Camfield House


City of Albany

Place Number



172 Serpentine Rd Albany

Location Details

Other Name(s)


Local Government



Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1852

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage Agreement YES 20 Jan 2013 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument
State Register Permanent 20 Sep 2002 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2001 Category A
Classified by the National Trust Recorded 11 Jun 1973
Register of the National Estate Indicative Place

Statement of Significance

Camfield House has significant aesthetic, historic and social heritage value. Formerly a home of Henry and Anne Camfield. Henry Camfield was a Government Resident and Magistrate. Anne Camfield ran a school and orphanage (Annesfield) for Aboriginal children on the property from 1852-1871.

Physical Description

Conglomeration of buildings from different time periods Little mature vegetation Set on large corner position Two distinctive main buildings, the house and the 'School'. The house Simple colonial rectangular design Steeply pitched gable corrugated iron roof Broken backed verandah shades the facade Two doors and three sets of casement windows open onto the verandah Stucco finish on the walls At the rear is a skillion roofed extension Four chimneys asymmetrically placed around the house Small portico entry at the rear The school Two storey brick building Steeply pitched gable corrugated iron roof with finials Bricks partially exposed on one side of the building the rest is whitewashed Sash windows


Camfield is a residence with an interesting history. Anne Camfield first purchased the property in 1852. (Anne arrived in the Swan Colony in 1838 as a governess and married Henry Camfield in 1840. Anne's husband Henry was, from 1848 to 1860, the Government Resident of Albany. On one lot of the property a wattle and daub house, Annesfield, was built for the Camfields. On the other lot a school was built for Aboriginal children. In the first year there were 10 students attending the school. Anne Camfield ran the school from 1852-1871. Annesfield School for Aboriginal Children may have grown out of an earlier school administered by J McKail. In June 1852 Anne Camfield sought the assistance of Archdeacon Wollaston to provide for the needs of an increasing number of orphaned and mixed descent children. Wollaston had two major problems to overcome. The first was to find a Christian home to accommodate the children. Here he was fortunate to have the support of Henry Camfield who made his own home available for the children and encouraged his wife to devote her time to the care of the children. The second problem was finance and Wollaston was able to gain favour with Governor Fitzgerald who provided a grant for the support of six children and a contribution to the construction of an institution at Middleton Beach... This institution was not a lasting venture because of the difficulty that Wollaston had in obtaining money to employ the master and mistress. In the interim Mr and Mrs Camfield continued to care for the children. Camfield built a schoolroom in the grounds of his own house and here Mrs Camfield taught the children. The first child to be taken intot he care of of Anne Camfield was Kojonupat who was baptised Matilda Flower (who unfortunately died after only three years in the school). Matilda was joined by her two sisters, Elizabeth (Bessie) and Ada. Bessie Flower was quite a talented woman who went on to become a teacher and married at a Victorian mission, Ramahyuck. She spoke French, played the harmonium in the church and, by her own accounts, was quite a reasonable chess player. On 1 January 1869 The Australian News published a release on the Mission, which included this reporrt. 'The very accomplished native teacher Elizabeth Flower will soon take charge of the new boarding school. The children receive five hours instruction daily and made good progress in their lessons as well as in needle and household work.' In 1868 a collection of letters written by Bessie Flower to Anne Camfield were published in the Western Australian Church of England newspaper giving a rare insight into the quality of education received at Annesfield. In 1871 Anne Camfield reflected on the achievements of Annesfield in a Government report and commented on Bessie Flower (Cameron); Bessie, who is now a teacher in Gippsland, was never without a book in her pocket by day or under her pillow at night. Her love of reading often brought her into scrapes, from reading at inconvenient times... yet she is much interested in history, Travels and more serious works...Her memory is so very good that she retains what she reads. This girl alone is sufficient proof of the intelligence of Aborigines. Anne Camfield returned to England after the death of her husband in 1872. The new Government Resident, after Henry Camfield, was Sir Alexander Cockburn-Campbell who held the position from 1861-1871. For a while Sir Alexander lived at Annesfield. NW McKail purchased the school from Anne Camfield and then later sold it to the Christian Brothers. The Brothers sold the property to a Mr Neumann who made the significant name change of the property to Camfield. C Neumann was a local merchant with premises on Stirling Terrace. In the 1890s according to records the house suffered some damage by fire.


Integrity: High Modifications: There is a number of outhouses on the property and At some stage the two buildings were joined




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
N Green; "Aborigines of the Albany Area". UWA Press 1987
Heritage TODAY Site visit and Assessment 1999

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use GOVERNMENTAL Government Residence
Other Use EDUCATIONAL Combined School
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Government Residence

Architectural Styles

Victorian Georgian
Victorian Rustic Gothic

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron

Historic Themes

General Specific

Creation Date

12 Sep 1988

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Jan 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.