Strawberry Hill/Barmup is reopening 31 October. Come and explore the new Visitor Hub and reconnect with the unique story of this place.
Strawberry Hill/Barmup is reopening 31 October
Long before European settlement, Barmup was a meeting place for Menang Aboriginal people. In 1826 a government farm was established near the water course which fed the fledgling settlement. It was later purchased by the Government Resident Sir Richard Spencer and in the 1890s by Francis and Maude Bird.
Grand when it was built, Strawberry Hill has been home to many but the house itself has only had two owners. It is the first property managed by the National Trust in Western Australia.
A background to Strawberry Hill/Barmup
Strawberry Hill was considered old more than 100 years ago. As far back as 1890 it was given the name ‘The Old Farm’, in recognition of being the oldest farm in Western Australia, established even before the Swan River Colony.
A Government Farm was established at Strawberry Hill in 1827 as part of the first European settlement at King George Sound. In 1833, Sir Richard Spencer was appointed Government Resident at Albany. He purchased the Government Farm and resided there with his wife Ann, seven sons and three daughters. They lived in a pise cottage until, in 1836, the current two-storey stone house was built adjoining the older home. Even “old” farms change with the seasons. Come and see what is growing.
By 1836 the well established gardens were producing blood oranges, grapes, raspberries, gooseberries, asparagus, figs and almonds. The new house was the centre of the district’s social life.
After a period of neglect it was purchased in 1889 by Francis and Augusta Maude Bird who restored the house and farmed the land. In 1956 the property was purchased by the Government as a historic monument but fell into another cycle of neglect. Transferred to the National Trust in 1964, the property is being conserved to appropriately reflect its significance.
Stay longer, experience more
With the launch of the new Visitor Hub you will soon be able to experience this site in so many new ways.
New interpretation will include guided tours with expert commentary of the Main House, exhibition displays to learn more of the history of the place and two self-guided tour routes to explore the grounds at your leisure and appreciate the cultural landscape surrounding Strawberry Hill.