Lake Leschenaultia


Shire of Mundaring

Place Number



2135 Rosedale Rd Chidlow

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Chidlow Dam or Chidlow Water Supply
Chidlow's Well Reservoir

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1996, Constructed from 1898

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List YES 08 Mar 2016
State Register Registered 03 Jun 2005 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 22 Apr 1997 2 -Considerable significance
Classified by the National Trust Classified 14 Jun 2004
Statewide Railway Heritage Surve Completed 01 Mar 1994

Statement of Significance

Lake Leschenaultia has very high social and historic significance tot he people, the Shire and the State of Western Australia for it's long established recreational role and it's origins with railway heritage.

Physical Description

townsite and provides a very pleasant, picturesque and "cooling" picnic/recreational facility particularly on hot summer's days away from the coast. Grassed areas with laterite stone retaining walls, picnic tables and shelters are located between the kiosk and lake's edge to the east. Otherwise, the edges of the lake have been left very much in their original naturally landscaped form with large trees coming down close to the waters edge providing extensive shaded areas. The earth dam wall is integrated into a walk trail around the edge of the lake and otherwise, there are few indications of the site's railway heritage. The brick tea room/kiosk building, with ranger's house/office behind, were built in the late 1950s, early 60s. Other than a timber jetty jutting out into the lake, the brick building is one of the few built structures that interrupts the landscape. The kiosk has been designed with little sympathetic acknowledgement of its surroundings and is typical of its period of construction.


Over the period 1897-8, the area now known as Lake Leschenaultia was built as a railway reservoir to supply water for the steam locomotives stopping on the Eastern Railway at Chidlow's Well Station. At a cost of £8,803, the Public Works Department cleared a creek bed north-west of the townsite and constructed an earth embankment to form a 118 million gallon (536,000 cubic metre) reservoir. Two overhead storage tanks at the railway station were supplied by mains from a lakeside steam powered pump, with a full time attendant, who lived in a cottage at the reservoir. As need arose, other railway centres, such as Midland, used tankers to access the water at Chidlow. By 1907, the reservoir's stock of Redfin Perch had become popular with anglers. Initially, 600 pine trees were planted because it was believed they improved the water quality. However, clearing in the catchment area increased the water's salinity and by 1930 (or earlier), it was considered unsuitable for railway use. The Greenmount Road Board acquired the lake in c. 1933, and except for the period 1941-1947, when the reservoir was resumed for possible wartime use, began to develop it as a picnic and resort area. The name "Lake Leschenaultia" was one used locally because the colour of the lake was said to resemble the blue Lechenaultia flower. Throughout the 1950's, the entrance tickets and references in the Mundaring Road Board minutes named the lake as 'Lake Leschenault'. The correct spelling, with "ia" on the end, was restored in 1960. From the 1950's, a small kiosk operated from the lake and sold sweets, cool drinks and local orchard produce. Changes over the last 40 years include the building of a caravan park (now removed), tea room extensions to the kiosk, and a ranger's house. The lake continues to operate as a recreation; area for the local shire and the Perth region.


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
I Elliot; ibid. pp58, 59, 60, 71, 73.
MHHS File; "Chidlow".

Place Type



Epoch General Specific
Present Use PARK\RESERVE Park\Reserve
Original Use Transport\Communications Rail: Water Tower
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Reservoir or Dam

Architectural Styles

Other Style

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Other Brick
Other TIMBER Other Timber

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Environmental awareness
TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS Rail & light rail transport
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Sport, recreation & entertainment
OUTSIDE INFLUENCES Water, power, major t'port routes

Creation Date

18 Jun 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

10 Feb 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.