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You are about to embark on a journey through time, a voyage that will transport you to the heart of Northampton’s captivating history. This heritage walk, stretching approximately 2 kilometers along both sides of Hampton Road, is a window into a bygone era, a testament to the enduring spirit of a town that has witnessed the tides of change for over a century.

Northampton, a place whose roots trace back to its establishment in 1864, has a story to tell that resonates far beyond its picturesque streets. Its historical boundaries, defined by the majestic Murchison River to the north, the boundless Indian Ocean to the west, and the meandering Buller River to the south, have seen many transformations over the years. In the time before 1864, this land was known as the Mines District, where the earth yielded riches of lead dating as far back as 1848. By the mid-1850s, the hills and valleys around Northampton echoed with the industry of lead and copper mines. This very town was at the forefront of progress, proudly hosting Western Australia’s first Government Railway in 1879.

As you tread along this historic path, you’ll discover not just a town’s past but also the enduring legacy of the pioneers who shaped it. So, lace up your walking shoes, open your heart to history, and prepare to be enchanted by the tales that echo along the Hampton Road Heritage Walk.

Here’s a detailed list of the 37 stops on the Hampton Road Heritage Walk in Northampton, Western Australia, along with their corresponding information:

1. Chiverton House (c1885): This stone-walled complex of buildings, constructed over several years, served various purposes. The original cottage, built by George White, later became the residence of “Captain” Samuel Mitchell. The central section served as a store, and the northern section was the Mitchell family’s residence. It also housed the Bank of WA from 1908-1912. Chiverton House now operates as a museum, showcasing artifacts from the region’s early history.

2. Nokanena Bridge: In 1883, Mr. Moyle successfully built a bridge over Nokanena Creek. While settlers had been in the district for more than thirty years, this bridge was not the original. The stone structure built by Mr. Moyle was damaged by floods and was eventually replaced and widened in 1964. It was opened by the Hon. David Brand in 1964 as part of the town’s centennial celebrations. It was later upgraded in the 1980s to accommodate heavy traffic.

3. Cottage (c1880) and Storeroom (c1905): After crossing Nokanena Brook, you’ll find a cottage that was part of the “Victoria Cash Store.” James Magee took over the business in 1905 and built the stone storeroom. The cottage and store are now a private residence and have been restored.

4. Corrugated Iron Dwelling: This dwelling represents a common early housing design in the area. It’s believed that a row of such dwellings lined Hampton Road up to the Stephen Street intersection. This is one of the few remaining examples in Northampton.

5. Railway Carriage: Relocated to this spot by an earlier tourist committee, this carriage was the first one built in Fremantle in 1904. It was placed here to house a proposed tourist bureau and to recognize the importance of the first public railway in Western Australia. It occasionally hosts displays of Railway Memorabilia.

6. Old Police Station (1885): Crossing Stephen Street, you’ll come across the Old Police Station & Courthouse. The jail was located behind the station, with cells along a hall. Today, it houses the Northampton Toy Library and the Northampton Visitors Centre.

7. Post Office (1923): Originally located near Nokanena Brook, the Post Office was moved to this purpose-built structure in a more central location. Extensions and alterations were made in 1954. In 1994 and 1995, new boxes were added, and the building was later sold to become a privately-owned and operated Post Office Agency.

8. Hampton Arms Hotel (1876): Now known as the Northampton Motor Hotel, it was originally a single-story building operated by Mr. Cook and later Mr. Sims. The second story was added when Jack Woodcock purchased it in 1911. Modern brick alterations and motel units were constructed at a later date.

9. Private Residence (1912): This original weatherboard building with a picket fence once housed the National Bank, along with the Bank Manager and his family. It has since been reclad, and the picket fence replaced by super six.

10. Hasleby’s Hardware Store: Once a grocery store owned by Haslebys, it was converted into a hardware outlet and changed ownership several times. It’s interesting to note that the institute, one-stop-shop, is once again owned and operated by the Hasleby family.

11. Hasleby’s Hardware Shop: This site was originally home to tearooms owned by the Prossers, known for their potent Hop Beer. The building’s facade resembled the Collectables shop opposite. In 1957, it became Northampton’s first self-service grocery store. After multiple extensions, a bull-nose verandah was added in 1994. It reopened as Hasleby’s Hardware in 2010.

12. Northampton Health and Beauty (1937): This Art Deco building was constructed for Mr. VG Husbands’ Northampton Meat Supply. Mr. Husbands started his butchering business from a horse-drawn cart before buying out Mr. Clow. Clow’s original butchers shop was repurposed as a residence, which has since been demolished. The large old-style sawdust cool-room still remains.

13. Elders Store: This site was once home to several shops including a greengrocers, garage, tearooms, and a drapery store.

14. National Bank (1994): The present building is the second bank structure on this site. Before 1943, the Bank of NSW operated from the original weatherboard building. During WW2, it was decided that one bank per country town was sufficient. The National Bank relocated from the corner of Mary Street and Hampton Road. The building underwent extensive renovation in the 1960s and was replaced in 1994.

15. Miners Arms Hotel (1868): Built by Capt John Hosken, it is believed to be the first hotel in Northampton. It underwent renovations and name changes over the years. Today, it offers meals and Inn-style accommodation.

16. Kings Hall Park: The Kings Hall, once on this site, was demolished in 1972. Completed in 1927, it played a central role in social life in Northampton. It hosted various events including dances, weddings, concerts, and movies.

17. Memorial Gates (1934): The Ceremonial Gates and War Memorial were unveiled in 1934. The RSL Hall was built in 1956. The impressive wrought iron gates were designed by Mr. Marshall Clifton, a well-known WA Architect and artist.

18. Hampton Gardens (1995): The design acknowledges the historical context of the town and pays tribute to pioneers like “Doctor” Joseph Horrocks. The walls, like those constructed by “Dr” Horrocks in the 1860s, provided employment for local youth.

18a. IGA Supermarket (2010): Heritage photos of the town’s early days are displayed throughout the store. An ATM machine is available.

19. Burnt Earth Cafés: Originally built in two sections, the southern end operated as a Tailors shop. The second shop, added later, became tearooms, then a Stock & Station Agents. A tree, known as Milty’s tree, shelters café patrons where Pextons Shoe Shop once stood.

20. Emma’s Shearing (1924): Originally a garage, this structure has since been used as a grocer, green grocers, deli, and second-hand shop.

21. Chemist (1924): Before becoming a chemist, it was a clothing and drapery store from Bennett’s Elite Drapery of Geraldton, which still conducts a similar business in Geraldton today.

22. Butcher (1924): Originally a bakery known as McMinns bakery in the early 20th century, it was later run by Snars & Hatton in the late 1920s. Emmanuel Collins, a local, served his apprenticeship here and took over the business. The original ovens are still located at the rear of the building, which was converted to diesel and used as recently as 1994.

23. Antiques and Collectables: Previously operated as a wildflower outlet by professional pickers Rod and Edna Lockyer from 1991 to 2000 under the name of Lockyer’s Wildflowers. It had various owners and uses in the past, including tearooms, a delicatessen, and a greengrocers. Today, it offers an assortment of old-world charm, and the rear of the building was once used as a residence.

24. Old Iron Complex of Shops: Originally transported from a mining camp in the Murchison area, this complex of buildings has seen little change since its relocation. It served as a Stock and Station Agents office, a saddlery business, tearooms, and a grocery shop over time. Business proprietors and their families usually resided in the attached premises. Presently, these buildings house All Stitched Up (felting Group), Red Cross Shop, and The Arty Tarts Studio.

25. Northampton Family Store (1910): This store has had three owners. It was owned by Stokes until 1949 and then, until 2003, it operated as Williams Family Drapery Store, owned by JM Williams and Co. The proprietors resided in the rear of the building as was common in earlier times. Now known as the Northampton Family Store, it offers old-fashioned service in an atmosphere reminiscent of the last century. Originally, it was several shops, housing a clothing and general store, a tobacconist, a billiard saloon, and a saddlery. You can still purchase drapery, clothing, shoes, local history books, and giftware here.

26. Newsagents and Residence (1926): Originally built for Mr. Barlow, it included a billiard saloon, barber shop, and newsagents. It was constructed by a local builder, Mr. Thomas Preston Crothers. The cantilevered verandah on the building was innovative at the time. Today, it still operates as a newsagency with an adjoining residence. Another ATM and an Internet café are located in this store.

27. Our Lady in Ara Coeli Church (1936): This is a Roman Catholic Church. The first services were held in the Gwalla Church from 1863 onwards. In 1868, under the direction of Father Lecaille, the first Roman Catholic Church was built. It was demolished in 1963 to make way for the present Catholic School situated directly behind this church building. St Mary’s Church was designed by Monsignor Hawes and built while Father Irwin was Parish Priest in Northampton. The foundation stone was laid on 24 May 1936, and the building contractor was Mr. Thomas Preston Crothers of Northampton. The stone was quarried from “Willigully” and donated by the late Mrs. Mike Williams.

28. Sacred Heart Convent (1919): In 1898, Bishop Kelly was placed in charge of the new diocese of Geraldton. He looked to expand the work of the Sisters, and three Sisters volunteered to set up an independent house at Northampton in 1899. In 1919, a much-needed new convent was opened. This two-storey stone structure was designed by Monsignor Hawes. It founded conve the convent was closed, and a Sister Principal commuted daily from Geraldton until even that support had to be withdrawn in 1989. Now operating as the Old Convent, it offers budget accommodation and has a function room (Nagle Centre) with catering facilities for hire.

29. Roads Board Office (1898): The Mines Road Board was formed in 1871 with Mr. EH Wittenoom (later Sir Edward) as Secretary. Meetings were initially held at the Railway Hotel until this building was completed in 1898. When the present Shire Offices were opened in 1957, this building served as the local library until extensions to the present offices in 1984 accommodated the library. Now, this building operates as a local Arts and Crafts Centre.

30. Northampton Shire Offices: This site was once the Mechanics Institute from the 1870s, which also housed the working men’s library and the caretaker’s residence. The current building was erected in 1957 and extended in 1984 and again in 2002. Note the monument in front of the offices celebrating the centenary of local government in 1971. The plaque on the stone wall commemorates the opening of the Government Water Supply by Premier the Hon ARG Hawke in 1959. Prior to this, locals relied on private bores, wells, and rainwater tanks for their water supply.

31. Holy Trinity (1908): Crossing over Stephen Street, you’ll find this quaint little Anglican Church set back from the road. The land was donated by Mrs. Hannah Hosken, and her family contributed funds for the church’s construction. Stone for the building was quarried from Howatharra and transported to Northampton by rail. The vestry and porch were added in 1959, replacing corrugated iron structures.

32. Anglican Rectory (1936): The Rectory, built in 1936, is situated behind the Anglican Church. The stone used in the building was from the old State School which stood on the corner of Gwalla and West Streets. An earlier rectory, dating from 1910, was used as the Parish Hall until it was sold in 1960 and moved to a site further north where it housed the local Scout Troop.

33. Masonic Lodge (1921): Hampton Lodge Number 93 was consecrated in 1913 with the first meeting held in the Roads Board Offices and subsequent meetings in the Railway Hotel until 1921 when the present stone building was erected. A red brick hall was added in 1967 to cater for social functions, and in 1984-5 further alterations were carried out.

34. Railway Hotel (1876): Built in anticipation of the Northampton to Geraldton Railway, the hotelier was John Hosken Jnr. It once boasted a ballroom where many wedding receptions and dances were held. Extensive stone stables to the rear have since been demolished. During World War II, Army personnel were stationed here, and the rooms they used have recently been restored.

35. Residence (1866): Originally built as a marital home for Mr. Drew, it was purchased by the government and used as the Post Office and Postmaster’s residence when the marriage did not occur. People received their mail through a window on the front verandah. The Post Office transferred to its present site in 1923, and this building then became the Headmaster’s residence and later a private residence.

36. Residence (1910-1912): Located after crossing the Nokanena Brook and passing Chiverton House, this beautiful home was originally built for Willy Lucas. He was once a store assistant at Williams Drapery and later the licensee of the Miners Arms. He lived on this picturesque property after retiring from the Miners Arms.

37. Long Cottages (1882): Finally, you’ll cross the highway to view this cottage before arriving back at Chiverton House Museum. Originally built as a semi-detached house, it is now a single residence. When first constructed, this property had a thatched roof, which was replaced by shingles. The present roof has been placed over these.

This concludes the detailed description of the Hampton Road Heritage Walk in Northampton, Western Australia.

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