City of Vincent

Place Number



552 William St Mount Lawley

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Albany Bell House

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1904

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 12 Sep 2006 Category A
RHP - Does not warrant assessment Current 25 Nov 2011

Statement of Significance

The house at No. 552 William Street was constructed for Albany Bell, who was later famous for the Albany Bell Castle, the confectionery and cake factory at No. 86 Guildford Road. The subject place is a fine and sober example of the Federation Italianate style, befitting a prominent business man of his day. The place also has some historical association with Charles William Ferguson, who had developed the Houghton vineyard that pioneered the viticulture industry in Western Australia.

Physical Description

The Albany Bell house is a complex design for a corner property that addresses both street frontages and revolves around an octagonal corner tower. Its hipped roof, with gambrel and gable features, has narrow bracketted eaves. The design is tied together by the extensive verandah, to both main facades, with its strong pattern of half height Doric columns set on extended bases. The walls are painted brickwork whilst the chimneys retain their original face brickwork. Residential- low fence, gardens None apparent


Prior to 1916, the section of William Street north of Vincent was known as Clifton Street. The large residence at No. 552 is first listed in the Wise's Post Office Directories in 1905 however no street number was allocated. In 1909, the subject place is listed as No. 16 Clifton Street, North Perth. Between 1905 and 1911, the subject place was occupied by Albany Bell, who was the owner of a chain of tearooms and a factory building at Maylands. Albany Bell arrived in Western Australia in 1887 and opened a small shop in Hay Street, making and selling confectionery and lemon squash. Albany Bell was the first person who introduced milkshake to Western Australia circa 1898. He began manufacturing cakes and pastry and expanded the shop into an established tea room business. By 1911, there were eleven tea room establishments in Perth and three in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Albany Bell was a foundation member of the Y.M.C.A. and later on the Director's Board, a J.P. and a Children's Court Magistrate. Albany Bell is also well-known for his Albany Bell Castle and Albany Bell Hatchery (former), which were both designed by architects Alexander Cameron, of Wright, Powell and Cameron (now Cameron, Chisholm and Nicol) and are currently listed on the State Register of Heritage Places. In the early twentieth century, the architect Alexander Cameron resided at No. 12 Clifton Street (now No. 546 William Street), the second door to the south of the subject place. The third door to the south of the subject place, formerly known as No. 10 Clifton Street (now No. 544 William Street), was occupied by Harold Milner, founder of Milner & Company, house, land and financial agents. The subject place at No. 552 had an almost identical footprint to No. 544. The occupants of these three residences, and the size and design of the buildings, indicate the upper middle class status of the area at the time. In 1912, the Wise's Post Office Directories indicate that Albany Bell had moved on and the subject place was occupied by Charles William Ferguson. The address of the subject place changed to No. 16 William Street in 1916 and later No. 552 William Street in 1917. Charles W. Ferguson stayed at residency until 1940 when his wife Mrs. Dora Ferguson took up the occupancy. Misses F. & E. Ferguson are listed in the Directories in 1941-1942. Since then, no information of the subject dwelling is documented in the Directories. The name of Charles W. Ferguson is listed with 'Houghton Wine Cellars' in the Directories as he was the son of Dr. John Ferguson, who bought the Houghton vineyard in 1859. Charles W. Ferguson developed the vineyards that pioneered the viticulture industry in Western Australia. He experimented with fertilizers for his vines and also the bush system of growing vines. Active in the affairs of the Middle Swan district, Ferguson served on the Swan Roads Board and was a keen member of the Royal Agricultural Society. In 1898 he was made a Justice of the Peace. For forty years, he was churchwarden for St Mary's Anglican Church. In 1876, he had married Dora Charlotte and they had nine children. Charles W. Ferguson died at Mount Lawley in 1940, survived by his wife, four sons and three daughters. A Metropolitan Water Supply Sewerage & Drainage Department (MWSSD) Plan dated 1917 illustrates that the subject place was located at a large block of land with an expansive lawn to its south. A wind mill and a tennis court were located to the east of the subject dwelling. It is inferred that the spacious land was later subdivided after 1943 and No. 548 was built on the lawn previously part of No. 552. A Building Licence Plan dated 1951 illustrates that conversion was proposed at the subject place for replacement of wooden verandah posts with cement columns and wood verandah floor with concrete. The proposal was approved by the City of Perth. In 1971, a building application was submitted to rebuild the existing verandah to provide bathroom and water closet. The Building Licence was approved however the work did not proceed. The Building Licence was later renewed in 1987.


High degree

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence

Architectural Styles

Federation Italianate

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Face Brick
Wall BRICK Rendered Brick
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall BRICK Painted Brick

Creation Date

16 Aug 2007

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

03 Jan 2018


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.