Heritage Walks

Enjoy a heritage walk around the Mundaring Town Centre, the old centre of Parkerville, and around the villages of Darlington or Glen Forrest. All you need are your phone or printed map, some sturdy shoes and your sun block!

Mundaring Heritage Walk

This short walk, starting and ending in Sculpture Park, takes you around the village of Mundaring and highlights some of the historic buildings of the area. Mundaring is located 35 km east of Perth, Western Australia . It was declared a town-site in 1898. A convict road party often camped in the area in the 1870s and a few vineyards and orchards were scattered along valleys to the south. European colonisers moved into the area in the late 1890s when a spur line was constructed from the Eastern Railway line to the site where a reservoir for the goldfields water supply was to be built; what is now known as Mundaring Weir.

The Whadjuk Noongar people, the land's original custodians, called the general area 'Mundar-ing', with the first syllable emphasised. This meant 'a high place on a high place'. Over time pronunciation has changed to emphasise the 2nd syllable, 'air'.

Today Mundaring businesses are concentrated on Great Eastern Highway (formerly the old York Road), but originally the focus was further south near the train station. Mundaring Hotel was built at the junction nearest to the station and one publican there pioneered the holiday resort trade in Mundaring. Guest houses and cottages sprang up to cater for weekend visitors.

Mundaring became a leading resort area for those making day trips on the Sunday excursion trains and those who could stay longer. Leading Perth businessmen acquired weekend cottages in the hills. From there the idea of commuting from Mundaring took hold and over the years more and more people chose to live in the hills and commute to work in the city.

Some people settled in the hills so they could have a few fruit trees or chickens but others moved for their health. Guest houses championed the beneficial effects of the air 300 metres above sea level, encouraging permanent residents, including tuberculosis sufferers, as well as visitors. During the 1920s and 1930s, more residents moving to Mundaring led to more businesses and it is now the commercial and administrative centre of the Shire.

Find out about the images on the right on Walking Maps, and to find out more information about the points of interest along the walk. 

Original Post Office Mundaring.jpg
Former Mundaring Post Office.jpg

Parkerville Heritage Walk

Parkerville. Gazetted in 1895, Parkerville came about because of the Eastern Railway. It had a pub, quarries, stores, a hall and school. This walk takes in the 1901 General Store, the Hall (1922), the Quarries (1895), then the second School (1899), so-called 'Aboriginal Rock Art' on the old Railway Reserve, the site of the former Railway Station and Station-Master's house, the Parkerville Tavern (1902), original working men’s cottages and back to the General Store (parking area).

Parkerville was first gazetted in 1895, as the new Eastern Railway extension (the incorrectly named 'Mahogany Creek deviation') was being built. The original railway line through Darlington and Smiths Mill (Glen Forrest) to Mundaring had steeper grades which limited the load capacities.

Parkerville Land: the government released large lots from 1895 but these did not sell well. These large blocks were re-surveyed into smaller lots and released from 1900 onward. These were taken up and soon the township had a pub, two stores, a school and, of course, the railway station which offered the only other form of transport available unless residents had a horse and cart. From 1914 onward, Post Office facilities became available, operated from the General Store that still stands today. A manual telephone service was installed in the early 1920s at the Post Office/Store.

The pub closed after the 'Local Option Poll' in 1921 but reopened in 1927 after being used as a boarding house in the interim. The locals' petition to reinstate the licence may have had something to do with a gold discovery in the area, which was soon discredited, but at least the pub was back.

Water came to Parkerville in 1938 and electricity in 1950 but not all residents received these services - it depended on how far out they lived.

Sport is always a big part of country town life and the Parkerville recreation ground was finally completed in 1946, delayed by the the intervention of WW2 and after much agitation by local residents. The cricket and footy teams finally had a home.

How do you get to Parkerville? Parkerville is located approx 30 kms east of Perth's CBD, in the Perth hills in the shire of Mundaring. The best route to take is to get onto Great Eastern Highway and head eastward from Perth or Midland then turn north onto either Seaborne St or Brooking Rd.

The suburb still has a country feel about it and is well worth visiting. In winter the Jane Brook falls off Falls Road are also worth a visit.

Find out about the images on the right on Walking Maps, and to find out more information about the points of interest along the walk.  

Parkerville Railway Station_edited.jpg
Parkerville General Store.jpg

Darlington Village Walkabout

This short walk takes you through the central part of Darlington Village, taking in a number of early buildings and sites of what originally started as a Vineyard in the early 1880s by Alfred Waylen.

 

Before Europeans the Darlington area would have been home to the Aboriginal Whadjuk people. The first European settlement of Western Australia was in1829 and a survey of the surrounding areas was led by Ensign Robert Dale that same year followed by Assistant Surveyor Philip Chauncey a few years later who drew a map around the Bilgoman well area. The first real settlement in this area was next to this well when a convict station was constructed of Mahogany (Jarrah) in early 1854 to house convict workers for the York Road.


It wasn’t until Alfred Robert Waylen purchased land in the area and started his Darlington Vineyard c1883 and the Eastern Railway was sited through Darlington in 1884 that this area and beyond was able to progress into an important supplier of raw materials such as timber and gravel and produce (wine, fruit and vegetables) to the fledgling colony.
The name Darlington became synonymous with this area because of Waylen’s vineyard and was named after the Darling Range and ton added to this. Progressively the vineyard name was dropped so the town just became Darlington and was finally gazetted as such in 1939.


As more land opened up down south and the railway extended into these parts that were more suitable for wine and fruit growing, Darlington began to close down its vineyards and subdivide the land for housing and smaller farmlets.


The scourge of tuberculosis increased after WW1 with the returning soldiers and the fresh air of the hills meant convalescent hospitals flourished along with guest houses to access this therapeutic environment. Running guest houses was a way single and widowed women could earn a living.The time from Darlington to the city was an easy commute which made it convenient to live in the hills and still work in the city.


The attractive environment encouraged artists to the hills such a Amy Heap, Daisy Rossi and Walter Meston post WW1 and later post WW2 artists such as Guy Grey Smith and Robert Juniper. Other talented individuals also came to Darlington resulting in theatrical, musical and craft groups.


Today these early traditions in Darlington carry on making it a diverse and interesting community which has managed to preserve its rich heritage while also carefully managing change.


For more in depth information about Darlington’s rich history visit the Darlington History Group's website.
Darlington History Group

Find out about the images on the right on Walking Maps, and to find out more information about the points of interest along the walk.  

Darlington Church.jpg
Darlington Station2_edited.jpg

Glen Forrest Heritage Walk

This heritage walk takes you around the village of Smiths Mill, today Glen Forrest, first settled in 1877 by Alfred Smith. The original name for this area was designated 'Amherst', but this was never used. Until 1915, it was known as Smith's Mill, after which it changed to Glen Forrest. The area was originally home to the York Greenmount Sawmill owned and first run by Alfred Smith then later by his son Thomas. The Eastern Railway came through in 1884, which provided more impetus for settlement and development in this area.


Early industries in the area were gravel pits, brickworks, orchards, nurseries and vineyards. All these relied upon the railway to get their produce to market. In 1901 Thomas Statham set up the local 'Darling Range Quarries Fire Brick and Gravel Co.' which produced both fire bricks and building bricks that were used throughout the state, up to the 1960s.
The 100 ac Hardey Vineyard was set up by Richard Watson Hardey in 1882. It was alleged that drinkers were enjoying free drinks at this vineyard whilst a poll was run to decide which pubs would close. The local Forrest Arms was delicensed as a result of the poll in 1921.


Another major business in the area was Jacob Hawter's 'Darling Nurseries', established in the 1890s, at the end of Hawter Road. This nursery supplied fruit trees across WA.


In 1903, a tragedy took place at Lauffer's Nursery at the end of Hardey Rd, where Charles Lauffer was murdered by Frederick Maillat, who was later hanged.


Government-owned land around the railway was surveyed into smaller lots, suitable for housing in the early 1900s. After the railway closed in 1954 the village continued to grow, more people took up residence, and sporting and retail facilities expanded. Today it is a thriving town.

Find out about the images on the right on Walking Maps, and to find out more information about the points of interest along the walk. 

Rosedale, 8 Burkinshaw Drive Glen Forrest.jpg
Thomas Smiths House GF.jpg

Because History Matters