Architectural Styles

Inter-War Old English

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof TIMBER Shingle
Wall RENDER Other Render
Wall EARTH Pise {Rammed Earth}
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Education & science
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Immigration, emigration & refugees
OUTSIDE INFLUENCES Depression & boom
OCCUPATIONS Grazing, pastoralism & dairying

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

05 May 2021


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.