Tuesday 9 August 2011

Fremantle Arts Centre

   After dropping Joe off for an appointment in South Fremantle I carried on up the road to the Fremantle Arts Centre...which I didn't know the old museum had become! Here is a little of history but no mention of the gentle ghosts or the padded cell at the rear.

   The building took place between 1861 and 1868 and the labourers were all convicts...at one time there was a display of their thick woollen coats and hideous manacles. It was first used as the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum and would have been the perfect setting for a Bronte Sisters novel!

   Recent displays have included a wonderful array of Quaker literature, history and belongings and an Exhibition of Immigration over the 200yrs.

   This link speaks of the concerts in the garden there...a stellar cast...Joe and I saw "Tin Dog" there one sunny Sunday afternoon...great fun with friends.

   So here are my photos from today...they are taken from the side and back as the main road was far too busy to cross to take the front of the building.....you can see that in my links.

You can park in the side street, Finnerty St and enter through this arched gateway.

   There is a wonderful cafe with homemade meals and cakes etc and good coffee and tea, sitting outside with magpies and doves coming close on their quest for crumbs
   It was in this courtyard that John and Natalie married so long ago, to the tune of a lone Scots Piper.
   There is a very lovely but expensive gift shop here....hand crafted goods from all over Western Australia
and finally a pic of the restored section, sadly no pale faces at the windows as legend has it.

This is a beautifully maintained Gothic building with thick stone walls, elegant wooden staircases and lead-paned windows. It has worn many hats in it's history and never fails to delight me.


  1. Hurray! It let me follow you today! lol

    I do remember bringing Cody here years ago and nosing around the remnants of years gone by.

    They had one padded cell left at the time and another had been turned into a "haunted cell" to help tell the story of the buildings history...you had to stand on your tip toes and poke your face up to a tiny little window in the door to see the dimly lit room furnished like it would have been many years previously...

    ...And the the rocking chair moved!

    Scared the life out of me, was just a tiny gentle rock... just as if somebody had bumped into it. Took me a few panicked heart beats to even consider the old rocking chair on a string trick! =)

    Was it the 1st midwifery school in WA too at one point? Or the nurses would sleep there and study/work down the road?

  2. Check your private messages at D2E. I think you may have missed something in that last picture. Yep.

    I would have shared it here, but there is not any way to attach an image.