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Warders’ Cottages, Fremantle

- Heritage Works Revolving Fund's flagship project

 Fremantle’s Warders’ Cottages presented a unique challenge to adapt these 1850s convict-built terraces for contemporary uses.

The State heritage-listed cottages were built more than 165 years ago to house prison warders employed at the Convict Establishment, now known as the World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison.

Located in Henderson Street next to the Fremantle Markets, the cottages are a highly visible and important part of Fremantle’s CBD.

The three sets of terrace housing, occupying 3,544 square metres, continued to be used by warders up until the Prison’s closure in 1991. The cottages were then purchased by the Department of Housing for public housing.

In 2011, the Department of Housing determined that the cottages were no longer suitable for its tenants.

The Heritage Council of WA assumed ownership of the cottages in 2015 and commenced conservation of these cottages so they will once again contribute to the vibrancy of central Fremantle.

The State Government has invested $3.3m in the restoration of the cottages which has involved the removal of paint from the external limestone walls, allowing the stone to breathe and dry out. The structural integrity of the cottages has been restored through the overhaul of onsite drainage and the refurbishment of important joinery, door and window frames.

The cottages are suitable  for private residential use, but can also be sensitively adapted into small offices or other commercial premises.


The State Heritage Office acknowledges the generous support from Smeg Australia, Living Edge and Mossenson Galleries in the quality fit-out and furnishing of the display Warders’ Cottage at 17 Henderson Street, Fremantle.

Smeg Australia logo          Living Edge logo          Mossenson Galleries logo

Photo of display Warders Cottage from the street Photo of covered backyard alfresco area in display Warders Cottage Photo of back of display cottage from yard Photo of Warders display cottage, view from back verandah into cottage Photo of upstairs verandah taken in the evening Photo off furnished living room in display Warders Cottage Photo of dining room of display Warders Cottage Panorama photo of display cottage downstairs bathroom cum laundry Photo of kitchen in display Warders Cottage Photo of kitchen of display cottage with Smeg appliances Photo of orginal internal staircase in display Warders Cottage Photo of office hub in Warders' display cottage Photo of upstairs bathroom with original fireplace in display Warders Cottage Photo of  upstairs master bedroom in display Warders Cottage


Read more about the restoration journey here.

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