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North Fremantle Primary School (fmr)


City of Fremantle

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


101 Stirling Hwy North Fremantle

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Bail Hostel, Kui Mens Hostel
Stirling House, North Fremantle Primary Schoo

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1894

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List YES 08 Mar 2007
State Register Registered 26 Feb 1999 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 18 Sep 2000 Level 1A

Level 1A

The City of Fremantle has identified this place as being of exceptional cultural heritage significance in its own right within the context of Fremantle. This place is entered onto the Heritage Council of Western Australia’s Register of Heritage Places. All development applications must be referred to the Heritage Council for approval.

Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register Recorded

Heritage Council

Parent Place or Precinct

22385 North Fremantle Precinct

Statement of Significance

HCWA Register of Heritage Places Permanent Entry North Fremantle Primary School (fmr)

North Fremantle Primary School (fmr), a Federation Arts and Crafts style
limestone building featuring brick quoins, distinctive roof forms, together
with two Tuart trees within its curtilage, has cultural heritage significance
for the following reasons:

the place has had an important role in the education of local
children (until 1967), many of whom retain a strong sentimental
attachment to the place;

the place is a fine example of the Federation Arts and Crafts style
featuring asymmetrical elevational compositions, limestone with
brick quoins and openings, traditional but distinctive roof massing,
half-timbered gables, and elegant chimneys with distinct cornices;

the place is associated with a number of past students, staff and
other persons who have risen to prominence in local and national
history, most notably Mr J.T.Tonkin, later State Minister for
Education and Premier of Western Australia, and Sir Donald
Bradman, world famous Australian cricketer;

the place became the first Bail Hostel established in Australia; and,
the Tuart trees are valued by the local community for their aesthetic
and educational associations. They are of a type that has become
uncommon in the Metropolitan area.

Recent work to the place including internal partitions and ceilings, the wet
area on the north-west corner of the building, and the pergola structure on
the front of the building is deemed intrusive. The shed, fences, paths and
bitumen parking area within the curtilage of place are of little heritage

Physical Description

HCWA Register of Heritage Places - Assessment Doc’n North Fremantle Primary School (fmr). The following is an extract from the HCWA Assessment Documentation:

North Fremantle Primary School (fmr) addresses Stirling Highway, and backs onto the Perth-Fremantle railway line. The site is wedge shaped, its long sides parallel with the railway line and highway respectively, and tapering to a truncated point on the north where it adjoins the North Fremantle railway station. North Fremantle Primary School (fmr) is near the southern boundary of the site.

The external form of the North Fremantle Primary School (fmr) is characterized by four dominant gable sin the east and north elevations, and by the unity of scale and materials. The building plan consists essentially of classrooms centered around large hall space, the three front classrooms separated by circulation areas and expressed in elevation with the said gables. The plan is largely asymmetrical, although there is a high degree of consistency and formality in the composition of individual classrooms which provides for the overall unity of external form.

In terms of its elements the roof is steeply pitched at 45 degrees and clad with corrugated fibre cement sheeting. The gables are half timbered and cantilevered forward, some have vents which provide interest as detail. The chimneys are tall and elegant, constructed of brick with moulded render cornices. Limestone has been used for the larger part of the building, although two classrooms and a recent laundry/bathroom area at the rear are made of brick and painted to a light tone to match the other work. Red brick quoins express the openings and external corners. The windows are double hung sash types, of the usual tall proportions, and generally grouped in threes. Windows in the east and north gable walls are shaded with awnings that are supported with well crafted but unornamented brackets.

There is considerable evidence of alteration and additions having occurred to the North Fremantle Primary School (fmr) over the years. The rambling nature of the building itself is testimony of the place’s growth from a central hall and two classrooms.


The portion of Stirling Highway to the north of Queen Victoria Street was originally part of Perth Road. The area developed with mixed residential, commercial and industrial uses from the 1860s following the construction of the North Fremantle Traffic Bridge and the upgrading of Perth Road by convicts. The portion of Stirling Highway that runs between the Swan River and the junction with Queen Victoria Street was formerly called Bruce Street. It was named after Colonel Bruce, head of the Pensioner Guards. In the early days of North Fremantle’s development, the favoured residential area for settlement was slightly west of the North Fremantle oval and named ‘Brucetown’.

Settlement of North Fremantle began in earnest in the late 1890s and Bruce Street was characterised by a mix of building types. On the southern side of the street between Queen Victoria Street (formerly Perth Road) and Tydeman Road (formerly Pensioner Road and then John Street), the buildings were predominantly residential. Industrial use was more common on the northern side.

Stirling Bridge was constructed across the Swan River at the end of Bruce Street in 1974. As Bruce Street was now the major arterial link between the bridge and Stirling Highway, the street was widened and renamed as an extension of Stirling Highway.

In recent years, new high-density residential development of the areas adjacent to the river on either side of Stirling Highway has seen a significant change in the mix of buildings in the southern section of Stirling Highway. In 2004, the street continues to have a mix of residential, retail and industrial land use.

North Fremantle Primary School was constructed in a number of stages from 1894 on part of the former convict depot site. The 1894 works consisted of a central hall, two classrooms, a master’s room and lavatories. Latrines were also located in an outbuilding behind the school. Dramatic growth in the local population over the next ten years necessitated a number of building programs to meet with increased demand for space. In 1900, a separate infants’ school was built on the other side of the road to help alleviate accommodation pressure at the primary school site. (The infants school re-amalgamated with the primary school in 1926 – see FORMER NORTH FREMANTLE INFANTS SCHOOL, 98 Stirling Highway.)

In 1967, North Fremantle Primary School was relocated to new premises in John Street and the place was converted for use as the Kui Men’s Hostel. In 1983, the Ministry for Justice renovated the old school building for use as Australia’s first bail hostel, where minor offenders on bail could live while waiting for their court appearance. The facility was not viable and closed down after only four years. Since that time, the place has been the base of the Operational Training Unit, a branch of the Ministry for Justice specialised in running offender management programs for the training of prison officers.

For further information see Heritage Council of Western Australia, ‘Register of Heritage Places: Permanent Entry – North Fremantle Primary School (fmr)’, prepared by Robyn Taylor with Palassis Architects, 1998.

This place was included in the 'North Fremantle Heritage Study' (1994) as a place contributing to the development and heritage of North Fremantle. It was also included in the list of heritage places in the City of Fremantle identified by the Fremantle Society (1979/80) - RED -significant for contributing to the unique character of Fremantle.

A Heritage Assessment was prepared in July 2010 by the City of Fremantle for a DA submission to Council for external signage.


This is the former site of the convict depot. (See separate listing for this place.)


High degree of integrity (original intent clear, current use compatible, high long term sustainability, restored).
High degree of authenticity with much original fabric remaining.
(These statements based on street survey only).


Condition assessed as good (assessed from streetscape survey only).


Name Type Year From Year To
George Temple Poole Architect - -

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
9717 North Fremantle Primary School (former): conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2010
3668 Stirling House (Former North Fremantle Primary School) : conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1998

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Other Use OTHER Other
Present Use EDUCATIONAL Tertiary Institution
Original Use EDUCATIONAL Primary School
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Institutional Housing

Architectural Styles

Federation Queen Anne
Federation Arts and Crafts

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Face Brick
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall STONE Limestone
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Roof ASBESTOS Fibrous Cement, corrugated

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Community services & utilities
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Education & science

Creation Date

06 Sep 1995

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

21 Mar 2019


This data is provided by the City of Fremantle. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this data, the City of Fremantle makes no representations or warranties about its accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose and disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages (including indirect or consequential damage) and costs which you might incur as a result of the data being inaccurate or incomplete in any way and for any reason. Under no circumstances should this data be used to carry out any work without first contacting the City of Fremantle for the appropriate confirmation and approval.