Skip to main content

The Hampton Road Heritage Walk

The Hampton Road Heritage Walk in Northampton, Western Australia, offers an enchanting journey through time, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history and charming architecture of this picturesque town. This approximately 2-kilometer trail winds its way through Northampton’s business district, inviting explorers to discover the stories of yesteryears etched in the stone facades and quaint structures that line Hampton Road. As you embark on this heritage walk, you’ll find yourself strolling through a living museum, where each step unveils a different chapter of Northampton’s past.

One of the captivating stops along this historic trail is the Chiverton House, a stone-walled complex that has witnessed the town’s evolution since its establishment in 1864. This site has seen a fascinating transformation, from serving as the residence of Captain Samuel Mitchell to housing the Bank of Western Australia, Northampton’s first bank. Today, Chiverton House stands as a museum, preserving the relics and artifacts that narrate Northampton’s early history. Another notable stop is the Northampton Family Store, which has gracefully transitioned through different eras. It once accommodated multiple shops, including a clothing and general store, a tobacconist, a billiard saloon, and a saddlery. Today, it remains a cherished hub where you can still experience old-fashioned service while browsing for drapery, clothing, local history books, and giftware—a testament to the enduring charm of this town and its heritage.

Hampton Road Walk

Welcome to historic Northampton

As you venture into Northampton, a town steeped in history and declared an Historic Town for good reason, you’re embarking on a journey back in time. This quaint town’s story begins with the discovery of lead and copper in 1864, drawing a diverse mix of early inhabitants, including Cornish and Welsh settlers along with convicts who had once toiled at the Lynton Convict Ruins in nearby Port Gregory during the late 1850s.

1. CBH Bins: As you enter the town, keep an eye out for the CBH Bins on your right, welcoming you to the heart of Northampton.

2. Seventh Ave and the Industrial Area: Take the next right turn onto Seventh Avenue, which leads you to Northampton’s industrial area. Continue down the Northwest Coastal Highway to explore the town’s vibrant industries.

3. Motors & Machinery Shed: Make a right turn into Gwalla Street and then another right into Third Avenue, where you’ll discover the Motors & Machinery Shed. Here, the restoration of large and small machinery is a testament to Northampton’s industrious spirit.

4. First Railway Station: Continue south to the end of Third Avenue, passing the charming Gum Gully Bed and Breakfast on your left. At the cul-de-sac, you’ll find the remains of Northampton’s first railway station, complete with a storyboard that narrates its history and a map of the area.

5. Gwalla Church Ruins and Cemetery: Continue east along Gwalla Street to explore the evocative ruins of the first non-denominational Gwalla Church and its adjacent cemetery. Built in the late 1800s, this church was intended to serve all citizens but met its fate through severe cyclone damage and later demolition. Today, services are still held once a year in these poignant ruins.

6. Chiverton House Museum: Heading down the Northwest Coastal Highway for about 100 meters, you’ll find Chiverton House Museum, the headquarters of the Northampton Historical Society. Here, the past comes to life through a treasure trove of exhibits and artefacts.

7. Stone Cottages and Railway Hotel: Cross the Nokanena Brook bridge, and you’ll encounter two charming stone cottages flanking the road. Just beyond, on the left, stands the Northampton Railway Hotel, known as the “bottom pub.” This historic establishment boasts a wealth of stories from days gone by.

8. Masonic Lodge and Anglican Church: On the left, you’ll find two more remarkable stone buildings. First, the Masonic Lodge, and then the Anglican Church, both weaving their unique narratives into Northampton’s rich tapestry.

9. Newly Restored Caravan Park: Opposite, on the right, discover the newly restored and reopened Caravan Park. Take a step inside the old railway carriage for a fascinating glimpse into innovative adaptations of this cherished relic.

10. Stephen Street and Botanic Line: Turn right onto Stephen Street, passing the Botanic Line and the restoration of the railway line, now transformed into a natural bushwalk adorned with local wildflowers when in season. Explore the beauty of Northampton’s natural surroundings.

11. Northampton Old School Community Initiative: As you ascend the hill on the right, adjacent to the Botanic Line, you’ll encounter the Northampton Old School Community Initiative. This is not just any school; it’s a local First Nations corporation. Inside, you’ll discover an incredible gallery and shop showcasing the rich cultural heritage of our Indigenous community.

12. Hospital and Brookview Units: On your left, you’ll pass by the hospital, a vital part of our community’s healthcare. Nearby are the Brookview units, providing comfortable accommodation for our cherished aged residents.

13. Golf Club and High School: Continue along your journey, passing the Golf Club on your right. Further along, you’ll find the High School and the Sporting and Community Centre on Harvey Road, where our local youth thrive in education and sports.

14. Lions Park and Native Garden: Returning to the Northwest Coastal Highway at the corner of Stephen Street, you’ll spot the old Police Station building on your right. Adjacent to it on the footpath is the Lions Park, a serene space featuring a native garden and pathways, inviting you to take a leisurely stroll and connect with nature.

15. Restored Roads Board Building: Diagonally opposite, you’ll encounter the old Roads Board building, now occupied by a local handcraft group. Take a moment to admire the beautifully restored floorboards in this historic structure, each telling its own story.

16. Nagle Centre and St. Mary’s Church: Just past the local Roadhouse, two more of Monsignor Hawes’ architectural marvels await. The first on your left is the Nagle Centre, once home to the Presentation Nuns who served as teachers and musicians for many citizens in the area. At the rear, a boarding house once accommodated children from distant areas of the Shire. Today, it serves as a bustling budget accommodation hub.

17. St. Mary’s Church: The next Hawes building you’ll encounter is the iconic St. Mary’s Church. This church is an absolute treasure of the town, boasting a rich history and British-style stone walls along the footpath with upright stones on top. It’s a testament to the deep pride and reverence the Parish holds for this sacred space.

18. Post Office and Residence: Opposite, on the right, you’ll find the post office and its residence. This historic building serves as a vital communication hub for our community, just as it has for generations.

19. Woodcocks Hardware and Farm Supplies: Continuing our journey through Northampton’s historic streets, you’ll come across Woodcocks Hardware and Farm Supplies. This establishment holds a special place in our town’s heart, having recently been rebuilt following a devastating fire around three years ago. Taylor, the dedicated team behind the restoration, has done a remarkable job in reviving this essential part of our community.

20. Northampton Motor Hotel (Middle Pub): As you pass the Northampton Motor Hotel, affectionately known as the “Middle Pub,” you’ll find yourself in the presence of yet more history. This establishment has witnessed the ebb and flow of our town’s fortunes, and in the 1970s, it saw significant extensions to its bottom floor, reflecting Northampton’s ever-evolving character.

21. Railway Precinct and Men’s Shed: Make a right turn down Mary Street, and after about 200 meters, you’ll step into the Railway Precinct and Men’s Shed. The railway line between Geraldton and Ajana, near the Murchison River, closed its doors in 1958. However, thanks to the dedication of some loyal citizens, including Mary and Bob Taylor, the area has been lovingly restored. Today, the Men’s Shed has taken over, with plans for further improvements to preserve this piece of our railway heritage.

22. Pioneer Homes in Robinson Street: Just one block north in Robinson Street, you’ll encounter our Pioneer Homes. These 16 units provide independent living for members of our community, offering a comfortable and supportive environment for those looking to enjoy their retirement years.

23. Return to Northwest Coastal Highway: As we circle back towards the Northwest Coastal Highway, our journey isn’t over yet.

24. Northampton Newsagency: Right across from the Northampton Motor Hotel, you’ll find the Northampton Newsagency. Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by the charm of original wooden floorboards. This spot serves as the hub of the town, where locals and visitors alike gather for news and essentials.

25. Main Street Marvels: The next section of buildings on both the right and left sides of the street constitutes the heart of our town. These sturdy structures have stood the test of time and changed hands many times while retaining their original character. A visit to the Family Store is like stepping back in time, with its wooden floorboards and a magnificent display of sewing machines in the warehouse area.

26. The Local Pharmacy is also part of this historic building, serving the community faithfully over the years.

27. Shearing Shed Cafe: Be sure to note the Shearing Shed Cafe, once the original butcher shop. It’s known far and wide for its delectable vanilla slice and other tasty treats.

28. Miners Arms Hotel (Top Pub): At the northern end of this area, on the right and adjacent to the NAB, stands the Miners Arms Hotel, affectionately known as the “Top Pub.” It’s the oldest of the three hotels in town and has a rich history that’s woven into Northampton’s story.

29. Kings Park: Adjacent to the Top Pub is what we call Kings Park. Here, you’ll find the names of early families etched into the wall, topped by a display of early settlers in metal cutouts. This area is aptly named, as it was once the site of our Main Town Hall, referred to as the Kings Hall. It was a bustling spot and a cherished hall in its time, though in need of a good renovation.

30. Northampton IGA Supermarket: On the left, you’ll find the relatively new Northampton IGA Supermarket, a locally owned establishment that beautifully blends with the historical trend preserved throughout the town. Don’t rush by; step inside to explore the photo stories adorning the walls, sharing glimpses of locals from yesteryears.

31. Stone Mason’s Art: Adjacent to the Visitor Centre, take a moment to admire the beautiful stone walls and gazebos. Our resident stone mason, a skilled artisan, has left his mark in various places around the Shire, creating enduring works of art in stone.

32. RSL Hall and Northampton Visitor Centre: Next on the left is the RSL Hall, built in the late 50s, now boasting an extension housing RSL displays and the Northampton Visitor Centre. The Country Women’s Association (CWA) has also found its home in this area. This precinct offers a double delight. The RSL’s display of memorabilia fascinates many visitors, and the Visitor Centre is a treasure trove of information about our Shire and the surrounding region.

33. St. John Ambulance: Adjacent to the RSL complex, you’ll spot the St. John Ambulance building, a vital service serving not only our Shire but also beyond.

34. Police Station: On the opposite side of the road, the Northampton Police Station stands as a symbol of security and safety in our community.

35. Northampton Bowling Club: The final major building on the left as you continue north is the Northampton Bowling Club. Here, you’ll find both synthetic and grass greens, where friendly games and gatherings of the community take place.

36. Lions Club of Northampton: Last but certainly not least, we have a very active Lions Club in Northampton. They are always ready to lend a helping hand. Every March, they host their annual Lions Auction, featuring a wide range of items, from boats and small machinery to household goods, and more. The funds raised are reinvested into our district, supporting various community projects.

With this, our journey through Northampton, blending history with modernity, comes to an end. We hope you’ve enjoyed the rich tapestry of our town’s heritage and vibrant community spirit. There’s always more to discover here, and we look forward to sharing it with you on your next visit.

Community Spirit in Northampton

In Northampton, community spirit isn’t just a phrase; it’s a way of life. Since the early ’70s, the monthly “Northampton Community News” has been a vital thread connecting the town’s residents. Run by dedicated volunteers, this publication serves as an invaluable source of information. It features everything from Meals on Wheels rosters to meeting schedules, trades advertising, eulogies, school updates, sporting notices, and even the doctor’s surgery opening times. It’s a true reflection of the town’s commitment to keeping its residents informed and connected.

Make a Ewe Turn: Northampton proudly displays its character with unique stone entry statements at various points, including the North, South, Horrocks Beach, and Kalbarri entrances. However, one of the most distinctive features is the ongoing art project known as “Ewe Turn.” These whimsical sheep sculptures have become a beloved attraction, drawing visitors and enthusiastic photographers alike. Thanks to the Arty Tarts Studio One, located adjacent to the Family Store and Pharmacy, these charming creations have found their place in Northampton’s heart.

Aussie Rules Pride: Another point of pride for this small town is its remarkable contribution to Australian Rules Football. Over the past 15 years, Northampton has produced an impressive nine AFL footballers. To honour these local heroes, the town boasts stunning, life-sized cutouts of these players in prominent positions—a testament to the talent and dedication thriving in this close-knit community.

Shire of Vast Responsibilities: The local Shire Council shoulders a significant responsibility, covering a vast area that stretches from Oakabella in the south to the Shark Bay border in the north. This expansive region includes coastal gems like Horrocks Beach, Little Bay, Lucky Bay, and Port Gregory, as well as the inland beauty of Kalbarri and Chapman Valley. The council manages many inland roads, along with the full range of responsibilities expected from a local government authority.

Education at our Core: Northampton places a strong emphasis on education. There are three government schools in the area, including the District High School in Northampton, a District High School in Kalbarri, and a primary school in Binnu. In addition, a private Catholic primary school in Northampton offers a diverse range of educational options. These schools are well-connected to the outlying farming and fishing areas, ensuring that every child in the region has access to quality education.

Northampton, with its rich history, deep community bonds, and commitment to progress, is a shining example of a town where the spirit of togetherness thrives and where the future is as promising as its storied past.

Ask a Question