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City of Fremantle

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


195 High St Fremantle

Location Details

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1890, Constructed from 1885

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List YES 08 Mar 2007

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
Register of the National Estate Permanent 21 Mar 1978

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Classified {Trees} 01 Apr 1974

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 18 Sep 2000 Level 2

Level 2

The City of Fremantle has identified this place as being of considerable cultural heritage significance in its own right within the context of Fremantle and its conservation is a priority.

Statement of Significance

House & Moreton Bay Fig Tree, 195 High Street, is a good example of a two storey rendered masonry residence in the Federation Queen Anne style with an associated mature Moreton Bay Fig tree. It has aesthetic significance for its contribution to the streetscape and forms an integral part of the High Street area.

The place contributes to a substantially intact late nineteenth and early twentieth century streetscape close to the centre of Fremantle.

The house was built for local Fremantle nurseryman and auditor for the Fremantle Council, Philip Webster. It is claimed by some that the Moreton Bay Fig tree is the progenitor of many of the Moreton Bay Fig trees in Fremantle, including the Proclamation Tree (which was planted in 1890). Webster is also credited with planting the Moreton Bay Fig trees around Kings Square and St John’s Church grounds.

The place includes a Limestone Feature (s).

Physical Description

Built in 1886 195 High Street is a two storey masonry and iron house with a symmetrical façade designed in the Federation Queen Anne style of architecture. Walls are rendered masonry with rendered quoining. The roof is hipped and clad with corrugated iron.The front façade is dominated by a two storey verandah extending the full width of the residence and returning along the side elevations. The place is set well back from the street and below street level. A rendered limestone wall defines the boundary line.

A mature Moreton Bay Fig tree (Ficus Macrophylla) is located at the north-east corner of the site. The surrounding landscape has altered significantly around the tree. It is located in a raised brick garden bed and is flanked on three sides by a later (post 1960) single storey chemist building constructed to the east of the house.

The place includes a Limestone Feature (s).

A Heritage Assessment was prepared in Sept 2009 by Carrick + Wills Architects for a DA submission to Council (DA0384/09) for alterations and signage to 197 High Street,adjacent.


High Street was named by Surveyor General Roe - as was customary in English towns, the main street of the town was named High Street. Eastward from William Street the roadway was completed by convict labour after the Town Hall was built in 1887. High Street around the Town Hall closed to traffic in 1966. The High Street Mall was trialled in November 1973 and made a permanent pedestrian mall in 1975.
House, 195 High Street (originally 241 High Street) was built in 1886 for Philip Webster, who had purchased the block a year earlier. In 1886, the property was listed in the Rate records as a dwelling house, garden and sheds.
Philip Webster was born in 1829 and died on 26 September 1893. He married twice, first to Maria Elizabeth (1825-1862) and then to Emily Caroline Duffield (1845-1868). Webster owned Fremantle’s Esplanade Hotel in the 1860s and 1870s, and was listed as a nurseryman in the 1876. During the 1890s he was an auditor for the Fremantle Municipal Council. He has been remembered as ‘a great lover of flowers’.
Records indicate that the Moreton Bay Fig Tree (Ficus macrophylia) was planted in the late 1880s by Webster in the grounds of his large house. This particular tree is purported to be the progenitor of many of the Moreton Bay Fig trees in Fremantle, including the Proclamation Tree (which was planted in 1890). Webster is also credited with planting the Moreton Bay Fig trees around Kings Square and St John’s Church grounds.
Following Webster’s death in 1893, the property passed to his Trustees. His son, Philip Cranworth Webster, and a Duffield relative were the executors of the will, which left the house to his housekeeper in trust during her lifetime. According to local legend, the will specified that one of the conditions of the will was that the housekeeper preserve the tree. [It should be noted that this speculation does not appear to have been verified against Webster’s will.]
In 1896, the house was occupied by Frank Connor and Henry Stubbs, a butcher. Maud Morris, a boarding house keeper, was listed as the occupant in 1900. The following year, the house was used as the club rooms for the German Club, which had been formed in 1901 after a meeting in the Park Hotel. Mr L Ratzzi, the German Consul, was the chairman and meetings were held in Manhattan House (195 High Street).
By 1904/05, Bunning Bros had purchased or leased the land to the north and rear of the house for use as a timber yard. A 1908 PWD plan shows a large brick house with full a length front verandah wrapping around the north-east elevation; a brick addition to the rear (not shown on a 1902 diagram), galvanised iron outbuildings (shown on 1898 plan).
In 1914/15, the property was listed in the Rate records as Buchholz Hall and Bunning Bros (club rooms and timber yard). In this year, title passed to Philip Cranworth Webster (1867-1948). The German Club closed in August 1914 due to World War I. Many of its members were interred.
By 1940, Bunning Brothers’ timber yard had gone and there was a tennis court on the old yard site. By this time, the street numbers had changed and the Webster house was designated No. 195 High Street. Philip Webster junior died in 1948, and title to the property passed to his estate. By 1951/52, the house was occupied by Jean Mortimer and was used as an (unregistered) boarding house.
In 1959, new owner Max Canning applied to the City of Fremantle for permission to convert the building for use as a doctor’s surgery.
During the 1970s, development encroached significantly on the Moreton Bay Fig tree at 195 High Street. Following a development application for the site lodged with the City of Fremantle in 1987, the tree was nominated to the Tree Society of Western Australia for consideration for entry on their Register of Significant Trees. Following an assessment process, the tree was included in the Register for its aesthetics, size and age. The tree was accepted by the National Trust of Australia (WA) as being significant on 18 January 1988. At the time, it was considered to be in good condition, approximately 95 years in age, 32 metres in height with a circumference of 6 metres and a canopy spread of 18 metres.
In 1987, John Cattalini (who had been a part owner of the property since at least 1966) became the sole owner.
In 2001, an application was made to the City for removal of the tree. The application stated that the tree required high maintenance as it continually dropped leaves and fruit, which also attracted vermin such as rats. The owners’ concerns brought out a strong community response in support of retaining the tree. Following consultation and negotiation, the City prepared a management plan for the tree to assist with its maintenance.
A Heritage Assessment was prepared in Sept 2009 by Carrick + Wills Architects for a DA submission to Council (DA0384/09) for alterations and signage to 197 High Street, adjacent.
On the 27 February 2019 the City of Fremantle’s Council adopted the Register of Significant Trees and Vegetated Areas and determined that the Moreton Bay Fig Tree be removed from the Heritage List and added to the new Significant Tree Register.


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


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

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
6607 Register of significant trees as at June 1988. Report 1988

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Two storey residence
Present Use SOCIAL\RECREATIONAL Other Community Hall\Centre
Present Use RESIDENTIAL Other
Other Use COMMERCIAL Office or Administration Bldg

Architectural Styles

Federation Queen Anne

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall STONE Other Stone
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall RENDER Smooth

Historic Themes

General Specific
PEOPLE Local heroes & battlers
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Land allocation & subdivision

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

09 Jun 2021


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.