Historic Guildford

For a short history of the Guildford Association and the main events it has been involved with select the hyperlink for The Association History.

A short history of Guildford Town

"Guildfordians" already know Guildford is a special place to live, but there are historical reasons why Guildford is special. Guildford was one of the first three towns in the Swan River Colony (along with Perth and Fremantle) and was established in 1829... over 180 years ago. It was named by Governor James Stirling after his father-in-law’s electorate in Surrey, England. The Governor settled near by at Woodbridge, bordered by the Swan River and where Woodbridge House remains open to the public today.

Governor Stirling established Guildford with the aim of it forming a market centre for the surrounding agricultural areas that would develop the prosperity of the colony.

Guildford's history is formally recognised with the town being the only one in the metropolitan area to be classified in 1984 by the National Trust of Australia (WA) and receiving Federal Heritage Listing in 1989.

Features that make Guildford special are:

Guildford has long benefited from the rich soils that have washed down from the Darling Ranges. It was known as the “Garden of Roses” in the 1930s and many historic roses are still nurtured in resident's gardens today.

The National Trust of Australia describes Guildford as:

..a rare and comparatively intact nineteenth century town within a relatively undisturbed topographical setting. The basic character and structure of the town remains as it has been since the period of railway development. It is relatively unimpaired from encroachment of the metropolitan Perth. National Trust of Australia (1984)

»  Did you know? Guildford's Fauntleroy Park was where the Royal Agricultural Show was originally held for a number of years.   «

Protection of Guildford's rich heritage, in its buildings, gardens and land forms, is one of the key objectives of the Guildford Association. Every time we lose a part of Guildford's history we lose a part of what makes Guildford unique.

The late Professor Gordon Stephenson noted, “In the planning context, Guildford as a whole should be regarded as one of the most important historic towns in Australia.”

If you wish to know more about Guildford's history we offer a range of documents with greater details on this sub-page of the History page. There is information on Guildford's Socio Cultural Significance, the regional planning of the foreshores and its garden heritage.

James St Guilford Town Tindale House, James St Guilford Hotel, cnr James and Johnson Sts Guildford Fire Station Mechanics Institute Hall, Meadow St James St, Guildford