University of Western Australia Campus Gardens


City of Subiaco

Place Number



University of Western Australia Crawley

Location Details

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1914, Constructed from 2000

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 24 Sep 2002 Recommend for HCWA Register of Heritage
Register of the National Estate Registered 21 Oct 1980
Classified by the National Trust Classified {Lscpe} 30 Jan 1980

Statement of Significance

The place has aesthetic and historic significance representing development and settlement of UWA. It has social significance to the local and State-wide community as a place for social and recreational activities, in particular the past and present students and staff.

Physical Description

Includes the Sunken Gardens, the Great Court Area, Sommerville auditorium sourrounds, Cathedral of Trees, Whitfield Court and the historic oak lawn. Highly varied gardens, including many mature trees and massed plantings of flowering shrubs. Great Court features Australia natives. Oak lawn is remnant of original Shenton farm, on which the campus was established in 1914. Whitfield Court in Classical Style includes a reflecting pond. Sunken gardens is in a Romantic Style, encouraging introspection. Great Court is in a paradise style, with informal arrangements and natives, exotics and shrubs. the paradise style was innovative for its time. (Ref: AHC assessment documentation)


Major design influence attributed to Oliver Dowell and George Munns. Sunken Gardens was originally a sand pit excavated during construction of the Hackett Memorial Buildings. Terraced steps look down over a level circular grassed area as a stage. A memorial sundial and seat was erected behind the stage area in honour of E Shann, Foundation Professor of history and economics. (Ref: AHC assessment documentation) A government decision in favour of a university for Western Australia was made in 1901, however a shortage of funds prevented it being established until 1913. The University Endowment Bill in 1903 allowed for land to be set aside for the future. The first location was a temporary one in Irwin Street, Perth, in a weatherboard building. The first Chancellor was John Winthrop Hackett. In 1921 Crawley was chosen as the permanent site for UWA. The Irwin Street building was relocated there in 1932.The foundation stone for the Hackett Memorial Buildings was laid in 1929. They form the focal point and symbolic landmark of UWA.


Name Type Year From Year To
Oliver Dowell and Gorge Munns Architect - -

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
10196 Planning for the University of Western Australia: 1914- 1970 Book 1986
7163 Gryphon : journal of the Office of Facilities Management, April 2002, No. 25. : Off campus. Serial 2002
8303 A landscape for learning : a history of the grounds of The University of Western Australia. Book 2006
3934 A walk through the University of Western Australia. Book 1991
1117 A guide to the University of Western Australia Book 1954
6988 Walking Subiaco : Crawley and the University of Western Australia. Brochure 2004
6319 Gryphon : journal of the Office of Facilities Management, August 2001, No. 22. : Sermons in Stone. Serial 2001
6981 A visitors' guide to Perth and suburbs : 1949 issue. Book 1949

Place Type



Epoch General Specific
Original Use PARK\RESERVE Park\Reserve
Present Use PARK\RESERVE Park\Reserve

Creation Date

21 Aug 1995

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

31 Dec 2016


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.